The Trump Threat Is More Serious Than You Know
It pains me physically to write this, but if we’re going to beat Trump in 2024, we all need to be on the same page about what we’re facing.
Donald Trump, a man never known as a towering intellect or strong manager (the orange menace cut his daily briefing down to fewer words than Goodnight Moon) has put together a serious Presidential campaign operation.
On Trump’s first campaign, his advisers and consultants were a claque of political non-entities, alt-right agitprop peddlers, racial arsonists, scam artists, and rank amateurs.
In 2020, the campaign had a Potemkin Village headquarters and staffing but was still largely conducted based on Trump’s whims, moods, and his itchy Twitter finger. It didn’t help that his recently fired campaign manager was tackled by police after he was seen ranting at cops with a loaded gun a month before Election Day
This time around, Trump isn’t handing his campaign over to someone ripped from a “Florida Man” headline. Now we face a more serious, meaningful threat.
The dangers of Trump are still evident; his disdain for the rule of law, his contempt for the democratic process, and lack of any kind of moral center are drawn in sharper focus than ever before. By and large, he is a loathed and loathsome figure.
And yet, he can still win. A bad campaign can’t save a great candidate, but a great campaign can save a bad candidate.
Over the last few weeks, his political team has accomplished the seemingly impossible. They’ve disciplined the most undisciplined candidate in political history.
While they allow him to vent his spleen in his digital backwater of Truth Social, the operational parts of the campaign are ticking the boxes on a set of strategic goals:
- First, they converted the story of his first indictments into a martyr narrative.
- Next, they’ve identified and are neutralizing the primary election threat DeSantis posed with his vast cash hoard, moderate and establishment GOP backing, and culture-warrior primary electorate street cred.
- They’ve played it smart and ensured that Trump avoids some of the toxic parts of the GOP agenda and holds the mantle of MAGA populism.
How did Trump’s team do it? The old-fashioned way; hard work. They’ve opened up a devastating endorsement lead on DeSantis by having Trump hit the phones and essentially sweep the Florida caucus. They bent CNN against their will and are further legitimizing Trump with a primetime town hall. And rumor has it, they’re already laying the groundwork for the general election against President Biden.
The frightening thing about authoritarians is that sometimes it’s easy to mistake the clownishness on the surface for the smart, immoral, deeply experienced operators running the show.
That’s happening now. The new Trump team is very, very good at what they do and will stop at absolutely nothing to win.
Luckily, we’re very, very good at what we do. Trump might be more publicly disciplined, but we’ve still got killer plans to throw him off his game (remember, we’ve got real estate in the man’s head). And when we’re not dropping truth bombs behind enemy lines in Trump world, we’re targeting our ads directly at those Bannon-line voters and growing our pro-democracy coalition.
Yes, a good campaign can save a bad candidate. But we’ve got an even better campaign and a better message. America by and large is still repulsed by Trump and everything he stands for. We just need to hit them over the head over and over with the truth and make sure it sticks when they go to the polls on Election Day. That’s the work we’re doing here at The Lincoln Project.