How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Trump’s fundamental strategy - divide and conquer

The United States of America has increasingly become the Divided State of America under President Donald Trump. President Trump has expended almost no effort or political capital on healing our nation’s divisive wounds or finding common ground. Instead, he picks at the scabs on a daily basis with the hope that infections will spread and solidify his base.

On issue after issue we’re subjected to a 24/7 news cycle of obnoxious tweets, untruths and nasty name-calling designed to excite his base. There is a total unwillingness to compromise with Democrats for fear of alienating his base. The goal is not to compromise but rather to further ferment differences on important social issues, i.e., climate change, gun control, immigration, abortion, health care and gender equality. There is never an attempt to throw water on the fires of divisiveness. It is always more and more gasoline to keep the fires going.

A recent cover story in Time Magazine by Brian Bennett entitled “My Whole Life is a Bet.” Insider President Trump Gamble on an Untested Pre-Election Strategy” describes his unique re-election strategy as follows: “the key is making Trump’s instinct for America’s sore spots the engine of a political machine designed to inflame supporters. At its core, his campaign is a kind of a perpetual outrage machine. It uses algorithms—automated settings on Internet platforms like Google and Facebook—to place massive digital ad buys anytime Trump creates a firestorm. The cycle is simple: Trump says something controversial or offensive; that drives a surge of search interest in the topic; and that gives his campaign an opening to serve up online ads. The ads encourage supporters to text the campaign, take single-question campaign-generated polls, and buy Trump hats, yard signs, beer coolers and WITCH HUNT decals from the campaign online store, all of which rakes in voter contact data.”

According to Princeton University Presidential historian Julian Zeilers, it is a campaign strategy “build for the new partisan era… Candidates are always doing things to turn out their supporters. What has not been tested, at least in modern times, is a strategy in which all the rhetoric and all the policy are just tailored around the turnout crowd and there is no effort to go beyond it.” Unless something changes, and that is not likely to be the case, President Trump will attempt to get re-elected by playing to his base and continuing to dramatically alter American politics as we have come to know it.

Defeating President Trump will not be easy. It is very hard to defeat someone who will do anything to win. The President has and will continue to decimate many of the traditional norms of American politics – speaking ill of the dead; speaking negatively about elected officials while on foreign soil; defaming one of nation’s most acclaimed war heroes; speaking ill of the parents of a deceased American soldier; defaming members of your own cabinet, sitting judges and the FBI; and viciously attacking the press as an institution.

President Trump will say anything that will help him rile-up his base. There are no bounds including taking derogatory information on his opponents from our nation’s foreign enemies. Truthfulness is not a virtue that President Trump cares about. Lying and making misleading states is one of his most heavily utilized tactics. According to The Washington Post he has done it 9,014 times in the first 773 days of his term.

More and more I’m convinced that the way to beat President Trump is for Democrats to build a campaign around a few core issues that the vast majority of Americans agree need to be addressed. The following are the four issues I’d concentrate on:

  • Stagnant wages and loss of jobs
  • Escalating cost of college
  • Exorbitant health care costs
  • The role of money in politics

Issues 1-3 are “kitchen table” issues that matter to most Americans. The problem is you can’t deal with the “kitchen tables” issues until you deal with the role of money in our politics, whether that is nationally or right here in New Jersey. The system is rigged in favor of big money. Both parties cater to wealthy corporations and individuals who hire lobbyist to protect them and structure the system in their favor, e.g., tax laws and subsidies etc. The only way to truly drain the swamp and even the playing field is by passing a constitutional amendment that would put a $250 limit on campaign contributions candidates to candidate, all kinds of business and interest groups including unions.

Implementing such a constitutional amendment would mean that nobody could buy elections anymore in the United States or New Jersey. Such a constitutional amendment would end the nonsense that is currently going on with Governor Murphy, Senator Sweeney and power broker George Norcross.

Eliminating money as an entry barrier to politics, would, hopefully encourage many people who previously would not have entered the political fray to run for public office. It would also greatly reduce the role lobbyist play in aiding their clients and doing havoc to our democracy in the process. A candidate for the Presidency should make eliminating money in politics the centerpiece of their campaign.