Not since 1968 when Barry Goldwater sought the presidency have we seen an all-out assault on a candidate like the one we are seeing now on Donald Trump.
The sharks are in the water, America. And they smell blood.
They will settle for nothing less than the complete destruction of this man and everything he stands for. And, make no mistake about it, they're after his followers as well. Hillary's remarks ("basket full of deplorables"), Bill's remarks ("rednecks), and the most recent batch of leaks all make it very clear that those who are aligned against Trump have nothing but disdain for those who cheer him on.
If Hillary wins the kind of victory she's seeking (along with the media, academia, the entertainment industry, Wall Street and Washington insiders) she will be absolutely unbridled. She won't even attempt to cooperate with Republicans (such as they are, inside the Beltway) because she won't need them. It will be her way (really, "their way" - Bill & Hill) or the highway. It will be Hillary's vaulted moment of triumph and Bill's last great hurrah. No. Holds. Barred.
So, what can Trump do?
Where can he turn?
Doesn't he have everything aligned against him?
Isn't it only gonna get worse?
Take heart, America.
The latest Rasmussen poll has Trump back in the lead with a post-debate surge. And in the LA Times daily tracking poll Trump has been in the lead for 28 or the last 30 days. And the PPD poll has Hillary's lead within the margin of error. This is all astonishing when one considers the endless volley of grenades sent Trump's way.
Plus, there are still 27 days left to go -- a veritable eternity in politics. Anything can still happen in a year when the twists and turns have been unprecedented. This ain't 1968, folks. We're running at ten times the speed we were then.
Some people have suggested that Trump has to reinvent his campaign (again!) to get it back on track. We're not sure that will work. Trump's whole raison d'être is his claim to authenticity. What you see is what you get. That's his essential appeal. That's what put him where he is. We doubt that he should (or even could) abandon that now.
Some others say that Trump should make a special appeal to women -- particularly to suburban women. Well, he's done that with his day-care and working-mom proposals and his daughter is regularly on the stump appealing to that segment.
But, we've got to be honest with you. When we hear young[er] college-educated suburban women talk about this election (and we do listen to them) we eventually come away scratching out heads and pondering that age-old question: What do women want?
To be sure, many older, more settled, more "seasoned" women have no problem with Trump. They have no intentions of putting the Clintons back in the White House. So, Trump is just fine with them. And if you take a close look at the crowds at Trump's rallies you'll find plenty of women.
Trump has never constructed a conscious appeal to segments or targeted demographic groups. He doesn't view the country that way. Unlike the Democrats, he doesn't Balkanize America. When he says his campaign is a "movement" he means it and he sees it as a movement for everybody. He's the ultimate Big Picture guy.
So, here are three things Donald Trump can do right now as he heads into the home stretch:
1) Stand your ground. Forget about the media and the Washington establishment. The media cannot and will not be won over. The Washington establishment is wussy and self-absorbed. Don't waste time on them now. Deal with them later, if necessary.
2) Keep pounding away at issues -- the economy, jobs, trade, illegal immigration, national security. Hillary can't win on the issues. She needs to make you the issue. But if you stick to the real issues and make this a change election, you win because people know we're headed in the wrong direction. They know we can't go on like this.
3) Avoid confirming behavior. She's trying to depict you as wacko. Don't act like one. And don't be distracted by petty squabbles that prick your tender ego. That's precisely what she wants. Don't hand it to her.
Finally, we'd tell Mr. Trump this: If you've got something big (really BIG) on him or her or both of them, don't hold back. Drop it soon.
All's fair in love and war!