Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trump Has Helped Guarantee a Democratic Win in 2016 Simply by Running

Copyright: Kevin J. Lenard 2015
Click to enlarge.  Not to be used without accreditation: Kevin J. Lenard © 2015

Why is it that Hillary Clinton looks so damn smug every time 'The Donald' is mentioned around her lately?  Because she's crunched the numbers (and she knows even Bernie Sanders is currently running second to her).  If a vote was run today without party affiliation playing a role, Trump would have only 11% of America's vote, Sanders 16% and Clinton about 22%. 

Given the shift in American voting behaviour in the past two elections, with Millennials taking on slightly more responsibility for getting out to vote than their preceding youth cohorts did, and because Millennials overall tend to be more liberal than earlier generations did (even young white Texans grew up idolizing, and dressing like, black rap artists), there has been a shift to the left/liberal in America's voting tendency.   This shift got another boost when the average American finally realized that George W. led America into war solely in order to make his Republican 1% supporters richer by forcing poor Americans to provide the young soldiers and taxpayers to buy arms from their corporations.  The 'fight for American freedom' by killing non-Christian/Jewish brown or yellow people no longer has the acquiescent glow it once did.

On top of these facts, the Democrats under Obama have delivered some very positive changes for America (the economy is in better shape now and unemployment is significantly lower, plus "The Affordable Health Act" really has made heath care more universally affordable).  And this happened while Americans witnessed the Republicans doing exactly what they promised to do when 'that black man' was first elected -- fueled by the underlying racism that has made so many white conservatives apoplectic that they have had a black President, the Republicans have done their best to make Obama a 'lame duck' by blocking everything he tried to do, thus making Congress largely dysfunctional.

So the Democrats were ALREADY virtually guaranteed a win in 2016 as long as they manage to field a palatable candidate, and Hillary looks like one (after Obama the door is wide open for the first female President).  What Trump has managed to do with his blustery campaign is solidify the win for the Dems.

How?  Very simply, on the bell curve of American voting preferences (and the actual percentages are immaterial to my argument, and they're likely universal to the human race), about 16% of Americans are hard core, intractable conservatives and about the same are dyed-in-the-wool liberal voters who will never, ever vote for "those other people." These extreme minorities cannot see any merit in anything the other extremists value most.  Gallup shows about 30% of Americans self-identifying as Republicans and about the same as Democrats, with another 15% of "independent swing voters" who 'lean' towards either party, but I'm talking about the hard core half of each 30% voting block.

Click to enlarge.

[Ironically the Republicans have consistently made the mistake (I believe that the advent of the Internet and the noise from the extreme right minority 'Tea Party' has led them to believe they MUST pander to their most extreme niche) of speaking loudest to the very group who are incapable of ever voting for any party BUT the GOP, so they are shooting themselves in the foot.   What are those voters going to do if they don't like 'the party line?"  Not vote?  It is the centrists, the independents who lean neither way, who always decide the vote in the US, and they have no interest in either party's extreme views.  Note that NO billionaire is stupid enough to NOT be able to crunch the numbers -- so I marvel at Trump's latest efforts to pump up his megalomaniac ego through this latest theatrical performance to gain media exposure despite knowing he has no chance to win the Presidency -- or is this actually a very strategic effort by a very smart Conservative outsider to revitalize the Republican Party -- an organization that has lost it way by pandering to the very minority that Trump makes a great show of sucking up to, in order to set up for a realistic run in 2020?]

What Trump has done is to SHOUT that he is a member of this far-right wing minority.  He spends all his time regurgitating exactly what these folks, who are genetically hardwired for prejudice (i.e. "anyone who does not look like a member of our tribe is to be feared and pushed away") and nationalism (i.e. "our people are the only 'chosen' people"), want to hear.  He has done it so well that, even though some of his vitriol is abhorrent to right wingers who still believe in ALL of the Constitution, he has managed to win over the entire 16% and quite a few of the less extreme conservative voters.

Speaking of uncontrollable fears that are hardwired and therefore intractable/un-swayable, look at the difference between how 'hardwired-for-liberal' people answer these questions versus the 'hardwired for conservative' people do (quite scary, really) in this recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll:

Click to enlarge.

