I realize that predicting the electoral future involving Donald Trump is about as precarious an undertaking as possible, particularly for one who got it quite wrong the first time around. And surely, any exercise in writing a campaign speech you anticipate Trump might in essence actually deliver, is surely quixotic. In his narcissistic estimation, nothing anyone else could suggest would be as effective as what flows from his self-proclaimed genius, unscripted, unedited and unrelated to reality. And certainly, no prepared speech could adequately capture Trump’s impromptu instincts for stoking supporting emotions to a boil, exhorting everything from full-throated mob chants to overt acts of violence, replete with his usual self-aggrandizement, half-truths, wild distortions, outright lies, and variety of hate-mongering dog whistles.
But I can’t help thinking that is nonetheless what the Democrats are doing – essentially providing the material for, if not actually writing, Trump’s stump speech. They are parading an unwieldy roster of presidential candidates, many of them ridiculous in their literal aspiration while the more viable among them advocate policies and programs that can easily (and unfortunately with great effect) be misrepresented by Trump’s blatant demagoguery.
Trump has already signaled what I believe is the most likely theme of his re-election campaign when, at the end of his State of the Union speech, he essentially hung the banner of socialism on the Democrats. My fear is that leading spokespeople for the party are thus far playing into his hands in ways that his instinctive lizard brain will twist into depicting the Democrats as not just promoting socialism but in so doing, mounting a frontal attack on America itself. And the ill-advised pronouncements coming from the young, the restless and unfortunately overwrought Democrats, will only add fuel to Trump’s fascist rhetoric.
While the script below may only be a fictional approximation of how Trump would deliver this, nevertheless imagine him doing so – tossing toxic red meat to his minions, the key phrases replayed and replayed and replayed by Fox News, and CNN, and repackaged by the Russians. Then imagine the predictable and strategically self-defeating outrage from the Democrats, falling into the political trap of venting against Trump personally while re-generating everything he says that they should not want repeated. Finally, imagine the unimaginable — another four years of President Donald Trump, another gift to the Donald from the Democrats.
TRUMP: You know why we’re going to win this election? Because we know what this election is really about. Now I know you’re going to vote for me, right? I know you’ve got my back no matter how much my enemies try to stop me with their fake news and phony investigations. But here’s what this election is really about and it’s a really big deal: it’s a choice between freedom and socialism. When you vote for Trump, you vote for freedom. When you vote for a Democrat, you vote for socialism. Just listen to them. They actually call themselves “democratic socialists.” Well, I’ve got news for them. We’re going to win and win big. Because we stand for freedom and honest-to-God Americans are never going to give away our freedom to the socialists.
See, that’s what happens when the socialists take over. They take away your freedom. You don’t decide how to run your life. They do. Well, it’s not going to happen. I can tell you that. As long as I’m president, America stands for freedom, not socialism. I will never, never turn this land we love over to the socialists — socialists who have taken over the Democrats; socialists who want to take over our lives. I will never, never let the socialists take away our freedom.
That’s what it’s all about, folks — freedom, not socialism. Socialists want to take over everyone’s medical care. That’s not freedom. Socialists want to choose which companies stay in business and which should get broken up. That’s not freedom. Socialists want to tell you how to heat your home, what car you can drive, whom you can sell your house to, what school your kids can go to. They even want to tell you what you can eat. That’s not freedom. And get this: socialists want to guarantee an income to people even if they don’t work for it. Are they kidding? What do we say to that? We say we stand for freedom, not socialism. What do we tell them we want? Freedom, not socialism. Socialists say the more money you earn, the less of it you should keep. That’s no joke. That’s socialism. What do we say to that? Freedom, not socialism.
Okay, so who are these socialists? They’re running against me for president. Like Crazy Uncle Bernie. He sounds like something right out of Marx and Lenin. If you’ve built a business or worked your way up the ladder, if you’ve been a success and made some money, he’s coming for it. Because that’s how he wants to make everything free. The government keeps raising taxes so they can run everything. It’ll have to be free because you won’t have anything left to pay for it. I’ll tell you this: when you believe in freedom, you don’t raise taxes. You do what I did. You give everyone a tax cut. So everyone can use more of their money the way they want to, instead of giving it to Washington to spend on someone else. Look what happened when I cut taxes. We have the greatest economy ever in America and the best in the world. Crazy Uncle Bernie will put us in the poor house.
