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Donald Is Done

Written by Ron Litchman

The next president of the United States will not be Donald Trump.

It will likely be Gary Johnson – or, possibly, Hillary Clinton. I’ll explain.

The Trump campaign, if not clinically dead (although “brain dead” has long been suspected), is in its death throes. He’s down in the latest polls in New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada. He “fired” another campaign aide this week.

Donald Trump has insulted just about everybody and seems intent on getting around to the rest by November. He has irretrievably alienated women, immigrants, Hispanics, blacks, Muslims, soldiers . . . even decorated war heroes.

[When I recently delivered a preview of this piece as a talk, I was interrupted at this point, by a Trump supporter. “What’s a war hero?” he asked with a bit of a smirk.  A 27-year old U.S. Army Captain, a Muslim, the son of immigrant Pakistani parents, who was killed in action in Iraq and posthumously awarded the Bronze Star qualifies as a war hero, in my view. John McCain, too, while I’m at it.]

One need not predict Trump will get zero votes. Yes, he has a hard-core following. But there are not enough angry whites, mostly men, for Ivanka to allure into Daddy Donald’s fold. He will not win but for a few, if any, of Mitt Romney’s states, because he has splintered and squandered any vestige of a majority.  He hasn’t a shadow of a “ground game” organization to perform the mechanics getting voters to the polls.

Trump has exasperated the most stalwart of Republicans, who are fleeing:  Mitt Romney, George Will (“George Will Leaves Republican Party”), Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan (Republicans and Democrats will split off and try to form their own party and “The Week They Decided He Was Crazy”), Mary Matalin (leaves Republicans, enrolls Libertarian), Matthew Dowd, Richard Hanna.  He’s spurned prominent Republican donors, Charles and David Koch and antagonized Meg Whitman.  The Wall Street Journal has suffered serial apoplexy ( The Donald J. Trump Referendum, The Trumpian Purge).  There’s at least one Republican refugee camp formed at  Republicans for Johnson/Weld.   There will be more high-profile Republican defections, and then a deluge.

After inducing frustration, then exasperation, revulsion and disgust . . . Trump’s coup de grâce will be ridicule – just wait for SNL to do a “Sarah Palin” on him. (“I can see Russia from my jet!” or “We eat Russian caviar at Trump Tower.”)

But that will only confirm what the country already knows: Donald Trump as President is ridiculous. Voters won’t vote for ridiculous.

We won’t hear any of this from the Hillary campaign. Hillary needs Trump alive and well and loud – and scary.

Hillary knows that less of her vote is “for-Her” than “against-Him.” Hillary is capitalizing on this. “Lesser of evils” is the mainstay of her campaign. She no longer tries to sell her vaunted achievements, the alleged nobility of her Sanders-inspired Government spending platform. Instead, she spends a whole sarcastic news cycle over where Brand Trump manufactures ties. Better for her to point to the hypocrisies of others.

Yet, day after day, playing into her hand, Trump provides more instances for Hillary and surrogates (including Prez Obama) to step to a podium to question his mental stability (his ignorance already established) and declare him “unfit” and “dangerous.”

Donald Trump is now the Clinton campaign’s life support.

So long as the election is a referendum on Trump, she can win. But once the election becomes a referendum on Hillary, it’s not so sure. As she well knows, most voters don’t trust her.

This has profoundly-positive implications for the Libertarian ticket, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

With Trump out, the Hillary campaign loses it principal rationale. She can no longer scare voters into voting for her, out of fear of getting Trump.

