Donald Trump Open Letter

Donald Trump Open Letter

By Chris Freind Donald Trump Open Letter

Dear Mr. Trump:

From your business acumen to your sense of humor to your unprecedented ability to “tell it like it is” where others fear to tread, you are a man of many admirable qualities – qualities, not coincidentally, that are requirements for a successful president.

Which is why it’s so frustrating to watch you continue to implode – a feat entirely of your own making. Despite being firmly in the driver’s seat just a short time ago, controlling your destiny and potentially that of the nation’s, you now find yourself flailing, unable to regain your once-unstoppable momentum. Sure, you won your home state of New York, and will likely do well in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, but barring a miraculous finish, you’ll come up short, forcing a contested Republican convention.

Open convention or not, if you don’t get your head in the game quickly – assuming you truly want to win – not only will you be flushing your chances for the GOP nomination down the toilet, but with it, the hopes of many Americans.

And that’s unfortunate. Donald Trump will land on his feet, no matter what happens. But what about the millions who expended blood, sweat and tears fighting for you, and defending you when your antics were indefensible?

What will you say to those who, justifiably cynical for so long, had given up on representative government and succumbed to apathy? And yet, because of you, they found themselves daring to believe. They rediscovered hope.

How will you look them in the eye and tell them you tried your best when you refused to stop hurling insults and belittling all who oppose you, despite knowing that such behavior has been the major reason for your decline?

Given that your staff seems to be filled with “yes men,” and in spite of an apparent hearing problem that precludes you from listening to common sense, here are a few “Freindly” suggestions, on the eve of the crucially important Pennsylvania primary:

1. Stop whining. No one likes a chronic complainer, and to many (even some supporters), that’s exactly what you’ve become. Adding salt to the wound is that many of your outbursts are filled with considerable inconsistencies, which make you look eminently unpresidential.

Take the delegate situation. When you lose a state and/or its delegates, you typically engage in an insult-laden tirade (often on Twitter because you refuse to hold a press conference), whining about how you’re being cheated, and that the nomination is being stolen from you.

Yet when you win, as you gloat and call opponents third-grade names while telling the world that you have the nomination locked up, we hear none of those complaints. Which is it, Mr. Trump? Because it can’t be both. Granted, the primary system needs significant revision, but you should have known the rules of each state going in. You can’t pick and choose based on how well you perform in a particular state.

2. Be consistent. From the get-go, you had the resources to hire the best and brightest campaign strategists to navigate the labyrinth of rules, but given that Ted Cruz is outmaneuvering you, it’s clear you didn’t pull the trigger and put the proper team in place. Fine. That was a costly mistake, and there’s no such thing as a perfect campaign. Admit it, rectify it, and move on.

But blaming your delegate losses on a grand conspiracy by the party elites to defraud you is make-believe. The rules have not changed since you decided to run, so stop acting like they were. The fact that you got caught unprepared is no one’s fault but your own. Americans want humility in their leader, and will reward those with the ability to admit mistakes (as well as win, and lose, graciously). A dose of such humility would serve you well.

3. Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts: Be prepared. Every candidate makes gaffes on issues, and the American people will overlook them, so long as they’re about trade deal minutiae or the name of the president of Guyana. But stumbling on major issues, such as abortion and visas for skilled foreign workers, ostensibly because you were unprepared, is a killer. Right or wrong, the American people see those mistakes as the result of a cavalier approach to the issues. If you aren’t sure about an issue, saying the magic words, “I don’t know, but will do my homework,” works wonders.

Few expect (or want) their president to be an expert on every issue. But giving bush-league answers on issues that have been around for decades, and then taking multiple positions in rapid succession in a misguided attempt at damage-control is a recipe for disaster.

Learn the issues, and advocate with poise and grace, and you win hearts and minds. It’s late in the game for such advice, but heed it, because it will only get harder from here.

4. Stop playing the victim. The prevailing perception of Donald Trump right now is that of a nasty, mean-spirited bully who can dish it out like a champ, but can’t take an iota of criticism. Instead, he resorts to hurling insults, threatening lawsuits and boycotting people who have “offended” him.

Americans look at your ongoing feud with Fox’s Megyn Kelly and your refusal to participate in debates not to your liking as an ominous harbinger of a Trump administration. Will you walk out on China during trade negotiations because you don’t like a question they ask? Will you boycott media organizations that criticize you? Will we go to war because you refuse to employ diplomacy, tact and, God forbid, restraint when it’s warranted?

People won’t elect a president whom they view as unpresidential, and that will never change.

5. Finally, start spending your own money. Now. As this columnist wrote back in October: “Trump made a huge error by not spending $100 million on a nationwide ad campaign showing a kinder, gentler Donald Trump. Since he is the only one who could afford such a blitz, he could have defined the campaign, leaving his opponents powerless to respond. Incomprehensibly, he did the opposite, putting away his checkbook and accepting campaign contributions. In doing so, he lost his biggest trump card.”

No better time than the present, Mr. Trump.

The ultimate winner will be one who can appeal to a broad GOP constituency. Right now, that leaves you out in the cold. But if The Donald opens his wallet, stops hurling insults, demonstrates a firm grasp of the issues, and eats some humble pie by admitting his mistakes – all while being the only one on the national airwaves telling the Trump narrative – we could see the most exciting convention in history.

And who knows? You might turn out to be the best “Trump card” the Republican Party has had in a long time.

Donald Trump Open Letter

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