But again, the numbers aren't important because what "The Donald" has done is advertise to the most neutral 'swing voters' just how distasteful and really anti-American (that Constitution thing again) the far right really are.  If he wins the GOP nomination, given the current political 'temperature' in America, the Democrats will win by a landslide even with a woman running for the top spot.  Trump is simply too extreme (in this current incarnation of his).  If he loses but goes independent, he will have effectively split the Republican vote in two, and even if he entirely disappears from the contest (only to re-emerge in 2019 to run again at age 73), the damage to the Republican's message (IF they are ever smart enough to go back to focusing on the moderate swing voters who will determine the winner), is now far too debilitating for them to ever recover from -- especially after they ran down their country's elected President by doing their utmost to make him into a 'lame duck' mercilessly for eight years and have been foolishly pandering to the Tea Party.

It will likely literally take a 'reformation' for the Republicans to woo back the centrist swing voters, unless the Democrats sadly screw things up severely in the next four to eight years.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

We're On the Brink of a Global Epiphany: Terrorists Aren't Religious, Not Ever.

Terrorists actually are never even politically motivated.  Not ever.


My readers already know that my interests are split between solving the human race's problems and solving 'marketing disruption.'  As the former takes precedence, by just a smidgen, over the latter, indulge me in re-making a point that is rather pertinent to the entire world at the moment on the subject of terrorists' motivations.  These two words actually form a non sequitur.

My first blog post seven years ago stirred up a great deal of commentary.  It was an op-ed letter to the Toronto Star in November of 2008 in response to the sensationalist and entirely misguided media coverage of the deranged murder of an elderly Ontario couple at a beach resort in Mexico in 2006 near where I lived for six years.  Titled "Our Developed World Glasses Tend to be Rose Coloured" (link), I pointed out that, outside of the so-called 'Developed World,' both the police and judicial systems are largely criminal (run almost entirely upon corruption). 

This means that in the majority of tourist destinations in the world (and ALL of the 'off the beaten path' destinations) you are always just a hair's breadth from finding yourself in a life-altering, mind boggling situation (think of the 1978 movie "Midnight Express").  Of course problems of that magnitude require some MAJOR errors in judgement, but they happen all the time in Mexico, often times due to no fault of the tourist, and are virtually never investigated, much less ever solved judicially. 

I bring that post of mine up because it 'frames' the most fundamental problem that the majority of humans living in their developed world countries have in wrapping their heads around just how monumentally different the daily living situation of people outside of our cozy bubble is.  "Westerners" see Syrian refugees with cell phones and assume "They're just like us in every way because they have a cell phone and the clothing they have on isn't in tatters!"  The "new normal' our brain's use to filter things through tells us that they should go back home and apply for a job, like being a bank teller.  Here's the bank our cozy brain wants them to apply to:


When our brains, stuck in our cozy 'new normal,' follow the media's constant, insane search for 'motivation' ("Police are still trying to identify a motive for the mass shooting/bombing/attempted beheading..."), we start to assign motives to insanity because WE ASSUME THE NUT-JOBS ARE AS SANE AS WE ARE! 
"Well why would you or I try to remove some stranger's head with a knife?  That person must have had a good reason.  Sure, their actions were a bit extreme....but the only thing that makes me feel angry enough to hurt someone is when my intuitive understanding of the world based on my religion is challenged....so this individual must have become 'radicalized' by a religion!"
Problem solved!  All of the craziness that unfiltered access to the Internet is now empowering and stoking must be the direct result of an organized religion, just like all the crazy cult behaviour we are familiar with from the past 50 years going back to Jonestown Massacre was the result of a pseudo-religious nut-job preacher gathering a bunch of willing 'lost sheep' and giving their lives meaning through indoctrination in his lunatic creation of a new 'religious' dogma. 

Ah....  But we no longer need a leader to do this  We have the Internet, and on the Internet you can access 1,000 blog posts and podcasts and videos from 1,000 nut-jobs 24/7 virtually for free -- without leaving your parents' basement.  And the videos don't just feature a preacher TELLING you graphic stories of beheadings and jihad, THEY ACTUALLY SHOW THE BEHEADINGS IN SLOW MOTION! 

