Donald Trump has taken the lead in the polls.
The 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination poll puts him at 26.5%. That’s a 14.5% lead on the second highest republican candidate, Ben Carson.
The polls aren’t the only thing Trump is dominating. He’s also got the media following his every move.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump dominates 46% of the Republican presidential news coverage. And 62% of public interest.
Basically, Trump is the hit this presidential race. He’s struck a chord with many Americans who’ve been fed up with the current political system.
Many of his supporters are quick to assert that this “lead in the polls” is a sign that Trump is “the man for the job.” He’s gotten the support, he’s communicated his stance, and people love him for it.
He’s turning the tables on the old republican establishment. He’s brought in a fresh perspective, free from political correctness and political pandering.
“We need more men like Trump in Washington!” his supporters exclaim.
But do we?
Do we need more “Trumps” running for office and shaking up the political landscape?
Before you start modeling yourself after Trump, you need to ask yourself this question.
Will Trump’s Tactics Bring Me Influence & Success?
Right now, a lot of Americans believe his tactics are succeeding. Trump has garnered a lot of support and recognition (it helps when you’re already rich and famous).
But are his tactics succeeding or just creating attention for himself?
Here at The Political Informer, the goal in every political interaction is to reach out, communicate, and win people over.
Will modeling yourself after Trump help you accomplish that goal?
Will modeling yourself after Trump help you win the hearts and minds of your friends, family, and coworkers?
I’m going to argue that it wouldn’t.
In fact, I’m positive that it would do the opposite.
See, Trump isn’t in it for the long run. No, not the long run like “winning the presidency long run.” I’m talking about the long run to change America.
And we all know that you can’t change America without changing the hearts and minds of Americans
Change comes from the people, right?
Will Trump make that change? I doubt it.
More importantly (because Trump isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things), will you make that change a reality by acting like Trump does?
Trump has made several a ton of mistakes. Mistakes that will make it impossible for him to reach a larger percentage of America.
Trump will fail, at the presidency and at tugging at the hearts and minds of Americans.
If you follow Trump’s lead, these mistakes will eat you alive.
I promise you, if you make these mistakes you will lose your following, credibility, and any possibility of making a difference.
You’ll still attract people to your side, it’ll just be a different kind of following.
It’ll be a following of trolls, bigots, and narrow minded Americans. Those types of people don’t effect change. They just annoy the hell out of their family members.
If you want to engage in meaningful conversations. If you want to fill those around you with a passion for Individual Freedom. If you want to be taken seriously…
You need to watch out for these mistakes.
You need to avoid being the next Donald Trump.
Trump’s Mistakes You Should Avoid
These mistakes are taken from a variety of sources. Trump’s twitter account is a big one (winces). His conferences and televised encounters are another.
You’ll be able to recognize where these mistakes are coming from.
Read on, and make a reminder not to make these mistakes. Put it on sticky notes if you have to.
Now to mistake number one…
1. Playing the victim when you get criticized
Trump is always quick to blame the media, politicians, and immigrants whenever he gets criticized.
“The media’s attacking me!” he says.
They’re trying to silence him, they hate his message, he’s being too truthful for them. In all instances he’s the victim of criticism.
Learn to take criticism from others. Either ignore it, think over it, or implement their critiques. Don’t paint yourself as a victim because someone didn’t like what you had to say.
Victimization isn’t attractive, except for the wanna-be victim who’s always looking for attention (I’m looking at you, feminism!).
2. Personally attacking those you disagree with
Whether it’s Jeb Bush, Megyn Kelly, Rand Paul, John McCain, or Barrack Obama, they all have one thing in common.
They’ve been personally attacked by Trump for disagreeing with him.
I could go on and on about why you should not personally attack liberals and democrats. It’s uncouth, immature, and counter-productive.
If you have a legitimate argument against their views, then use it. Don’t resort to ad hominem attacks. It shows that you can’t debate, and are an all-around jerk.
3. Creating “political firestorms”
Let’s pick a specific political issue, focus on the problem makers, and say something totally out there to drum up responses.
This is what Trump does. His comments surrounding Hispanics is a great example of this.
Creating a political firestorm has the advantage of gathering a lot of coverage and reaction to your cause. But it has the big disadvantage of being baseless, overdramatic, and aggressive.
It also attracts a lot of emotionally crazed people who make emotionally charged comments that push people away in droves.
Don’t create political firestorms, create civil conversations instead.
4. Using “Politically Incorrect” as an Excuse to be an Asshole
This is my all-time favorite mistake I see people Trump using.
It’s the “deal with it, it’s the truth!” response to life.
