Letters to Secretary Clinton — Give non-supporters positive reasons to vote for you … #7

We may be entering a new phase in the election cycle. In previous months the noisy reactions to Mr. Trump’s gaffes subsided as he shifted his offensive comments to new targets, then rose again in reaction to his next gaffes. But in the last week there has been a steady crescendo.

Much of the noise can be discounted because it’s coming from you and from your key supporters. And some can be discounted because it’s coming from the GOP establishment whose members continue to be outraged by Mr. Trump’s success. But some of the critical voices are new, e.g., from his nominee for Vice President, from Sarah Palin’s son-in-law, etc … and the frequency of Mr. Trump’s new gaffes seems to be increasing.

These development suggest that the bizarre 2016 election process might conclude in a conventional manner. Having learned positive and negative things about the candidates, voters will vote for the candidate with the most positives and least negatives. You have fewer negatives than Mr. Trump. Indeed, Mr. Trump creates new negatives for himself every week. So to ensure your election you need to persuade more voters, especially Bernie’s supporters and Mr. Trump’s supporters, that you offer more positives than he does. As I suggested in my previous letter, this means finding out what Bernie’s supporters and Trump’s supporters really want, then convincing them that you are sincerely committed to achieving those objectives.

Mr. Trump’s accelerated gaffe rate also suggests a very non-conventional conclusion to this bizzare election. Mr. Trump might self-destruct before November, i.e, he might “resign” his candidacy. This is just a long shot, but it shouldn’t be ignored.

  • If he submits a formal resignation in September or early October, the GOP would have to quickly nominate another candidate. Their only viable choice would be Speaker Paul Ryan, their candidate for Vice President in 2012 and the GOP establishment’s preferred choice today. Ryan would be a stronger opponent that Trump, but not strong enough to beat you if you increased your attractiveness to Bernie’s supporters and at least some of Trump’s former supporters.
  • On the other hand, if Mr. Trump does not submit a formal resignation, but loudly signals that he is just going through the motions because the process is “rigged”, you will win a Pyrrhic victory of the worst kind … like John Quincy Adams’ costly defeat of Andrew Jackson in 1824, a victory that led to his failed presidency … unless you have convinced a substantial majority of the voters that your election is a positive thing and not just the lesser of two evils.

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