DONALD TRUMP NEEDS A JAMES CARVILLE …
When then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was running for president in 1992, political strategist James Carville hung a sign in his Little Rock, Arkansas headquarters.
The sign read as follows …
- Change vs. more of the same
- The economy, stupid
- Don’t forget health care
Clinton heeded Carville’s advice, stayed “on message” and went on to defeat incumbent “Republican” president George H.W. Bush (with a capable assist from Reform Party nominee Ross Perot).
“The economy, stupid” wound up being the main reason for Bush’s defeat – with polls from that election showing 87 percent of voters viewing the economy as “not so good” or “poor” and 61 percent of voters viewing pocketbook issues as the “most important problem” facing the country.
Fast-forward a quarter century …
Clinton’s wife – the wildly unpopular Hillary Clinton – is currently campaigning for what would amount to a third term for uber-liberal U.S. president Barack Obama. In fact Obama has made electing Clinton his top priority for the remainder of his time in office. Clinton’s main opponent? GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump – a brash, blustery billionaire who stormed to his party’s nomination over a host of establishment “Republicans.”
Trump won the nomination in no small part thanks to his contempt for political correctness.
“I will present the facts plainly and honestly,” he said last month in accepting the GOP nod. “We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”
He’s absolutely right …
(Click to enlarge)
Of course the reality is that Trump also picked up considerable support – including Democratic support – via his opposition to crony capitalist “free trade” deals like the one Obama is seeking to foist on the U.S. economy on his way out of office.
“Obamatrade” isn’t just opposed by right-of-center Trump supporters – it is opposed by the progressive movement of independent socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Hell, even the folks at #BlackLivesMatter oppose it.
Trump has led on that issue … whereas Clinton has not. In fact, she has been all over the map (and way off message) when it comes to trade.
Blacks aren’t about to support Trump, though. As we noted in a post earlier today, they remain a monolithic Democratic voting bloc. They will never vote “Republican.” Especially not if the “Republican” is Trump.
Why not? Fairly or unfairly (we believe it is mostly the latter), Trump has been branded by the mainstream media as racist, sexist and xenophobic. He has been labeled the candidate of hate and bigotry – an angry white opportunist espousing a dangerous brand of new nativism.
Capitalizing on his willingness to be baited (and his refusal to ever apologize), Trump has been cast by the MSM as a modern-day Hitler.
During the GOP primary election, this was obviously not a problem. Hell, Trump relished such type-casting – even exploited it to his electoral advantage.
Things are different now, though, as the scandal surrounding Trump’s response to the recent Khizr Khan controversy demonstrates.
To recap, Khan – whose son Humayun Khan died in Iraq in 2004 – scolded Trump at last month’s Democratic national convention, accusing him of advancing policies that would discriminate against Muslims looking to serve in the U.S. military.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” Khan asked Trump during his speech. “Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Trump responded by saying that Khan was “very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.”
(Click to enlarge)
(Cap via YouTube)
That should have been the end of it … but it wasn’t.
Seeking to highlight Muslim discrimination against women, Trump speculated as to whether Khan’s wife – Ghazala Khan – had been prohibited from speaking during her appearance at the Democratic convention alongside her husband.
Apoplexy ensued …
Shortly thereafter, a Trump spokesperson suggested Khan was a proponent of sharia law – one of the GOP establishment’s favorite bogeymen – which stoked further outrage.
Indeed this manufactured scandal grew so hot, so fast that “Republican” officials were openly speculating this week as to whether Trump would be forced to drop out of the race – a dramatic reversal of fortune following last week’s overwhelmingly glowing headlines.
While it’s obvious that the media establishment kicked its #NeverTrump machinations into overdrive the moment he matched (and began to eclipse) Clinton in the polls, it is equally obvious that Trump deserves his fair share of the blame for the fiasco.
His response all along should have been simple …
I respect the Khans and their right to criticize me. More importantly, I respect their son – and the sacrifice he made for our country. In addition to making the economy great again for all Americans, I plan on honoring their sacrifice by keeping our troops out of costly conflicts that do not serve our nation’s core interests at home or abroad.
That is called being “on message.” And any engagement beyond that was … and is … sheer lunacy.
Trump is running against one of the most corrupt, disliked figures in American history – a candidate who has pledged to continue the same failed policies that kept our country’s economy stuck in neutral (with the worst yet to come).
Not only that, he’s been a leader on arguably the most important economic issue facing the electorate this fall – an issue that offers him an opportunity to poach broad swaths of the Democratic voters.
All he has to do is follow Carville’s advice: It’s “The Economy, Stupid.”