Trump’s Brand of Content

By Ray Schultz

Content is king, and Donald Trump is the king of content. So said The New York Times in an article two weeks ago.

“Mr. Trump is not running a campaign in the modern sense…Rather, he oversees a prolific content production studio that has accomplished what every major media conglomerate is trying to pull off with mixed success,” Jim Rutenberg wrote in the Times.

That was, of course, before the Orlando massacre, and Trump’s emotional meltdown, in which he seemed to blame Barack Obama for the attack. But it still stands.

Trump isn’t big on position papers. Instead, he gives us is stream-of-consciousness spewing–every bleat and gurgle that come out of his mouth. Who cares if they add up to incandescent BS?

Well, there must be a buck in it. Two Rubio retainers, Alex Conant and Will Holley, have opened an agency devoted to Trumpspeak: Firehouse Strategies, Rutenberg reports. Blowing hot air will soon be a mainstream marketing tactic.

But Trump isn’t the first “hypnotic, post-literacy” verbal artist. There was one before him.

Adolf Hitler.

Mind you, I’m not comparing Trump, a common bigot, to Hitler, whose crimes were the most monstrous in human history. What we’re talking about here is communications.

“Together with his actual ability to manipulate an audience, Hitler also showed an intuitive sense which amounted to genius that the spoken word was going to be of core significance than the written word in the coming years, “wrote in A.N. Wilson in “Hitler,” a sincere but slight bio of the monster.

Just as Trump eschews paper documents, so did Hitler.

“From the beginnings of Communism in the early nineteenth century to its crisis or unraveling in the 1970s, Communism remained, among other things, a doctrine whose texts, like the Koran or the Talmud, could be endlessly re-perused by the Doctors of the Church, and interpreted in a literary way,” writes Wilson, who coined the “post literacy” phrase. “They belonged to the vanishing world of the text; Hitler belonged to the oral future, the future which contained Walt Disney, television and cinema.”

According to Wilson, Hitler said that “the greatest revolutions in this world have never been directed by a pen! [The irony appears heavier in German, because the word for pen is feather.] No, the only thing the pen has been able to do is provide theoretical foundations. But the power which has always set rolling the greatest religious and political avalanches in history from time immemorial has been the magic power (die Zauberkraft] of the spoken word.'”

Wilson continues: “Zauberkraft. From the beginning he saw himself as a magician. In fact, his sense of the power of the spoken word, the word blared through a loud-hailer, the word broadcast on radio and in film, was very far form being some ancient truth which had rolled down the ages from time immemorial.”

And Hitler didn’t have to know much to do it.

“He made clever use of his reading, but that reading was extremely limited,” Wilson wrote. “Indeed, it was the very fact of his limitations which gave him such strength. He had few abilities and it was these which carried him along.”

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

 

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