Ideas for the Trump campaign

Donald Trump has been having trouble recently. Here are a few ideas for his campaign.

1. Capitalize on the unpopularity of Congress by endorsing term limits.

A. Jack Abramoff has said that term limits are the most effective way to limit corruption. Lobbyists hate it. After lobbyists spent years buying a congressman, he gets term limited out and they have to start all over.

B. Have Abramoff appear on the steps of the Capitol with Donald Trump to endorse a Constitutional Amendment imposing term limits. The Congressmen could exempt themselves until they retire or get defeated for reelection.

C. The best outcome would be for the proposed Amendment to be defeated on a nearly party line vote, with the Republicans voting for it. This would help the Republicans because term limits are popular with the voters. Paul Ryan would be a useful ally here.

D. The next step would be to call for a Constitutional Convention (also known as a Convention of the States or an Article V Convention). Since about 30 of the needed 34 States have already passed the needed petitions, it should be possible to get this passed.

E. President Obama would probably oppose this (as would the entire Washington establishment). That would provide an opening to attack the Democratic party and the Washington establishment.

2. Split the Democratic party.

A. Bump into Jill Stein at a rally. Suggest a debate with Gary Johnson.

B. Pick a date and time that would allow big ratings.

C. Make the debate viewer friendly: allow audio visual aids, choose time limits that won't lose the audience.

D. Invite Hillary Clinton to participate. She will probably decline because she wouldn't want to give more publicity to Jill Stein.

E. Hire a hall and invite the networks to cover the debate as a news event. There should be breaks in the debate to allow the networks to run commercials.

F. In the debate, Jill Stein should appeal to the four pillars of the Green Party: peace, economic justice, the environment, and democracy. Her argument would be that the Democrats are better on the environment and economic justice, but the Republicans are better on peace and democracy (assuming Clinton opposes term limits and a Convention of the States). So two issues favor Trump, two favor Clinton. Neither is much better than the other. "Why vote for someone if you would hate yourself for it? Compromise is part of politics, but this is ridiculous. There's no need to betray yourself."

G. Another point Jill Stein could make is that just as Republicans are worried about the long term damage a Trump presidency could do the Republican party, a Clinton presidency could change the Democratic party. The Republicans are concerned that Trump isn't particularly conservative on any of the basic issues: military intervention, the economy, social issues. He could redefine the party away from conservatism towards populism. Similarly some Democrats are concerned that Clinton could redefine the Democratic party away from the concerns of the poor and towards big business and corporate welfare.
Clinton can be quite conservative. She is supported by Charles Koch and several neocons.

H. In the debate, Gary Johnson should appeal to free trade. Since the other three parties are opposed to it, that would give the Libertarians the field all to themselves. According to Pew Research, Clinton supporters are most likely to favor international trade, Trump supporters are least likely, and Sanders supporters are in between. So this approach should draw more support away from Clinton than from Trump or Stein.
To make his case, Johnson should make these arguments, proceeding from the concrete to the abstract:

i. List occupations and industries that depend on imports. That would include shipping companies, port employees, retail store employees. Also include jobs that depend on exports. Limiting imports would limit exports because foreigners wouldn't have as many dollars to buy our stuff. The difference between imports and exports (the current account) is caused by borrowing: when we borrow money from other countries, it pulls dollars out of those countries. Limiting imports wouldn't reduce the current account deficit.

ii. Direct experience: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was one of the contributing causes of the Depression. NAFTA was one of the causes of the boom in the 1990s.

iii. Experience of other countries: Singapore is a rich country with rapid economic growth. It has free trade. So do other similar countries (e.g. Hong Kong).

iv. Statistical evidence: free trade is correlated with faster economic growth.

v. Economic theory: most economists favor free trade. A useful debater's point is Paul Krugman, the most prominent Democratic economist. He wrote an article "Ricardo's Difficult Idea" which defended free trade. That could be used to embarrass Hillary Clinton.

3. Appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters on the basis of foreign policy.

A. Foreign policy is more important than domestic policy because a President has to negotiate with Congress on domestic policy, but can take the country into a war all by himself. George W. Bush proved that.

B. Hillary Clinton has supported nearly every military intervention: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. To paraphrase Will Rogers, she never met a war she didn't like. That is why neocons such as Robert Kagan are supporting her.

C. Clinton has run ads showing Republicans supporting her. One of the first ads featured Charles Krauthammer, one of the leading neocon hawks. He and the other neocons want another war and Clinton is the candidate most likely to give them one.

D. This argument is more likely to get Sanders supporters to vote for Jill Stein than vote for Donald Trump, but that's half as good.

Posted 2016/October/14