Axios presents to us the story of Lord Damp Nut, the brand (emphasis theirs):
If President Trump defies today’s swing-state polls and pulls off another upset, what will we have missed that could have been a clue?
Here’s a big one: Trump flotillas … Trump flags bigger than American flags … Trump truck rallies … Trump shirts … Trump underwear … lawns that don’t have a Trump-Pence sign or two but 50 or even 100 — a forest.
No accounting for bad taste, amirite? What’s that you say?
Why it matters: To his diehard supporters, Trump isn’t just a candidate. He’s a lifestyle choice and a vehicle for self-expression — a way to continually flip the middle finger at big media, big business, big government … anything big.
- It’s all part of one of the big Trump triumphs — convincing his voters that an attack on him is actually an attack on them.
- Axios CEO Jim VandeHei: “In your lifetime, do you ever remember a Ronald Reagan flag as big as the American flag in somebody’s front yard? Do you ever remember someone spray painting ‘Obama’ on their boat?”
- White House editor Margaret Talev: “No, but there’s never been a president whose brand was branding. … They like the fact that he says things that you’re not allowed to say — that he says things that they feel that they can’t say at work or in mixed company.”
OK, I think all of that is true, but I think they are confusing brand with cult. Lord Damp Nut breaks every brand management commandment that I know of, and they stick with him regardless.
I am sure within the hallowed halls of Axios, they talk about The LDN Cult, but they won’t put it in writing, which in its own way shows that they have some of the same cultish attachments of Possum Hollar: you do NOT speak ill of Dear Leader.