Simple As 1-2-3?
Reading in today’s newspaper, a worrisome picture was painted contrasting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as Presidential candidates. What was shocking was the huge difference each candidate was taking in preparation for the up coming Presidential debates.
Clinton, a traditionalist, was employing briefing books, study time, and mocked debates. Trump, on the other hand, preferred weekly meetings at his golf club over cheeseburgers and media savvy friends in order to practice “one liners”. Hmmm.
Most observers do not characterize Donald Trump as a mentally challenged individual, although most suspect him as blessed with attention deficit disorder. So does the difference in debate preparation reveal someone who is unrealistic about winning the Presidency or does it paint an opposite picture?
Without a doubt most people would view debate preparation as an indicator of how a President might deal with complex domestic or foreign policies. Preparation would translate into “good” and little or no preparation, into “bad”. Trump must know that, so what’s his intentions?
There are very few pathways to a Donald Trump Presidency according to experienced pollsters. The national electoral vote map favors Hillary Clinton and her lead continues to grow. So what is Trump likely thinking?
How about –
- Keep voter turnout as low as possible.
- Maximize Trump supporters turnout.
- Vilify Hillary Clinton so much that even her supporters question her fitness
These three steps could produce the unthinkable, a Donald Trump victory. Here’s how.
- The growing opinion that this is a race to pick the lesser of two evils takes voters eyes off real differences and at the same time, sours voters’ view that their vote is important. Why go through the effort of voting when both candidates are damaged goods? Tried and true Trump supporters, however, will not think that way and will turnout to vote. Suppressing the vote follows from a steady diet of Hillary Clinton character attacks.
- Maximizing the Trump turnout flows from a campaign which unashamedly appeals to xenophobic, prejudicial, and ethnic nationalistic fears. This plays to Trumps demonstrated style and the believability that Trump will keep following this path (no pivot). You can trust Trump, one can not trust Clinton.
- Vilifying Hillary Clinton provides a “two-fer”. Trump will attempt to apply other labels like “crooked Hillary” which translates directly into intense voter dislike for Hillary Clinton. These voters will instead cast a vote for the third parties or stay home and not vote at all. This third strategy is ready made for the unknowable. For example, what about a large terrorist attack on US soil ? What about an ISIS attack again in Europe? What about some juicy revelations from newly released emails?
In short, Donald Trump will remain a viable threat to Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory. Hillary’s best defense will be an offense rich in contrasts with the GOP platform and Clinton proposals (with details) on growing the economy.
Hillary could get a break if Trump badly mishandles debate questions but it would be wiser to not bank upon that outcome. Personal attacks are more memorable than policy explanations.