So I've had a bad cold for the last couple of days, and this night I had trouble sleeping. I took out my phone and checked social media. Discovered that the Trump vs. Clinton debate was live. I haven't been following a minute from any of the two campaigns (besides the occasional Trumpism finding its way into my bubble) and I'm not terribly interested in politics, but I decided to take a look.
From a rational perspective, Hillary definitely won the debate. She told the least lies, she put Trump into place several times asking questions that he did not want to answer. She made him look like a fool.
But Clinton completely lacked something that Trump has: a vision and a brand. After the debate it was very clear to me exactly what Trump's brand is about: He is a successful businessman who is going to use his excellent dealmaking and business skills to straighten up USA's economy. Most of all he is someone who is efficient and who gets shit done. He also puts this in contrast with "all the politicians" who just talk and don't get anything accomplished. This is what he skillfully kept repeating through personal stories and anecdotes, and with an inner belief in his brand so strong that it beams from every sound he utters.
This is why he can even pull off bragging about tax evasion. Clinton tried to use that against him, and for most candidates it would of course be very embarassing to get caught with that. But that is because tax evasion isn't something that would fit any previous president's brand. It fits perfectly with Trump's brand: a skilled and pragmatic capitalist, who uses any tool available to reach the goals at hand. This is someone you want to have on your team. Someone you might even want to have as a leader. This is how Trump's voters think. This he understands but Clinton doesn't.
Clinton has no vision. She has no clear brand. When explaining her political solutions she did not give short and clear answers, but instead very long and nuanced ones, using quite fluffy politician-speak. This plays perfectly into the hands of Trump.
Who do you think someone who is fed up with having too little money, someone who feels powerless and run over by the political elite in USA is going to vote for? Since all the economic trouble in recent years, especially in terms of unemployment, I would bet this group is rather big. Believe it or not, it doesn't matter how clear it is that Trump is a dangerous asshole who lies, as well as a racist and sexist. The one who can speak to people's emotions, and who can give them hope that things can get better, is the one I think has the best chance of winning. And from last night's debate I would argue that it is Trump.
What further strenghtens my belief that Trump will win, is that people on social media seem to just mock both of the candidates, alluding it doesn't matter who you vote for; you end up with an incompetent president anyhow.
Header image by Donkey Hotey.