Unfortunately, it also happens to be the “I’m a complete asshole” response as well.
Being politically incorrect is no excuse for being an all-around jack(you know what) to democrats, liberals, and republicans who don’t share your point of view.
5. Refusing to Help Megyn Kelly
Remember when Megyn Kelly called Trump out on his misogynistic comments during the Fox New Presidential Debate?
Not one person backed her up. No one chimed in and questioned Trump about his view on women, not even when he mocked Kelly.
Don’t be that person that doesn’t call someone out on their bullying and trolling. And don’t be the dud in the audience who claps because you thought it was funny.
6. Ganging Up on Your Opponent
Trump has managed to create this army-like following around him. So much so, that whenever he calls someone out on their perceived idiocy his minions come charging.
Using your following to gang up on opponents is a basic mob tactic.
If you want to push people away from your message, try getting your friends to verbally abuse them. Works like a charm every time.
7. Stereotyping Other Groups
Donald Trump thinks all illegal immigrants are criminals and rapists. I’m pretty sure the KKK thinks the same about blacks.
Racism, bigotry, and ignorant stereotyping isn’t attractive to level headed intelligent Americans. You need those Americans to join your side and spread your message. Being a rich racist white male won’t do that.
8. Mocking a Veteran’s Service
Trump’s comment to McCain about his time as a POW was beyond inappropriate. Granted, I did laugh a little when I first heard it.
Here’s a piece of advice, don’t mock a veteran’s service. Especially if they were captured.
Remember, you don’t want to push people away.
9. Shutting People Down
Trump kicked a reporter out who asked a tough question. Instead of listening and responding, he asserted his power and shut the guy down.
Shutting others down is a bully tactic. It also encourages you to avoid the tough questions instead of addressing them. It’s a tactic that closed minded and insecure people use to control the situation.
10. Attacking Allies Just for the Sake of it
Attacking everyone except for the ones who suck up to him, is the only thing Trump seems to do (besides making ridiculous comments).
Instead of looking at his fellow republican candidates as allies against Clinton, he mocks them continuously.
11. Overly Dramatic Language
All illegals are rapists, He beats China all the time, ISIS built a hotel with oil from Iraq. He overdramatizes everything he says.
Don’t do that. It’s gets tiring after a while, and your audience will start to realize how devoid of reality you are.
By the way, ISIS seriously does have a hotel!
12. All Publicity is Good Publicity
Trump is dominating the media coverage, but he has a higher percentage of negative publicity than other republican candidates.
He’s getting covered, but most of that coverage is mockery and criticism (or just plain confusion).
All publicity is not good publicity. It’s especially not good when you’re trying to affect real change and win people over.
13. Thinking You’re Right all the Time
“And frankly, they’d take my calls.”
I have no idea what Trump is trying to communicate by saying China and Mexico would accept his calls. If they are taking his calls, it’s probably a low level intern (heaven help that intern’s soul).
But even if they “took” his calls that doesn’t mean he’s right.
Don’t act like you’re right all the time. Most likely, you’re not.
Trump is arrogant. Period.
He’s arrogant about what he can do for America, how awesome he is, and his fame.
Don’t be that arrogant rich guy bragging about how awesome you are. You’re never quite as awesome as you think you are.
Plus, arrogance isn’t attractive, especially if you’re a rich old white dude with bad hair.
I’ll bet if I didn’t harass Apple for the last 2 years about the large screen iPhone, they wouldn’t have done it—but it bends & breaks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2014
15. Pandering to the nincompoops of society
Trump connects with a certain grain of Americans…the grain you don’t want to be associated with.
The confrontational, close minded, aggressive side of America. The side of America that would relish having a pushy rich guy as president.
If you’re attracting people who don’t play nice with those they disagree with, then you’re doing something wrong. You’re creating an exclusive movement, not an inclusive one.
Here’s What You Should Do
Don’t do what Trump does. Ok, got it!
But what should you do?
What’s the attitude and behavior that you should have if you’re reaching out to the left and spreading freedom?
One piece of advice I’ve always appreciated is the Golden Rule.
Treat others like you would like to be treated.
It has a habit of working out for you in the long run. It’s a habit that Trump has largely forgotten on his campaign trail.
Other than that, I would encourage you to work on being open minded. Work on understanding where people are coming from, why they hold to certain beliefs, and how you can relate to them.
Be friendly to them! That’s key.
Strike up meaningful and civil conversations.
Look for understanding, not a fight.
Communicate why you value individual freedom.
Hold to your principles while keeping your cool.
Craft a message that will resonate with those around you, no matter where you are, or what they believe.
In the end, don’t be a Trump…
…and don’t accept his calls.