Need to Go After Trump Fans
Those of us who oppose what Trump represents, says and does need to remember that talking to ourselves does no good — albeit, expressing what I think does feel good. The goal needs to be to turn the polls even worse for Trump by talking to his supporters. We already have over 50% who disapprove of his Presidency so far, but almost all republicans are still supporting him.
Thus, the focus needs to be on them. We know they have somehow already forgiven his personality, his lying, his behavior toward and views of women, his playing golf, even his conflicts of interest. As amazing as that all is, there are still other weaknesses of his Presidency that should become the focal point of arguments we make when trying to persuade this group which has emotionally committed to this man.
The first area is the economy. When rational, his supporters justify their backing with the argument that he will make our economy stronger through jobs, free trade and tax reform. They applauded the first month’s unemployment results and the stock market uptick. Since then, the numbers have been gloomy — both employment and, today, economic growth. He has also backed off his promises on NAFTA, China’s currency manipulation and — perhaps most notably, foregoing a tax reform that would significantly help anyone but the 1% -especially by proposing elimination of estate taxed which only helps fewer than 200,000 families who have assets of over $10 million (the current cut off). The latest economic figures — particularly on unemployment — have received virtually no attention in the 100 days debate. Mistake.
The second area is Russia. We know that Republicans generally do see Russia as our enemy. The issue is: why did Trump run as a supporter and fan of Putin — changing his platform from the traditional Republican opposition, always lauding him, denying Russia’s involvement in undermining our electoral process? We need to keep the focus there — connecting each story (Flynn, Sessions, Trump tweets re fake news about inquiry) to these central questions echoing Watergate: what did Trump know and when did he know it and why is he stonewalling about our biggest enemy in the world??
It is easy to get distracted and Trump is a master manipulator of the media. However, I believe he is making a mistake by staying in his echo chamber. He is afraid to even go to the traditional press dinner tonight (last President to not go? Richard Nixon). All his appearances are in comfortable red states; all his initiatives have been aimed at his base. That is where those of us who want to keep America great need to direct our firs, too.