Then there’s Pocahontas. Remember how she tried passing herself off as an American Indian? Okay, maybe she’s one-tenth-of-one-percent Indian. But on top of that, she’s a hundred percent un-American. She wants to break up American companies. She wants to regulate the whole American financial system. She wants to destroy American free enterprise. What I can’t figure out is why she’s always so angry. Why is she so mad at America? I’ve led our country to the greatest economy in the history of the world with the lowest unemployment ever and Pocahontas and Crazy Uncle Bernie want to tear our economy down.
And don’t forget AOC. You know what AOC stands for? Against Our Capitalism. Have you heard her? She hates our free markets so much, she actually said Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan were capitalist tools who screwed the American middle class. Can you believe that? Have you heard about her crazy “Green New Deal”? I hear “green” and I think maybe it’s plan for how people can make more money. No way. It’s just the opposite. It’s a socialist plan for taking more of your money and spending it on their socialist programs. And the Democrats are falling all over themselves to sign on. It’s the same kind of deal the people in Venezuela got from their socialists — they had a great economy and now they live in total poverty. That’s socialism for you. Is that what we want? I don’t think so.
But I want to be fair. So I admit that maybe not all Democrats are socialists. Most of them are just liberals. But maybe I’m being too fair. Because you know what a liberal is? A liberal is someone who really loves socialism but won’t admit it. Just like the socialists, liberals think they know what’s good for you better than you do. Liberals want more laws and more regulations for everything. They want laws about what kind of light bulbs you can use. They even want to tell you how often you should take a shower or do your laundry and how hot your hot water should be. How crazy is that? Liberals are control freaks. And taking over everything, especially our economy, is what the liberals want. They say they’re not socialists but they really are, because that’s what the socialists want.. They hate our great economy. Because they can’t control it. But guess what? They’re not going to. I’m never going to let it happen. And you can take that to the bank.
But I’m still trying to be fair, so I’ll tell you I think it’s a good thing for America that the Democrats got two Muslim women elected to Congress. That’s diversity, right? And nobody knows more about diversity than me. But I’ll tell you, these two are a disgrace to the diversity the Democrats love so much. There’s Big-Mouth Rashida who yells “racism” at least once a day and “impeachment” twice a day. And she’s called me such a disgusting name that Nancy should wash her mouth out with soap. And what about Anti-Israel Ilhan who shills for Palestinian terrorists and insults American Jews? She says they bribe Congress to support Israel and they’re not loyal to our country. What’s that sound like to you? Sounds like anti-Semitism to me, I can tell you that.
And you know what’s left of the Democrats after you go through their card-carrying socialists, their tired old liberals and their nutty newbies? The only ones left are those weak, Washington has-beens like Bill and Hillary and Chuck and Nancy and Oh-for-Joe — you know, the guy who’s already gone oh-for-two running for president and who’s up there striking out again. Those are the Washington washouts who couldn’t beat me in 2016. The only thing these failing Democrats care about is attacking me. And now everyone knows for sure what I’ve been saying all along — that accusing me of all that collusion crap was a hoax and a witch hunt and nothing but a pathetic excuse for why I beat them.
Well, here’s the bottom line. They’re not fooling anyone. No matter how many ways they try to overthrow the 2016 election, the Democrats didn’t beat me then, they didn’t beat me with their phony collusion stories and they won’t beat me in 2020. Because you know what’s the worst thing about them? It’s not that they spend their time and your money attacking me. That’s disgraceful enough. The worst thing about the Democrats is that they want to tell you how to live. And what’s the word for that? Socialism. Damn right. That’s what socialism is — the government telling you what you have to do and what you can’t do. It’s the government, taking your money and running your life. Well I’ve got news for them. You can’t sell socialism to people who love freedom. And that’s what Americans have always stood for — freedom, not socialism. From the first Americans who fought to give us freedom, to the Americans who fought for freedom in two world wars, to the Americans who fought the communists in Asia, to every freedom-loving American today, Americans have always fought for our freedom. And now we’ll do it again. We will never let the socialists win.
Last time, I told you we have to make America great again. Do you know how we’re going to keep America great? America’s going to stay with President Trump for one big reason. It says it right here on our new cap — freedom, not socialism.
Okay, maybe I’m becoming paranoid and as delusional as Trump. Maybe my worries are only what happens when an old man spends too much time worrying.
Maybe. But under the heading of never letting your opponent define you, it wouldn’t hurt for the Democratic Party leadership (whoever that might be) to recognize that “socialism” is their gift to Trump that will just keep on giving unless they take steps to blunt this attack before they have to literally defend against it. Because if it reaches that point, I’m afraid it’s over.
But that’s another (and far more difficult) discussion.