Thursday, August 13, 2015

Trump's "I Paid For This Microphone" Reagan-ite Moment

First Donald Trump stood up to the Fox hit job at the candidates debate when Megyn Kelly asked the most ridiculous "question" that any potential presidential candidate has ever been asked in such a forum. He replied with humor and dignity and fought back unbowed.

 Instead of being his downfall, as the media crowed would happen after the debate, Trump has not only held his leadership position but is now within three points of Hillary Clinton in the latest Iowa poll.

Then after Democratic Party (Socialist) Senator Bernie Sanders was cowed by a couple of radical BLM hooligans into walking off the stage after they invaded his platform at a public meeting Trump responded:

"Asked at the press availability about an incident in which Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — a contender for the Democratic nomination and the only candidate in either primary drawing crowds larger than Trump’s — ceded his microphone to two Black Lives Matter protesters who stormed the stage at an event this past weekend in Seattle, Trump called it “disgusting.”
“I would never give up my microphone,” he said. “It showed he was weak.”

These two events can be viewed as Donald Trump's
"equivalent of Ronald Reagan's "I paid for this microphone" moment which ensured his unstoppable momentum to the nomination and eventually the presidency.

A bit of history:

"In January of 1980, the Iowa Republicans decided to have a straw poll as a part of their caucuses for that year. Bush's hard work paid off, and he defeated Reagan by a small margin. Bush declared he had the "Big Mo" (for "momentum"), and with Reagan boycotting the Puerto Rico primary in deference to New Hampshire, the victorious Bush looked like he might actually beat Reagan to the nomination.

With the other candidates in single digits, the Nashua Telegraph offered to host a debate between Reagan and Bush. Worried that a newspaper-sponsored debate might violate electoral regulations, Reagan subsequently arranged to fund the event with his own campaign money, inviting the other candidates to participate at short notice.

 The Bush camp did not learn of Reagan's decision to include the other candidates until the debate was due to commence. Bush refused to participate, which led to an impasse on the stage. 

As Reagan attempted to explain his decision, the editor of the Nashua Telegraph ordered the sound man to mute Reagan's microphone. A visibly angry Reagan responded "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!" (the editor's name was in fact Jon Breen). 

Eventually the other candidates agreed to leave, and the debate proceeded between Reagan and Bush. Reagan's quote was often repeated as "I paid for this microphone!" and dominated news coverage of the event; Bush did not make an impact with the voters."

What has transpired, then and now, is that both men were perceived as fighters, uncowed by a censorious "authority" media and a blatant attempt to break and silence them. 

These were transformative moments and I have little doubt that Trump's "Reagan" moments will also be looked backing history as a major turning point.

Certainly there was the visual element to these moments but at the core there was a much deeper meaning to them which caused an "in the gut" response from the public.

The subliminal message is simply this; 

"This man fights for himself, perhaps he will fight for me, my family and my country in the same manner."

In Reagan's case the "gut-feeling" subliminal response was completely correct as will be the case with the public's reaction to Donald Trump.