Blog: Why attacking Trump doesn’t work

Personal attacks on Donald Trump just don’t work; in fact, they may actually strengthen his support. This is an empirical, uncomfortable, simple fact. It’s Issues Management for Beginners. You can see the same rule applying in British politics, where Jeremy Corbyn’s critics are jostling for the opportunity to pour vitriol on their new hate figure – to very limited effect. Whether it’s political naivety or self-indulgent posturing that drives them, time and again the only result is a strengthening in the following of those they attack.

It’s quite simple really. Insult the beliefs and values of a popular leader, and you are insulting the beliefs and values of those who follow them. And abuse and disparagement is seldom the best way to win anyone round to your point of view.

In the US, Trump grows louder with every speech. Each news cycle starts and ends with him pouring scorn on a new target. For so many of his opponents, the kneejerk reaction seems to be to fight fire with fire. They attack his policies, insult his views, even mock his hair. And it certainly feels satisfying. Safe in their certainty that they’re right and he’s wrong, they insult and mock and howl their condemnations. This torrent of invective may feel legitimate, justified and necessary, but does it actually work? More… 

See more of the Chelgate Blog, written by Chelgate’s chairman and chief executive, Terence Fane-Saunders here.