My dear reader, in countries where people are busy trying to prevent their kids from incoming bombs raining down upon them any second, where food has gone missing because all the stores and banks and schools are bombed out and where, outside of the totalitarian regime putting your neighbour to death on a whim, there never was any real policing or judicial fairness ever, it isn't too hard to get the most reasonable and peace-loving able-bodied men to pick up weapons and follow the closest dude with a commanding presence into battle.  What else are they going to do?!?  I'll tell you what else: they try to get the fuck out of there to try to find a better life elsewhere.  To do so they wear their best clothes and carry their cell phones to stay in touch with their families, just like you would, Mr. New Normal. 

Those able-bodied, average (or smarter!) IQ refugees are NOT the ones we need to worry about.  It's the nut-jobs at home, many of whom are shipping off to the new caliphate right now, who we have to be worried about.  And here's some news: they aren't religious nut-jobs -- they're just nut-jobs.  They are not carrying out the political vision of Osama bin Laden to force developed, non-Muslim majority countries out of Arab countries (he really wasn't trying to do that, bin Laden was just a mass-murdering nut-job like Adolf Hitler was).  They are not carrying out the mandate for Islamic jihad that some Imams wherever are nattering on about in order to give them some power at home. 

If you wake up one morning and suddenly (it never happens suddenly) get the impulse to take the lives of as many fellow humans as you can, you are not a religious radical -- you're just a nut-job.  Humans have become the 6th mass extinction force on planet Earth because we are a social species who live together by, as a majority, imposing rules of conduct upon our craziest nut-jobs members so that the rest of us can live safely and propagate endlessly.  If they don't behave, we imprison, expel or kill them.  This social survival strategy works pretty well until some major nut-job like Adolf Hitler or Vladimir Putin manages to manipulate our most foolish voters' instinctive 'nationalism' ("Ours are the chosen, special people!") into allowing them into absolute power positions.  When the latter happens, to survive and support their families unmolested even the most peaceful, rational citizen tends to go with the flow, sadly. 

So please stop with the 'looking for a motivation' compulsion and stop accepting the false (but cozy) notion that these nut-jobs have become 'RADICALIZED.'  They are not extremists of one religious or political belief or another.  They are not 'soldiers just following the mandates of their national army.'  They are not 'terrorists' (a label that bestows the legitimacy of some vague political manifesto upon them).  They are human beings just like that kid next door with sadly screwed up brain wiring that they were either born with or were traumatized into through a knock on the head or emotional/psychological torture/abuse. 

Once a pathetic nut-job begins to feel special, included, needed, empowered, etc. by some asinine cause or another (can be political in the case of Quebec's FLQ, or Italy's Red Brigade, or Germany's Baader-Meinhof Gang, etc., or religious/cult-inspired, or cultural/nationalistic in the case of Rwanda's Hutus & Tutsis, or Zimbabwe's blacks vs. whites, or  a mix of several in the case of Ireland's IRA) their brains begin the inexorable march toward the dark edge of insanity and murder (any human who gets a thrill out of extinguishing the life of fellow humans is, by definition of our social, self-propagating species, insane). Yes, you can use the word 'extreme' and 'radical' to describe what their brains are directing them towards, but the net effect has little to do with our naturally imagined 'causation.'  They will go down this path the moment they get access to an excuse and they will drag another few fellow sociopathic 'fence sitters' along with them.

We are now seeing tens of thousands of these nut-jobs adopting the Muslim religion in order to fulfill the dark impulses of their faulty human hard wiring and migrate to 'the caliphate' that now encompasses the north eastern part of Syria and the north western portion of Iraq.  While their numbers have swelled from a few thousand to as much as 30,000 today, there are still only a few of any of the 'supplier countries'' nut-jobs who have taken the opportunity (and made considerable effort) to live out their darkest fantasies.  In any population of the world we have a LARGE percentage of nut-jobs.  It's nothing new, it's just the bell curve of human sanity.  It only takes one nut-job to perpetrate a mass killing -- the US has has 353 so far this year, few of which were committed by Muslims (How are you going to solve THAT, Mr. Trump?). 

To blame one religion or another is just bigotry.  Every major religion, even the commonly misinterpreted Quran, preaches FIRST & FOREMOST peace and harmony, and only in short passages (that must be filtered by the realities of the time they were created -- the entire global human population in the year 0 AD was about that of modern day Japan) do they lay out prescriptions (probably written by nut-jobs back then) for self-defense and conscription through coercion: the threat of death. 

