by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Elizabeth Warren drank a Michelob Ultra on Instagram.
Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris released forgettable, platitude-laden web videos and appeared on extra-safe, extra-boring talk shows.
Beto O’Rourke showed the world the inside of his mouth and then went on a road trip to Colorado.
In our social media driven 24/7 political environment, authenticity is something candidates can’t afford to fake, but the Democrats’ crop of 2020 primary challengers are doing their very best. For all the anti-Trump anger and energy in their party, the Democrats’ 2020 campaign announcements have largely been weird, underwhelming, and immediately forgettable.
That’s because the Democrats are forgetting two of the most critical lessons of the Trump era: First, people hate phoniness, and second, they respond to authenticity, strength and spectacle — only the last of which can be faked. …
… Love Trump or hate him, there’s no denying that people respond to him. That’s because he understands how to command their attention with authenticity, strength, and spectacle, not poll-tested platitudes, flowery talking points, and boring, conventional political speeches. …
… Voters can smell a phony a mile away, and the 2020 Democrats’ cringeworthy attempts to appear “authentic” stink to high heaven.