When a football team is down and headed into the second half of the game, the coach does himself no favors by denying reality and avoiding a course change.
With every single national and state poll showing Trump losing demographics Republicans haven’t lost in over 60 years and making states like Arizona, Georgia, and Missouri competitive, anyone who truly wants to beat Hillary Clinton does themselves no favors by spending the next few months simply declaring the polls skewed. The people must demand a course change and ask of their nominee to finally get back on message, go relentlessly on offense on the critical issues people care about, and begin spending money in the important states needed to win this election in November. Anything short of taking this approach is ensuring that Hillary Clinton indeed is on her way to the White House – the very outcome the most ardent Trump fans claim they wish to avoid.
Trump’s reliance on media coverage and name recognition may have gotten him through the primary but, as we’re witnessing, this won’t get him through the general. This is why it’s so important for Trump to get back on message, place Hillary on defense on critical issues, and run ads relentlessly holding her accountable for the security, societal, and economic woes that the entire country feels… so long as they are not distracted by the excitement of reality TV. When elections are about personalities, Democrats win, but when they are about issues Republicans win. And fortunately for Trump, his opponent’s past and present record provides ample opportunity for any challenger to expose her weaknesses and to run an honest campaign against a corrupt candidate.
Here is just a sample of the many issues that can easily be used to place Hillary on defense for the rest of the election.
Hang Obamacare on Hillary’s neck: Hillary bragged about being the pioneer for socialized medicine at the Democratic National Convention. Well, while private insurance costs are skyrocketing and doctors are leaving the health care profession in record numbers, now is the time to put Obamacare back into the center of this election. Republicans won two mid-term landslides on this issue, but lost in 2012 because they nominated someone who couldn’t effectively make health care an issue. That Obamacare has barely been mentioned in this election is criminal negligence. Trump must make it clear that if Hillary is allowed to expand Obamacare instead of repealing it, no middle class family will be able to live in dignity without government dependency and the largest sector of our economy will be permanently damaged, which will, in turn, continue to drag down the economy. There is something fundamentally wrong when Hillary is up double digits on the issue of health care, and the refusal to seriously campaign against Obamacare would be a great place to look for the culprit.
Hillary’s Regulations Will Crush the Poor: Democrats thrive on playing class warfare and claiming to only tax the rich while giving handouts to “the little guy.” The dirty little secret that needs to be publicized is that the hidden tax of regulations is shouldered by everyone and is most regressive against the poor. A new report shows how Obama’s regulations have cost the economy $734 billion. The total cost of all federal regulations in 2014 reached $1.88 trillion, which amounts to a $14,976 hidden tax per family every year. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, this amounts to 23 percent of the average family budget of $51,000. The $1.88 trillion number is also more than receipts from corporate and personal income taxes combined. Trump needs to shout at every event and run ads in every state warning that a third term of Obama will crush families with a higher cost of living for the most essential goods and services.
Highlight Hillary’s Radicalism on Immigration: Instead of holding a press conference about his wife’s immigration history, thereby making this, once again, about personality, Trump could capitalize on the spotlight by detailing all of the illegal executive actions Obama has taken in recent weeks to endanger this nation’s security and violate its sovereignty. He could then run endless ads in critical states warning about Hillary’s plan to walk in the footsteps of Europe and bring in hundreds of thousands of additional refugees from the Middle East. Continuing with some of the messaging from the Republican convention, he can note how it is Hillary who doesn’t care about American security and the economy by sacrificing our sovereignty on the altar of billionaire special interests in support of open borders.
Hit Hillary on Her War on the Suburbs: Elections are won or lost in the suburbs and Trump is getting crushed in suburban counties at this point. He needs to hammer home Obama’s fundamental transformation of America via HUD’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule.” This program mandates suburban jurisdictions construct a certain number of “low income” housing. At the same time, HUD channels federal funds to crony left-wing organizations to move people out of the city into the suburbs, overwriting the zoning codes of the local governments. This unconstitutional executive action, cheered on by the lawless courts, violates property rights, federalism, and the true ideals of equal opportunity. It also represents a backdoor federal gerrymander and de facto eminent domain for ACORN-style organizations. Fight political correctness and win suburban votes at the same time.
Make Hillary Own Iran: Obama has allowed Iran to humiliate us and it is now clear he paid them a ransom to get back American hostages. Coupled with seizing our naval ship without retaliation, nothing embodies American weakness more than the Iran alliance. This all started under Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State. The ad ideas to run against her on this issue are endless.
Attack Hillary’s Support for Jail Break Legislation: Make it clear that Hillary is the candidate of anarchy in an increasingly dangerous world. Rebuke Obama’s pardon of 214 criminals this week – 52 of which have serious gun violations – and demonstrate the irrevocable damage of four more years of this.
