Donald Trump isn’t a serious candidate for President. Sure, he has the notoriety and the money to prop himself up and pretend to be a credible candidate, much as Ross Perot bought his way to a lot of noise but no electoral votes. But the only reason people pay attention is to enjoy the spectacle.
He’s not a serious competitor. The worst thing for any other Republican to do, is to jump onto the leftist bandwagon and echo their attacks. Instead, use him to score points with conservatives and Republicans, while throwing him under the bus.
Trump got himself into hot water with some quite inartful comments about illegal immigration. He has seized on a stat, which he claims is backed by Univision-funded reports, that 80% of the women coming into the country illegally, have been raped coming across. The problem is he’s trying to suggest that other illegal aliens are doing it, and therefore oogy boogy ooh scary.
So as much as Trump is being declared the new devil, with firms like Univision trying to create a European-style cordon sanitaire around him, Republicans can seize on a point here. And Republicans need to do so in a way that doesn’t echo the left, but rather emphasizes our issues, and solves real problems that tug at the heartstrings of Americans.
If you’ve had dealings with foreign cultures, one thing you realize right away is that Americans values niceness in a way most do not. We care, we try to show we care, and if others don’t do the same, we’re hurt. That’s why George H. W. Bush had to go out with his famous message: “I care.”
Likewise, Republicans need to thread the needle by showing that we do in fact care, in a way that Trump is signaling he does not. Here’s a way a Presidential candidate could respond to Trump:
“I’m disappointed in Mr. Trump’s callous language, but there is an issue here. While Mr. Trump’s reality TV-style hysterics seem designed only to draw attention to himself, he has raised the issue of a genuine humanitarian crisis at the border. If anywhere near 80% of the women coming into this country illegally are being raped, that is an urgent problem that demands our attention. Someone must stand up for them.
“We, as Americans, must move forward on this issue in two ways. First, we must step up law enforcement at the border, getting Border Patrol boots on the ground. Our border has become lawless, and in that void of anarchy, criminals are stepping in and terrorizing not just Americans, but also those attempting to come to America. We must stop that.
“Second, we have to take a long, hard look at our current policies, and how the unintended side effects of those policies are hurting people. The Chamber of Commerce and other amoral business interests have lobbied for open borders, and amnesties in the style of the President’s lawless executive order. But these policies act as an incentive, and are luring folks into dangerous situations. We’ve created a climate of drugs, rape, and murder at our border, because we wanted to try to get cheaper labor.
“It’s time we got serious, listened to our hearts and not just our wallets, and reversed the President’s dangerous announcements. It’s time we moved forward to secure the border and bring law and order to the border. Our respect and compassion for the victims demand no less.”
We can oppose Trump, and play the carom off of him without selling out to the left. The Republicans who do so deserve our support in this 2016 Presidential cycle.
Photo by Michael Vadon