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The Trump Method

What do Trump and Totti have in common?

As a matter of facts, nothing. All the more reasons, as a romanist and a Totti fan, I know well that for many people this comparison will border on blasphemy, but still. Remember the “I purged you again” that the Captain turned to Lazio fans after winning the ’99 derby? Here, in that and in other gestures of teasing to the adversaries and together of extreme enjoyment for his own fans, there is a lot of the Trump Method. Indeed, to put it correctly in the Trump Method there is a lot of those gestures.

Let’s take the photomontage that Trump tweeted last Wednesday, the one in which he put his face on a famous picture of Sylvester Stallone in the role of Rocky: in a few minutes were it has been bounced from one side to the other of the world, recalled from televisions, newspapers and websites whose analysts have racked their brains to find a connection, the reason that prompted the President of the United States to publish such content.

Clearly almost all of the mainstream media did not even accidentally approach a plausible interpretation, stopping at the contemptuous  comment summarized by the comparison with Obama, who has become now the Mussolini of the radical chic, who regret him, saying «when he was here…», evoking his calm rhetoric, his being always so right, perfect, yes, politically correct. A drunkenness so strong and widespread as to have made even all the bombs (27,171 in 2016 alone) throwed politically correct, dropped on 7 countries over the eight years of his Presidency.

But let’s get back to Trump, and try to analyze the different meanings we can attribute to the Donald – Rocky photomontage from the point of view of political communication.

Irritate your opponents and galvanize your own people

Being probably the most insulted character in the world, Trump enjoys making his detractors make heart. As soon as he entered the business world he realized that he could only break through if he invested in his own brand, that’s why he gave most of his private life to the media.
Despite the great visibility, his biggest concern has always been tha fact that he has never felt completely accepted by the top circles, which happens even now. For him, in fact, becoming President is a great personal revenge, which probably he began to desire more than anything else from the evening of April 30, 2011, when he was ridiculed in public precisely by Obama during the dinner of the White House correspondents.

Moving the attention

Some of you will probably remember “Wag the Dog”, a 1997 movie loosely based on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, in which Robert De Niro plays a spin doctor who will use a film producer – Dustin Hoffmann – to stage a war that does not exist in Albania. The reason? Make the media not talk about a sex scandal that swept the President two weeks before the election.

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Does it remind you of something? I can imagine Trump and his staff hilariously laughing while they are reading the furious comments of reporters and opponents: “look at them, instead of thinking about impeachment and the electoral campaign, they are all busy talking about the muscles I don’t have!”.

Proof of strength

Exhibiting the muscles, even if hey are not yours, at a time like this, has a precise meaning: if you beat me hard I deliver punches even more. In this sense, in the image there are other details tha should not be ignored:

– the ring, which does not exist in the original photo: it is a reinforcement of the concept of garrison of the battlefield;

– beyond the friendship with Stallone, Rocky’s choice is not at all random, as it is a character that synthesizes several intrinsic meanings in which Trump identifies himself:

  • he represents the symbol of the one who gets up after falling
  • he is known to be a great punching bag
  • has always turned the odds upside down

This brief analysis will certainly be useful to understand the amount of work behind the political communication of a leader like Donald Trump, who was able to subvert the balance of the system by having against the whole mainstream. Every tweet, even the apparently most senseless one, is the result of a strategy that has a specific goal: monopolize the debate, catalyzing all the attention on Donald J. Trump. Not once, but every single day.

One of the many confirmations of the goodness of this tactic lies in the first line of the letter with which Bloomberg announces his candidacy: not a dream or a vision, but always he, Donald Trump, who has become an obsession for his opponents, if not a real frustration.

For all these reasons it would not surprise me if, in case of victory, on the night of November 3rd 2020, Trump would celebrate posting our today photomontage dominated by the word I purged you again!!!

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