Next Steps: How to Push Back Against Trump

March 4, 2016

The question always posed to the dog chasing cars is “What will you do with it when you catch it?” And although the letter published here on War on the Rocks yesterday (signed by, as I write, 106 Republicans) should not be considered an end state, it is an important statement of purpose upon which further action is required.

Many signers have indicated their willingness to continue to press the case against a Donald Trump nomination, and so I offer a few ideas for how this momentum can be sustained. Last night’s debate added additional urgency to the effort. Not only did Trump continue to assert his preference for blatant violations of international law, he arrogantly asserted that the military would follow these unlawful orders, with viewers left to imagine the consequences to those who might not follow the Will of the Great Man.

Here are a few ideas for signers of the letter and anyone else who shares our sentiments:

  • Op-eds — I urge signers to familiarize themselves with the schedule of remaining GOP primaries and try to place op-eds in newspapers read by those voters. If you lead with “Why I signed this letter and why you, citizen of this state, need to consider it before you go to the polls,” you can’t go wrong.
  • Online Outlets — Signers could replicate Dan Drezner’s laudable effort at the Washington Post and look to place pieces at National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Interest, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, Defense One, The American Conservative, and – of course – War on the Rocks.
  • Television and Radio — If you are one of the folks who are able to call upon bookers and producers at more traditional television and radio outlets, make the call and get yourself scheduled. We all know how hard booking is, so make their jobs easier and volunteer.
  • Email and Social Media — Signers should consider writing a personal email to as many people as they know in their own social networks, include a link to the letter, and explain why this is important to you. If you are on other social media like Facebook, proudly post a link to the letter and explain your personal objections. Be forewarned, you will get some spirited pushback from Trump supporters. Make the case for why you are right and they are wrong.

There is a long way to Cleveland in July, and many very positive outcomes remain. Now is not the time to rest.


Bryan McGrath is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group and is the Assistant Director of The Hudson Institute Center for American Seapower.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore