It is the eve of the Iowa Caucuses. And here is where we are at. Trump is as likely to be our next President as any other candidate. He gets the most air time, he has the most concrete vision, he is leading in the polls, and his backers are more solidly behind him.
This is alarming!
So, how can he be beat? Here are my six simple ideas that I send out to the entire world through the power of the internet. Candidates, I know you have been waiting for this advice. You are welcome!
Have a Catchy Vision
Whatever one says about Trump, — and I personally have very little good to say about him — he does have a catchy vision of what he would do as President. It is almost a mantra that anyone can repeat.
He will build a wall that Mexico will pay for.
He will “make America great again.”
He will refuse entry into the country of all Muslims until he figures out what the heck is going on.
He will be a great negotiator with Putin and Iran unlike Obama.
He will be strong just like he stood up to Fox News and Megyn Kelly.
While this vision is part-offensive, part-impossible, and total nonsense, it is a vision that almost anyone who has been following the campaign can imagine.
Quick! Name the vision of the other candidates. There is only one other one who has a concrete vision. And he happens to be the only other person with a huge following — Bernie Sanders. Whether you agree with him or not, anyone following the campaign knows that Sanders plans to correct economic injustices. He will lay into Wall Street, bring fairness to the system, and make the rich pay their fair share.
The rest of the candidates are just mush.
Hillary Clinton recently gave a speech where she promised a “sensible, achievable, agenda.” You can hear the rallying cries now. What do we want? “A sensible agenda.” When do we want it? “When its achievable.” I can’t hear you. What do we want? Give us a SENSIBLE, ACHIEVABLE, AGENDA!!!! The crowd goes wild.
Talk about cold oatmeal. While our inner responsible selves may think this blah is good for us, especially after two Presidents who went bold – one in foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan (George W. Bush) and one at home — healthcare, gay marriage, and the stimulus (Barack Obama), the reality is our inner responsible selves are boring. We are an emotional people. We need a vision for where we are going if candidates want us to follow them.
Label Him What He Is – An Embarrassment
I don’t call people names. Trump calls everyone names. So I am ok calling Trump a name – or at least, to label him. He is an Embarrassment.
He is Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter. He is Biff Tanner from Back to the Future. He is the bully all of us knew in elementary school. Do we really want Biff to be our President?
Trump made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face and Rand Paul’s height. He made fun of a reporter for his disability. He talked about another reporter’s menstrual cycle. He retweeted a racist lie about murder statistics. And he lampooned John McCain’s war record.
Can you imagine the name calling he will do if he is elected? What will the tweets be like from the Oval Office when Vladimir Putin or the Speaker of the House angers him? Do we want our children looking up to a thin-skinned name caller as our President. Already, his tweets are sometimes too gross to let my children hear what he said.
Trump is also a narcissist. Nobody talks about himself or herself as much as Donald Trump. Not even Vanity Smurf.
A narcissist bully is not who we want as our President. It would be an embarrassment for every voter to face their children and to face history knowing we elected him President.
Trump is a pro at labeling his opponents. He labeled Jeb Bush “low energy” and Marco Rubio “a lightweight.” It is time to do unto Trump, what he has done to so many. He must be labeled. He is an Embarrassment. The label should stick since it is the truth.
But in order for it to stick. It needs to be repeated as often as Coca Cola tells us to Drink Coke.
It has to be one of the first words that comes to mind when voters see the greasy slick salesman weaseling his way into the White House. The name Trump must equal embarrassment.
Don’t Get Indicted
Hillary, Hillary? Hillary! Why? Why??? Why?!?!!!
She knew political opponents would come after her. Why did she choose to give them such live and accurate ammunition?
Using personal emails while she was Secretary of State was a bad choice. It probably wasn’t criminal, but a good lawyer can make a case that it was. (The Washington Post did a good analysis of people indicted for mishandling classified information and Hillary’s problems are not even close to as bad).
Worse than the email scandal, though, are the conflicts of interest that existed between her work at the State Department, the work of the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton’s speeches paid for by foreign entities. We still don’t know fully what is under these rocks. Fox “news” reports that over 100 FBI agents are looking into this.
In the end, I don’t think she will be indicted. But the investigation will go on and on. It is going to be messy and exhausting.
Trump will be a tough candidate if he wins the GOP (no matter what pundits say). He will immediately tack to the center and use his sales skills and constant media attention to sell the idea that he will be a candidate who everyone can agree with.
Hillary will have to be at the top of her game, and to do that, she needs to avoid silver bracelets.
John F. Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon and he created the Peace Corps. George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble and called a nation to action. FDR brought us out of the Great Depression by telling us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. LBJ declared war on poverty. Ronald Reagan pronounced his time in office “morning in America.”
We want to be inspired to reach for the next horizon or to transform the world for the better. We know we can do it because we invented the airplane, we won two world wars, we went to the moon, and we invented (along with Al Gore) the Internet.
What is our next horizon? How will we get there? The next President should inspire us to get there and then make it happen.
A triumphant message of inspiration would overcome Trump’s messages of hate, fear, and loathing.
Be Fresh Every Day
Trump makes news every day because Trump has something original to say every day or an original way to say what he said before. One day he is skipping a debate to hold an event for veterans, the day he is giving Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number out, the next day he is insulting John McCain, the next day he is calling for a ban on Muslims, and the next day he is calling on his crowd to eject a protester. His new act is usually disgusting but it is more interesting than anything the other candidates are doing.
But how can a candidate be interesting without bringing out their inner-Howard Stern? It is not easy, but this race is for the most important job in the world. It can be done.
Have innovative ideas, take a position that is against your party’s usual interest, Bring out your talents, do the unexpected, cry, rage against injustice, parachute into a stadium, debate opponents on their turf, take on hostile crowds, and stay interesting.
Now is the time to defeat Trump. Our country needs a leader with substance and values who can bring us together. Not someone selling hate, fear, and vanity.
Make Clear He’s No Thomas Jefferson
On Sesame Street, Big Bird has a classic song. It goes like this. “One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong, Can you tell which thing is not like the others?”
That song comes to mind the following names are listed.
George Washington, Donald Trump, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
One of these people is not like the other ones. One of these people just isn’t the same.
Vice President Dan Quayle was taken down at the Vice Presidential debate when he tried to compare his youth to President John F. Kennedy. Senator Lloyd Bentsen replied, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
We all have studied the Presidents. We know the Presidents. Presidents are heroes of ours. Donald Trump, you’re no President.
When we elect someone to be the leader of this, the greatest country in the world, we want someone who can be added to the pantheon of Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. We don’t always get that person, but we want someone who will be a great leader.
Donald Trump is no Thomas Jefferson. Candidates must point this out.