They let Trump set the agenda. There was a vacuum in both policy and, astonishingly, searing criticism of Barak Obama (in the recent debate there were a few passing whacks at Hillary Clinton but hardly a mention of Obama). If you’d asked anyone before Trump’s roaring entrance what the other 16 GOP presidential aspirants stood for, at best you might have elicited a few mutters but no real enthusiasm. Everyone was just waiting for things to unfold. None of the 16 had firmly identified themselves.
Then, like a thunderstorm on steroids, came The Donald, and ever since the 16 have complained that they can’t be heard.
Here’s a hint: To be heard, you have to have something to say, and Trump has plenty to say—and boisterously, too. He singlehandedly made illegal immigration the issue. He also angrily fingered China, Mexico and Japan as villains in our lousy job market. He didn’t duck a fight, no matter who or what was on the other side. Elated, repulsed or just fascinated, tens of millions were all of a sudden watching The Donald. Whether they love him or hate him, everyone knows what he’s been conveying: The country is in big trouble, and big things have to be done about it.
Weak tea is no match for 120-proof bourbon.
So what should the 16 do? Simple. Do what Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and establish a substantive pro-growth agenda.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore