ARRA News Service
ARRA News Service facebook page  
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Trump, The Genius of Napoleon, The Power Of Imagination, And Ted Cruz's Last Chance

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: A number of extremely bright commentators have been busily pointing out how Ted Cruz could find his way to 1237 delegates and the nomination. Or earn more, or nearly as many, delegates than Donald Trump and contest his way to the nomination, perhaps with Kasich as his VP nominee.

Or how the Convention could deadlock and be brokered to deliver the nomination to … just about anyone. In which case, as Trump demurely has pointed out: “I think you’d have riots.” (Unless, of course, Cleveland delivered the nomination to Ivanka Trump, clearly well qualified to be president and turning of Constitutional age comfortably a week before the general election. Ivanka would be a One Woman Unity ticket.)

The pundits’ analyses are correct as far as they go. That said they are missing a key point. They are missing the key point that has propelled Trump to dominance. The Washington Post‘s Dan Balz reported recently, “As one former member of Obama’s campaign team put it, ‘I feel like in some ways my brain has to think differently than it ever has.’"

Just so. Here's the "differently."

Donald Trump shrewdly has deployed the most powerful force in politics. The most powerful force in politics is the power of Narrative, a dramatic story that appeals to the popular imagination.

Trump offers a great story. Cruz offers a great argument. Arguments win arguments. Narratives win votes. Trump throws the ultimate political curve ball: a compelling Narrative.

Conservatives love to win arguments. Lawyers live by winning arguments. Ted Cruz is a rock-ribbed conservative. And he’s a lawyer. Double whammy.

Entertainers love to tell, or enact, stories. Reagan was a movie star who instinctively grasped the power of Narrative. Trump is, among other things, a reality TV star. Trump instinctively grasps the power of Narrative. He uses it brilliantly to neutralize both his rivals and, like MoveOn, his adversaries.

Politico recently published a piece by Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf headlined Trump’s Week of Errors, Exaggerations, and Flat-out Falsehoods. It is a misplaced analytic. Politico applies the rules of debate — argument — to the genre of Narrative. By the rules of argument Trump fouled out. But Narrative allows for dramatic license.

America was created with the Declaration (a subset of Narrative), not the Explanation, of Independence. As the old saying goes, nobody ever argued anybody into falling in love with them. Narrative appeals to the imagination and, thus, has unsurpassed power to move people.

Trump somewhat resembles Napoleon… in a 21st century context where mass media has replaced armies for political leverage. Napoleon, too, understood Narrative. While leading his army over the Alps — a logistically dangerous and daunting process — to invade Italy, Napoleon, according to the John Abbott biography:

It was the genius of Napoleon which thus penetrated these mysterious depths of the human soul, and called to his aid those mighty energies. “It is nothing but imagination,” said one once to Napoleon. “Nothing but imagination!” he rejoined. “Imagination rules the world.”Trump set out to fire the imagination of the rank-and file Americans. He succeeded, at least with a dominant plurality. Cruz set out to persuade the conservative base, a weaker lever on a smaller subset. Cruz surely planned to grow his support from that base. Yet this left a populist populace an uncontested happy hunting ground for Trump.

As my professional colleague Maggie Gallagher writes “Can Cruz hone a message that lifts us above that spiral? It cannot be about Ted or about Trump. It has to be about America.”

The Cruz campaign is a politically sophisticated one. Had Hurricane Trump not unexpectedly blown in, upsetting the conventional calculus, Cruz likely by now would be nominee or frontrunner. Notwithstanding Trump, had Marco Rubio and other conservative aspirants wholeheartedly united behind Cruz, Cruz likely would be the frontrunner now. Not a bad campaign strategy.

Yet the GOP, and American politics, has entered uncharted waters. The waters are roiled by Hurricane Trump.

In theory Cruz might still have time to fashion and deploy a Narrative that could enable him to gain the Big Mo. The right Narrative can change a campaign dynamic on a dime. Will he?

Right now Trump controls the Narrative. He has cast himself as the candidate of prosperity, economic justice, and champion of the little guy.

Cruz would need to write a Narrative recasting himself as the true candidate of prosperity, one who wisely has mined the authentic Kemp-Reagan economic policy ore and brought forth the very best across-the-board growth plan. Bonus, Cruz’s flat tax plan, unlike Trump’s tax plan, is scored by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation as almost deficit neutral.

As the Washington Post’s Jim Tankersley recently observed: “Ted Cruz is running a 'rising tide lifts all board economic message straight out of the Arthur Laffer playbook, including an aggressive tax plan that would slash income tax rates…."

Cruz, as well, has reached into the playbook of Rep. Jack Kemp, prime sponsor of the Gold Standard Act of 1984, telling Rick Santelli last October that “We need sound money. And I think the Fed should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.”

This is a dramatic proposal from which a strong Narrative could be spun. Cruz has referenced it too few times on the campaign trail to make it propel him. He has not made the gold standard, or even sound money, a signature issue.

