The Presidential election is right around the corner. With it is the fate of the United States America. What would happen if Joe Biden wins? How about when Donald Trump wins? Picking up from the previous episode’s discussion, Bill Stierle and Tom take us into the second part of the worst-case scenario that could happen depending on the election’s result, particularly between the election day and January 20th 2021. They brainstorm the possible things that could happen and what each side would do or say regarding the results. They also tap into what is going to happen across multiple levels—from national to state.
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The Worst Case Scenario That Could Happen After The Presidential Election Results, Part 2
Last time, we set up that we would talk about the continuation or the next step in the worst-case scenario, which is what happens between election day and January 20th, 2021, depending on who wins. What’s the worst thing that would happen if Joe Biden wins? What’s the worst thing that could happen if Donald Trump wins? There is a lot of concern out there among people about this. I’m seeing it, I’m hearing it from people I talked to on both sides, the speculation of what’s going to happen if one of the other wins. It would be good to talk through that and figure out what might be the worst-case scenario?
The thing that’s nice about this discussion, Tom, is that this is right in my wheelhouse for things that I get called in to do in my professional life, which is there is this mayor or police chief that has this city. During the city council meeting, they have constituents that come in and they’re angry because there’s an important vote and it doesn’t go your way. The constituents are walking in angry, but they’re not using great language. The constituents come back and they become angry again. What I do is I plan for these things so that I know not only brainstorm what the person is going to say or do, and what is the worst situation of what they’re going to deliver next and not how I’m going to respond logistically.
A lot of times, the police know how to respond logistically. They don’t know how to respond language-wise. They don’t know what to say or do next. Even though the election is going to teach us something about how divided we are as a nation and how polarized we are, it will teach us something about the numbers of people on both sides. What it will not do is it will not teach us the path of restoration. There’s no preparation for restoration, but there’s certainly not the language of restoration at the moment. There’s the language of being adversarial. If Joe Biden gets less, then you’re going to lose your suburbs, “I saved your suburbs for you.” He has evidence for that. He set it up so that housing can’t be integrated. Government money can’t put in housing in certain neighborhoods.
He’s calling, “I saved your suburbs,” and there’s this little thing of truth to it, but all you did was divide us even further. You’re kicking it down the road that somebody else has to make the hard adult decision later about how do you get a democratic nation to collaborate and cooperate together when you have people that don’t see each other and don’t interact with each other so they don’t know how the separation is going to be. That’s a big part.
The main thing is to have a deeper conversation because whether or not we’re a nation of peace and fight for that or a nation of war and fight for that, we’ve got to have a deeper conversation. With all that said, preparation is going to be the key. What do you think might be the worst thing that Donald Trump might say? We’ll brainstorm about this because this is where the rubber meets the road. Think of a sentence. He says what and then I’ll give a response to that sentence.
Especially if Donald Trump loses, obviously this is the scenario. What does Donald Trump say if he loses? What would Joe Biden say if he loses? If Donald Trump loses, the concern is he’s going to play up his greatest hits of the election was rigged.
The election is rigged. For all those people reading, I’m using a hand gesture as a puppet right now.
I send you some sock puppets. You need real puppets when you do this.
You’ve got to have a sentence to say back to it other than, “No, it wasn’t.” That is not an effective sentence, but here’s the effective response sentence, “Mr. President, you feel doubtful about fairness and you want to make sure that there is fairness that takes place in the election.” “Yes.” What happened there in that language response is I’ve just made the president accountable. You want to make sure that fairness takes place. Is that correct? He agreed to make fairness take place. “Mr. President, what are the steps are you taking to meet the need for fairness in the election? What steps did you take to make sure that fairness took place?”
His nature is to fall back on uncertainty and say, “I don’t know. We’re looking at it. We’ve got people looking at it. We’ll see what happens.”What the election will not do is teach us the path of restoration. Click To Tweet
You’ve got to call them out on doubtful and skeptical, “You feel doubtful and skeptical that your people will be able to find out how to make the election fair and you would like them to research and come up with a plan to make things fair. Is that correct?”
Notice how you’re stepping into it, but he’s not taking the action to meet the need. He’s complaining about the idea of fairness not taking place.
