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Citizens for Trump─ the citizens movement to elect Donald Trump as President

10/9/2016 Anant Goel

At the second debate and through the course of the past year, Donald Trump has positioned himself as the flag bearer for people who inhabit what they believe is a country within a country:

“… People who think that Clinton should be in prison and that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US, who are persuaded that a flood of undocumented immigrants is overwhelming and corrupting American institutions, and that everything is, in general, just a “disaster,” as Trump said many times during the debate.

This other country isn’t big enough to elect Trump. But it’s plenty big enough to sustain the final act of his career. That’s why the second debate seemed less like an audition for office and more like a transition to his new role─ the media star as provocateur and independent prosecutor of the rigged and totally corrupt system.

Hillary Clinton may win this battle, but will she win the war?

Clinton’s campaign slogan, “Stronger Together,” is meant as a direct contrast to Trump’s broad brush divisiveness and race-baiting. And it’s a welcome tonic, as far as it goes. The problem is that it doesn’t go very far… and is losing its bite in view of Trump aggressively defining his bolder national security, immigration, economic, and foreign policies.  

Mr. Trump started with big-picture critique that was so broad that it touched on truth at certain points. For one example, it touches on truth when he talks about Clinton’s disturbing hawkishness and her servility to the corporations and wealthy donors who have fueled her campaign. At the debate, Trump seemed his most persuasive when he asked Clinton why she didn’t use some of the fortune she’s accumulated to self-fund her campaign—and thus avoid the corruption inherent in taking money from donors. Trump must recognize that there is potential liability in his policies [like more corporate tax breaks and less regulation] as well and would only empower corporations and make the problems worse.

One of Clinton’s great liabilities is that she offers policies—some, if not enough—that are designed to address a big-picture problem that she seems incapable of framing with any conviction or, more often, even putting into words. It’s the very problem her opponent in the primary has spent most of his time talking about: the absurd, immoral level of inequality in the United States.

Clinton seems to believe it’s sufficient to talk about how this or that policy will help the working and middle classes. But to win the war, people need to know what they’re fighting against and why it’s urgent for them to be engaged.

It’s only now Trump has started to relentlessly critique the rigged economy and calling for a political revolution. The Clinton strategy has always been to aim for incremental reform, and her vision seems to have won out for now. But even incremental reforms won’t happen without a broader, bolder critique from the likes of Trump about why it’s necessary.

It’s a challenge for Mr. Trump going into the final debate—and for the next few weeks and months after the election in November ─ regardless of who wins the presidential election, is to keep waving the rhetorical “Stars and Bars,” and rallying his “Citizens for Trump” troops behind their shared cause. Mr. Trump is gearing up for a long war.  Hillary Clinton would do well to do the same. However, what’s at stake isn’t the election, but what the next POTUS is able to do with the power of the presidential office. 

[Curated content based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]

 
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