The Trump Card

Bill Neinast

Card players, get ready.  Anytime you watch or listen to the news in the next 15 months you will be trumped.  You may get so tired of being trumped that you will withdraw from the game long before the final hand on November 8, 2016.

For the non card sharps out there, trump is a common term in some card games.  It identifies the dominant suit for one round in the game.  A “trump” will take any hand of subordinate suits, regardless of denomination.

In national news today, the term “Trumped” is already being used.  This is the gleeful reference by some newscasters to every utterance by Donald Trump.  In trying to imbed that Trumpism in every other Republican candidate or even to get them to comment on his every word, they say the other candidates have been trumped.

Sharper candidates like Ben Carson and Carley Fiorina who have not been down the political road of attempting to answer every question with some ramblings not even on point will not be Trumped.  

They will say something like, “I am not going to talk about other Republican candidates. If you want to talk about the untrustworthiness and evasions of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or about the serious domestic and international problems facing us today, I will be glad to discuss those with you.”

The National Committee of the Republican Party is urging this approach.  The Committee is also urging avoidance of the social issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

Unfortunately, however, too many of the candidates believe they cannot win the election without staying in bed with the far right conservative wing of the party.

This was evident in the number of candidates, including Ben Carson, who appeared on the podium to confirm their bona fides as true believers at the recent National Right to Life Conference in New Orleans.

Realistically, very few of the hardliners would vote for a Democrat.  They might refrain from voting if there was no Republican candidate singing their songs, but would probably hold their noses and vote Republican in order to keep a Democrat from getting a majority vote.

So-called independents will swing the election to either the left or right.  Moderates and independents are more interested in economic and security issues than the social issues.  

For that reason, all the pitches should be aimed at that audience.  Trying to avoid being Trumped will lead to nothing but  swinging at strikes or foul balls.

So here’s the perspective.

As noted above, every card player who leads with a subordinate suit that is trumped loses the hand.  

That will happen to every Republican candidate who lets himself be Trumped in the current hotly contested race for President.

Stay on the issues most important to the vast majority of Americans.  

Answer each question that is not based on the position or statement of another candidate with sincerity and directness. 

That will avoid being trumped.


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