Who’s going to be there, Bill, to say this to the president? It’s left up to who? The White House Press Corps? Who would step up and do that?
The Press Corps has got go up. Republicans can have good talking points here if they’d like to get back into the game. They can have some great talking points here. The Republicans can say things in a very safe way, “The president is complaining about fairness and I want fairness too as a Republican. It’ll be interesting to see.” They start their off-ramp because then they get to say after the election, “There was some research done and there was fairness in that place. I was able to check into it and there was fairness. I was able to check in because there was no evidence of anything having to do with fairness that wasn’t met.”
They need their off-ramp and they need to have a deeper conversation with themselves and be ready for a deeper empathetic, compassionate and powerful statement to take place to deal with the language of marketing and sales. No one is beating him and marketing sales at all still. Rallies are still working. He’s still selling the same stuff. It’s all sizzle, there’s no steak. Those poor people, they don’t know what’s coming in their direction. They have no idea.
They’re still being sold this situation that they believe that he’s their savior and he’s going to win. They haven’t even considered what happens if he doesn’t win. There’s going to be a lot of very angry people who are his base who are showing up to the rallies that he’s still doing in the midst of another COVID surge. There’s going to be a lot of people who are very unhappy no matter who wins. That’s part of the worst-case scenario. People are wondering what people are going to do when Donald Trump loses. If he doesn’t accept the results. He’s going to fight it if there are states that are close and that there’s maybe a legal basis to say, “Were all the votes counted? Was it done properly?”
At some point the worst-case scenario is not what Donald Trump might say, but what Donald Trump will have a very hard time saying, and I don’t think it’s in his nature. Do you remember in 2000 after the Supreme Court ruled, what did Al Gore do? He went on television and he said, “I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision. I disagree with what’s happened here. I accept it.” He gave an address to the nation and he said he accepts the results of the election. My worst-case scenario is Donald Trump doesn’t have the maturity and the thought to put America first to do that and concede.
That’s a worst-case scenario. He says the sentence, “I don’t concede until every vote is counted.” That’s the way a bankruptcy hearing is held. It’s long, it’s slow. It’s drawn out. Everybody is scrapping for a percentage of the dollar they’ve lost. It’s in the courts. It takes forever 1, 2, 3 years. He’s been here before about losing. He’s lost many times. The thing that he does though is he runs out the clock by positioning anything between a no response to an adversarial response. What that buys him is people getting exhausted and paying to get him to go away so that they can close it. They go like, “I am too rich to care.” This is an investor let’s say in a casino. I’m making up a sentence.
“I am too rich care to care if I’m only to get $0.50 or $0.25 on the dollar. I want peace and peace looks like I’ll take $0.25 on the dollar, so I can get this whole situation behind me. Quite frankly, he’s a bad investment. It’s a bad investment. I got sold on this. I’m ready to cut my losses.” What large wealth allows you to do is go like, “It could have been a lot worse. Now I’m going to get $0.25. At least I’m not getting a penny with every dollar I lost here.” They’re walking out of the thing going like, “It took two years, but at least I got this psychology though with a voter is very different than the psychology of an investor.”
The investor can cut and run, the voter can’t. They did their vote. They’re stuck with the lost square in their dining room table during Thanksgiving where no one is going to talk about anything political this Thanksgiving, otherwise, the whole thing will go south. It’s not people are going to walk on eggshells. What winds up happening is that there’s not a healthy conversation about the disappointment or the healthy conversation about the values that are necessary. All the people are talking about is the division. They’re not talking about the restoration. It is disheartening because the nation divided needs to become indivisible. The Donald Trump voter, if he loses, has to come to some form of reconciliation about the loss of their vote. The Republicans that’s backed him have to come to some resolution.
The president, whether or not he comes to a resolution is not important. What’s important is our psychology in dealing with him. That’s where it’s got to stick as a nation. This is if he loses. If he wins, then the other side has to go through that scenario and that’s preparation for, “Worst case scenario, what am I going to say when Donald Trump wins?” How do you be a good loser? He’s not shaking hands with Joe Biden.
