If you want to understand elections, to understand influence, learn the game of Go (wei qi in chinese).
This is not a justification, or even a detailed election analysis. Just analogy to help promote discussion.
In Go, the person with the most territory on the board wins, just like a person with the most votes wins an election.
Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump was the endgame of the Democratic Party versus the Republican party. It was a very close game, but Trump had more points on the board at the end. It was a very close game.
Hillary Clinton was a sitting target. She had the baggage from the Clinton years…and the name recognition from those same years. The very thing that made her a potential candidate also made her position confined to a certain area of the board. And, that was not a bad strategy.
But the other side had been playing defense against that strategy for 30 years. For each Spot on the board in which she had influence, the other side was able to reduce the effectiveness of that influence.
Trump played a different game, a different strategy. By being a later entry to the game, the board was much less defined. The Republican side was open, which, in Go, signifies a lot of potential territory, but none of which they were committed to.
When a piece or a group is threatened in Go, you have to decide whether to save it or sacrifice it. If you try to save every piece, you end up losing territory. The same is true of a candidate.
They sacrificed the morality pieces. This surprised a huge portion of the people watching the game, as it had been a corner stone of their strategy in the past.
They reinforced the populist, ugly, and ignorant side of their game. While these pieces were never threatened, they were able to build off this group to exert a larger influence on the board, and counter balance the territory of Hillary Clinton.
Each attack against Clinton was on common issues. Defending against them ate up resources without allowing her to build more territory elsewhere.
Countering Trumps racist approach also meant that she had to build where her groups were already weak. In defending, she also fired up his base, and added security to weak groups.
Unlike Go, an election is not the end of the game. The game never ends, and moves back and forth across the board. Today’s fixed truth becomes yesterday’s myth. Learning Go allows one to better visualize influence, strategy, and growth.
Here are a list of Go proverbs, some of which might help to reinforce these points, and some which will confuse you.