from “To Defeat ‘Disgusting Donald,’ We Must Understand How He Won,” The National Memo, 1/16/17. The reference is to Scott Adams, creator of “Dilbert.”
…Republicans have long known that repetition and other basic marketing tactics were effective in politics. But Adams argues Trump took this a step further with something he calls “the linguistic kill shot,” which is a fancy way to explain why he called Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” and mocked Jeb Bush as “low energy.”
These “kill shots” had to be visual concepts that hadn’t been heard in politics before. It’s also known as “name calling,” which is why Democrats discounted and avoided such pettiness. But it’s also effective because “every time you looked at the candidate being described you would look for confirmation bias.”
Even Trump’s lying is a tactic. By overstating reality, Democrats — with their “rational” attacks built out of Enlightenment thinking — fact check and get caught up in a debate where Trump sets the terms. Over and over with the millions of iterations of “Make America _____ Again,” you see that politics is entirely caught up in a loop he created…
Correct, in line with George Lakoff, “Don’t think of an Elephant.” That’s why fact-checking no longer works: people remember “He said X” not “X is wrong and he lied.”
And that’s why making fun of Trump’s own phrases doesn’t work, as in “Make America White / Sick / Hate again,” because such reference actually reinforce Trump’s own trademark phrase (except in course in people who already oppose him).
So what epithet will stick to Trump? He’s not teflon, after all. “Illegitimate,” perhaps?