Hillary Clinton is now setting a campaign theme that should provide a golden opportunity for Republicans, if Republicans play their cards right.
“We don’t need to make America great. America has never stopped being great,” says Clinton.
But this doesn’t reflect how most Americans now feel. The percentage saying they are satisfied with how things are going in the country has averaged less than 30 percent since 2007, according to Gallup.
The victor this November will be the candidate who can crystallize for voters what is wrong in America and how to fix it.
That Clinton wants to start out pretending there aren’t big problems that have diverted our country from its exceptional potential means she can be defeated. But we need the right Republican to deliver this message.
Do I think Donald Trump, currently dominating the Republican field, can do this? No, I don’t.
There are few surprises left about Hillary Clinton. We already know about her misuse of classified information as secretary of state. We know that she lied about what happened in the sacking of the American diplomatic compound in Libya and the murder of our ambassador. And we know how this so-called feminist hung on to her pathologically promiscuous and unfaithful husband because she needed his political coattails.
But we are just now learning about Trump. Why has it taken so long to pull back the curtain to expose the wizard of scam? In any case, it is starting, and we are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve learned that the man who says he’ll build a wall to keep out Mexicans, and make Mexico pay for it, employs illegal workers on his projects. We know about the bait-and-switch scam that was Trump University, swindling tens of thousands from would-be students.
Should there be a Clinton-Trump race, it will be the first time, to my knowledge, that we’ll have a presidential campaign where one candidate, Republican Trump, made large campaign contributions in the past both to his opponent, Democrat Clinton, and to her party.
Perhaps it is the formidable intimidation power of Trump and his machine that has kept the press and his opponents at bay for so long.
Perhaps the liberal press intentionally has kept its powder dry, savoring the prospect of a Clinton-Trump face-off. The Clinton campaign’s research apparatus won’t hold back. One can only imagine the tsunami of dirt about Trump and his business dealings that will be unleashed once they get started.
But the most powerful damage will be done when Americans, who really do understand that America is a great country that has lost its way, learn how little Donald Trump cares about the values and principles that do make our country great and exceptional. We might start with his recent hesitation to condemn and dissociate from David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. Or his threat to sue journalists and others who disagree with him.
As we mourn the loss of the great conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, it looms large that Scalia was in the conservative minority opposition in the 5-4 Supreme Court 2005 decision on the case of Kelo v. City of New London. The court decided government can confiscate private property and turn it over to private developers.
Scalia said only two other Supreme Court decisions departed so wildly from the words of the Constitution: the Dred Scott decision, which declared African-Americans essentially sub-human and ineligible for American citizenship; and Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in all 50 states.
Yet Donald Trump said he agrees “100 percent” with the Kelo decision, aligning himself with the liberals on the Court and against Scalia.
Americans do want to make our country great again. But if Republicans don’t nominate a candidate who represents what that means, we may be looking at another left-wing Clinton White House.