by Guy Somerset
Amateurs love Art. Almost everyone you meet is absolutely certain they can act, draw or sing.
Yet the one Art most coveted by American politicians is literature. In decades of political activity at all levels, working for both parties, seldom have I encountered a candidate who thought himself anything less than a bureaucratic George Bernard Shaw.
Most common among the more quarrelsome candidacies is a variation of the phrase, "Mr. X likes to write his own speeches." Whenever I hear it, I resign from the organization immediately; a man may run for office, but he won't get far carrying his own land mine. Such obtuseness has led to some spectacular failures.
Worst of the matter is it isn't particularly ego which destroys politicians, but operation of the system. The more success they have the less they trust new advisors (i.e. speechwriters) and the less they feel the need to rely upon anyone else's intellect. After all, if they can impress the true-believers in Podunk, U.S.A. why shouldn't they be able to do the same for 40 million on national T.V.?
As a result some genuinely decent men with useful program proposals have lost elections; to the detriment of the nation itself. Currently there is one candidate in the Presidential race who at least gives the impression of favoring populism, Westernism and a general regard for not wanting to begin World War III. Helpfully, most Americans share these perspectives.
Unfortunately the man in question, Donald Trump, often fails to offer succinct viewpoints and becomes distracted by irrelevancies. Notably, he allows Clinton to divert policy arguments to personal grievances.
For any who would advocate his surprisingly impressive speech in West Palm Beach, Florida the past week demonstrates an increasing aptitude, there is no disagreement here. Yet far from disproving the greater point, it highlights the critique: those portions which had the potential to radically improve his electoral prospects were less than 5 minutes of a 50 minute appearance. In person this is permissible, but on television it is interminable. Trump simply does not have the luxury of hoping citizens at home can sift through 90% detritus for 10% of brilliance. Broad issues must be defined concisely, cogently and in a clever manner which makes his positions memorable a month from now at the ballot box.
If he accepts the skills which brought him to the brink of victory are the same liabilities which will prevent him reaching his goal he has the ability to prevail. It is time for a professional to step in. Thus...
The 11 answers Donald Trump must memorize before his third and final debate on October 19.
1. TOPIC: Illegal Immigration - There is an old saying, "Dance with the one who brought you." You are here for one reason only, Illegal Immigration. It is your top issue and you should mention it at every opportunity no matter what is the actual question:
TRUMP - "We see in polls, if anyone believes polls anymore, that Illegal Immigration is only the eighth or ninth issue in the top ten. What politicians need to understand, although the American people already do understand, is Immigration is the only issue. Education- Illegals don't pay taxes which pay teachers in our schools. Environment - Illegals contribute to overpopulation. Health Care - Illegals use our services such as Medicare without paying into them. Crime - Illegals who commit crimes, we pay to jail. There is absolutely no issue confronting Americans today which is not directly impacted by Illegal Immigration, and we're going to fix it and it will improve the lives of our citizens in every single way."
2. TOPIC: Tax Returns - This is a popular subject for Hillary because it is one of the few which test-voters grant her an advantage over you. That is why she always mentions it and why she will continue to do so:
TRUMP - "You know Hillary, you mentioned my tax returns...again. We might almost think you are afraid of getting audited and trying to score points with the IRS. (pause for laughs) Now I've explained the issue many times, but here is something I will say right now to the American people (to camera) I'm going to let you all in on a little secret - I try to pay as few taxes as possible, just like all of you. I give the government the money I owe and not one penny more, just like all of you. I hire accountants because I don't understand the tax code, just like a lot of you. (back to Hillary) But here's the really important thing, Hillary - Whether I pay $1 or $1 million it doesn't matter. What I paid in taxes will not change the life of anyone at home - but my border wall, my trade deals and my ending all of the wars you helped start will change their lives for the better - that's why you refuse to talk about those issues."
3. TOPIC: Tax Rates - One of the ways the opposing party rationalizes tax increases is by stating these increased rates will only affect "The Wealthy." This is a palliative for the uninformed. Reply this way:
TRUMP - "First, let's be clear, you already stated you intend to raise taxes on the Middle Class. Second, we need to understand the Middle Class is already shrinking in this country under your leadership. Third, almost everyone, but especially the Middle Class, makes less money than they did ten years ago and now you want the government to take more of it. (to camera) Fourth, and most importantly for everyone at home, when she says 'The Wealthy' it doesn't mean what most people think it means. To her 'The Wealthy' is any one person making over $50,000 or a family making over $100,000. So if you're a single-mother teacher who has tenure you might be surprised to learn to Hillary you're among 'The Wealthy.' If you work in an auto-body shop and your wife is a dental assistant, surprise you're 'The Wealthy.' If you've got a small business or family farm, guess what? You're 'The Wealthy.' When Hillary talks about raising taxes she isn't talking about a Rockefeller, she's talking about you!"
