In the span of just six days, Donald Trump’s likelihood of winning the White House has fallen from 50 percent to 20 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. A 30-point drop in general election odds is unprecedented, and it has some Republican leaders -- and plenty of Republican voters -- worried.
First, Trump personally attacked the parents of fallen American soldier Humayun Khan. The Khan-troversy expanded when Trump claimed that Khizir Khan had no right to say Trump had never read the Constitution. But Mr. Khan does have a right to say that -- a right that is enshrined in the…well, you know.
Trump then went around shouting about the “rigged” debates, because two of the scheduled debates will occur at the same time as NFL games. This is apparently a problem because we are now in a parallel universe where football is more important than the next leader of the free world. In this universe, nobody has DVR. Trump claimed the NFL sent him a letter about this; the NFL called him out, saying that no such letter exists.
And on Wednesday, news broke that the Trump Taj Mahal casino would be closing after Labor Day weekend. How, exactly, does one lose money by running a casino? Anyway, it’s more than the end of that Trump brand; it’s the end of 3,000 jobs.
Trump also stated that if his daughter Ivanka were harassed at work, that she should find another job. It’s not the victim’s job to avoid harassment, it’s the perpetrators’ jobs not to do any harassing.
Rounding out the week of sheer insanity, Trump claimed that he had seen a video of the cash ransom payment being offloaded from a U.S. plane to Iranian officials. Exactly no one can corroborate that such a video, in fact, exists.
Trump was imploding so quickly that even his few remaining allies knew that something had to change. Reince Priebus, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani are rumored to have plotted an “intervention” of sorts, though as far as anyone can tell, no intervention has yet occurred.
If Trump is going to stop his campaign’s free fall, he has to start right away. He has to start with the voter demographic that is least likely to go for Hillary, and most up for grabs: young people. “Make America Great Again” means something different to us than it does to our parents and grandparents. As a Pew Research survey illuminated, 62 percent of millennials believe that “ability to change” is what makes the U.S. successful. Only 35 percent of our generation ascribed that success to “reliance on principles” -- a lower percentage than any other demographic.
The survey is inherently flawed because it positions principles and adaptability as opposites. It’s not impossible to be principled and innovative at the same time. The combination of core beliefs and creative thinking is what propelled the Founding Fathers to create the American government. But the study says that, when forced to choose between the two traits, young people want adaptability.
Trump must prove to us that he is innovative, not reckless. This starts with stopping his blatant lies (that’s Hillary’s brand -- let her keep it). If Trump can’t keep a casino alive or a campaign from falling into chaos, one wonders about his ability to be the nation’s top executive. Trump tells us that he wants to “Make America Great Again;” now he must demonstrate that he could actually accomplish such a feat.