Some people talk a lot about winning.
What is it they think is being “won”?
And —more importantly— how are they going to win? What’s their approach?
Some people are arrogant and reckless.
Others have dignity and class.
Some people quietly do the hard work and that is how they “win.” They do things the cavalier bloviators aren’t willing to spend time doing.
Winning is hard.
Some people have patience. Some people don’t.
Football is one place to see the different approaches. Apparently, so is politics…
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Trump did one thing differently from everyone else in my lifetime and that is he never apologized to anyone for anything, no matter how egregious it may have been or at least portrayed. The public interpreted that as self-confidence, and that is arguably the most attractive characteristic of a human being.
I wasn’t and am not a Trump supporter. That said, I’m not the slightest bit surprised that he won the election.
There are obviously exceptions, such as the Congressman from New York who was tweeting pictures of his manhood. Another is my former employer, a United States Senator who committed adultery with a ‘working girl’. However none of Trump’s controversies came anywhere close to either of these.
In the case of the latter, he actually went on to win reelection after the scandal – a campaign I am proud to have worked on – and win by 19 points over a sitting Congressman challenging his incumbency. When he ran for governor, he took a vastly different approach, apologizing instead of attacking his opponents (as he did in his prior Senate reelection campaign), and the result was not unexpected. He got thumped.
I did not work on the Gubernatorial campaign, but I remember telling someone who did that the candidate was making a big mistake in his approach and that he should go on the offensive and change the narrative instead of airing ads with his family showing everyone how reformed he is.
In politics, you win by being the aggressor. It’s just the reality. Attack ads are the only political advertisements that move numbers.
Everyone says they hate negative campaigning but yet it’s the only way to get them to change their minds about whether to vote and if so, for which candidate.
Trump did an excellent job of remaining on the offensive and responding to attacks with attacks of his own directed at his attackers. That’s how you win in politics. Now Donald Trump is president.
Watch though, the next time some lower-level national figure (Congressman or Senator) is embroiled in some sort of malfeasance he or she will hold a press conference and announce that he/she is sincerely sorry for the mistake and her learned a lesson… And then that candidate will either resign or be voted out. It happens at least one per election cycle.
Will American politicians learn anything of substance from Trump’s victory? That’s the question I’m most curious to see answered. I guess we’ll know soon enough.