2016 Election, News, Trump

Trump’s Misdirection Play

Everybody loves misdirection. It makes magic shows and movies interesting. You think you know what happens next, then WHAM! the unexpected happens. Now you’re plugged in.

Trump gave a head fake. Everybody bought it. (Including me.) Then his legs went the other way, and we stand here flailing at the air. Some people’s heads exploded on CNN. BOOM! I’ll reveal the real misdirection in a moment. You’ll love it.

After declaring “I don’t want to change” and hiring Stephen K. Bannon, the honey badger, as campaign CEO, Trump gave two perfectly Jack Kempian speeches in a row. He expressed “regrets” for causing people pain with his words. He asked for the black vote over and over again, promising to undo the horrific damage done to blacks by 60 years of Democratic demagogueries. He sounds like Jack Kemp.

Leadership vs. Leisure

On top of that, Trump shamed and humiliated Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton by going to Louisianna and helping hand out relief supplies to flood victims. While Obama golfs and Hillary rests, Trump leads.  He looks like a serial winner and a humble servant while his rival gets her toenails painted by her servants.

Donald Trump delivers relief to Louisiana flood victims while Obama golfs and Hillary recovers
Donald Trump delivers relief to Louisiana flood victims while Obama golfs and Hillary recovers

Think about this: who looks like they have the stamina? The golfer? The convalescent? or The Donald?

Trump’s 3rd Act

I’ve been telling you about Scott Adams’s theory that Trump’s running this campaign like a movie. The hero, Trump, dug himself a hole that no one believed he could escape. From Scott Adams’ Blog:

This is the so-called 3rd act that I have been predicting for about a year. In movie terms, this is the point where the protagonist encounters a problem that can’t be solved unless he changes something about himself. In a typical movie script, the hero might need to conquer a specific fear, open his heart to love again, or become more open-minded – that sort of change. In our movie, Trump needed to display more human empathy to appear less scary to the public. He has been doing that in speeches and statements all week, but the “regret” speech capped it.

And here he is, clawing his way out of that hole like Indiana Jones.

Channeling Jack Kemp

Regular readers know that I love Jack Kemp. I campaigned for Kemp for President in South Carolina in 1987 and 1988. I have an autographed Jack Kemp trading card, a gift from a friend. How history might have changed had Kemp won the nomination in 1988 and continued the Reagan Revolution.


If you think about it, Trump’s hair kind of reminds you of Kemp’s, doesn’t it? But there’s more. Much more. It’s the real misdirection, and it happened when Trump announced Stephen K. Bannon as his CEO.

Along with Bannon came pollster Kellyanne Conway. One of Conway’s first (and favorite) clients was . . . Jack Kemp. Bannon will do a great job as CEO, but Conway was the secret weapon. Bannon’s hiring made everybody think Trump was going to double down on mean and nasty. We all treated Conway as an afterthought, except to note that she’s the first female campaign manager for a Republican presidential candidate.

Conway: Great Get

Conway wasn’t an afterthought: she’s at least as important as Bannon’s entrance and Manafort’s exit.


I don’t think Conway is writing Trump’s speeches. I do think she’s helping Trump expose his inner Kemp. Jack Kemp wanted to bring conservative economic solutions to America’s ghettoes and barrios. He called himself “a bleeding-heart conservative,” and often irritated more strident conservatives.

But Kemp managed to get himself elected to Congress from a blue-collar, union, Democrat district near Buffalo, New York. Like Trump, Kemp appealed to Reagan Democrats. And he never let them down.

When you look at Trump’s history of knocking down religion, sex, and race barriers in hiring and promotions, you can see that Trump and Kemp share a lot of the same values. Until this week, Trump seemed to have trouble expressing those values, but Conway has opened that door.

Now that the third act is underway and you’re seeing it unfold, you won’t think my prediction of a Trump landslide was so crazy. If you don’t see it now, you will soon.

Gateway Pundit, Jamie Allman, Michelle Moore, and Ed Martin will join me in Festus for the Tea Party for Trump on August 28 at 4:00. Hope to see you there, too.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

11 Comments on “Trump’s Misdirection Play

  1. Trump as president certainly gives me hope for our country that we can recover from the corrupt Obama administration that has strafed our nation these past eight years. Hillary would only bring in the big guns and make our demise complete. May God bless Trump!

  2. Open borders don’t make sense now. Manufacturing has declined since Kemp was around, and has been outsourced to lower wage countries. Flooding the country with poor unskilled people from third world countries will not fix demographic problems because those people are going to be on public assistance themselves for their entire lives. That doesn’t fix social security and medicare issues, it aggravates them. Yes, we need immigration but it must be to benefit our country and our citizens, not to take on the problems of other countries.

    1. Martin, Jack Kemp did not want open borders. Peter Quenell was wrong about that, as I pointed out with the Cato article from 1996.

      If Jack Kemp were alive, I’m 99.7% sure he’d enthusiastically support Donald Trump for President, just as his best friend Bill Bennett does. I am also sure Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley would support Trump.

      No one from the conservative pantheon I grew up with would want Hillary Clinton to choose Antonin Scalia’s successor. That’s what this election is about.

      You should come to our Tea Party on August 28 at Surdyke Harley-Davidson in Festus. You’ll have fun.

        1. Bill, Peter is trying to redirect — not misdirect — the conversation. Let’s say for a moment that Kemp was for open borders. Well, if you say that Trump is a lot like Kemp, and Kemp was for open borders, then according to your logic, Bill, Trump will be for open borders too … secretly … because he is like Kemp. Or Peter just wants to show how faulty Kemp was, and because you, Bill, liked him, Peter is poking you in the eye. Or Peter, if he carried this to the end, would have eventually equated Trump with Hitler. Love your stuff, Bill. Keep on keeping on.

        2. Jack Kemp would not have given a speech centered around the protection and promotion of the interests of Americans, legal immigrants and native born, currently occupying the 50 states, that highlighted immigration control, border security and called for limitations on immigrants’ access to welfare state benefits. Kemp and immigration enthusiasts, of that period, such as Ben Wattenberg, instead painted a picture of mass immigration as having an almost mystical quality that would transform America socially and economically into a powerhouse. Trump, on the other hand, is realist to the core about mass immigration. I believe Kemp would oppose him bitterly.

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