It’s evening time. I’ve been up since 6 am and it’s now on the cusp of 9 pm. I’m tired. I want to go to bed. But I made a commitment to write and publish every day so I have to finish this before I’m done.
We had snow last night. I went out and threw snowballs. It doesn’t often snow so I wanted to take advantage of it. Plus, I’ve spent the past 8 years in the Middle East where 20 celsius is regarded as cold.
I came across a question today, a guy asking how detailed his plan needed to be before he started his business. The advice split fairly evenly between those who were very interested in the plan aspect and those who said just get your first customer and start.
I noticed he was very vague on what this business was and in the comments thread he said he had “lots of ideas”. I think that’s the place to start – one idea, not several.
Our friend from yesterday (you know, DJT, the Voldermort of the GOP) knew that. He had one key message – Make America Great Again – that perfectly articulated the problem and made him the obvious solution. Look back at any of his speeches or campaign rallies and you’ll see that he was very disciplined when it came to themes and messaging. When he focused on “The Wall” he put MAGA quietly to one side and relentlessly drove home his Wall message. The closer to the Mexican border he went, the more strident his oratory.
But when he was in the Rust Belt, the Wall was the wallflower and MAGA took center stage.
In Washington, it was Drain the Swamp.
In New York, on The Apprentice, it was “You’re Fired!”
He didn’t waste time or energy trying to sell complicated messages, or appealing outside his base. He knew the best customers to sell to are the ones you already have. Zero cost of acquisition and they spend more.
Slogans seem to come naturally to him. Because he is at heart a snake-oil salesman – he’ll tell you any lie you like for you to convince yourself of what you already know in your bones – that you want him on your side, that you trust him, that you are drowning in despair and he’s the only one who seems to care.
Your logical mind knows he’s liar, a cheat, a fraud, a tax-dodging, rule bending, law-breaking juggernaut that is going to crash and burn, bringing you with him if he can’t make you take the hit for him. But your paleomammalian brain doesn’t think that way. It governs a universe of emotions, assesses the plane of survival. It is responsible for our “sense” of self, as opposed to our ideas of self. This part of the brain rules on emotion. It sees the world as relatively straightforward – eat or be eaten, beat or be beaten, rape or be raped, kill or be killed. Given that, it’s surprising that it gifts us with the ability to discern and interpret body language, especially facial expressions, and to accurately detect minute nuances be they inconsistencies or congruence. Even though we’re now apex predators, we weren’t always and that brain remembers.
So this 6′ 3” Giant, with his handsome face, his greedy eyes, his winning smile, he tells that brain that you’re safe with him – that you’re right to recognize him as the Apex of Apex Predators, that he eat, beat, rape or kill you. And you believe him.