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Guest Post by James Bacon
Ever since President Trump announced his 2024 campaign, the mainstream media silence has been deafening — in stark contrast to the media frenzy that exploded in the aftermath of President Trump’s now legendary ride down the escalator. The mainstream media blackout of President Trump (which includes Fox News to a large degree) is only one such vector of attack from an establishment that is increasingly desperate to neutralize President Trump and the historic America First political movement he created.
Despite such resistance, President Trump remains the clear front runner in the 2024 race. Most polls depict Trump solidly in the lead, with a few outliers that seem to be politically motivated at best. The more has-been losers like Nikki Haley enter the race, the more Trump benefits from a split non-Trump vote. Furthermore, when it comes to substance, Trump has distinguished his run so-far with some of the most sophisticated and important policy statements from any politician in recent memory — take a look, for instance, at his recent statement on Big Tech censorship.
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President Trump is smart enough to know that the race will only get tougher as corrupt donors and special interests continue conspire against him, and as Florida Governor DeSantis contemplates entering the race. With the momentum of his front-runner status and adoration from a solidly loyal base, Trump needs to kick his 2024 campaign into overdrive to remove all doubt as to his status in 2024.
Here are 10 things President Trump could do to lap his competitors and ensure total victory just as the race is getting started:
1. Reinvent the Issues Again
Every issue has a certain lifespan within which people care about it. You can only talk about the border crisis so many times before the public loses interest. But there are usually a few issues lurking below the surface that would fire people up if brought to the forefront. Trump did this in 2016 when he brought illegal immigration into the conversation. But since then, conservatives have struggled to come up with winning issues on their own. The content has become stale, and we need Trump to reinvent the issues again. Here are a few of the issues with the most potential:
End Homelessness, Clean Up the Streets
Homelessness is out of control and Americans (including Democrats) are boiling over with anger at their leaders for doing nothing about it. Sympathy for homeless people has simply run out. They’re assaulting people on the streets, stealing from businesses, destroying public spaces, and doing drugs in plain sight. And it’s not just an issue for the big cities. Homelessness has gone up in nearly every city in America, including small cities in middle America. As an issue, it has been bubbling up since 2020, and will be ripe just in time for the 2024 cycle. Trump should bring this issue to the forefront with a bold proposal like a nationwide project to clean up the streets. He should call for forcibly clearing out all encampments in the United States, placing the homeless in mental health facilities or drug rehabilitation centers, and locking up those who don’t comply. Social services have been tried, and all they do is further incentivize homelessness. Trump has an opportunity to be the first politician to propose a serious solution.
End Affirmative Action and Diversity Hiring
According to a recent analysis by Richard Hanania, affirmative action is the most unpopular position the Democrats support. Every ballot initiative for affirmative action repeatedly fails, even in the most liberal states like California. And yet, a small group of radicals have imposed diversity standards on every aspect of American life, transforming America from a merit-based society, to a standard-less society. Most Americans oppose hiring on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender, but Republicans never make the left defend this radical stance. As a businessman, Trump is the perfect messenger for the return to a merit-based society. He should propose a war on all affirmative action-based hiring in the United States using all the legal means at his disposal. Critical Race Theory is a minor issue in comparison. If Trump does this, DeSantis will be left in the dust.
Withdraw From NATO
Republicans are increasingly against sending aid to Ukraine, and the war is likely to drag on for much longer. Trump needs to outflank DeSantis now by calling for a full withdrawal from NATO in order to prevent something like the Ukraine situation, and the near World War III it caused, from ever happening again. DeSantis won’t be able to follow him to this position because he depends on the foreign policy establishment too much for his support. This is also an opportunity for Trump to win over some Democrats and Independents who are anti-war.
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Pornography addiction is more prominent in young men than drug addiction. It is the main contributor to the current lack of masculinity in America and has destroyed young men’s confidence, motivation, and ability to form relationships with women. It is becoming even more prolific with the advent of sites like OnlyFans which entice women into selling their bodies online. Senator Mike Lee has introduced a bill that would ban porn, and several Congressmen, led by Rep. Jim Banks, have called for prosecuting porn under current obscenity laws, but nobody has brought this issue into the mainstream. Trump is the perfect messenger for this issue because he can’t be painted as a prude. He should call for banning OnlyFans, at a minimum. He should also call for banning pornography on Twitter. This is a new issue that Trump can use to bolster his support from evangelicals.
2. Stop Attacking DeSantis On Covid
One of Sun Tzu’s principles in The Art of War is “Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness”. Covid is where DeSantis is strongest, and attacking him on it plays right into his hands. Trump’s associations with Dr. Fauci and the Covid vaccine are hurting him with his base. He should be distracting away from Covid and shifting the race to other issues. All conservatives agree that DeSantis was great on Covid. It’s what made him a national figure. Trump’s attacks on his competitors in 2016 were so effective because they always rang true. This one doesn’t. In fact, unless and until DeSantis officially throws his hat in the ring, it would be better to avoid attacks entirely.
