There’s one argument left against Trump that hasn’t been made, and I think it’s a winning argument. It goes something like this . . .
Sure, his rivals have brought up the fact that Trump has donated to many democrats, such as Reid, Pelosi, and Rahm. But his supporters not only don’t mind that, it’s actually a plus in their eyes because they view it just as more evidence that he’s a savvy businessman who will do whatever it takes to succeed, and he would do the same as president.
But there’s another angle on this line of attack that nobody’s pursued yet, which surprises me because it’s really simple. Maybe that’s why no candidate has pursued it, cause they’re trying too hard to think of clever ways to take down Trump when oftentimes the simplest line of attack is the best because it’s the easiest and the clearest for voters to understand.
Here’s how I envision it going at a debate:
Cruz: I just wanna use my time to ask Mr Trump a simple question:
Donald, you’ve said you donated to liberal democrats in the past because when you need something from them, they give to you. So could you please give our audience here a specific example of something a Democrat did for you in return for all that money you gave to them?
For example, you donated to Nancy Pelosi’s campaign, but she’s from San Francisco and you’re in NY, so how exactly did she pay you back, or how did you benefit from that donation? And if you didn’t benefit, why did you donate to her campaign?
Either way, doesn’t that demonstrate exactly the kind of cronyism and pay for play politics that the american people are tired of in Washington DC?
Trump: I can’t remember any examples, I’ll just tell you that I had these losers on a leash, and when I called they did whatever I asked them to do (or a similar dumb alpha-male soundbite with no details).
Cruz: I would note that Mr. Trump seems to have conveniently forgotten his interactions with democrats whom he donated to, but somehow he remembers exactly when he became pro-life several years ago. Strange how memory works.
But there’s a much bigger and more important point on this issue. Donald says he donated to democrats because he was a businessman and in order to be successful you have to donate to everyone in order to get favors from everyone.
What he’s essentially saying is that he was willing to put his own personal success and the success and profits of his company above what’s good for the country. If he really believed in conservative principles, and that only those principles and ideas would make the country great again, then he would never have donated to liberal democrats who pass laws that do great damage to the country. Yet he donated to these democrats even just a few years ago, after he claims he became a conservative after nearly an entire lifetime, more than 60 years of supporting liberal policies.
So this demonstrates that Donald wasn’t operating under any set of principles except doing what was necessary to increase his profits and make money at all costs, even if that meant supporting politicians who he now claims are hurting the country. By that very logic, if they were hurting the country back then by passing liberal bills, which they clearly were, then Donald was willing to hurt the country in order to advance his own personal interests.
It’s either one of two options: Either Donald really believes in conservative principles but was willing to put profits ahead of those principles, or he didn’t believe in conservative principles then and doesn’t now, despite what he says. Voters will have to decide which is true, but I would just ask them to judge Mr. Trump not by his words, but by his actions because the Bible says, “by their fruits will you know them”.
Mr. Trump’s actions simply don’t back up his claims that he’s a conservative.
Now, I know there are people out there who might vote for Donald, even Democrats, who obviously don’t care if he’s a conservative, and that’s fine. But you should care if he’s being honest with you or not. And if a politician’s words don’t match his actions, that’s something you should take into careful consideration, and probably rethink voting for that politician.
In contrast to that, my words have always matched my actions. I know not every GOP primary voter agrees with my actions, but at least they know what they’re getting, and that counts for a lot in a politician.
If you want to nominate the candidate who will do the most deals with democrats, as Donald has said he would do, vote for him. But if you want a nominee who is actually a conservative and has a conservative vision for this country, and has a long record of fighting for those principles and beliefs, you’re looking at him, and I humbly ask for your vote.”
If this argument doesn’t work, nothing will in my opinion. But I believe it has a better chance of working than any argument that’s been made up to this point. It ties into an idea recently laid out in the NYT by Ross Douthat, which is the concept of “flipping the brand” on Trump.
The argument boils down to taking a candidate’s greatest strength or narrative and using it against them by turning it upside down or making it a question in the minds of voters. Douthat makes a convincing argument that this is in fact what happened to Christie with Bridgegate, and therefore it’s possible with Trump since Trump is just a more entertaining and lower IQ version of Christie.
So what is Trump’s brand based on? It’s all about his ability to make deals and to cut through the politically correct bs and red tape most politicians get stuck behind. It’s about his persona and the idea that he’s an independent man who’s beholden to no one and therefore won’t be corrupted by the special interests and lobbyists who control every president.
And maybe most importantly, it’s about his supposed willingness to “tell it like it is” and be honest with voters.
Of course anyone who’s followed Trump over the years and has done their research will know that in reality he’s been part of the corruption in the system more than any candidate who’s ever run for president. But the low-info voters who are supporting Trump don’t know much about his past, all they know is what they’ve been told, what they’ve seen on Fox news, or what they saw on The Apprentice.
So one of his rivals has to use the next debate to blow up these myths and narratives, and if anyone is articulate enough to do it, it’s Cruz. It’s time he puts that debate experience and skill to good use and take down Trump once and for all, before he gains enough momentum to win Iowa and NH.
If he needs a good script to use, I suggest he follow the one I’ve written in this diary.