Voters can get back to what the campaign should be about –

  • Hillary’s “reckless carelessness,” in using an unsecured email server for State Department business. (It would certainly be ironic, and not a small piece of poetic justice, if – and it’s only an “if”– whoever hacked Debbie’s emails discovered the pathway to them through Hillary’s unsecured server.)
  • The Clinton Foundation. Last Wednesday night on the CNN Town Hall, Gary Johnson began to take the fight to Hillary, pointing out – as the New York Post picked up – that the Hill ‘n Bill Foundation, smacks of a pay-to-play scheme. So, is that what Hillary explained in her “Shakespearean” speech to Goldman Sachs?
  • Bernie Sanders’ supporters need no longer swallow the stab in the back by the Democratic Party and the added insult of Hillary’s appointing Wasserman-Schultz “honorary” (sic – Orwellian, actually) chair of her campaign.
  • The economy remains unacceptably weak. The GDP is anemic, jobs creation is tepid and erratic and lopsided toward the low-skilled, low-paid. Hillary would prefer not to reprise James Carville’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid.”
  • Voters will examine the Sanders-Clinton free college tuition plan, decide whether creating another large entitlement program won’t further interfere in the economics of higher education, by disincentivizing savings by middle class families while incentivizing inflation in college tuition. (See Sheila Bair’s observations at “Paying for College Has to Be Easier Than This” – Government policies discourage parents from saving for their children’s education,” and “Damming Student Debt: One Liberal-Arts College’s Approach“ that the plethora of government-backed student loans are already creating a student debt bubble, just as government-backed mortgages fueled the housing bubble.)
  • Voters can hold Hillary to account for her hawkish foreign policies which have sacrificed too many young Army captains like Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan – Americans representing all of a pluralistic America – in an unnecessary, ill-conceived war which is accruing no benefit to this country.

With Trump gone, not voting for Hillary is not so dangerous. Her grudging and reluctant voters are now “Liberated.”

They can elect Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Although they’re running on a Third Party line (sure, the conventional wisdom is those never win), they very much occupy the political center:

  • fiscally responsible, committed to making the federal Government smaller and smarter, what Republican candidates have long said they’re for, but the opposite of what they’ve done;
  • tolerant and accepting on social issues, letting people choose to live how they want without government interference. As Weld likes to say “Get the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” Most people – except for the “adamant fringe” who demand the government take up their side in “culture wars” – want to be allowed to live and let live;
  • a foreign policy grounded in discipline, restraint, and collaboration among our allies, a defense impregnable enough to keep the country safe, without the hawkish military adventurism the other two both promote; and
  • scandal-free, temperate, and candid. With 16 years of combined executive government experience (that’s 16 more than Trump’s and Hillary’s combined), these two former, two-term governors demonstrate by their records their pragmatic approach to building across-the-aisle coalitions which really solve real problems.

“Most people are Libertarians,” Gary Johnson likes to say, “they just don’t know it.” Watch for a rise in his internet fundraising, seeking small contributions to get him into the presidential debates ($15 to hit 15%).

Johnson and Weld can bring together the exiled Republicans, the grudging Hillarians freed of their fear, the humiliated Sanders contingent. They can comprise a majority. They can win states and electoral votes.

That would truly be the “Change Election.”

 

Ron Litchman, Chair, The Manhattan Libertarian Party. RonL@manhattanLP.org.

(My own views, not necessarily the Party’s or any other individual’s)

Comments

9 Comments

  • Now the Obama REMOVED are saying he will need too many guards if he goes to see the flood area…who are they kidding? How many does he take when he plays golf or goes on his many vacations. I can remember when his beloved wife came to NY. To see a play…had the streets all backed up..had guards all around her….these people are so full of IT. Go Trump!,,,

  • I must take issue with you on “improving the lives of average Americans.” When an entrepreneur
    builds a company, that person provides jobs for the new helpers. Don’t have exact numbers but
    Donald Trump employees thousands of people. He produces, he adds to the economy and he
    sells loads of clown outfits! (sarcasm!) It is a given that he will surround himself with experts to
    bring him up-to-date on “being the President, studying all ramifications of his administration”s decisions and much, much more. Maybe you see it as no “credible policy position.” However, Hilary
    is “promising” much more than she can deliver. Trump has given how much he will cut companies’ taxes as well as individuals. My favorite is the $13K childcare deduction for working parents! That is a HUGE help for young families! The childcare expenses really cut into a 2 income family.

    And it is time that the global community doesn’t know what to think of the next President! (He won’t be announcing on TV the dates the US is pulling out of some country, duh?) We have looked so pathetic to the rest of the world for too long as we hand out billions in foreign aid, get negoitiated into bad deals for our country, etc.

    Anyway, I have searched my soul. He has grown up on construction sites and I do know by personal experience that it can get very vulgar & macho day in, day out. I believe his edges can be smoothed out & will – just like any of us other humans adapt to our environments. Look at his children! Not only are they good examples as role models in what they do but also what they have
    NOT done! Trump’s acts of charity are mostly anonoymous. Yes, my soul sees a man who has made mistakes but has tremendous get up and go and a passion for his family and his country.
    My soul also reads that Hilary Clinton is one corrupt woman. Sure, I would love to see a female President but I can wait for a younger lady who inspires & doesn’t have Clinton baggage!

