If you don´t have a strong idea, you better find a strong enemy to fight against. This strategy has rocketed Donald Trump during his fast and surprising raise into the political scenario.
The model is not new, Hugo Chavez successfully used it in Venezuela and Castro brothers have kept the power in Cuba for almost 60 years by creating the fantasy of a dangerous enemy.
The Caribbean dictators have covered his failures and survived under the shadows of non-existing enemies. Every crisis in Cuba has being silenced by warnings of an imminent invasion of USA. All the suffering of the people has being excused as a consequence of the embargo imposed by the United States. Same in Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have imagined enemies in OEA, United States, Colombia, Spain, Paraguay, Argentina, Panama, corporations, media, priests and even farmers heavily armed with ham and bread!
Enemies are the hook of every dictator.
Donald Trump launched himself into the political arena accusing Obama of being born in Kenya. In Trump´s rhetoric, Obama was an anti-American enemy encroached on the presidency of United Stated to destroy the country.
Leaning on that concept of the president-enemy, the real estate mogul entered in the race for the Republican Party’s candidature insulting all the rivals and looking for a new enemy to destroy. Trump succeeded in accusing all the thirteen candidates of being part of a corrupt political and economic system. The people feeling left behind have identified that enemy as their own, and believe Trump is the right knight to defend them because he knows the monster and had the power to finish it.
Trump became the focus of attention during the GOP’s primaries. He bullied everybody transforming the debate in an exchange of insults rather than a proposal of ideas. Amid the insults from side to side, Trump showed himself as if he was the victim instead of being the aggressor that he really was. He cried over rivals, media and everyone opposing him, thus people saw the unscrupulous enemy attacking him, and he arouse victorious.
Donald Trump has tried to use the same strategy against Hillary Clinton but this time the response has been different. He charged against Hillary with accusations about the emails, Benghazi, her past tenure as a Senator and Secretary of State, and many more. He even named her “Crooked Hillary”. But the Democratic campaign hasn’t return insults; instead, it has used Trump’s own actions and words to illustrate the peril that he represents for the country.
The democratic strategy dislocated Trump in the first debate. As Hillary refused to become his enemy he blamed NBC for his malfunctioning mic and the unfair questions from the moderators, and then blamed other media outlets for no recognizing he won the debate. He needed an enemy other than Hillary to explain his failure.
The audio known as the “Locker Room talk” has been a hard stroke to receive, but Trump is using it as an opportunity to find new enemies.
The audio opened the opportunity to make even more personal the war against Hillary. Playing in dirty ground allowed him to bring up the infidelities of Bill Clinton. He tried his best, but Hillary didn’t bite the bait.
Then Paul Ryan, McCain and many other Republicans withdrew their support to Trump. There he found a new enemy. His own party is the new blood he needs to suck to be alive. He desperately needs enemies to destroy and climb over their corpses.
He will continue attacking Hillary Clinton, of course, she is the enemy to defeat, but as he weakens he will need more enemies. Democrats, Republicans, Media, Journalist, Comedians… anyone who is against him will become an enemy and will be insulted.
Trump doesn’t care about collateral damage. He doesn’t care how scattered he leaves the Republican party after the elections, or how angry and divided is the American people. He only cares about himself.