3. Get Off the Teleprompter. One of the best things about Trump is his spontaneity. In 2016, you really didn’t know what he was going to say every time he opened his mouth. The result was a nonstop media frenzy that enthralled Americans. In the last few years, Trump has become more predictable, opting for the same scripted speeches and the same repeated answers to questions. There’s no “McCain wasn’t a war hero” comment coming anytime soon. Trump is at his best when he’s speaking from the heart and letting his true genius come out. At his first campaign stop in New Hampshire this cycle, Trump didn’t use the teleprompter, and his speech was much more engaging. Trump should go off the prompter more often and become the center of attention again.
In short, if advisors are telling you to be “more presidential,” Mr. President, what they mean is rely less on the supernatural political institincts and charisma that have made you the most transformational figure in recent political history. Don’t listen to them!
4. Get Back on Twitter
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was a monumental victory against the censorship regime. His reversal of Trump’s ban was an even bigger victory. It would be a tragedy to let Truth Social get in the way of history. Twitter is still an important part of the public square, and there’s no better tweeter than Donald Trump. Trump’s triumphant return would break him out of the right-wing echo chamber that is holding him back.
5. Rallies AND Retail
In 2016, the crowds at Trump’s rallies consisted mostly of local working-class people. Now, it’s the same traveling band of MAGA activists who follow him to every rally. This creates the illusion that Trump is reaching more people than he really is. Trump should focus less on rallies and focus more on interacting with people who wouldn’t otherwise see him. Small events like roundtables with local business owners and unannounced visits to local spots are perfect for this. His campaign stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina were a great start. Seeing Trump stop in an ice cream shop was a reminder of how good he is with people. No Republican can match Trump’s star power. He is a better retail politician than any of his opponents and it would be a shame if that advantage wasn’t exercised.
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6. Engage the Liberal Media Again
In 2016, Trump was on the mainstream cable shows every day doing battle with his fiercest critics, and conservatives idolized him for it. This is largely the reason for the mainstream media blackout against Trump. To reach the millions of moderates disaffected with the Democrats’ woke agenda, Trump must nevertheless find ways to engage the liberal media again. This will also remind Republican voters why they fell in love with him in 2016. The media will be unfair to Trump as they have always been, but he needs to accept that and press forward, knowing that if you’re debating them, you’re winning. The best first step toward this end is to rejoin twitter!
7. Make the Enemy Bigger Than Joe Biden
The Republicans’ biggest mistake in 2022 was making the election about Joe Biden. Biden is a frail old man who doesn’t inspire hatred. People don’t blame him for the lackluster state of the country because the perception is that he’s not in charge. To beat Biden, Trump needs to make this election about defeating the entire corrupt system. He should dismiss Biden as a pawn of the people who are really in charge. There’s nobody the ruling class fears more than Donald Trump because they rightly estimate that he is the greatest threat to their control. Trump needs to emphasize this.
8. No Mercy
In his recent New Hampshire speech, Trump acknowledged that he had to rely on the RINOs during his presidency because he was new to Washington. He cleverly framed this as a strength by saying he now knows who he can trust, so he can hit the ground running in 2025. Trump also said if there was one thing he would’ve done differently, it would’ve been sending the Feds in to crush the George Floyd riots. This is exactly what Trump needs to do in order to blunt the attacks that will come from DeSantis. In addition to hitting Trump on the George Floyd riots and his personnel choices, DeSantis will hit him on the vaccine, Dr. Fauci, and Criminal Justice Reform. Trump can counter by pointing out that he’s gained valuable experience from these mistakes, whereas DeSantis will have a much steeper learning curve.
9. No Quarter for Subverters
Contrary to popular belief, Trump is very forgiving. In 2016, the Republican establishment opposed him with everything they had. When Trump won, instead of holding a grudge, he let them back in his good graces. When people show their true nature, listen to them. Trump must make it clear that while there is room for constructive dialogue, there is no room for disloyalty and subversion. Those who subvert his agenda are defrauding the American people, and have no place in a future Trump Administration. Period.
10. Go Further Than DeSantis Is Willing to Go
In the 2016 Republican Primary, Trump called illegal immigrants rapists and proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States. He was willing to take more heat than his primary opponents in order to win over the Republican base. In the 2024 Republican primary, Trump needs to use his extraordinarily high heat tolerance to his advantage again: Find the issues that are popular but politically off-limits, and go all in on them. DeSantis won’t be able to follow Trump because he can’t afford to lose his establishment support.
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James Bacon began working for President Trump in 2015 as an intern in Trump Tower. He then served as a Special Assistant to President Trump in the White House and Director of Operations for Presidential Personnel. Recently, he was Peter Thiel’s principal political advisor for the 2022 midterms
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