Wednesday, September 16, 2015
You have run a near-flawless campaign.
At every turn, your originality and unpredictability have outsmarted the most highly touted minds in the political world today. Every time they count you out, you gain 10 more points in the polls. It is, as you yourself might say, a-MAAAAAAAAZ-ing.
You have done all of this using a refreshingly simple, straight-forward strategy. You know what you want to say, you say it plainly and forcefully and then you stick with it.
Such commitment, of course, is heresy in this sleazy world of liars where nobody says anything and if they ever slip up and accidentally speak forthrightly, the next step is to retract the statement. Then they check into rehab and blame it on booze or the pills.
Even in the cases where you have said things inartfully or things you simply should not have said, you had the decency to stick with them and move on without apology. In this era of constant-apology porn, that is refreshing.
Your sense of where voters stand on the most important issues of the day is without peer. Your quick analysis of illegal immigration is like a life raft for a country quickly losing all last hopes.
One of my favorite political instincts of yours is your primal ability to sense weakness in your enemy and then strike fast with absolute precision and savage ferocity.
If Americans watch NASCAR for the fiery crashes, we now watch political debates for the Donald Trump take-downs of politicians. We love them because they articulate the deep-felt thoughts and frustrations of millions.
Which brings me to the one thing you must change about your campaign:
STOP ATTACKING CARLY FIORINA AND BEN CARSON!
I get it. It’s not in your DNA, especially when someone casts an unwarranted and nasty attack your way first. But you must learn to not take their bait. Leave them alone.
The biggest reason you need to quit attacking Mrs. Fiorina and Mr. Carson is simple. You need their supporters. The reason both of them have zoomed up in the polls is because voters are tired of the politicians. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Fiorina are part of the emerging school of non-politicians, founded of course by one Donald Trump. It is no coincidence that the three most impressive candidates thus far have all come from other professions.
When their campaigns flounder, you want their supporters to join you.
You cannot afford to have them stay home.
There are other reasons, too.
With Mrs. Fiorina, think ahead to the general election. Not only do you need her supporters, you need her vigorous support. Simply put, she is the best attacker of Hillary Rodham Clinton who has ever existed in either party.
Carly does to Hillary what you do to Jeb Bush! And whether Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination or not, she will need to be roundly and mercilessly attacked throughout the general election.
With Ben Carson, you must remember that he is quite possibly the finest, most decent person to seek the presidency in memory. He is an extraordinarily accomplished and admired physician — a healer of the sick in a society that reveres those few among us with such gifts. Belittling those real-world accomplishments is beneath you.
But Mr. Carson is a soft and sweet talker. He is not commander in chief material. He does not project himself in the large way that a good president needs to.
Ben Carson does not belong in the White House. He belongs on the Supreme Court and you should put him there.
Of course, I understand that Mr. Carson attacked your faith. It was uncharacteristic of him. But your best response would have been:
“I was shocked Mr. Carson said such a thing. He has always struck me as a good Christian man and he knows better than to judge or question the faith of other Christians. I am sure that upon reflection Mr. Carson regrets his comments.”
It would be devastating, while also allowing you to keep your steady stream of vitriol on the true villains around here.
Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter via @charleshurt.
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