The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    Hillary, You Need To Stop Attacking Trump

    Dear Hillary,
    In only a few days we'll finally know which of our nation's two candidates has won the presidency.  No secret that I'm rooting for you, and that I have no earthly use for Donald Trump, but I'm begging you to stop talking about him. Right now.

    We know what he is. We know how you feel about him. He's vile, he's an opportunist, he's so far from being a logical choice for a viable candidate we can't stop thinking, you and I and everyone in our camp, about how impossible, how improbable his rise to being this close to the presidency really is. We're shocked.  Okay, we're shocked.  But there it is, and the next million words about it and a million words after that won't change a thing.

    Stop obsessing over him.  Forget about him altogether. You need to spend the rest of  your valuable time convincing voters you feel their pain and, what's more, you've got pretty good ideas about how to heal.

    Hillary at Dartmouth - Dartmouth News

    We want to know exactly what you plan to do about trade, joblessness, poverty, health care, education, infrastructure, the military, the environment and everything else that impacts our daily lives. We need to feel comfortable with handing you the keys to the highest office in the land, and it's obvious a whole lot of us are not there yet. 

    We are a country so afraid, so on edge, so wary of our future, we've allowed a hate-filled, utterly ill-equipped demagogue to take over and build a ridiculously flawed case for his leadership.  The crowds his hateful taunting has been drawing for many long months should have sent shock-waves all over every single campaign throughout the land, both Democrat and Republican. He's pushing buttons you all can't seem to dismantle and it's working for him.

    I don't mean to pile on you. Lord knows you get that enough of that, but if you want to get those young people, those undecideds to vote for you, you'll have to give them reason to believe in you.  Right now, less than a week before the election, they still don't. They're beginning to think your repetitive attacks on Trump are a way of sidestepping the real issues. That can't be good.

    Do I need to bring up Bernie Sanders?  Do I need to remind you that he built a huge following by addressing real-world issues wholly abandoned by the Republicans and seemingly abandoned by our party, the Democrats? While I've always been your loyal supporter, I can't help but love Bernie's message.  Who wouldn't? It was, in a nutshell, "I care more about the have-nots than about the haves."  The undecideds need to believe that's your message, too. Bernie is now working to get you elected, but you'll remember that he was able to climb half way up the mountain by making his followers believe you weren't with them. It's your job to make them believe otherwise.

    Let's remember, too, that Donald Trump rose to astonishing prominence by demagoguing his followers into believing he was the only one who could ease them out of their misery--an existence forced on them by a corrupt, uncaring government of, by, and for the establishment.  (Not unlike Bernie's populist message, it should be noted.)

    So let's pretend Donald Trump is out of the picture.  Let's pretend your opponent is someone who knows something about politics  He or she is a Republican, a member of the same party that set out to ruin Barack Obama's--and the nation's--chances at any kind of social or economic success, simply because they couldn't stand the thought of watching our first black president get credit for a win.  These are the people working to take us down, and they'll go on working at it until we pull the rug out from under them.

    Your-opponent-who-is-not-Trump understands government and policy as well as you do, and can go head-to-head over what our future will look like under either regime. They know a little something about demagoguing themselves. You need to get your game on.  You need to push the Democratic platform, which, as you know, is stronger on equity, equality and opportunity for all.  You need to ask favors of every blue collar leader you know and get them to push our agenda--the one where we win and the other side loses and the country is the better for it.  You need to energize our young voters by giving them a reason to dream.

    We are a country of hard workers.  We need good paying jobs, we need good benefits, we need good retirement packages.  We need good, low-cost health care, we need education packages that emphasize learning and literacy. We need to get back to building a solid middle class. We need more of what we used to have.

    We can only get those things if you and the Dems win. If you want those things, too, then tell us.  For God's sake, tell us!  The script is there; we've written it before.  Now go out there and deliver it.  You only have a few more days.  You're wasting your time on Trump.  Leave him in the gutter. The country and its citizens are far more important.

    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices and Crooks & Liars)



    This was cathartic. I think your analysis is spot on. The next few days need to be spent highlighting a positive message. I think, barring another avalanche of negative media coverage, she will win, but her message needs to be more positive. Anyone on the fence is probably looking for an excuse to vote for Trump. She needs to give people a better vision. Very well written.

    Thank you, Danny.  I've been waiting for her to change her message to address the voters where they live but she seems fixated on Trump. As. . .aren't we all?  But it's her job to make a case for her presidency.  It's not enough to make a case against his.  I'm surprised her camp hasn't figured that out.  It's almost too late now.

    Ramona, I truly hope that Hillary, or at least her advisers read this.  You are right.  On so many levels.  Will this ever end?

    I sent a note about this very thing to Jennifer Granholm a couple of weeks ago and never heard back.

