Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


The American Mind

He did It!!! He really did it

William Hillman

(12/2016) Did you notice that on the morning of November 9th, the air felt a little freer and the sun shined a little brighter? Well neither did I, but there was definitely a pep in my step. Election night was a real nail biter. At 1:15 a.m. the New York Times finally called Pennsylvania for Trump; my wife and I finished a glass of wine and retired to our bedroom confident that the tables had finally turned and that the globalist agenda had been rejected.

All the experts, including myself, said he could never do it. They laughed at him, called his campaign and his candidacy a clown act. Hillary had a campaign machine eight years in the making. Trump had a campaign (I can’t call it a machine) that was hastily thrown together and seemed to spend more time tripping over itself than making progress. She outspent him 2-1 and when you add in the super pacs it’s closer to 6-1. She had a better convention, won the debates, controlled the airwaves, and vastly out-manned him in the battle ground states. But that was not enough.

Trump broke all the rules.

The current model of campaigns is strong reliance on micro-targeting. Micro-targeting is the art of segmenting the electorate into small demographic groups such as gun people, pro-Israeli, Catholics, environmentalists, dog lovers, cat haters, cat lovers who listen to ham radios, people that drive sports cars, people who drive trucks and listen to opera, etc. The groups are then surveyed and their button issues identified. Messages are directed at individuals to target these issues. The message delivery systems they use are very sophisticated. Your computer or your Smart Phones all have IP addresses that are linked to you. It is possible for Hillary Clinton's campaign to target content specifically about you. Micro-targeting is the scientific art of telling individuals what they want to hear. Since I worked my first campaign back in the 80s, we have talked about micro-targeting but the technology was never there to do it on a large scale.

Trump went against that current wisdom of micro-targeting and spoke to the American people as one group. There was very little micro-targeting in his campaign. Instead, Trump had massive rallies with crowds approaching 30,000. He averaged 6,700 people per day, compared to Hillary’s 380. Trump delivered one message to everyone.

Hillary’s campaign, by contrast, was built on the latest and greatest targeting modeling systems.

Since the 2000 election, the DNC has spent millions (possibly billions) of dollars perfecting data collection and targeting. Both Obama victories were credited to their data programs. Information is gathered from everywhere you go and from everything you do. Every time you turn on the "map my run" app on your IPhone, or buy organic milk at the grocery story using your loyalty card, that data will end up in their hands. All the collected data about you is analyzed and you are classified. Their model tells them how you will vote, what issues might push you to change your vote and what issues will harden your vote.

Sasha Issenberg’s book Victory Lab is a great window into these programs.

The danger of micro-targeting is that, at its core, it is politics of division. It functions by splitting the country into smaller and smaller groups. Each of these groups is told that it is different, it is unique, it has unique wants and needs that are different from the wants and needs of the rest of society. This is "divide and conquer" at its most subtle and best.

Hillary’s campaign was a campaign of division, fear, and hate. I spent a lot of time listening to the speeches from both candidates. What is clear is Clinton tends to see America as groups of special interests. Trump see America as people with common interests.

The early data shows that the divisive approach by the Clinton campaign backfired. The campaign targeted Cubans in the Miami area. The turnout numbers suggest that their messaging backfired and drove Cubans to the polls who then voted Trump, not Clinton.

Clinton’s strong negative messaging in Pennsylvania did not energize urban and suburban voters in Philadelphia, but it sure energized Trump voters in central and northern PA.

There were four big losers in this election besides Clinton: The Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Washington lobbyists and the news media.

The losses for the democratic party are pretty self-evident. They lost the Presidency, the House and Senate, and all but six Governor seats. Not a lot to raise money from. But the Democratic party still has the best ground game. A lot of dead wood was cast from the party election night. As a campaign organization, the Democrats are stronger than they have ever been and despite the devastating defeat, are still the best team on the field.

The Republican party is worse off than it was a year ago. Before Trump won, he had to gut his own party. The results of the Republican primary were a rejection of the Republican party by its own voters. Throughout the general election, it felt like the party spent more energy attacking its own candidate than fighting Hillary. State parties are broke, they still have no organized ground game, and to add salt to the wound, they just spent a year attacking and trying to undercut the man who is now their leader.

Lobbyists have been kicked out of the white house. I wish I could believe that the lobbyists are dead, but, like cockroaches, the more you kill them, the quicker they come back and adapt.

The biggest loser in this campaign is the mainstream media. In great numbers people flat out rejected the media’s attempt to control issues, hide facts, and manipulate opinions. CNN was pushed into a corner and forced to fire contributor Donna Brazile for feeding debate questions to Hillary. But when the reporters were critical of Hillary, the Media was swift to punish. David Seaman was fired by the Huffington Post for being critical of Hillary. Dr. Drew’s show was cancelled by CNN’s sister network after he raised questions about Clinton’s health. CNN reporter Brianna Keiler was cut off for mentioning Hillary’s support of the 1994 crime bill which led to mass incarcerations. The major networks have received a blow that they will not recover from any time soon. Their only hope would be to go through and eviscerate the newsrooms; bring back honest, fact-based journalism. But this will never happen. The media elite is too arrogant to admit that they are wrong.

Read other articles by Bill Hillman