'Terror-perpetrators' are not 'motivated' by religion or politics.  These nut-jobs are not 'religious people.'  They are not even 'terrorists' (in the sense that they are perpetuating some kind of legitimate, coherent, rational objective). They are nut-jobs looking to live out their fantasies of taking underage women as sex slaves (even if it will be in 'heaven') and murdering/beheading fellow humans, preferably in large numbers. Their 'motivation' is to listen to the voices in their heads and do things that none of the vast majority of normal fellow humans want to do. 

When we foolishly (but understandably, given our social nature to nod along with the majority) legitimize these pathetic nut-jobs with labels like 'terrorist' or 'radical' we undermine the effort we must all make, as the sane majority, to understand WHAT they are in order to begin to identify WHO they are.  Only once we begin to drop political correctness (my only point that I have any support for Donald Trump on) in order to say:
"Sorry.  We've figured out that you are a nut-job and at risk for escalating to the point of killing your fellow humans, so we are NOT going to treat you with all the respect and freedoms the rest of us enjoy.  You are 'special' and we're going to have to treat you as such BEFORE you find some bullshit on the Internet to set you off." 
Yes, these nut-jobs are somebody's kids.  Yes, most wouldn't escalate to extreme levels of 'acting out' if they had no access to today's Internet (nor did the low-empathy bullies who traumatize them in their most vulnerable years).  Yes, our developed world glasses tend to be rose coloured and we believe it is only fair to 'live and let live' -- BUT THE LATTER IS THE POINT!  These nut-jobs among us are screwed up enough that they want to act out and kill the rest of us and we are now facing a FRIGHTENED (not brave) new world where this radical experiment we unleashed on the world to distribute cheap, unfettered and unfiltered access to the Internet through smart phones and WiFi  is helping to inspire mass killers to take action.  A radical solution is now required, whether we like it or not.


•••

Kevin J. Lenard is a global thought leader in the hotbed of Marketing Disruption. His insights into how both Fortune 1000 and SMB firms can pull off the ‘veil of false prophesying’ to expose the diversion called “Social Marketing” have been leveraged by the most adept and visionary marketers in the world since he began lecturing and publishing on the subject in 2007.  

Kevin works tirelessly as a Futurist Consultant and Speaker to help CMOs battle the maestros of bovine excreta who have been shockingly successful in misdirecting billions of marketing dollars in the past few years.  These bewitching ‘Snake Oil Carny Barkers’ have built a vast empire by manipulating the natural limitations of our ability to embrace disruption during the withering red haze of technological advances we’re currently working through.  Kevin uses his sagacity, branding expertise and change management skills to guide the development of core strategies to wean marketers off the snake oil and redirect their efforts towards truly effective ROI.

Kevin earned his Masters in Human Insight Development at the world-renown and exacting School OHK and had his Ph.D. in Disruption Solutions conferred upon him by his fellow professorial visionary, Malcolm Gladwell, under the aegis of his 2011 disquisition “Outliers,” in which he detailed the rigorous accreditation system of the School OHK.  The first chapter of Kevin’s 2006 Masters Thesis on the subject of “The Evolution of Human Predilections,” was first published online in 2009, as was the initial installment of his Doctoral Dissertation on “How Ineffective New Media Hijacked Your Marketing Budget. He has since regularly released dozens of new chapters on related topics and now has amassed over 300,000 words in his online publications.

One of Kevin’s most valued character traits is his altruism.  He has demonstrated his propensity for giving both by offering up free access to his breakthrough insights into where today’s marketing budgets SHOULD be invested by publishing them online, as well as giving countless marketing strategies, branding concepts and new product ideas to his clients and audiences over the years.  Companies like Procter & Gamble, Labatt and MolsonCoors Breweries, Consumer Impact Marketing and the owners of Carlos’ n Charlie’s and Senor Frogs resto-bar chains in Mexico, among many others, have used Kevin’s sagacious skill of seeing connections between things that others rarely do to generate billions of dollars in new revenue.

Get started down a profitable new direction today by booking a custom tailored, no-fee seminar on how your team should be tackling Marketing Disruption.  Call (647) 500-5705 now, or email: KevinLenard@Gmail.com.  If you like what you hear, perhaps you’ll consider a free consulting intake session with Kevin to find out what insights he might have into the challenges your firm or brand is facing during these hugely disruptive times. 

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