    Whatever works tactically (and I support your approach), I am absolutely sure that an election where the pivotal question is whether or not Donald Trump is a crazy person is a bad thing for America.

    There was a time during the campaign to go after Trump, but that should have been over long ago. I can't believe their team hasn't figured out yet why they're not appealing to so many undecided voters.  They're waiting to hear the message they can relate to. They want to hear that things will be better for them with the Dems.  Instead, they're spending money on ineffective attack ads against Trump and wasting many minutes during each speech to go after him.  Calling Howard Dean!

    Much of America has been trained to not trust Hillary, through decades of messaging. If she says the same thing as Bernie, she's calculated, insincere - Bernie's transparent, honest. Many Americans think her having a private email server is more of an affront to the Constitution than cheating your way out of taxes, having your followers punch people at rallies, buddying up with the new undemocratic oligarchic Russia, or singling out dark-skinned people to abuse. If nearly half the population think the country's going to hell in a handbasket despite rising jobs, expanded healthcare, a massive global decrease in war, and other major improvements, it's hard to see that talking about cat gifs and good works is going to effectively counter the negative messaging. Trump got trounced over 3 debates, but that was what, 2-3 weeks ago, and now the public's forgetting and reverting to form - no shame again for backing a monster.

    (As Nate Silver points out, 4/5ths of voters haven't changed their minds at all - so the main task remains getting like-minded voters to the polls, which Hillary seems to be excelling at through better organization. Whether the youth vote comes out due to fear or policy enchantment is an open question - there was quite a bit of Hillary fear that pushed them to Bernie in the first place. Perhaps we need *more* dragons.)

    Yeah, us folks who like Hillary are pumped when we hear her talk about policy and nice progressive things. But the Bernie fans back a year ago weren't - they dismissed it as more posturing and focused on any iota of controversy in every single Hillary success. She got mass approval from 90% of the nation's unions - and they flipped that to be her just sucking up to the leadership and abandoning the rank-and-file. She had more support among blacks - and they managed to flip that to her abandoning whites, to somehow not being inclusive and diverse.

    Compared to 8 years ago, or even maybe a year ago, Hillary has much more voiced internal dissension among her team now - a good thing - and much better message discipline and awareness. I'll trust her to do what she needs to do to carry it over the line. Go Cubbies, go Hillary.

    During the convention emails got twice as much attention as all of her policies.

    Eric Boehlert via Digby: "Not a single one of Clinton’s policy proposals accounted for even 1% of her convention-period coverage; collectively, her policy stands accounted for a mere 4% of it,” wrote Harvard professor Tom Patterson." 

    And that was the illuminated smackdown/speaking direct to the people phase of the elections.

    No wonder the GOP has gone back to form - they know what the press wants to hear.

    If she had stuck with her message regardless of who said what, it would be engrained in their brains by now. Bernie's message is essentially her message.  Even some of Donald's proclamations are essentially hers--or should be.  The Dems are the party of the people. She needs to speak to us, everything else aside.

    Trump is old news.  There isn't anything he can do that we wouldn't expect. To my mind it's a total waste of time and money at this stage to still be going after him.  The Clinton camp should have been figuring out what the young voters and the undecideds would need to hear in order to get them to her side.  That should have been their ultimate priority, with the rest--the attacks on Trump--taking a back seat to real issues. How does she convince those people she cares about their needs if she won't put them front and center?

    She seems to be doing fine, on average - quick Google:

    Hillary Clinton losing support to Donald Trump among millennials ...

      Hillary Clinton Gets Record Support With Millennials But Which Ones ... - Oct 18

      Hillary Clinton has reached a record high level of support with millennials, but it is not millennial women who are powering her surge.

      Donald Trump Has a Millennial Problem, and It Could Reshape American Politics - The Nation.‎ - 1 day ago

      Hillary the clear choice for African-American millennials - The Hill‎ - 2 days ago

      Millennials Finally Find Something to Love in Harder-Edged Hillary ... - Oct 25

      Hillary Clinton is matching Barack Obama with young voters - 2016/10/25

      Hillary Clinton's millennial surge has arrived - The Washington Post - Oct 26 - Her support rose from 49 percent to 59 percent, while Trump's went from 21 percent to 25 ...

      We were supposed to panic when Republican early voting numbers in Florida were high. We then learned that a significant chunk of Republicans were casting votes for Hillary. We are supposed to panic because black turnout is down. The fact that many Republican led states have changed early voting rules or are defying court orders by continuing to suppress black votes.

      North Carolina is currently being sued for voter suppression

      ​Hillary is on track to get the usual numbers of black voters in a Presidential election. She benefits from a coalition of white college educated voters, Latinos/Hipanics, Asians, and blacks. 

      Hillary continues to lead in most swing states.


      This might be a good way to do what you suggest, Ramona.



      Love it!  Thanks so much, Barefooted.  I hope they start showing this in Michigan.

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