We got a glimpse of what that might look like at the Town Hall interview when Joe Biden was on with George Stephanopoulos, the same night that Donald Trump was on with Savannah Guthrie. That was supposed to be the second debate that never happened. George Stephanopoulos asked Joe Biden, “What will it say about you if you lose this election?” He says, “He might say I’m not a very good candidate.” That was the probably off the top of his head little thing where it’s personal, but then he reflected. He said something I thought powerful. Instead of answering the question, “What would it mean if you lose?” I thought this was pretty astute.
I’m paraphrasing here, “What I hope it does not mean is that we’re as divided a nation as Donald Trump would have us believe we are.” There were a couple more things he put in there, but essentially that was the message. I hope it doesn’t mean that America essentially is as bad off as Donald Trump would have us believe we are. I thought that was well said, but it doesn’t leave us in a happy rosy scenario going forward of restoration. It leaves us in this pit of despair.
What it does mean is that Americans can be promised things. I’m going to be Joe Biden for a second, “What it does mean is that Americans can be sold the promise of things and are left with the empty emptiness of not having that thing delivered that they’ve been promised. Americans have gotten used to promises being made that have not been fulfilled.” That’s more what it means. We’re not as rigorous as we are in our citizenship. We’re not paying attention to, “Is this person getting something done?” We’re paying attention. “How does this person make me feel?” Either scared or confident. That’s what each one of those marketing and sales sentences that Donald Trump gives is, “I am going to scare you. I’m going to make you feel confident. I saved the suburbs. Aren’t you glad that I saved the suburbs?”
You’re like, “The suburbs weren’t under threat. You saved the suburbs. There’s nothing going on.” It’s the disconnection that the listener or the follower is not quite fully paying attention to because they’re caught with the enthusiasm of an unreal fallacy or bias presented to them and then they’re agreeing to it. They’re allowing their emotions to go along for the ride. “They were going to put a housing project in my backyard.” They said, “No, they were trying to create some fair housing in the inner city. That’s what it was looking for. Something to get the homeless people off the street, to start a transition to somebody, to care for themselves and make it a little bit more affordable so they can work at a low wage and still be able to afford housing.” It’s a little upsetting but it’s more in alignment with what’s happening.
Bill, I know we didn’t talk about this and maybe this is premature. Maybe it’s a discussion for a whole other episode coming up. If Donald Trump loses the election and eventually accepts the reality, which it probably will be the Republicans that are still in power in the Senate and maybe in the house that helps nudge him off his own off-ramp. Get them there, with their language and how they talk about it. Do you see President Donald Trump attending the inauguration of Joe Biden in that display of peaceful transition of power?
Only if there’s a benefit for him to be there.
I don’t think it’s ever happened before that a president like Jimmy Carter on his way out, like George Herbert Walker on his way out was not at the inauguration of the president that beat them in the election.
A part of his brand is the conflict fighter and the one that gets to be known as the person. He’ll get a better media uptick if he doesn’t show because they’ll cover that he’s not showing. Can you imagine if they don’t cover that he doesn’t show?No one is going to talk about anything political this Thanksgiving; otherwise, the whole thing will go south. Click To Tweet
No, I can’t imagine that.
The challenge is that he’s going to steal the recognition, the respect and the acknowledgment away from Joe Biden at the end and the media is going to take the bait. The problem with a needs-based narrative is you know what the good reason why they do it. The answer is that they can say it in passing and go like, “I’m going to pretend on the media. Watch this,” to get unsettled. Any of you, media people, reading out there, stick it into your read list. It will sound like this, “Former President Donald Trump has chosen not to attend to meet his need for respect and recognition that his need for fairness wasn’t met or his need for respect is being met. He’s looking to make a statement at this moment where respecting Joe Biden and his willingness to stand up and take the mantle for our nation and our leadership.”
The pivot has got to be clean that the recognition and acknowledgment. We’re going to give them a sentence or two of recognition acknowledgment on the way out, but not allow the energy to take away from Joe Biden. That’s what has been happening or what happens with a strong mindset of marketing and sales. They can’t get off the crack cocaine of being seen and being heard. It’s a label, it’s a diagnosis. I want the reader to know how important a need is when it hasn’t been met in our childhood, while we’re growing up in our adulthood. Respect and recognition is something you wheeled and good branding is about that. Do you respect Coca-Cola? Do you respect Pepsi? There are four brands and you respect every one of those brands because they’re solid and stable. Nobody has taken on the giant. No one’s trying to launch a new soda company. It’s the same as Donald Trump, “No one’s going to take me on because I’m big. I have this brand. This brand is unshakeable.” We’ll see in the next year to see how shakeable the brand is.
