In the 2016 Presidential race, I think that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are most likely to win the nomination of their respective parties. While I prefer Hillary, Donald is not the worst of the Republican candidates (At least two of the remaining four candidates are more dangerous.) It seemed only fair to share “my less than humble opinion” with him too.
To Hillary, I wrote:
It seems likely that you will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for President. It seems equally likely that Donald Trump will be your opponent.
I expect to see both of you moving toward the center because … that’s where most of the country is but, more importantly, I think that’s where you and Donald are. You seem to be slightly to the left of center. Donald, when he’s not preaching to the lunatic fringe, is slightly to the right of center.
To win debates (and commercials) you need to tread the line that Donald’s Republican opponents. Don’t ignore his insults. Don’t descend to his level. If he fusses about e-mails, call his “e-mails” and raise him a “tax returns” or (if he ever releases his tax returns) a “Trump University”.
While we’re at it, the e-mails on your personal server were probably more secure than the government servers because FEW PEOPLE KNEW YOUR SERVER EXISTED. Bradley Manning didn’t know about those e-mails. Edward Snowden didn’t know about those e-mails. The Chinese didn’t know about those e-mails. Terrorists didn’t know about those e-mails.
On the campaign trail, remind people of your roots and get out of your head once in a while.
Many people seem to think that you and Bill have always been wealthy. (Young voters know of no time when you weren’t.) Rising from Rags to Riches through hard work isn’t a crime; it’s the American Dream.
Sometimes, before you speak of solutions, show how you have empathy for those most touched by the problems. One of President Obama’s mistake was that he didn’t talk to us enough. When he did talk to us, it was usually as a teacher or a negotiator. When he did express emotion, it was usually anger. Just before the 2008 New Hampshire primary, you were caught “tearing up”. ( It’s on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqGl-pDnYMQ .) We saw you as a real person then.
And to Donald, I wrote:
It seems likely that you will be the Republican Party’s nominee for President. It seems equally likely that Hillary Clinton will be your opponent.
I expect to see both of you moving toward the center because … that’s where most of the country is but, more importantly, I think that’s where you and Hillary are. In interviews, you seem to be slightly to the right of center. Hillary is probably slightly to the left of center.
What worked against inexperienced, light-weights like Marco Rubio, demagogues like Ted Cruz, and 20th Century politicians like John Kasich and Jeb Bush won’t work against Hillary. (I’m surprised that Jeb didn’t lie to the people like his Father and Brother did … “no new taxes” and “WMDs in Iraq”. Maybe the Bushes don’t lie until after they’re nominated or elected).
We see the two sides of Donald Trump in your most successful TV shows. In “Celebrity Apprentice” you’ve been more like the Donald seeking nomination … the Showman giving the public its “guilty pleasure” and catharsis. In “The Apprentice” you showed us your desire to help the contestants tempered by both pragmatism and empathy. The latter is a more likely path to the Presidency.
If you are elected, I suggest you take a page from Abraham Lincoln’s book. His cabinet was composed of those he thought would be best for the jobs; not just his friends and supporters. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_of_Rivals)
As you can see, the first two paragraphs of each letter are essentially the same. I’d be extremely surprised to learn that either Hillary or Donald ever see my letters. Their respective staffs will probably get in the way. Even so, I had to try.