Author and emotional positioning consultant Bill Morrison believes Trump’s emotional appeal to his base this time around lacked a message of hope.
By Namrata Tripathi
Bill Morrison (Image credit: Anita Alberto)
Although the 2020 presidential elections have not yet been officially certified, it has become overwhelmingly clear that President Donald Trump has lost the White House to President-elect Joe Biden. The Republican leader left pollsters and political pundits mystified after he defied all odds in the 2016 presidential elections to win against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Experts later credited Trump’s victory to his emotional appeal and connection to his base. Considering the president applied nearly the same tactics this time around in his campaign, many are questioning what exactly went wrong for the populist in the 2020 polls? Author and emotional positioning consultant, Bill Morrison, believes Trump’s emotional appeal to his base this time around lacked a message of hope.
“Trump inspired the American voters in 2016 by empowering the disenfranchised,” Morrison told MEAWW. “He used the emotions of inclusion and hope, ‘Together we will make America great again’ as the core of mass manipulation. But his best skill was keeping the audience emotionally connected by avoiding detail at all costs. You can debate fact but it’s nearly impossible to dispute emotion.”
“The Wall is a great example,” Morrison continued, referring to Trump’s much-hyped Mexico-US border wall. “How much, how high, how to build it, defend it, pay for it … no details presented or facts given, only emotion, nothing that could be contested. In 2020, he again used emotional manipulation. His emotion of choice was fear — fear of the unknown, fear of violence and fear of the opposition. But fear on its own doesn’t have a lasting effect. While Trump created fear of the unknown and generated uncertainty (the playground of the persuader), he failed to balance fear with the reward of a better future.”
Morrison explained that when the Republican used fear in his 2016 campaign, he balanced it with empowerment, hope, and promises of change. However, when he attempted to use the same fear and divisive politics in the 2020 elections, he failed to present it alongside a promising future for his voters. Trump’s popularity took a hit this year as he struggled to constructively navigate through the coronavirus crisis in the country that has left thousands without jobs. The president also downplayed the seriousness and severity of the pandemic in the country by falsely claiming in October that the economy was up and running and there were jobs for everyone despite disagreement from top economists.
“It was an unbalanced approach that solely relied only on uncertainty and underestimated the American public’s resolve,” Morrison, whose book, ‘Lions in the Grass: A Marketing Insider’s Guide to Mass Persuasion” released on October 16, 2020, said. “Trump’s manipulation tactics were effective in motivating his core supporters, but by not balancing ‘fear with reward’ he created a reverse effect – motivating the opposition to vote at a historical level.”
President Trump and his campaign, ever since Election Day, November 3, have falsely claimed that they won the 2020 presidential elections despite Biden winning 290 electoral votes against Trump’s 232. The Republican has also consistently floated claims of voter fraud without providing any evidence.