Donald Trump is the first “Popeil President”
December 28, 2016
I had nothing less than an epiphany last weekend when I happened to catch an infomercial on TV for a silicone muffin pan. You know the kind I mean.
“The amazing silicone muffin pan that will never stick or never wear out, and it’s only $40 dollars. But, wait! Act now and you get two amazing silicone muffin pans for just $40 (plus shipping and handling). And, if you act in the next 10 minutes you can get both for only $25 (plus shipping and handling). Of course, if you’re not completely satisfied, you can get your money back.”
Ron Popeil was a trail blazer in direct marketing on television. He was a genius. Who could forget the pocket fisherman or the set-it-and-forget-it rotisserie. The genius of Popeil is the emotional impulse buy. Who really needs a silicone muffin pan, but, what the heck. It’s on TV, I get two for the price of one, and there’s a money back guarantee. What could go wrong?
What goes wrong is that the silicone muffin pan sucks, and rather than go through the hassle of fighting for that money back return, it’s easier just to forget it and wait for the next TV special. The lesson is that people have a short memory when it comes to being duped by media messaging. People are used to making impulse purchases and shrugging off inferior products, that’s what I fear has happened with Trump. People were swayed by Trump’s savvy messaging and voted for him, just like they bought the silicone muffin pan.
I think the voters who elected Trump were enthusiastic and eager to buy what he was selling, but when it turns out the muffins are sticking to the Donald, the attention and the interest of those voters will have moved on. The only problem is that Trump is not a silicone muffin pan. Maybe that’s not being fair to the minority of the electorate that voted for him. Maybe they read and evaluated his detailed policy positions and considered his vast experience in government before casting their vote for him.
No, I think “Make America Great Again” is pretty much the same as “the amazing silicone muffin pan that never sticks.” My hope is that while people may forget their impulse buy of that silicone muffin pan, they will remember what they bought with Trump and not hesitate to get their money back by voting in the mid-term elections in 2018.