We’re talking probably a little bit more about what happens if Donald Trump loses then if Donald Trump wins. What do you think the worst-case scenario is? We only barely touched on it. In the interest of a communications show, we need to try to give a little equal time. Honestly, I have this question mark in my head. What is the worst-case scenario if Donald Trump wins? What Joe Biden could say or do? I guess I don’t see him doing that.
I think the worst-case scenario is that people will protest. They will make their voice heard and they’ll be the loyal opposition, but the opposition will be more resistant. It won’t be as cooperative. The worst thing that’s going to happen to the nation is the left becomes less cooperative and willing to agree. They’ll start fighting battles where they need to fight battles in the state legislatures. They’ll go down the list so that they’re making change. There are only certain things that can happen at the national level. The state-level is where a lot of the work is done regarding change. If you want to get change to take place, you do it at the state level with the governors and things like that. The state is standing there going like, “The federal government makes me do it.” The federal government goes, “I can’t make you do it.” That’s what’s happening in Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer is going like, “Make me not do it.” Donald Trump’s going, “I’m going to make you do it.” It’s like you’re fighting that battle and she’s taken some punches, but she’s learning how to swing back now.
Wasn’t that interesting? As you’re saying that, it occurred to me that maybe the worst-case scenario, if Donald Trump wins, doesn’t come from Joe Biden. The worst-case scenario of Donald Trump wins comes from Donald Trump. He hasn’t done it so far. Why do we think he’s going to try to unite this nation and bring the two sides together? He’s going to continue to further divide us.
As time goes by, there’s a certain moment in the time where there’s a disdain for the bad boys of the group. The bad boys eventually go away. In the NFL, the Raiders were the bad boys. Right now, they’re the Las Vegas Raiders and they’re bad-boy image of cheap shots and the way they used to do it. I’m thinking about the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s of the Raiders of going clothes lining guys. They get a penalty and intimidation and stuff like that. That’s not a part of their brand because that brand tarnishes pretty good. You still get the people that are interested in the mystique of that brand, but the front office going like, “We have that brand over here, but we’re running a clean ship over here and it’s a pirate ship, but it’s a clean one.”
The worst-case scenario on Donald Trump’s side is that if Joe Biden loses, certain groups of people have been mobilizing for over these things will start realizing, “How can I fight with this? How can I gain civic thing?” There’s literally going to be more and more of grassroots swinging back to. That’s what the Republicans did in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. They grassrooted it. They started working their magic at the local level and they started capturing the hearts, minds, souls. They’re districting their way and start winning the small battles to go the way they needed to. It’s a way politics works. You’ve got to get the person to vote for you, whether what you’re offering them is true or not.
The interesting thing is in terms of a campaign, the campaign has not been going well for Donald Trump clearly. He hasn’t been able to get the messaging across he wanted because he got Coronavirus. A lot of things have happened in the polls if you believe the polls. There’ve been a lot of good articles that said the polls are a lot more accurate than people think they are. They even weren’t all that inaccurate in 2016 either. That’s a whole other discussion, but the point is that things have not been going well for Donald Trump in the election. There are Republican senators who are not up for re-election that are starting to distance themselves from the president, even candidates that are vulnerable. Republican Senate candidates running for re-election are now fearful that them being tied so closely to Donald Trump is hurting them in their home districts.
You’ve got a lot of Republicans starting to speak out. One of the most notable ones was Republican Ben Sasse from Nebraska in a leaked town hall recording with his constituents. He was talking very negatively about Donald Trump saying that Republicans are preparing for a bloodbath at this election. The interesting thing is that there’s a very realistic chance that Republicans like Ben Sasse and others that are left behind to deal with the wake of Donald Trump, the rough seas or whatever you want to call it metaphorically. They’re going to be the adults in the room that try to give the President an offer and help push him into the sunset to accept the election and all that. What’s more interesting to me is what do those people do if Donald Trump wins? Do they suddenly reverse course and now they’re going to be supportive of the President again? The things that some of them are saying right now are pretty hard to come back from.
