His refusal to give up the divisiveness, some might say, is simply evidence that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. That may be, but the problem is deeper. If Trump did not divide, lie, boast and incite, what would he possibly have to talk about?
Seriously, here are the topics he would have to avoid if he wanted to cut down on hateful language and stop dividing the country:
- The Clintons
- George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer
- Possible 2020 opponents
- The Russia “hoax”
- The deep state (including agencies and department for which he appointed leaders)
- The Fed’s pace of interest-rate hikes
- President Obama
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
- The caravan, the wall and the imaginary crime wave caused by immigrants
- Allies ripping us off
- The money we “owe” to trading partners (his misconception of the trade deficit)
- The media
- NATO taking advantage of us
- The epidemic of voting fraud (of which there is none)
- Globalism, nationalism
That takes up, what, like an hour of his campaign speeches? With the stock market now so erratic (can’t talk about his stock market being better than Obama’s) and attempts at Obamacare a failure (so now he’s the big defender of protections for preexisting conditions!), I honestly don’t think he would have more than 15 minutes of material for his rallies if he cut out all the items above.
If Trump had to take out the blatant lies (e.g., biggest tax cut ever, new coal plants, a million jobs from arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he ended Obamacare) he might be down to 10 minutes of material. Remove the baseless accusations and insults (e.g., Democrats favor open borders, calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “Pocahontas”), and you’re probably got six to seven minutes left. If you remove comments about himself (how much people love him, his wealth, his margin of victory in 2016), you’re really reaching the bottom of the barrel.
It’s not as though he has more than a few sentences to say about any substantive issue — e.g., a plan to reduce the debt, an agenda to combat rural poverty, a coherent approach to the Middle East, any evidence of actual progress in talks with North Korea or an infrastructure proposal (even after so many “Infrastructure Week” roll-outs). He has no interest in the fine points (or even the topic sentences) of major policy initiatives. You can only talk about unpopular tax cuts for the wealthy and the “hoax” of global warming for so long.
Because he doesn’t have much to offer or what he’s offering is unpopular, Trump is reduced to hurling insults, whining about mistreatment and convincing non-college-educated whites (for whom he has delivered so little) that he’ll protect them from foreigners and the horror of hearing “Happy Holidays.”
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