Cruz, authentically and uniquely, is proposing to resurrect the Kemp-Reagan economic policy mix abandoned by George W. Bush (and certainly not restored by Barack Obama). The Kemp-Reagan policy mix, perpetuated by Bill Clinton, generated something like 37 million jobs. Strong stuff if declared and featured.

A rousing fight for lower tax rates without busting the budget, plus good, sound, money, could be the beating heart of a winning Narrative. Trump proclaimed that “I will be the greatest jobs president that God has ever created I tell you that….” No such compelling declarations from the lawyerly Cruz, whose declared platform would make such a claim more credible.

Cruz, reportedly a proficient poker player, could see, raise, and call Trump on his claims, crusading on equitable prosperity. But will he?

Cruz would need to restrain his hunger to explain and steal a page from Trump. Trump trafficks almost exclusively in declarations and in dramatic narrative.

Explanations are for wonks, not voters, and tactically are best used, by a candidate, as a brief but credible counter-move to challenges. Let proxies and outriders deploy explanations as fodder for wonks and pundits like me to chew on.

John F. Kennedy campaigned for the presidency on a pledge to “get America moving again” (out of the doldrums of Ike’s sluggish economy). Kennedy delivered. He more than doubled America’s average rate of GDP growth from the Eisenhower era. JFK didn’t stupefy the voters with the details as to how. Neither has Trump. To win Cruz quickly must learn to campaign on declarations. (He can counterpunch with -- brief -- explanations.)

Complement the promise of equitable prosperity with a promise of economic justice, even vengeance. We voters want some revenge against the parasites both of the left and the right who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American, and our own, economy. As I previously have written, Trump captures a lot of voter allegiance by implicitly presenting himself as the guy who is going to take out the parasites.

Cruz, who (for better or worse) shut down the federal government, has the credibility to fashion a narrative to outbid Trump on evening this score. To do so Cruz has to go beyond the undifferentiated mass of what he calls the “Washington Cartel” and get more specific. Will he?

Last but not least Trump thrillingly has cast himself in the role of champion of the little guy. Can Cruz rip off his grey flannel suit and display himself in spandex, cape flowing in the breeze? Does he have it in him to portray himself as able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? (Trump does.)

Will Cruz project himself as the real champion of Truth, Justice, and the American Way — and the Little Guy who controls the outcome of this election? Does Cruz have it in him to overcome his conservative-lawyer double whammy, enter the phone booth as the ever-so-decent Clark Kent and emerge as Superman?

The window is closing. Donald Trump has captured the popular imagination. Trump has accomplished this through declarations, not explanations. He has built himself Yuuge in the imagination of voters through Narrative, not argumentation. This is Trump’s secret weapon.

I leave it to pundits far smarter than me to crunch the delegate math. All I know is what I learned from Napoleon: Imagination rules the world. Will Ted Cruz get this message?

If not here comes Donald Trump, GOP nominee. And, since Hillary Clinton also lacks a strong Narrative, likely here comes Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action's Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Trump, The Genius of Napoleon, The Power Of Imagination, Ted Cruz's Last Chance To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:00 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Jennifer Chan said...


Anonymous Awakened Voter said...

Support Donald Trump!

Anonymous Josie Atkinson said...

I pray Trump & Cruz make peace, join forces & STOMP THE DEVIL OUT OF THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT!!!

Blogger Bill Smith said...

Josie, I agree!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home

National Debt
Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More

Also, Join us at:

Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
Arkansas State Senators
AR State Representatives
Arkansas Governor Office
Arkansas Attorney General
Bankrupting America
US House of Representatives
US Senators
Family Research Council
Sunshine Review

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Let's Mine AR Lignite NOW!
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.


Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
America's Whatchtower
An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings
ARRA Twitter
As A Matter of Fact
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Baaad Media!
Black & Right
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Citizen Pamphleteer
Common Cents
Conservative Hideout
Conservative Observer AZ
Conservative Voices
Conway Real Deal
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
eGOP News
Florida Pundit
Franklin Online Outreach
Freedom For US Now
Free Zone Media Center
For God and Liberty
Garland County Republicans
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Guns and Religion
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Liberty's Lifeline
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Monkey in the Middle
NASA Satellites
No Runny Eggs
Okie Campaigns
Our Voices Arkansas
Patriot's Corner
Publius Forum
Randy's Roundtable
Real Debate Wisconsin
Religion and Morality
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sentry Journal
Sultan Knish
Stop Obama Satire & Cartoons
The Arkansas Patriot
The Audacity of Logic
The Blue Eye View
The Bobo Files
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Conservative Citizen
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Looking Spoon
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
Truth About Obamacare
Twitter @ARRA
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Union Facts

Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger

  • How To Exchange Links!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting the beliefs associated with the ARRA, this blog/site is not controlled by nor funded by the ARRA. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2017 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.