4. TOPIC: Your Father - An oblique criticism which Hillary continues to make is the loan from your father to begin your business. It is among the more facile matters to dispense with:
TRUMP - "This is another one of those criticisms from you I don't understand and I don't think many people at home understand. You say I got a loan from my father to start my business. That's true. My parents helped me succeed in a lot of ways. I'll do the same for my children. People at home will do the same for their kids. I know I was fortunate to have help starting out in life, and I've never hidden that fact. Actually, I'm proud of it. And you must feel the same because your daughter Chelsea is employed by the Clinton Foundation, and there's nothing wrong with that. So why are you criticizing me for something everyone sitting at home, every parent, every mother, every father, would do for their kids?"
5. TOPIC: Family Leave - An important issue for working mothers particularly, but the Millennial Generation as well. Your stance is a signifier to young voters as to how "modern" is your outlook:
TRUMP - "There is nothing more important than raising a family. I not only think that, I practice it by providing for it in my businesses. I'm already walking the walk with my employees. This isn't just a policy for me but it concerns real people. So I strongly support 'Family Leave.' However I also support bringing companies back to this country. How can you have 'Family Leave' when you don't have a job to leave from? (pause for applause) If Hillary's TPP plan of outsourcing another twenty million jobs goes through you're on leave forever. 'Leave' is important for working families, but so is putting dinner on the table."
6. TOPIC: Environmentalism - A signature focus for Democrats, but more than peaceniks and hippies care about it. Mercifully, most Americans are not fanatics about the matter:
TRUMP - "You say global warming is man-made? Well, given what you want to do to the jobs in this country at least that will be something still made in America! (pause for laughs) Seriously, I'm like most people, I never denied there is pollution. I've got grandkids too so I want them to have clean air and clean rivers. I just don't think you need to put 100,000 people on unemployment to save the spotted tit-mouse. " (pause for applause) "We need common-sense environmentalism not TPP tyranny. Also, we don't need another 1 million Syrians and 10 million Illegals to strain an infrastructure under stress."
7. TOPIC: Race Relations - Statistically there will be at least one other major racial incident preceding the November election. This issue will undoubtedly be raised:
TRUMP - "There is absolutely no question that sometimes people behave inappropriately. While the vast majority of police do a tremendous job of protecting us, sometimes they make mistakes and very occasionally even worse than mistakes. Hillary, no one disputes this, not even the police themselves. (to Hillary) However the difference between us is I see mistakes as tragedies and you see tragedies as opportunities. With you it's never 'what can we learn,' but always 'where can we riot,' and as a consequence you always make the problems that much worse and innocent people have suffered on both sides. (to camera) And if she is elected you can expect a riot every week somewhere in this country and someday it will happen close to where you live. That may not be PC but that is the truth. I am not PC but I will tell you the truth. PC is only for gated-communities and $10,000-a-plate Hillary fundraisers."
8. TOPIC: Gun Ownership - Anti-firearm voters are among the most strident Hillary supporters. Clinton will likely use an anecdote of someone mentally ill with a gun or of a child killed by a firearm:
TRUMP - "I, like all Americans, am for responsible gun ownership. However the Second Amendment was not written to protect hunting rights, it was written to preserve freedom. It has worked for over 200 years and we must be very careful when we review it. As for a 'no-buy list' modeled after the 'no-fly list' I am currently against it for a few reasons. One, there are three-year-olds on the supposed 'no-fly list,' there have been Congressmen on the 'no-fly list' by mistake, and there is no way to get your name removed. So before we look at a 'no-buy list' we have to fix the 'no-fly list' itself. More importantly, anytime in history there has been a government list of people not allowed to do something those lists were quickly corrupted to include journalists, politicians, dissenters and everyone else causing a problem for the powers-that-be. (to Hillary) So while I am in favor of responsible gun laws, of which there are already more than 30,000 on the books, I am not for taking away the liberties which made this country great. I will not sacrifice the freedom of the nation for a few exceptions, however tragic."
9. TOPIC: Terrorism / ISIS / Syrian Refugees - All of a part, these issues may or may not be essential depending on whether there is another prominent terror-related incident prior to the election:
TRUMP - "It seems every other week we have an attack here in the United States - sometimes a shopping mall, sometimes an army base, sometimes a nightclub - and we call it anything other than terrorism so our people won't get scared. Well, they should be scared because all this we're going through now is just with the people we already have, not mentioning another 1 million Syrians Hillary wants to welcome into your hometown. (to camera) These refugees are not even allowed in Saudi Arabia because that government thinks many of them are terrorists. Won't take them. Seriously. So people within their own region, of their own religion and a similar culture refuse to accept them because they know a significant number are terrorists. Every security agency here in America says there is absolutely no way, none, to tell who these people are and yet Hillary is bringing them in by the boatload like Merkel is in Germany and where all the rapes and murders are happening. I don't want that for the American people. We all feel sorry for refugees but the way to help is not by hurting our own people. We can send them aid and set up safe spaces in their own homelands but by bringing them here we only import their problems not offer them solutions."
