Dumping Trump is a tricky proposition.
For too long many Republicans clung to their belief that, given enough rope, Trump would hang himself.
However, that has not come to pass. Instead, Trump is now the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
Sometimes, that fact seems to baffle Trump himself. In January, he said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, ok? It’s, like, incredible”.
And while it might be the case that some Trump voters might actually want to shoot a few New Yorkers themselves, it is difficult to believe he has gotten away with some of the things he has said. Whatever you think of any other candidate, Trump is almost certainly the only one who has openly advocated committing a war crime.
To stop Trump’s nomination is a problem for the Republicans to solve, but it looks like they may fail. And, as satisfying as it may be to Democrats to watch the Republican Party self-destruct, anyone who cares about the future of our already-great nation must not repeat the Republican mistake of underestimating Trump.
Hillary Clinton has already set her sights on November, but to defeat Trump in the general election will require several difficult maneuvers:
- The dozens of video clips of his crazed moments must be displayed with nearly endless repetition during the election. Trump has thrived on sound bites, but a saturating media campaign can hopefully reveal the consistent pattern of emptiness behind the man’s words.
- The Democrats have to get under Trump’s skin. He is an extreme narcissist, unwilling to admit a minor mistake or even ignore an attack. If attacks on Trump’s image are presented properly, they will force Trump to dig himself deeper into the problem. He is clever, but his ego will give him no choice but to respond to criticisms, endlessly repeating his most dreadful failures, instead of just letting them disappear, forgotten to the electorate.
- His tax returns may be crucial. His excuses for not disclosing them are pure baloney. The media must relentlessly press Trump to release his full tax returns. When they succeed, a battery of bipartisan experts must be ready to study them and explain them to the people of the United States. The returns may not be as bad as some wish, but surely Trump has made hubristic mistakes in the past. For example, how has he treated the costs of running for President? As a business expense?
- Push Trump to name or describe the people whom he might pick for his Cabinet and other executive branch posts. Trump has a tendency to “solve” every problem by claiming he’ll bring the best and brightest minds (like his) to fix every problem the nation will face during his administration. Trump clearly knows little about policy, so who are these great minds he intends to depend on? If Gov. Christie is a lead horse in the parade, Trump can be painted as no less prone to cronyism than any other politician.
- Trump must be continuously poked at in search of gaffes. He is a know-nothing monster galloping around the game park. Yes, he is smart and quick on his feet, but he does not have a large staff next to him at all times. He wings it most of the time and will therefore be prone to mistakes. Hopefully, these errors can add up, but each individual slip must be pounced on immediately.
- Organize confusion, disruption, and opposition at his rallies. We have already seen the pauses he takes while he waits for his goons to muffle any dissent at his events. He is a bully and clear advocate for censorship (he is on the record appearing to joke about killing journalists), which is antithetical to the small-government leanings of many Republicans.
It is probably too late to save the Republican Party from devouring itself. But now that Clinton is clearly going to be the Democratic nominee, the time has come to challenge Trumpism on all fronts, with every weapon available.
Perhaps the scene at his Super Tuesday Press Conference at his Florida ‘cottage’—which looked practically Tsarist—might become an icon of what Trump has in store for us all.