Saturday January 09, 2016
How to Win Primaries and Influence the Conversation
Coming back from Trader Joe's this morning, I heard a bit of “This American Life.” They were talking about Dale Carnegie's seminal book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and one person's interaction with it. I actually sat in the car after I got home to listen for another five minutes, then brought the groceries in.
The most extensive passage from the book that they quote, at least while I listened, is this:
Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn't think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn't you like to have that?”
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
Who did this passage make me think of? Donald Trump. Folks on the left talk about him as if he were a monster or a buffoon, but mostly I think he's a salesman; his current rhetoric is simply the bait he's dangling. A lot of people are biting, sadly, but then he's a good salesman. For now.