Five smart ways Donald Trump could undercut Elizabeth Warren
As previously discussed, Elizabeth Warren's shrill, content-free attacks on Donald Trump mostly just help him. Since helping himself is all Trump cares about, don't expect him to do any more than he does already.
However, if Trump ever decides to put the USA first, here are five smart ways he could undercut Warren to her base and others.
- Raise the level of discourse. It's in the U.S.'s vital interest to have open, thorough debate about vital topics. Calling Warren names like "goofy" and "Pocahontas" lower the level of discourse and drive us even closer to full-on idiocracy. Let Warren concentrate on the childish name-calling.
- Don't repeat her smears. When Trump repeats smears by her or others, he causes some people to associate those smears with him and some might assume that the smears are true. Trump's opponents may just want him to deny smears (see the LBJ note here). Trump should have enough experience to know that he shouldn't repeat or call attention to libel (outside of court), but he keeps falling into the trap of repeating smears.
- Portray her as an out-of-touch elitist. Our elites are out of control and "trade for their own accounts": they don't put the national interest first (or second, or third...) Warren is a form of elite given the fact that she was a Harvard University professor and she's now a U.S. Senator. Point out the ways in which those like her have turned against many Americans and put their own interests first. This does not mean discussing personal issues about those like Warren, just that they're out of touch.
- Co-opt Warren's pro-consumer policies. She does have some good policies and, given that Trump isn't a standard-issue Republican, adopting and adapting some of those ideas would both undercut her to her base and make Trump more palatable to crossover Democrat voters. The danger of that is that Trump would lose some fiscal conservatives, but they've probably already decided not to vote for him. He might also get less support from the GOP and billionaire backers. (The pro-consumer policies are probably the real reason the GOP calls her names like "Fauxcahontas"). However, Trump could gain a lot of support that might make up for the downsides.
- Call out Warren's support for illegal immigration. Instead of childish things like calling her "Pocahontas", point out to her base that she supports immigration policies that not only undercut American workers but that keep some Americans out of the college that could get in to otherwise (see DREAM Act).
Throughout his campaign, Trump has had a choice between something that increases his popularity with his audience, and something that would increase his popularity and help the USA. Trump has consistently selected the first option, so don't look to him to do any of the above.