As the year turns, a great relational drama is unfolding in U.S. politics as a center stage example of perversity politics – Donald Trump's presidential campaign. It's demonstrating perversity in terms, as our dictionary puts it, of "Obstinately persisting in an error or fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn." Hubbell Communications in Portland, OR, nails Trump's travels when it comments:
"Trump's rhetoric is often angry and almost always bombastic. he seems to speak before thinking. He makes fun of people with handicaps. He occasionally (OK, more than occasionally) alienates his own supporters. And during the course of his quixotic presidential campaign, he has – with flippant nonchalance – called just about every elected leader who doesn't agree with him 'stupid.' "
"Yet," Hubbell adds, "with the Iowa Caucas now only six weeks away, Trump is the one laughing. He holds a commanding front-runner lead in all the national polls. Who'd a thunk it?"
Who, indeed. Somebody, or something, is building for virtually the biggest fall imaginable. Either Trump or the American electorate, or the principles of political PR.
More than anything, what's powering Trump, says Hubbell, is confidence: "Mind you, not the run-of-the-mill confidence that the rest of us might have while speaking to a Rotary group. Instead, Trump has master-of-the-universe confidence. An extreme confidence. A confidence that never wavers because its owner completely lacks introspection. Sure, for a lot of people, the premise of Trump's confidence may be wrong. But Trump himself is never in doubt."
So, we'll see how it all plays out, an experience, in a PR context, that we'd rather not be having.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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