Election 2020

An Open Letter to Donald Trump From a Loyal Supporter

An Open Letter to Donald Trump From a Loyal Supporter
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Dear Donald:

They’re saying you had a bad week. The commentariat from all sectors is betting the Armageddon card on your campaign. Out here in the hinterlands, it’s hard to know whom to believe anymore, Paul Manafort or Glenn Beck. What we do know is that none of what happened after the DNC ended and the campaign entered its final days and hours is new. We knew the mainstream media was going to hit you with what the Nazis called Tottestossen, “total destruction.” And we knew Hillary Clinton was going to get a convention bounce.

What your more thoughtful supporters could not have foreseen is the absence thus far of a hoped-for “presidential ” pivot. To be clear, we don’t want you to be presidential in the traditional sense. We want you to create a Trump brand of presidential, and in my opinion, if you don’t mind my saying, that hasn’t happened.

Nobody is throwing in the towel. You were rough, ready, and unbeatable in the primaries; it’s hard to argue with success. Every time the die seems cast for your demise, some new corruption charge surfaces about the opposition, or a horrific terror attack resets us back to what we heard in your rhetoric and liked in the first place.

We’ve heard from the punditry, the operatives and surrogates, from those who remain steadfast in support, those who clutch at a wavering faith, and a growing diaspora of condemnation. Perhaps it’s time to ask what your blue-collar buddies think. I think it’s fair to say that many of them wish you’d do some things different. Here are a few thoughts to put in the hopper.

For solid conservatives who want the best for their country, there is no real Hollywood connection. They made fun of your celebrity guest, Scott Baio, “Chachi,” but know this: Your most devoted worker bees don’t give a tinker’s damn about the appearance of celebrities. The Democrats could reanimate Elvis for the DNC, and we’d watch, but if you were promising to do the things you say you will do, and Hillary was promising what she’s promising, Elvis and Hillary would be out of luck.

Don’t get me wrong: It was wonderful when Bret Michaels won “Celebrity Apprentice” while waging a tough battle with diabetes, and great when Dee Snider broke his finger during your Medieval Times task. Everybody has their favorite celebrities, but don’t sweat the lack of endorsements.It won’t make a difference as to our electoral decision. Frankly, speaking personally, in terms of guest speakers at the RNC, your children were all I needed to see.

A very large number of your core supporters don’t care whether you ever tweet again. The tweeting perplexes us, like the guy on the work crew who likes jazz. We would never go tit-for-tat with a woman, celebrity or otherwise, on Twitter. Thank God Phyllis Diller has passed. When you’re up late tweeting, we’ve either sacked out or are watching reruns of “Ice Road Truckers.” And then we have to hear about it in the morning.

Your no-nonsense press conferences after the primary wins were a stroke of genius. In my very respectful opinion, that’s the kind of Trump we want to hear from.

We want to hear from the Trump who gave the acceptance speech at the RNC. The teleprompter is your friend now, with the primaries notched on your gun belt. We still believe, we older white males, that you can create your own brand of presidential, something entirely new, and that you are eminently electable.

You’re the rock star, and in most rooms you’re playing our song. In other rooms, to carry the metaphor, the polemical acoustics are off. Feedback from the larger culture creates a whirlwind that obscures your greatest hits. Grievances about ungrateful roadies and disputes about the percentage of the house have made their way to the big stage.

There’s talk of interventions, withdrawals, suicide.

This I can tell you: if this was all a branding exercise, or a conspiratorial way to get Hillary elected, or if now that you see you could win and you’re getting cold feet, you can count me and a lot of other guys out when “Celebrity Apprentice” returns to NBC.



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