Musings —06.05.2017 11:09 AM—
Can Donald Trump be saved?
Most Americans – and most non-Americans – don’t want to, of course. They want him gone: impeached, indicted, imprisoned. Whatever it takes.
But his legions of opponents lack the means. Impeachment won’t happen until the Democrats have sufficient numbers in Congress – and that’s many months away, if it happens at all. And the Justice Department’s Special Counsel only recently started picking through the entrails of the Trump-Russia conspiracy. Indictments from that, too, are many months away. Maybe years.
So, for the foreseeable future, we are stuck with Trump, and he with us. It may therefore seem like a rhetorical (or wholly unwanted) question, but it needs to be asked: can Trump be saved? Can he be rehabilitated?
Per the name of this space, this writer is a war room guy. War roomers like impossible political challenges. We are the campaign saints of lost causes.
So, herewith and hereupon, ten things Trump’s staff and advisors can do to save him. Seriously.
1. Work the phones. Politicians are most human, and most humane, when they pick up the phone and start regularly talking to real people about real problems. It’s time consuming, sure. But have Trump commit to speaking to ten average Americans every day. It will humanize him and it will impress them.
2. Get out of the Oval Office. Take him to places he’s unused to – food banks, factory floors, women’s’ shelters, young kids’ schools. No media in attendance, at the start. Just interaction with regular folks. Humanizes him, again, impresses them.
3. Get back on TV. Celebrity Apprentice made him a celebrity – and somehow convinced millions of Americans the presidency could use his “business sense.” Develop a show for him where citizens can come present problems and ideas and solutions. Seriously. It might just work.
4. Reassign Tweeter-in-Chief. You’ll never get him off Twitter. Ever. He thinks he’s The Shakespeare of Twitter. So, invite people to tweet at him about challenges they face. Have him commit to reading a certain number every day, and develop solutions for them. On Twitter. It’ll satisfy his craving for attention, and it’ll maybe even help out some citizens.
5. Stop revenge tweets. He uses Twitter for one thing above all else: to get back at critics. To get even. He will never stop doing that. He thinks it helped him win. So, develop a team to help him with Twitter. Have them do research for him, and develop tweets that he can use, and that sound like him, but will get him in a lot less trouble. Make him dependent on that team. And show him statistics, regularly, that prove it is working. He’s a numbers guy. That’s how you change his mind: numbers, results.
6. Apply anti-testosterone. Make the West Wing 75 per cent female. Trump’s all testosterone, all the time. He needs people around him who will slow him down, a bit, and help him stop being his own worst enemy. The White House would only improved by the presence of many more smart women.
7. Keep it simple, stupid. Identify three things he wants to do. Just three. Do-able, sell-able things. Dispense with everything else. Call them “deals,” so he goes along with it, and do all that it takes to achieve them.
8. Get him out of town. Voters – and his voters in particular – correctly think D.C. is where good ideas go to die. So, get him on the road, campaigning (which he loves almost as much as he loves Himself) for his Three Things. Campaign all the time. If he wants to golf along the way, have tournaments to benefit local women’s shelters and food banks. It’ll work.
9. Dr. No. Find the guy, or the gal, who is (a) unafraid to tell him no and (b) who he will listen to. Station this person outside whatever room he is in, and pay them lots of money to never leave. It’s really, really needed.
10. Let Trump be Trump. Like all men, his greatest fear is the fear of failure. Help him achieve some wins, however modest. That’ll make him happy and a lot less angry and a lot less likely to lash out. Above all, stop trying to make him a politician. He’ll never be one. Make him the Celebrity Apprentice guy again. He’ll go for it. People might even watch it.
Will these things work? They just might. Try them out, The Donald. And if you’re dissatisfied with the results, you can go back to what you are doing now.
Which is, you know, losing the presidency.