Donald Trump is looking good in the latest national and battleground state polls. He’s not exactly poised for victory just yet, but he is undeniably within striking distance at the very least.
It appears to me that Hillary Clinton, fresh off a poor showing at the commander-in-chief forum, a divisive and ill-advised jab at Trump’s “deplorable” supporters, and a scary “health episode” that’s sure to hurt her already weak image, is attempting to run out the clock until election day. The more she speaks and appears on camera, the more damage she seems to do to herself. So staying out of the spotlight for health and PR recovery is a wise political strategy the way I see it.
Not that I want to see Hillary Clinton win, but if I were her political advisor, I would offer a few suggestions to help her secure the nomination.
The first and most powerful move I’d advise Clinton to make is to wave the white flag on gun control. Barack Obama’s consistent pursuit of so-called common sense gun control has resulted in record-breaking annual gun sales nearly every year of his time in office. Obama is selling over 46,000 guns per day. This suggests that the American people (or at least a substantial portion of them) are terrified of our government and its perceived Second-Amendment-violating intentions (not to mention a perceived increase in the threat of Islamic terrorism). Donald Trump has taken advantage of this concern by consistently saying Hillary Clinton would seek to abolish the Second Amendment altogether if elected president, his “Second Amendment people” comments being the paradigm example.
To fight back against Trump and to attempt to reconcile with those Americans that fear her, Clinton should come out and say the following:
“While it is my personal view that common sense gun laws would reduce gun violence in our country, I admit that it is no guarantee. At the same time, I realize the value of self-defense and independence that lies within so many Americans’ hearts and souls, and I understand that our Constitution protects the rights of these and all citizens to keep and bear arms. I do not want to cause distress for these patriotic Americans, and I want them to take part in making America stronger, safer, and more prosperous for all of us and our posterity. Because of this, I swear, that if I am elected president of the United States of America, I will not pursue gun control legislation of any kind. My ambitions on gun control are not in line with the will of too many Americans, and I promise you that your firearms will remain yours. My time as president will instead be spent embarking on endeavors to assist hard-working Americans through these tough economic times and keeping America safe.”
It is likely the case that most gun owning Americans would laugh at this olive branch in disbelief. But I bet many would take her word for it, and even more would grow less hostile towards Clinton in general. Overall, this would release much of the tension boiling within big-government-hating Americans, and would be a fine step towards uniting the country on the whole.
Besides, if Obama is unable to get any gun legislation passed, what makes Hillary think she can? Effectively, all Clinton would be doing is quitting a losing battle before it even begins.
Next, I would recommend the former first lady backtrack on her plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 nationwide. This could draw in some Conservatives, Libertarians, and other free marketeers who are currently being forced to vote for Trump as the only semi-Capitalist candidate.
When the Democratic debates started last year, Clinton was proposing a minimum wage hike to $10 per hour while competitor Bernie Sanders was outbidding her at $15. Due to the raucous, idealistic following of Sanders, Clinton had no choice but to meet him another leap left down the line. She promptly made a $15 minimum wage a key component of her platform.
By returning to a $10 an hour proposal, Clinton could soothe the fretting of small business owners unable to meet the new requirements and could make her seem more reasonable to laissez-faire folks who are turned off by Trump.
And as far as a $10 minimum wage goes, while it would certainly hurt the poor and unskilled in terms of finding work, so few Americans work for under $10 an hour that I imagine the overall economic effect would be minimal.
Lastly, Clinton should make a statement condemning political correctness on campus during her first debate with Trump. Clinton can show the world, and especially young Progressives and Feminists being taught that feelings are as important as facts, that she can go toe-to-toe with the brashest man in America without getting offended by his bluntness and bravado. She can simultaneously express her contention with Trump’s policies and views while explicitly communicating that these opinions must be heard in all their glory and debated rationally in order for America to advance politically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Because I am sure that Hillary Clinton knows deep down in her heart the importance of the free exchange of ideas in a civilized society, this would be of great benefit to all who witness the debates. Clinton could also point out the difference between being politically incorrect or controversial and being ridiculous or rude. She could make herself seem more thick-skinned than Trump too.
I don’t anticipate Hillary Clinton following any of this advice. She’ll likely skirt the gun control issue as much as possible, appeal to working class Trump supporters with her fight for $15, and call Trump racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, and islamaphobic every chance she gets.
But a guy can dream, can’t he?