Of the many ways in which Donald J. Trump is disrupting American politics, one of the most compelling is his disregard for the established rules of communicating with voters.
More than any other candidate, Mr. Trump embodies the evolving norms of communication that are being enabled and encouraged by technology and the matrix of connectivity that defines modern life: authenticity over authority, surprise over consistency, celebrity over experience.
His approach is jarring to a political establishment that has taken very different lessons from its experiences over decades of modern campaigning. Risk-averse above all, candidates and those who advise them have long prized message discipline, shied away from anything spontaneous and looked for opportunities to attack opponents who stray from talking points.
To those portions of the electorate fed up with politics as usual, Mr. Trump’s willingness to say just about anything and to improvise as he goes seems more refreshing and trustworthy than disqualifying.
“Politicians are by nature cautious and risk-averse,’’ said Mark McKinnon, a veteran political image maker who served in George W. Bush’s White House. “They like to make people happy, so their reflex is to check off strategies and tactics that have worked in the past.” Presidential Election 2016
But this approach isn’t working today, Mr. McKinnon said. “Just as we like novel and movie plots that surprise us, so are we attracted to candidates who do the unconventional,” he said. “Hence the success of Donald