Trump's detractors and the mainstream media have paired up to launch an all-out assault against Donald Trump to try to prevent him from being elected again in 2024.
Trump, however, is countering their move with a massive ground game in Iowa.
I never thought I would see anything worse than what we saw in 2016 and 2020, but the media and anti-Trumpers have outdone themselves this time.
We covered this briefly yesterday, but in case you missed that report, several major publications have posted reports about how Trump will turn the presidency into a dictatorship.
The Washington Post has an op-ed, "A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending."
The New York Times published an article titled "Why a Second Trump Presidency May Be More Radical Than His First."
The Atlantic also published an article titled, "In Special Issue, The Atlantic Warns of the Consequences If Trump Wins a Second Term." The Atlantic tasked roughly two dozen writers in the piece to outline the horrors of a second Trump term.
To give you just a small example of the rhetoric being published, here is a sample from The Atlantic:
"Media organizations, including this one, have warned for years that Trump is a danger to the democracy that makes journalism possible…If half the country believes most of what the mainstream media report and the other half thinks it's mostly lies, this isn't a partial win for journalists, whose purpose isn't to strengthen the opposition but to give the public information it needs to exercise democratic power. Trump's purpose is to destroy the very notion of objective truth."
This came from the Washington Post story:
"A court system that could not control Trump as a private individual is not going to control him better when he is president of the United States and appointing his own attorney general and all the other top officials at the Justice Department.
"Think of the power of a man who gets himself elected president despite indictments, courtroom appearances and perhaps even conviction? Would he even obey a directive of the Supreme Court? Or would he instead ask how many armored divisions the chief justice has?"
Donald Trump knows he will come under serious attack by Democrats on these points, as most mainstream media outlets and the Democrats all use the same talking points.
Trump has to get out there, and he has to create his own headlines to counter these narratives, and he started last night.
Trump trolled Democrats, calling him a "dictator" on Sean Hannity's Town Hall, saying that would only be the case on his "first day."
Trump was kidding, citing executive orders that are typical of every administration when they come into office during the first few days, but Democrats were salivating over the soundbite and already blasting it out.
The former president's team knows they have to hit the early states hard because a stumble, regardless of his big lead, could be costly in the early days of the primary.
To that point, Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita stated:
"We have an extremely aggressive operation and an extremely aggressive schedule."
Donald Trump confirmed this during the Town Hall:
"The last couple of weeks, we'll be blitzing. We're up by like 30 or 40 points but we're not taking any chances."
This is a really interesting move by Trump, especially when you consider the most recent polling data.
Trump is currently leading DeSantis and Haley in Iowa, 44.6% to 17.7% and 15.0%, respectively.
However, DeSantis has hit every county in the state and is confident his team is going to pull off the upset. That, coupled with this new blitz by Trump, tells me something in the public polling data does not gibe with what these campaigns are seeing in their internal polling data.
Had Haley and DeSantis been able to make peace and couple their effort, I think they could have beaten Trump as a team, but it is hard to imagine them doing that as individual candidates.
In terms of the media attacks against Trump, he needs to be out there every day, countering these headlines with rallies and TV show appearances.
If I were Trump's adviser, I would tell him to take these accusations head-on and flip the script against Biden with how many times he has circumvented constitutional law to push his agenda.
I would also back off the silly jokes like the one last night about the dictatorship. Trump has to realize even the smallest soundbite will feed the media machine that is attacking him right now.
It is time to stop playing games and feeding his base; Trump needs to launch a serious attack, vowing to leave office (yes, it has come to the point that he really needs to say this because of the attacks) after his second term is over.
He can actually flip that and tease that he will gladly turn the country over to his VP, someone he is carefully selecting to pass the torch to when the time comes.
In its effort to derail Trump, the media has given this man a golden opportunity to regain the faith of voters who have lost faith in him, but he has to go about it the right way and stop pandering to only his base.
Those voters are locked up… Trump needs to woo moderate and independent voters back to his camp, and that opportunity has now been handed to him on a golden platter by a clearly one-sided media that is making outlandish accusations for actions by Trump that are not even remotely possible.