  • Do we really want this clown Trump to lead this great nation led by Lincoln and Reagan once? Ask yourself, search your souls! There is nothing he has done in his past to improve the life of an average American nor does he have any credible policy position that will.

  • Outer Banks – it couldn’t have been said better. The rumble they are hearing are the masses that voted for Trump to be our candidate, and we are just waiting to vote. More votes than any other conservative candidate in history. It has been an absolute joy to watch a candidate not lie to me every second they could. Go Trump!

  • I have heard many times that a business person would run this country better than the ones that have never had a job and have never run a business. You can tell because of the constant reference that corporations make big profits-not taking into account that salaries, pensions, phone bills, electric bills, research, etc. come out of that money before anyone sees a cent of profit-if there is one. We have a business man that wants the job and because he doesn’t act like the other freeloaders (politicians) it is perfectly okay to bully (and people wonder why young people suffer so extensively from bullying) the man because he’s different (good thing he’s not black because we might be able to accuse all of these journalists like you, perhaps, and these so called republicans of being intolerant. A real man not a plastic robot. Also, people with Attention Deficit Disorder (yes children grow up and still have it) get side tracked easily. ADD is considered a disability according to the US government so how would it look for this man, who may never have been diagnosed (but no one knew it existed back then) with a disability, is being bullied for trying to help the United States. This man is wanted by the people to fill a need and make their life better. A few people believe they are smarter than these people and they don’t want this man. These people have the right to their opinion but so do the people that put many of these “smart people” in public office, the people that have been abused for almost 8 years losing working hours while having to purchase things like ObamaCare that they don’t want, doing without, and treated like they ‘re not smart enough to think this man can make their lives better. Why are these “smart people” so afraid of this man who is different? It is said that he appeals to the lower class people that apparently don’t know any better and that only white men will vote for him. I take offense to that because I have talked to many women that intend to vote for Trump, not men, and I have a college education, but I have learned far more about life by listening to and watching people and not from a book. I am an older, white republican female who has yet to be polled. There have been no polls in North Carolina other than 2 concerning our state elections. In 2012, the phone rang off the hook asking “who will you vote for”. Where are all these polls you speak of? Are Republicans really being called? Trump is not disliked as much as you think. Many people consider him a very intelligent, accomplished person. Hopefully, when you reach his age, people will be able to say the same about you.

    • Thank you for a very well written statement! I join you as an older, white, college educated, Republican female who has never been polled. Am also ADD and the Donald could be.also
      afflicted. However, it is easy to see that his heart IS in the right place, that he is running for the love of our country and that he has more planned than he is saying. I like that approach better than all of the vapid promises being made by his opponent. Yes, why not take a chance on a businessman?
      We happily gave a community organizer with NO business experience a chance.

      Donald Trump reminds all of us of the people who have not had a pay raise in years, who are
      working harder than ever, who may be stuck with high payments to Obamacare, etc. and who are
      truly victims of a political system that has run amok. It is the reality against the padded employment
      figures! It is really difficult to believe (according to the polls) that Hilary can garnish that % of votes
      when she has no real accomplishments as Secretary of State. From Arkansas to DC, her character & temperament seem to not have changed much. Whatever unscrupulous means she deems necessary are employed in her quest for power! Two opposing candidates and two very different
      motivations!

  • You, and the other morons like Rena Kan, are doing all you can to elect Hitlery…..STOP!!! Trump won the nomination against 16 experienced politician fair and square…GET OVER IT, and put your support behind the ONLY possibility to beat Hitlery.

  • Finally. And here I was getting ready to write-in Scooby-Doo! BUT. Why the h…k have we not heard much about this pair? Seems if they want to co-run this country, they would be SAYING SO! I’m d…n sure not voting for someone who’s not even saying they’re running loud enough for me to hear it!

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About the author

Ron Litchman

Ron Litchman, Chair, Manhattan Libertarian Party
(His views expressed herein are solely his own, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Party, national, state or county, or Libertarian Party candidates for office.)

A lawyer, portfolio manager and investment advisor, Ron Litchman was elected Chair of the MLP in 2016, and writes on economics, government policy and current politics with a Libertarian voice.