It is time for Clinton to unleash the Rope a Dope against Trump

There is an old saying that generals always fight the last war. Clinton’s attacks on Trump appear to be the same lesson. Clinton’s attacks on Trump have not worked. Despite the obvious fact that 15 Republican candidates could not stop him with attacks, which culminated with a debate topic about Trump’s penis. If these attacks were not going to work, why would other attacks work? The attacks fail for three main reasons. First, they provide him free media since they mention him constantly. Second, they allow Trump to counter punch, which is his strength.[1] Third, they make the attack the issue, which obscures any positive or negative point that Clinton wants to make.

When you are in the mud, throwing it does not clean you or make your opponent dirtier.

Both candidates have high negative ratings.[2] An attack will not increase positive ratings. If anything, they drive positives for the public only know what the candidate is against. The negative ads hide her positives are in the election. To develop positives, she has to say what she is for, will deliver, and, most importantly, what she will change. Trump will make her the problem, the past or part of the problem. Unless she shows how she is not “more of the same” or the “same solutions to the same problems”, she cannot overcome Trump’s hollow but seductive call to “Make America Great Again”.

Ali knew that you avoided a counterpuncher with Rope a Dope.

Trump knows how to counter punch or counter attack. Social media has changed how political attacks work. Politics is no longer about attack ads or attacks because any attack can have an immediate and equally powerful counter attack. If Twitter shows us anything, there are many counter attacks or “Yeah, but…” attacks to consider. If you want to say Trump is a racist, the counter attack can show the media is lilywhite. Attack Trump for corporate complacency, look at HRC speeches to Wall Street. Bernie Sanders has shown these attacks work and they attract voters. What is needed is to focus on the positives, which is where Trump is weaker since he has never held an elected office. He lacks the experience which makes him vulnerable.

Political shame is dead especially when you have no political career to defend.

Trump knows better than any other candidate is that shame no longer works as a political deterrent or constraint. In this sense, Bill Clinton created Trump for he brazened out the Lewinsky scandal when decency would have kept him from engaging in the affairs or might have led him to resign for the affair and cover up. Instead, Bill brazened it out, Hillary supported him through it all. Most importantly, other women excused his behaviour, which taught us was that any behaviour, short of outright criminality, would be excused to serve politics.

Attacks ads no longer serve the purpose they once served. It is time for Clinton to embrace a new strategy or she will lose doing the same things that have always been done.






[1] Trump scored his biggest hits on opponents by relying on effective counterpunches.



About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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