Attack Hillary’s Foreign Policy Record. This is perhaps the easiest, and most obvious, layup. WikiLeaks revealed Clinton had a hand in arming terrorists in Syria. That, coupled with her comments at the Democratic convention confirming that her approach to stopping ISIS will not be fast-acting, is enough to turn the millions of voters concerned about the barbaric attacks we’re witnessing throughout the world by the hand of radical Islamic terrorists. Hillary’s role in involving the U.S. in Libya should be another easy target. As Secretary of State, Hillary’s Libya “intervention” has in turn led to the rise of Boko Haram and the loss of almost the entire continent of Africa. Now, Obama is quietly sending more troops to Libya with no definite mission.
Run Against Hillary’s Judicial Oligarchy Philosophy: Don’t just run on appointing better judges but on reforming the judiciary altogether. Show how the courts are crushing the states on their most essential functions and promise to work with Congress to return power to the states. Talk about the recent rulings banning voter ID laws, a most basic element of protecting the franchise. Again, this would cut through the perception that Trump is a top-down power hungry leader. By being a voice for judicial integrity, Trump would connect with the large swath of Middle America that supports voter ID and strike a populist tone that is actually rooted in the Constitution.
Hillary Won’t Stand for Religious Liberty, bring out the Megaphone on Religious Freedom: Note that Hillary Clinton tolerates the Muslim Brotherhood but has no place for religious Jews and Christians in this country. Be the candidate of civil and religious liberty and stand for conscience and property rights. Promise legislation defending the people and the states from the agenda of coercion pushed by the sexual identity movement.
Attack Hillary’s Nanny State Agenda and Stand for Civil Liberty: One glaring hole in Trump’s entire agenda – from the primary through the general election – is no mention of liberty. This is something Democrats have insidiously but cleverly exploited to outflank him on constitutional freedoms. He must point out Hillary’s nanny state agenda, support for endless violations of the Fourth Amendment, and become the candidate of the Bill of Rights. “While Hillary wants to grant citizen rights to illegal aliens and coddle the Muslim Brotherhood, she doesn’t believe in the Bill of Rights for Americans,” would be a great line of attack.
Will Hillary Denounce Planned Butcherhood? It’s truly amazing that Planned Parenthood has been caught on video trafficking baby parts, a seminal moment in the 40-year battle over abortion, and yet Republicans have walked away from the issue. Trump is currently losing Catholics by 17 points. This is political malpractice. He needs to remind voters that Hillary has never disavowed Planned Parenthood’s butchery and that she wants to continue taxpayer funding for a private entity under criminal investigation for barbaric practices.
Double Down on Hillary’s Farcical War on Women Rhetoric: Instead of playing defense every time Hillary attacks him for his off-handed comments about women, Trump should double down on Hillary’s fake and hypocritical ‘war on women’ agenda. Throughout her career, Hillary has made championing women’s rights a central part of her platform despite having sent billions to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East that degrade, rape, and even occasionally mutilate and murder women who do not adhere to Sharia law. Not to mention Hillary’s support for bringing into the U.S. even more migrants who have the potential to mistreat women like we’re seeing take place in countries like Germany and Sweden. How is exposing women to rape, threats and potential abuse good for women?
Keep the Internet out of Hillary and K Street’s Hands:: There is no greater issue that fits more into Trump’s branding and simultaneously seizes upon the liberty mantle while attracting younger voters (who are already sour on Hillary) than to oppose Obama’s giveaway of internet domains to an international tribunal that includes China, Russia, and Iran. The internet is the beacon of freedom that also exemplifies American exceptionalism (Making America First Again!). If Republicans don’t cave on this issue before the end of the year, this election will determine whether America will continue to control internet domains and ensure its freedom from the globalists and elitists, as well as despotic countries. Just imagine the ads that could be run on this issue and marketed to younger voters? Opposition to Hillary Clinton’s support for K Street’s internet sales tax would also be a great messaging tool.
Double Down on Hillary’s One-Size-Fits-All Education Policy: Common Core is just like Obamacare. It’s beyond an abstract policy issue. Every parent understands what it is and what it represents. This is an issue that Democrats have admitted, time and again, could destroy them on the campaign trail. There are so many clever commercials Trump could run demonstrating what children will be forced to do under Hillary’s Department of Education.
Obviously, this is just a cursory list. Once Hillary’s dangerous associations with Islamists are factored in, there are endless security issues that can be hung around her neck. The point is that it’s time to go on offense and make Hillary the relentless focus of this campaign.
For better or worse, Donald Trump has the biggest megaphone of any single human being in this country. He has the ability to attract media attention instantaneously. While the media will always be biased and exhibit a glaring double standard to any GOP nominee, Trump can take his destiny in his own hand. Elections are all about the ability to focus the public attention. Trump can do his part using this significant megaphone to focus voters on these and many other issues where Hillary stands in opposition to the majority of Americans. Or he can continue making his personality the focus of this campaign, something the Hillary campaign and the media are all too eager to capitalize on.
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Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.