Now that Donald Trump is presiding over a public health and economic catastrophe of historic proportions, it would seem that it should be easy for Joe Biden to win reelection. But of course, if Trump is the opponent, you can take nothing for granted.
Trump’s modus operandi, as explained by former advisor Steve Bannon, is “flood the zone with shit.” People dying from COVID-19? Take credit for it not being worse. Take a photo with Goya food products in the Oval Office. Talk about shower heads and dishwashers. Accuse Biden of wanting to abolish the police. Get people arguing about anything else. Flood the zone with shit.
For Biden to cut through this, he needs a simple message. So I have crafted one for him.
On Trump: his incompetence and self-dealing let people die
Here’s all that Biden needs to say about Trump:
- He is responsible. He had the chance to protect people from the coronavirus pandemic early and repeatedly, and he blew it. People are getting sick and dying, and the economy is in shambles, because of that.
- He lies about everything. And it’s always for self-serving reasons. He only cares about his own finances and re-election. He frequently contradicts himself and his own advisors. You cannot trust him.
On himself: I will tell the truth and I have a plan
Here’s all that Biden should say about himself:
- I will be completely transparent. I will not lie to you. I will hide nothing. I will never make a decision for my own benefit, but only for the benefit of America.
- I am surrounding myself with competent people and I have a plan. I have a plan for coronavirus, based on science. I have a plan to build back the economy. I have a plan for climate change. I have a plan for racial justice. Whatever it is, I have a plan for it, and I know how government works so we can actually get things done.
Yes, that’s it.
There is no need to get into every violation of Trump’s, how often he plays golf, the finances of his properties, the people getting picked up on the street by mysterious law enforcement folks in Portland, who will be on the Supreme Court, whose face will be on the $20 bill, who will pay for the border wall, or any of that detail. If others want to place ads about that stuff, great. If AOC wants to talk about it, great. If Bill Barr wants to investigate the FBI and the Obama Administration, well that’s awful, but talking about it is not on message.
The message is: Trump lies, he didn’t save us from catastrophe, I will tell the truth, and I have a plan and the competence to carry it out. That’s it.
That ought to be sufficient.
When the zone is flooded with shit, don’t wade into it — make yourself an example of something clearer, simpler, and better.