Issues & Insights

Trump’s Narrow Comeback Hope: Make America Free Again

You know that you fight harder for the lost causes.” — Jefferson Smith

“It’s a 40-foot dive into a tub of water, but I think you can do it.” — Clarissa Saunders
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Yes, indeed. As previously reported in this space, coronavirus has done what passels of pussy hats, continuous collusion hype, invented investigations, scurrilous scandal-mongering and perpetual personal invective failed to bring about.

The Resistance has won. Left-wing domination of the levers of power is a present reality. Future Democratic control of the federal government is a foregone conclusion.

And the president’s reelection and a continued Republican Senate majority are a lost cause.

But all that lost cause really means is this: It’s time for President Donald Trump and his forces to fight harder.

It’s time for a true crisis plan – not just a 40-foot dive into a tub of water but rather, with everything stacked in The Resistance’s favor, a 100-foot swan dive into a glass of H20.

You rang? Here it is: To resume and continue his mission to Make America Great Again, Donald J. Trump and Co. need to Make America Free Again.

And we think this chief executive can do it, if any could. Because that plan starts with, as true-bluers would say in the Gipper’s day, Letting Trump Be Trump: following his own instincts and reclaiming his rightful place as the vanguard of The Resistance to The Resistance.

We previously shared an axiom of public relations – if you’re explaining, you’re losing. So here are two core principles of crisis communications.

First, explain how you acted contrary to your own values – and fix it.

The Prez’s goof: ceding authority to Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx – a pair of Card-Carrying Experts from the Public Health Division of the Know-it-Alls Running-the-World Establishment/Elitist Network (KAREN). Swamp-dwelling bureaucrats that the @RealDonaldTrump normally wouldn’t have let within a safe social distance, much less yielded near-totalitarian power over the entire U.S. of A.

But The Donald was uncharacteristically unnerved by apocalyptic predictions of millions of deaths, tailor-made and precision timed by KAREN’s designated, and repeatedly discredited, Prophet of Doom: Dr. Neil (What? Me-and-My-Babe-Social-Distance?) Ferguson.

Now, the president must admit he gave into fear-mongering – and handed the keys to his economic Lamborghini to power-drunk-driving pencil-pushers.

The second, Wag-the-Doggish principle: change the subject – and thereby, the narrative. In this case, from fear – to freedom.

Once and for all, America needs a distinctively Trumpian common-sense disavowal of the kind of KAREN State hectoring reflected in the latest over-the-top Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, which POTUS should immediately retract and reboot. After all, just how much social distancing, mask-wearing and toy-isolating can one expect from kindergarteners? (Not much.) How much hermetic sealing can one reasonably expect bars and restaurants to perform for younger patrons at low risk of serious illness? (Way less than CDC overlords command.)

Instead, in the best American tradition, the president should liberate captive businesses, churches, schools, families and individuals to determine their own solutions and acceptable level of risk.

In this effort, the facts would be firmly on his side: new data from JP Morgan Chase & Co. indicate that infection rates have fallen – not exploded as the KAREN clique fretted – in states and foreign countries where lockdowns have ended. (Calling into question whether they were ever needed.)

The Make America Free Again Action Plan:

•    Thank Fauci and Birx for their contributions, excuse them from the task force, and put people in charge committed to unleashing American ingenuity cum personal responsibility.

•   Fully unleash the Justice Department – which has already warned states for restrictions unduly discriminating against religious observance – on harsh-lockdown governors violating fundamental constitutional rights through harebrained, overbroad, inconsistent decrees not reasonably related to public safety. These rights, as described by progressive hero Justice William O. Douglas, include not only economic activities but even “freedom to walk, stroll, or loaf.” As in, on the beach.

•    Favor economic freedom – knowing that reducing regulations and taxes emancipates Americans, whereas more loans, subsidies and benefits only further enslave them.

Specifically, the president should ditch the concept of “essential” businesses. All businesses are essential to owners and workers. He should charge his task force with rigorously enforcing his executive order to permanently slash regulations.

