It’s not that Trump isn’t talking specifics. Promising, accurately, an opportunity for change that “only comes once in a lifetime,” Trump in presented in Gettysburg “A Contract With The American Voter” that proposes a number of sweeping reforms, including term limits, restrictions on lobbying, and promises to cut regulation [Donald J. Trump Contract With The American Voter] The “contract” also lists several National Conservative measures designed to protect American workers, including renegotiating or withdrawing from NAFTA, declaring China a currency manipulator, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and redistributing money from the United Nations’ “climate change” programs to be spent on American infrastructure.
Immigration patriots can also cheer some specific promises Trump made, including canceling President Obama’s Executive Orders (including his unilateral amnesties), suspending immigration from “terror-prone” regions, using “extreme vetting,” and removing “the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country.” As the Daily Mail noted, Trump’s promise to end funding for “sanctuary cities” which harbor illegal aliens was one of the loudest applause lines of his speech [Trump’s ‘Gettysburg address’ makes closing argument for choosing him and unveils first-100-days agenda as he promises ‘the kind of change that only arrives once in a lifetime,’ by David Martosko, October 21, 2016]. This is exactly the same promise which first launched him into the lead in the Republican primary.
But there are also troubling signs. Left unmentioned in the speech, and in his campaign promises, is any mention of eliminating birthright citizenship. Of more concern, birthright citizenship now appears to be unmentioned in the immigration plan advertised on his campaign website [Donald J Trump for President – Immigration, Accessed October 23, 2016, original version (via Archive.org, August 15, 2015) ]. And while Trump promise that “2 million criminal illegal immigrants” are to be removed from the country, what is to be done with many millions more who reside here?
And while Trump is obviously doing his best to try to discuss policy, he once again stepped on his own headlines by vowing to sue all the women who came out in recent months with sudden accusations of sexual harassment from decades ago [Trump vows to sue all female accusers as 11th woman steps forward, FoxNews, October 23, 2016]. Aided by the MSM, which ignored the substance of Trump’s speech, Hillary Clinton switched the debate back to the preferred topic of random accusations against Trump [Clinton Fires Back at Trump’s Gettysburg Address, Threat to Sue Accusers, by Jessica Hopper and Josh Haskell, ABC, October 22, 2016]. (The latest is some porn star who suddenly had to have a press conference with Gloria Allred the day after she launched a new online smut store—Porn Star Becomes Latest Trump Accuser – Day After Launching Online Sex Store, by Patrick Howley, Breitbart, October 22, 2016).
Needless to say, the fact that Trump also promised to litigate over the Clinton campaign’s dirty tricks as revealed by the Project Veritas videos went unreported.
Obviously, given Bill Clinton’s history and the MSM’s sneering hostility towards his accusers, this coordinated hit campaign on Trump can’t be taken seriously in terms of fact. But with time running out, Trump needs to switch the discussion to immigration, a subject where Clinton is vulnerable.
Trump is trailing in most polls, down 12 points in the most recent ABC news tracking poll but holding a slim lead in the IBD/TIPP tracking poll, widely claimed to be the “most accurate” poll of the 2012 elections [Trump Expands Lead Over Clinton To 2 Points – IBD/TIPP Poll, by Ed Carson, Investors.com, October 22, 2016]. It’s also far too early to count Trump out given the wide disparity between different polling groups and some seemingly nonsensical results – with Trump only up three in Texas but somehow within the margin of error in Florida.
VDARE.com of course thinks that Trump’s way forward is to show why mass immigration and the push for cheap labor is so central to the rigged system Clinton and her journalist friends are trying so desperately to defend. One of the most spectacular examples: the barely literate and borderline hysterical emails revealed in Wikileaks from Haim Saban [Email him], the Israeli-American chairman of Univision, demanding more attacks on Trump and on Republicans for not condemning him [New Wikileaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign, by Tim Johnson, McClatchy, October 11, 2016]. Other emails show the concern those in Clinton’s inner circle, like campaign manager Robby Mook, have with keeping plutocrats like “Mr. [George] Soros happy” https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4553 [Hillary Clinton embraces George Soros’ ‘radical’ vision of open-border world, by Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times, October 20, 2016].
And of course the “smoking gun” for immigration patriots: Hillary Clinton fantasizing about “Open Borders” in an address to a bank in Brazil . [The most revealing Clinton campaign emails in Wikileaks release, by Kyle Cheney and Sarah Wheaton, Politico, October 7, 2016]
Recent polling suggests Trump’s “rigged system” charge is a political winner [Trump gains on Clinton, poll shows ‘rigged’ message resonates, by Emily Stephenson and Chris Kahn, Reuters, October 21, 2016]. However, how he describes the system being rigged is critically important. Talking about voter fraud and media bias may enthuse supporters, but may not win over the undecided voters the Trump campaign needs to win.
A recent poll from Rasmussen suggests an overwhelming majority of Americans consider the American economy to be biased against the middle-class [Economic Fairness, Rasmussen, October 12, 2016]. And only a miniscule 29% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction [Right Direction or Wrong Track, Rasmussen, October 17, 2016].
Furthermore, Clinton VP pick Tim Kaine is already opening the door to approving the latest managed trade deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (or something identical called by a different name), immediately after the election [TPP by another name? Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton open to Asian trade deal, by Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times, October 23, 2016].
Wealthy voters are already leaning Democratic this year, as The New York Times taunts [The Rich Vote Republican? Maybe Not This Election. By Robert Frank, October 22, 2016]. Which means Trump’s last chance is to go full populist—but in a more precise way. As Ann Coulter noted after the first debate, Trump wins whenever he talks about issues; he loses whenever he talks about himself. He has two weeks left to talk about immigration’s impact on the American worker.
Rather than levying charges against the MSM or the electoral system, Trump should attack Hillary Clinton for supporting the regressive policy of Open Borders at the behest of her puppet masters. He should talk about how immigration has a negative economic impact on American workers. And he should continue to hammer away on trade, a key issue which won over undecided voters in Frank Luntz’s focus group in the most recent debate [Luntz group: Trump Scored High on Trade, Clinton Floundered on Foundation Defense, by Matt Vespa, Townhall, October 20, 2016].
Of course, this will provoke the usual ululations from the Democrat/ MSM complex. But so will any other Trump initiative.
Ironically, the Clinton campaign knows how vulnerable it is: in a wikileaked email, Democratic consultant Paul Begala wrote that after Israel prime minister Bibi Netanyahu’s last-minute ethnonationalist drive, “I have never seen anything like Bibi’s furious surge to the right in the last 4 days. Nothing like it in America…In the US you could never get away with those kind of racist [sic] appeals [why not?]. But, man, did it work”/ [Herzog’s US adviser blamed PM’s ‘racism’ for election win — leaked email|Campaign strategist for Zionist Union leader tells top Clinton aide that Netanyahu won 2015 vote with ‘furious surge to the right,’ Times Of Israel, October 20, 2015]
It’s astonishing, and profoundly encouraging, that Trump has been even able to get this far. But, for me, his indictments against the American political system feel at once too personal and too general.
In the final two weeks of the campaign, Trump must hammer the issues of trade, immigration’s impact on wages etc., and standing up for American workers against Crooked Hillary’s Rigged System.
And then those outlying polls may turn out to be vindicated.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.