Nate Silver recently tweeted
Don't think people are really grasping how plausible it is that Trump could become president. It's a close election right now.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 23, 2016
This should frighten the crap out of anyone with a sense of self-preservation, especially after Tony Schwartz, a man who got to know Trump very well over 18 months while he was ghostwriting "The Art of the Deal", called Trump a "sociopath" and said, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I have deep reservations about Hillary Clinton, especially her opposition to recognizing that Israel is occupying Palestinian land and her reckless handling of her email server which may have endangered our national security. I fear that her neoconservative outlook could end up getting us involved in an unnecessary war. I can understand why my fellow Bernie supporters are hesitant to vote for her. Yet the stakes are so high that not voting for her is a luxury we can notafford (barring a novel alliance between parties that I describe below). With that in mind, I offer the following 3 pieces of advice to help Clinton get elected.
Hillary should repeatly pound Trump over the head over his well documented lack of significant giving to charity. Trump claims that he is worth $10 billion. If that's true, then why has he given so little? Last November I wrote a column about Stephen Colbert's challenge to Trump to give $1 million to the Harlem Children's Zone. Please read that column and watch the embedded Colbert video now. Despite his claim that the Bible was his favorite book, Trump ignored Colbert's challenge and gave nothing to the Harlem Children's Zone.
Hillary should play Colbert's video appeal to Trump during her convention speech. Then she should invite Colbert on stage and make out a check for as much as she can afford to the Harlem Children's Zone. The Clintons are quite wealthy by most people's standards, but they are not stratospherically wealthy like Donald Trump. I'm guessing that Hillary does not have $1 million in liquid assets. If she doesn't, then she should just give what she can, be it $10,000 or $100,000 and pledge to give more later. She could pledge to give the whole amount, or pledge to give up to $500,000 and ask Trump to match her. She should also ask Trump what he thinks of Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25, and Matthew 19:24. They are the verses that say it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. This would also be an appropriate time for her to challenge Trump to prove that he has given a significant amount to charity by either producing receipts or, better yet, releasing his tax returns.
Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett have organized a group of over 100 billionaires who have pledged to give half their wealth to charity. Buffett has already endorsed Clinton. Bill and Melinda Gates have said in the past that they never endorsed candidates, though perhaps they can be persuaded to make an exception this time. In any case, Hillary should invite these three to speak at the convention to welcome their fellow billionaires to join the Giving Pledge. They should make a special invitation to Donald Trump to pitch in his fair share to help those less fortunate than him. If Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett aren't able to appear at the convention, then perhaps Michael Bloomberg can make a pitch for the Giving Pledge during his recently announced speech. Bloomberg has joined the giving pledge, so he is in a good position to welcome Trump to join the club. Though they are not billionaires, this pitch will be even more effective if the Clintons vow to join the club. If Hillary gives generously to charity then it will soften her image and make Trump, who is far wealthier, look like even more of a Scrooge.
2) Invite voters to improve their knowledge by reading articles not prepared by the Clinton campaign.
The Clinton campaign has done a magnificent job of putting together hard-hitting effective videos and short articles, written mostly in house to support the campaign. They have done an effective job in tweeting out links to these videos and blurb pieces as well. But they can do better by including some longer, more detailed articles written by outside sources in the mix. Whenever they tweet out a link to a video they should follow up with a second tweet telling people to read a suggested article if they want more detailed information.
The Clinton campaign should include links to these articles with blurbs about them on their web site as well. If there is a section of her convention speech dealing with education then Clinton could say that education is an ongoing process. She should invite voters to take the opportunity to educate themselves and invite them to read these articles on her web site. She should heavily emphasize that these articles were written by reporters, journalists, and academics who are not part of her campaign.
I have already put together an extensive reading list that exposes just how dangerous Donald Trump would be as president. My list has comments about many of the articles and includes quotes of their highlights. The Clinton campaign and everyone else have my permission to use my list in any way they see fit.
Before Sanders endorsed Clinton, Jill Stein had invited Sanders to have a serious discussion with her about cooperation between her Green party and the Sanders wing of the Democratic party. She even hinted that she MIGHT step aside and let Sanders be the Green party's candidate if they could work out their differences on certain issues. I don't know if Sanders ever considered her offer, but I imagine it was tempting. His position is closer to the Greens on a number of issues than it is to Clinton's.
But it's too late now for cooperation between the Greens and any part of the Democratic Party. Right? Not necessarily. I propose a Democratic Party/Green Party alliance against Trump. The Greens and the Democrats should agree on the following.
1) Bernie Sanders should withdraw his endorsement of Hillary Clinton and tell his supporters that he endorses both Clinton and Stein. Hillary recently tweeted that voters should vote their conscience.
“I never thought I’d say these words, but Ted Cruz was right...in this election, do the right thing and vote your conscience.” —Hillary
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 22, 2016
This will allow Bernie voters to do just that.
2)The Greens and the Democrats should enter a pact. Whichever party gains the most popular votes nationwide will be awarded ALL of the votes and all of the corresponding delegates to the electoral college. Presumably the Democrats will win and Hillary will get all of the votes of the Democrats and the Greens combined. However, any votes the Green Party receives should be counted when determining whether it is eligible to receive government funding in the next election.
3) Jill Stein and the Green Party should consult with Bernie Sanders to determine whether it would be beneficial for Bernie to run as the Green party's presidential candidate. If both decide that Bernie should run at the top of the Green ticket, then the Democrats should amicably accept this arrangement.
My plan benefits all involved.
1) Bernie supporters get to vote their conscience.
2) The Democrats will almost certainly pick up all the Green votes and Hillary will become president. There is a slight chance that the Greens could win more votes than the Democrats and thus win the election, but the risk is very slight. It is a risk the Democrats should accept in order to prevent the unthinkable--a Trump presidency.
3) When Jill Stein announced that she would contemplate allowing Bernie to run as the Green's Presidential candidate, she said her near-term goal was to reach 15% in national polling. This would allow her to join Clinton and Trump in nationally televised debates. An alliance with the Democrats that freed Sanders' voters to vote their conscience could do just that.