Conservative writer argues that Democrats should come out and directly call Trump 'crazy'
President Donald Trump has been a master of soundbites, from “make America great again” to all the demeaning names he has invented for political opponents — and when Trump invents a soundbite, it is likely to be echoed repeatedly in the right-wing media. In light of how effective Trump’s soundbites and slogans can be, conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin believes that Democrats need some catchy slogans and soundbites of their own — and her recommendations are “stop the craziness” and “Crazy Trump.”
“President Trump has an animal instinct for finding an opponent’s vulnerability and then attacking it,” Rubin observes. “His nicknames not only denote disrespect but also, serve to keep his opponents’ weakness, or perceived weakness, front and center.”
Rubin cites some examples, including “Crooked Hillary” for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and “Low Energy Jeb” for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Going into the 2020 election, Rubin asserts, Democrats need something catchy — and describing the president as “Crazy Trump” while using the slogan “stop the craziness” could work well. Other possibilities, according to Rubin, include “stop the crazy” or “end the crazy.”
“We don’t need a medical diagnosis or the 25th Amendment to conclude Trump is crazy in the colloquial sense — cuckoo, nuts, non compos mentis, off his rocker, unhinged,” Rubin asserts. “Even Republicans who like the tax cuts or the judges at some level understand this is not normal behavior and, at key moments, feels downright scary.”
Rubin elaborates, “It’s one thing to be mean and corrupt. His defenders say lots of politicians are. It is quite another to say he’s so erratic, so unhinged, so crazy that he sends the economy into a tailspin and risks international conflict — or capitulation to enemies such as Kim Jong Un, who Trump, crazily, believes likes him. Tying Trump’s unfitness to dangers to the country and to voters’ personal safety and prosperity should be a key objective for the eventual nominee.”
Trump himself has used the “crazy” theme, although not in reference to himself: “Crazy Bernie” is Trump’s name for Sen. Bernie Sanders. But Trump, with that name, isn’t really questioning Sanders’ mental wellbeing — that’s his way of attacking the Vermont senator’s policies.
However, Trump is often described as “erratic” or “unstable” by his critics. And as Rubin sees it, the “Crazy Trump” name she suggests “doesn’t make a moral judgment” but rather, is “a statement of fact.”
“One doesn’t have to operate in hypotheticals to see the damage he is already doing,” Rubin writes. “His white-nationalist language has fortified and energized violent white nationalists who quote back his catchphrases and pay homage to him. How many other mass killers is Trump going to set off in his culture warfare, which he uses to rile up his base?”
Being anti-Trump, Rubin notes, won’t in and of itself guarantee success for Democrats in 2020 — they will have to articulate what they are for rather than simply stating what they are against. But certainly, having a memorable slogan can make it easier for Democrats to grab voters’ attention.
“Spelling out what’s on everyone’s mind in succinct terms is good marketing, and perhaps the only thing Trump is truly skilled in doing other than corrupting those around him,” Rubin writes. “Sure, Democrats will have to offer an alternative agenda. But first and foremost, they must promise to stop the craziness.”