10. TOPIC: Social Issues / Probably Abortion - Your running-mate won a narrow victory in his debate as Kaine had prepared numerous "zingers" in regard to the homosexual (LGBT) issue. Consequently, when it went unmentioned Kaine was caught entirely unawares. Expect an abortion question this debate:
TRUMP - "(sigh thoughtfully) This is the sort of thing nobody wants to think about, not for themselves or anyone in their own family. Pro-choice or pro-life, hopefully we can all agree it is a very trying decision we wouldn't wish anyone to have to face. As for myself, it's no secret I've thought about it one way in the past and think about it a different way now. Who doesn't change as they grow older? Personally, abortion is not something I would want to happen in my family. Still I am aware I have money and comforts and some opportunities that others may not have. What's important, and too often lacking in this discussion, is whatever someone thinks of the procedure the individual making the choice is still a human being and even if I do not support the decision I do support the person. So while abortion is against my own conscience I want to stress I am against the procedure and I am not against the person."
11. TOPIC: The Women / The Scandals / "The Tape" / The Rumors - The most vital issue. Half of America, and the whole world, is watching to see if you can recover. This is how to do it:
TRUMP: (WHATEVER YOU DO, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE INTERRUPTED, DO NOT FOR ANY REASON STOP SPEAKING) "Listen, I am not here tonight to defend myself but to fight for the American people. Generally speaking to the illegal tapes and false allegations, all I can say is these incidents have been purposefully misconstrued by the media and my enemies. Any so-called 'assaults' never happened. I repeat, nothing like those ever happened. Not once, not ever. However we would be here all night if I tried to go point by point, incident by incident, proving how they are false. And during that time my enemies - the enemies of America - would pay off or blackmail or even make up more fake stories. I know this because that's what they do. Whenever someone tells the American people the truth, that's what our enemies always do. But there is something much more important going on and here it is...
"If you believe these stories there is no way I can convince you otherwise. After thirty years I can't prove something didn't happen. What I can prove is there is something very wrong in America today. You at home all know it because you see it in your life every day and you can all feel it in everything you do...
"Most importantly, look who my enemies are and consider whether they are your enemies as well. Do you think the media can be trusted to act for the American people? Do you think the big banks are on your side? What about the billionaires who paid millions to Hillary Clinton? Do you think the CEOs of Goldman-Sachs and Wells Fargo are on the side of the ordinary American? What about the manufacturers? Companies that have been moving their factories out of this country for thirty years? Are they on your side? The people who put you and 90 million others on the unemployment line? Are they for us as Americans? Look at everyone against me - Media, Billionaire Bankers, Multinational Corporations - those are the people paying for these false and malicious lies. Do you think they can be trusted now when they have betrayed you, the American people, for at least two generations?...
"Or do you think there may be something else at work here? Something worse than you even suspect? I'm a wealthy man and I'm proud of that. Almost a hundred years ago it took another wealthy man, from Hillary's party, Franklin Roosevelt, to go against the banks and the media and the billionaires of his day. They hated him just as much as they hate me now. But he got you Social Security, he built up manufacturing, he saved this country from the people who wanted you to work more and more for less and less. Sometimes it takes a rich man to go against his own interests. I would have made a lot more money just watching from the sidelines, but I love this land, I love its people, and I love America.
"On election day think about who your real enemies are and what they have planned for you. Will 10 million more Illegals improve your life? Will 50 million fewer jobs improve your life? Will Billionaires bribing politicians improve your life? Will a media all against you improve your life? This is it folks. From what I can see, we probably won't get another chance. Hillary, her Illegals, her banks, her media and her billionaires have one thing in mind for you, and if you think about it, you know she is your enemy as much as mine. This country can be great again if we all come together against our enemies on Election Day."
BONUS: When Hillary replies, "You're no Franklin Roosevelt..." you interrupt her immediately and loudly:
TRUMP: "No, I'm not. He had a New Deal and with the people's help I'll give America a Great Deal."
There you have it, your path to victory. Though not my standpoint on some of the issues above these answers are the outlook of the core of your current supporters as well as of those you yet need to win.
A final note is you had best not be under the impression Moderator Chris Wallace will be anything other than hostile. For one, he is the son of Mike Wallace. For another, don't mistake that Fox News is not in cahoots with the rest of the corporate media; the small finger may look different than the thumb, but they are still on the same hand. Televised institutional propaganda (including "conservative" T.V.) is targeting you and has been opposed to populism for a half-century; therefore you have absolutely no excuse not to expect it to be against you now. (In other words, anticipate not only for Wallace to cut you off repeatedly, but likewise assume the Green Room is bugged and the make-up girl a Hillary plant.)
Speaking for myself, I confess I cannot operate arithmetic much above long division, I cannot rebuild a carburetor and I am reasonably certain given the responsibility to manage a chain of hotels they would be bankrupted within the week. However I can write a speech and I can get a man elected, if he admits to knowing what he doesn't know. And you, Donald J. Trump do not know how to effectively present your case to the American people. Those who already agree with you allow the benefit of the doubt for clumsy oration; those who already despise you twist inarticulate comments into vile denunciations.
Of the immediate moment is to craft the words of your next performance so as to reassure that 15% of undecideds who believe in your philosophy but deplore your personality. With three weeks remaining until the General Election, you have no time to learn how to persuasively say these things on your own.
What you do have is one debate remaining to salvage your candidacy.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.