What Should These Losers Running Against Trump Do?
What are their goals and how can they accomplish them?
You are at a bar. You have a couple of drinks. Maybe a few too many. The bartender takes your keys and says, “Buddy, you’re going to thank me!” You curse at him because even in your inebriated state, you know he’s right. You saunter out the door, swaying right to left. You’re six blocks from your home.
The first two blocks, you push through confidently. The third block, you begin to worry that you might need a rest. The fourth block is when you actually fall into a wall. But you keep it together. You’re almost home free.
The fifth block? You run through that. You can smell the frozen burritos you will soon be microwaving. Your confidence knows no bounds!
You step off the corner of the fifth block to cross to the sixth block, and you don’t look down, and you experience true surprise as you fall into an open sewer grate.
The morning comes, and you wake, and you’re somehow alive. You climb out of this rat-ridden grave and are hit with the sounds of the city. Honk honk, hey hey. A street worker starts badgering you. “What are you doing down there, asshole?” Before you have a chance to explain, he looks into your face and suddenly gasps.
“Oh, I’m sorry! Good luck!”
You are confused, but then you look at your reflection in a store window and…you’re Vivek Ramaswamy. Or Nikki Haley. Or Ron DeSantis. Or whoever.
You are a Republican running for president not named Donald Trump.
Suddenly, an SUV pulls up. A bunch of aids jump out. “Thank god we found you! We have to get to the airport!” It’s September 27th. The second GOP debate is in a few hours.
There are two possibilities. One: You are actually bleeding to death from a head injury in a sewer in NYC. Two: magic has happened. It’s never happened before, but it has happened now, and you are somehow actually one of these politicians running for president.
You would like to talk to a doctor or a priest or a rabbi or maybe that road worker, but you have no time. You’re on a private jet flying to the second debate.
All you can do is accept the premise.
You watched the first debate. You know a bit about politics, but you don’t know anything about your new self’s internal plans before you took over their body. You don’t know their strategy.
If they had a secret brilliant plan, it’s not something you can access. It’s on you, my main man.
What should you do during the debate? Trump is going to be there. In the house, on the stage.
Should you attack him? Should you kiss him? Should you speak in rhyme?
It occurs to you that you don’t even know what your goal should be! Trump is going to win the nomination. Why are you even running? Maybe you’re running just for attention?
You surmise that you are running for one of five reasons:
You want to become a conservative media star for the money and fame.
You want attention in a generalized way because you have emotional problems, but you don’t have a strategy to get rich off of it.
You want to be Trump’s VP.
You want to set yourself up for an election down the road.
You want to be there in case lightning strikes Trump this year and suddenly the GOP is looking for someone else.
This is hard. It’s easy to say that all these candidates are failing, but it’s harder to say what they should do. They’re in a pickle. The GOP primary voters really like Donald Trump. They are big fans. Can’t attack him without alienating them. But you also can’t avoid criticizing him because then why are you running in the first place? Your answer to the question, “Why are you running, and why should I give you my money to help you lose this nomination?” cannot be: “Because I felt like I should.”
In the first debate, all of these candidates tried to find their own little ways of standing out from the pack. None of them succeeded meaningfully. But more importantly, the pack never included Trump, so it was all bullshit from the get-go.
In reality, all these people are running for fairly bad reasons. They’re hoping Trump dies. Or they’re hoping it will help them market themselves. Or they’re hoping it will get them a cabinet appointment or whatever.
But they are on tilt. They have spent years being told by everyone in their inner circle that they are special. They have been told by consultants and advisors that the media doesn’t know what they (the advisors) know: that once people get to see you up close, you’re a once-in-a-generation political tsunami!
The idea behind this thought game is that you aren’t that sick in the head. You haven’t been lied to by consultants for a year and a half. You aren’t keeping the flame that one day, women will just line up to suck your dick as you’re going to the store.
So, Vivek, what’s your plan?
I’m serious. Tell me. You can’t say, “I would drop out” because though that is totally sensible, it is not a fun answer. There is a comments section, and you should go into it and tell me.
But I’m going to tell you my answer right now.
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