I promised myself I wouldn’t blog about Trump, his GOP competitors or the perpetual 2016 primaries generally. It’s just too darn maddening and unfathomable. Yet, like many of my peers, I’ve been pushed to the brink.
I mean, what happened to the principles of persuasiveness and reputation? Have they been utterly decimated?
It used to be that a communicator had to show genuine empathy, affability, consistency, maturity, competency over the issues to be seen as credible.
She or he had to back-up arguments with credible evidence and demonstrate some experience handling the core issues tabled. And they had to wrap everything in an articulate, lucid manner.
That’s what I’ve always strongly believed and how I’ve counseled and coached clients over the years. Sure, my confidence in these principles have been tested by the occasional outlier. Rob Ford is a case in point.
But never did I fathom this manifesting on such a huge scale and with such intense depravity.
So, what does it mean and what are the lessons for brand building and reputation?
First and foremost, the core principles are alive and well. If a corporate or private sector leader spouted off as Trump and Cruz have, she or he would be promptly out of a job and doing some serious penance.
Secondly, we all have to remember that a strong majority of American voters still find both candidates entirely unelectable. This is important to remember as the achingly high decibels of the GOP circus makes it seem bigger or more influential than it is.
Lastly, this time too shall pass. The US government and electorate are at a very particular and peculiar stage.
It’s still getting over the trauma of the 2008/2009 financial collapse, while also trying to square the significant social changes — be it LGBTQ advancements, demographic changes, the 1 per cent, Black Lives Matter etc. — that are sweeping large portions of the country.
As I see it, a lot of Americans are dazed and confused by all the change. In time, they will find some perspective and welcome leaders who compete and lead with genuine integrity, intelligence and compassion again.
Here’s seriously hoping anyway.