And he should counter Madame Speaker’s latest $3-trillion boondoggle with a supply-side stimulus. Lawrence Kudlow has mooted a 50% corporate tax break for repatriating production from China, which the Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman (perfect name for the times) suggests applying to all businesses. An even better option: both, only more so, via the 9-9-9-0 plan previously unveiled here, supercharging growth while punishing decades of Chinese misdeeds culminating in the Corona Coverup.

NEWS FLASH: Even as this sage advice was undergoing polishing in the virtual typewriter, in a stunning case of mind-melding, the president announced that he would direct the CDC to declare churches “essential” businesses (as initially mandated by Christ some two millennia back). So he’s off to a running start.

Now it’s time for The Repeatedly Political Death-Defying Donald to complete his running start with that 100-foot leap of faith – in Americans – and potentially, turn around his seemingly lost cause.



We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


Bob Maistros

Bob Maistros, a messaging and communications strategist and crisis specialist, is of counsel with Strategic Action Public Affairs, and was chief writer for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, three U.S. Senators, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at


  • This article is so spot on, I couldn`t agree more. Every time you bring up the fact that Trump got himself/us into this mess some supporters bash you even though you also support the president.

    The economic mess to follow is a disaster of epic proportions and all the printed money in the world won`t fix it.

  • Trump not re-electable? Oh please, not this lib fantasy again. Remember “Hillary wins in a landslide” on election night 2016?

    • This author threw down the gauntlet on his May 19th article then refused to comment to any retort. It’s what you call classic troll.

      So …In the name of Christine Blasey Ford….Do you Believe Survivors…yes or no?

      • By the way — going back to your other comment on my May 19 article – leaving the Republican Party seven years ago because its Establishment back-stabbed fellow conservatives makes me a middle-of-the-roader? I’m lost somehow.

        (PS I actually believe that conservatism represents the true middle of the road in terms of how the American public really thinks, as opposed to how it is being conditioned and pressured to respond. More on that to come.)

      • Of course I knew how you felt…..I looked before commenting. Your inability to apply reason in a measured/balanced..more fitting of Elizabeth warren or Elliot spitzer

  • Is this author nuts, or what? Trump did the only thing he could. He positioned himself the only way he possibly could have. The blow back is on the experts, the CDC, the WHO, Fauci, and China. No one blames Trump except some absurd insiders, inside baseball types like this Bob Maistros who seems to live in his own echo chamber.

    What’s more, Trump has been repositioning himself for nearly a month now. What Trump did do, he did competently. The same can’t be said for Michigan, NY, Calif, and NJ. They are still claiming a position in opposition to the people. They can’t and won’t get off it either. That’s on them. Wet sand; dry sand, seriously. Narrow come back hope, really. Trump is in landslide country and a blind man can see it

    • He’s in landslide country, all right: right in its path. The good news is that part of this plan is rolling out already. The bad news is that it’s only part.

      • You talk in classic troll fashion refusing to answer questions or have an honest debate. Does it bother you to be an intellectual coward?
        That you refuse to respond to your May 19th article really says it all.

        I asked you a question and CHALLENGE you to answer. In the name of Christine Blasey Ford….Do you Believe Survivors…yes or no?

  • — It’s time for a true crisis plan – not just a 40-foot dive into a tub of water but rather, with everything stacked in The Resistance’s favor, a 100-foot swan dive into a glass of H20. —

    Not a 500-foot triple-gainer onto a damp sponge? Whew, I thought things were getting serious!

    But seriously, Maistros’s pessimism to one side, his recommendations are good ones, entirely consistent with the agenda President Trump pursued pre-COVID-19. As Trump can recognize a piercing slogan — “Make America Great Again” was largely responsible for his 2016 victory — perhaps he’ll adopt both the recommendations and the “Make America Free Again” phrase for the balance of the campaign. Both would be worthwhile.

  • This Memorial Day America is no longer red, white and blue. We are either red or blue. Depending on what you read, the President is our salvation or our scourge. Since he is much more clever than even his supporters give him credit for, he will ignore the solid blue states and work for a majority of the electoral votes in states I expect to be fully operational by election day. Should the Democrats win in spite of this I expect we will head into a Great Great Depression, worse than the mid-thirties, as measures will be taken to ensure the non-profitability of free enterprise. If it is any comfort, I personally knew people who thrived and made fortunes during the Depression, and those who were self-reliant managed to muddle through.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!