Mike Needham ’04 on the rise of Trump:

So I think for the electorate right now, there are issues that they think about in their lives, and there’s issues that politicians in Washington actually govern on. People at home are worried about: Will I have a job in a couple of years? Why are my wages stagnant? How am I going to afford to pay my mortgage? Why has the price of ground beef gone from $2 a pound to $4 a pound? And people in Washington, D.C., move legislation to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, every year to go through and kind of do a Kabuki theater over tax extenders. We currently are in the midst of a fight as to whether or not you can call catfish that comes from Vietnam “catfish.” So there’s a disconnect between what people care about and what Washington, D.C., moves on, and that makes people upset. So that’s a problem that Washington, D.C., has with its voters and the Republican Party has with its voters.

I think you then have a mind-set problem where people feel like we are losing our country.

Exactly right. How might Trump (or Clinton?) capture that demographic, reach out to them in a way that might (might!) help to undo some of the destruction of the last few months/years? EphBlog recommends a new slogan/hashtag:


This is, obviously, a take off of #blacklivesmatter. Regardless of your views on the righteousness (or not) of the BLM argument, at least 75% of Americans would like to move beyond it, after the BLM-inspired tragedies of Dallas and Baton Rouge. The easiest way to do that is not with the neo-reactionary #whitelivesmatter or the traditional #bluelivesmatter but, instead, with a slogan that unites all of these while, at the same time, proving the (sadly) necessary other for people to unify against. The most natural such grouping, in the context of a US Presidential election, is Americans. Hence: #AmericanLivesMatter.

Although Trump is the most natural proponent of such a slogan, Hillary Clinton is due for a Sister Souljah moment and could (easily?) pivot to ALM from BLM at the Democratic Convention. Perhaps presidential speech writer Jon Lovett ’04 knows someone in the Hillary campaign?

Or perhaps #AmericansMatter would be better. Or #AmericaMatters. These shift the focus away from an implicit repudiation of the BLM movement while still using the key word americans/america. Readers should feel free to chime in! What slogan/hashtag is most likely to win the presidential election for the candidate who first embraces it?

Needham continues:

The Muslim ban is a kind of race-to-the-bottom solution to a real problem that it is insane to suggest letting in thousands of un-vetted Syrian refugees at this time, and that there’s a lack of a statesman-like policy proposal that either brings people together or, at the very least, makes sure every part of the party feels like it’s occasionally getting its due. And that creates anger, and I think Trump has found those policy issues that allow him to challenge.

Mostly right. The real issue is that 75% (?) of the American people think that the US should not allow further immigration from countries like Syria/Afghanistan/Somalia/etc. Call them crazy! Unfortunately, no Democratic candidate and no non-Trump Republican candidate supported that view. And that led us, sadly, to Trump. Why? Because #AmericanLivesMatter.

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