Britain’s vote to leave the European Union on June the 23rd shocked political elites all over the world. The British Government were so confident that the remain campaign would win they didn’t even create a contingency plan in-case the vote didn’t go their way.
Throughout the campaign I worked as a regional director for the Vote Leave organisation and the republicans can learn from how Vote Leave managed to come from nowhere to win the referendum.
The Western world is going through an unprecedented era of political change, the rise of alternative political parties all over Europe is a testament to this. Radical populist, right wing parties such as the Austrian Peoples Party who just narrowly lost out in their recent general election, the PVV in Holland and AFD in Germany as well as the Trump phenomenon in the US are capitalising on changing mainstream political opinion.
In the UK what was once seen as radical and controversial such as supporting Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and being against mass uncontrolled immigration has become mainstream political opinion. This political revolution is extremely comparable with the change in the American political landscape.
The referendum campaign was won because citizens who previously have been disconnected from British politics felt engaged with by the leave campaign. The issues being discussed such as controlling migration and taking back control resonated with these voters, who for decades have been neglected by the British political establishment.
Trump’s campaign should be encouraged by the referendum result. In order for Trump’s campaign to win it must overcome three main obstacles.
Firstly: It must take on the establishment media in the US
It’s been clear the majority of the mainstream media in the US are trying to dismantle Trump’s campaign by attacking him any way possible, the recent attacks on Melania Trump’s speech is the perfect example. A complete non-issue that was blown out of all proportion by his enemies in the media, both in the UK and the US.
His media team need to a maintain their slogan ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’. These slogans ring true with the voters that Trump’s campaign should be targeting. Slogans such as these will become vital when the Presidential debates kick off in a few months’ time and Trump should use them at every opportunity. The Leave campaign in the UK used extremely effective lines such as ‘TAKE BACK CONTROL’ and 350 MILLION A WEEK’ throughout the referendum campaign. Whilst at the same time, to their detriment, the remain campaign did not manage to create an effective enough slogan to capture the electorates imagination.
Secondly: Trump’s team must continue to expose the hypocrisy of the Hilary campaign
So far they’ve failed to shrug off the electorates perception that she is untrustworthy and a liar. This is an element of the campaign that Trump has taken advantage of well. The term ‘CROOKED HILARY’ has been a well-received by the electorate and if the Trump campaign can continue to push out similar nicknames then they will continue to derail the legitimacy of the Hilary throughout the rest of the campaign.
Thirdly: He must engage with communities who feel left behind and those who didn’t vote in 2012
The last presidential elections in 2012 had a voting turnout of just over 54%. This is Trump’s golden ticket. The number of disconnected voters who don’t engage with the political system stands at around 46% and these voters are ripe for Trump’s campaign to engage with.
For decades the political establishment in Washington have ignored this huge section of the electorate, largely because they believe their opinions to be distasteful and not worthy of discussion. This is where Trump breaks the mold, he isn’t afraid to provide simple solutions to problems most politicians believe deserve complexed answers. His plan to ‘BUILD THE WALL’ is the perfect example and the public have taken to this simple, easy to digest policy. Citizens in both the UK and America are sick of politicians always trying to create complexed solutions to topics which could be resolved fairly simply. The Brexit campaign exposed this brilliantly in the referendum campaign, the Leave campaign provided the British public with the option to vote leave and give the British government the power to create an Australian style points based immigration system. Something which every poll showed the vast majority of the British public wanted, but the political establishment was reluctant to provide them with.
If Trump’s team can accomplish all three of the above areas effectively in the upcoming campaign, in a few months’ time he will be sat in Whitehouse devising how he will build the wall that he’s promised the American people.
He needs to rally his supporters, hit the trailer parks and speak to those voters who feel ignored by the political establishment. This is America’s perfect opportunity to steer away from the iceberg the country is about to hit, just like the UK has managed to avoid further damage by voting to leave the EU on June 23rd.
This is the American peoples’ golden opportunity to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!