HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”. Reeves quotes the wikipedia entry which describes the “heel” role: “…heels are often portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner by breaking rules… Others… exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such as arrogance, cowardice, or contempt for the audience.” Reeve says that this is “a perfect description of the Trump phenomenon”.
Reeves shows how Trump seized the opportunity with the second question at the first debate to be unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive by saying rude things about women and criticizing “political correctness”. Reeves shows how the audience reacted strongly to each low blow on Trump’s part.
Kelly also recounts Trump’s longstanding affiliation with professional wrestling, including, for example, the time that he once challenged WWE owner Vince McMahon to wrestle. When McMahon refused, they agreed to have “peasants” wrestle for them. Many of Trump’s lines had been tested not by focus groups but by live audiences.