There’s going to be some trouble because a lot of the primary values that used to be underneath the large are Republican fiscal conservative, standing for a constitution, certain values, rule of law, all of those different things. Their promises have become more and more hollow. It gives an opportunity for Democrats to step in and pull some of those values back onto their side. What happens is the Republicans say, “You didn’t do those values.” The Democrats could always say they promise those values, but they didn’t do those values so your vote wasn’t well spent last time. That’s the common political way to talk about it.
The deeper conversation is what does justice look like? What does fairness look like? What does equality look like? Immediately our conversation got deeper quick and all I did was put four words in the root. What does equanimity look like? How do we create fairness on Wall Street and also create fairness on Main Street? What does that look like? The promise of it is that this is what it looks like. This worst-case scenario too looks like we’ve got to get back to how do you respond to the worst-case scenarios? I take people through charts of this. Here are the ten worst-case scenarios.
What are you going to say or do if this thing shows up? You can’t be mad. You’ve got to have a sentence ready to respond to it because you’ve practiced it and you can stand there and take it. That is something that’s valuable to do that. The way to think about this next time is because we do have another debate coming up. My request is for the readers is to watch and listen for the way that each of the candidates approach it. You’ll notice that each candidate is looking to make a point. I hope somebody tells Joe Biden that it’s not about policy.
Don’t talk about policy ever again between now and the election. You can talk about what respect looks like. You can talk about what integrity looks like. You could talk about what trust looks like. This is what trust looks like to me. It doesn’t look like that to him, but it looks like that to me. Here’s what consistency looks like. Consistency doesn’t look like that. I’m a straight shooter guy. He’s mixed messages. He looks like he’s a straight shooter guy, but he’s not a straight shooter guy. He’s a mixed messages guy. Even that little small narrative for Joe Biden to do, “I’m this guy, he’s that guy. He sounds like he’s a straight shooter guy, but he’s a mixed messages guy. Do you want mixed messages guy for the next four years or would you like a straight shooter guy?”
That’s a pretty good narrative that would play well because there’s been enough experience people have had with his mixed messages on Coronavirus alone that it’s obvious to most people.
Watch this one. “He’s not flip-flop guy. We used to have a lot of flip-flop guys. Lindsey Graham is more flip-flop guy, but this guy here is a mixed messages guy.” Notice he’s literally saying it’s like, “It’s not that I haven’t grown or changed my narrative from 30 years ago to now. That’s called maturity. He’s not a maturity guy. I’m a maturity guy. He’s the responsive guy. He’s the reactive guy. Do you want the more reactive guy or do you want the stable guy?”
How brilliant would that be? In one quick statement there, Joe Biden could take the complete wind out of the sails of anybody trying to pin him on something he did in the Senate 30 years ago like the Crime Bill or whatever. Have them focus on what everyone needs now, which is stability, certainty and leadership, all these things that Joe Biden exudes.
You could literally go a step into it. It’s like, “I’ll take my lumps for a decision that I made 30 years ago that I didn’t have the awareness of the impact and I’ll own that. I’m not going to be flip-flop guy like this guy is that doesn’t take accountability and ownership of it.” All of a sudden it’s like, “I’ll take that leader. I’m not taking that leader.” This is a good way to stick this landing. Get some strong mental preparation about what to say that’s going to stick, not a policy about a plan. On the third debate, everybody said Hillary Clinton won and she talked about a plan. In the end, people didn’t care about a plan in comparison to the guy that was promising the sparkly, sizzly, shiny steak that they could take a bite out. Of course, it wasn’t there but they still don’t know it.
We need to rush this to the Joe Biden debate prep team.
That’s what we’re talking about right there. Thanks a lot for providing the support. Let’s look forward to next time to see how well they did communication-wise on the stage. Donald Trump can say and do some things to literally pivot and promise a pivot. If he gets elected, “I can promise this and we didn’t get it done, but we’re in the process of it. It’s coming.” He’s already doing it, “It’s coming. It’s going to be over. The thing is coming. I have the thing.”
He definitely is trying to sell that the virus is like, “Turn the corner,” which it hasn’t. Bill, thank you.
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