One of the many mantras about the 45th president of the United States, and one that proved to be correct in most regards, was “Let Trump Be Trump.” So it is with some trepidation that I now boldly suggest a few areas where Donald Trump might be well advised to, well, take some advice.
1) Let’s start with the obvious. Please, sir, don’t do interviews with NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, etc. I don’t know why it is necessary to make this plea when it should be obvious to you that none of the mainstream media outlets will play fair. But, of course, it is obvious to you. You do it for the sport, but from now on, please think of every interview with mainstream media as your third impeachment. They want to destroy you, and no matter how much fun you have jousting with them, it’s not worth the trouble.
2) Speaking of the mainstream media, don’t be baited by the Wall Street Journal and its editorial “Why Is Donald Trump Afraid to Debate?” You don’t debate because you are 50 points ahead in the polls and because you will not be treated fairly on the debate stage, not even by Fox News. Remember, it was Fox moderator Chris Wallace who protected Joe Biden when you brought up Hunter Biden’s laptop and the evidence of corruption. And the Wall Street Journal is just one more iteration of Rupert Murdoch, who would love you to appear at the Sept. 27 debate co-hosted by Fox Business. Good for ratings, bad for Trump. Here’s my advice: Don’t debate for the rest of the primary season, and don’t debate against President Biden either – unless it is a true debate without moderators to protect Biden from the facts and his doddering demeanor.
3) This is gonna be a tough one. We all know you were confronted by a once-in-a-generation crisis when the Chinese unleashed COVID-19 in 2019, and we know you and your administration put everything you had into fighting it, but mistakes were made. Don’t take credit for your COVID policies; instead, do a mea culpa and admit where you were wrong, especially regarding mask mandates and lockdowns. The Operation Warp Speed project to create a vaccine in record time seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect, it gave Big Pharma permission to push vaccines on the market that weren’t sufficiently tested. Letting Dr. Anthony Fauci be the point man for your COVID policy was a mistake. Every Republican already knows it, so just lash him to the mast of your campaign and full speed ahead.
4) Name as your vice presidential running mate a fighter like yourself. You don’t need an obvious ally like Kari Lake or Matt Gaetz, but rather someone who will expand your base, not consolidate it. Your choice needs to be either a youthful minority or a woman in order to demonstrate to independents that Republicans are inclusive. That said, don’t let yourself be wooed by candidates whose only qualification is that they are a woman or minority. We’ve seen how that plays out in the current administration.
Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota might have been a perfect fit until she was hit with accusations of an extramarital affair. Vetting will eliminate others who seem like a good match on the surface. The top candidates right now are three members of the House of Representatives. Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina has distinguished herself as a fighter who is well-armed with facts but who has also proven she’s not a yes-man by her criticism of your behavior before and after Jan. 6. Rep. Elise Stefanik first rose to national awareness when she became one of your best defenders against the phony first impeachment, and as a moderate New York Republican she has the potential to unlock swing votes across the Northeast, including in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. My personal favorite is Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who is charismatic, charming, and unyielding in his defense of America First principles. He is the face of the 21st-century Republican Party. With him on board, I don’t think you can lose.
5) Here’s another mea culpa, and one that can make ordinary Americans respect you more. In your first term, you allowed Congress to increase the national debt by $7.8 trillion, partly due to your policies but mostly because leftists drained the economy with COVID-related largesse. Admit that you learned your lesson and won’t sign spending bills that increase the national debt. At minimum, pledge to work with Congress to hold spending at current levels for your entire four-year term. The $33 trillion national debt should be a sufficient explanation as to why this is necessary. If more rationale is needed, remind your fellow Americans that the majority of new spending will go toward radical leftist proposals no matter who runs Congress.
6) I’m not sure why I have to bring this up, but it’s a bad look to be stingy with your big bankroll when people who depend on you need your support. So for goodness’ sake, sir, help pay the legal bills for all your fellow political prisoners who have been indicted by malign prosecutors Jack Smith and Fani Willis. None of them would be under indictment had they not been doing everything they could to see you returned to the White House. They are willing to risk jail to fight for you; don’t make them risk bankruptcy, too. It is important that the American public knows they can count on you to be loyal to those who support you. For a billionaire like yourself, the cost will be nominal, and the goodwill you earn will be phenomenal.
7) Do whatever is necessary to convince Melania to join you at campaign rallies or smaller events going forward, at least once a month. As you said recently, she is your secret weapon – and not only is she smart, but she is way more camera-ready than you.
8) When it comes to issues, keep talking about the debt crisis, the trans attack on women, Joe Biden’s corruption and the administrative state, but most of all, keep reminding everyone that you were right about illegal immigration years before everyone else. These three related issues should be the centerpiece of your platform all the way through November: (a) End illegal immigration by whatever means necessary as soon as you are sworn in; (b) Pledge to fight the drug and sex trafficking cartels in Mexico, with American troops if needed; (c) Begin to deport the illegal immigrants who are already here. What we are seeing in New York City is just the beginning of the rebellion against the Democratic policy of inviting millions of foreigners into our country to take advantage of our schools, welfare, and medical system, and to take jobs from our own citizens. Never waver, and you will win.
9) Please take your campaign into the inner city. To quote the Grateful Dead, “Chicago, New York, Detroit, it’s all on the same street.” And that street leads to the White House. We must not surrender urban America to the Communists and progressives who have run those cities into the ground for decades. Black America and Hispanic America, especially the young men, have woken up to the corrupt system that has abandoned them, and they are ready to hear your message. Whether you rent out the Apollo Theater in Harlem or you visit a housing project in the Bronx and hear the pleas of mothers and their sons for a better life, you can bring hope to the hopeless and create a new Republican coalition that can govern for decades. Call it the “New New Deal.”
10) Keep doing what you’ve been doing. There is a reason why you are 50 points ahead of the primary field in most key states. People know you are a fighter and will work to dismantle the administrative state that has put Washington, D.C., in a stranglehold. We also believe that without you returning to power, our American experiment in republican government will end explosively. That’s not a cult of personality, but rather a recognition that you alone possess the willpower and the fortitude, in William Buckley’s words, to stand “athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
I hope that these modest suggestions will be met with the same respect with which they are tendered. Perhaps they will not be heard at all, but if they are, President Trump, please know in your heart that the forgotten men and women have not forgotten you. We hold you in our prayers. We thank God for your courage, and we can’t wait for you to be restored to the White House. America first and forever.
Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont., is a columnist for RealClearPolitics. His newest book, “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends,” is available from his Amazon author page. Visit him at HeartlandDiaryUSA.com or follow him on Facebook @HeartlandDiaryUSA or on Twitter or Gettr @HeartlandDiary.