Neither Democratic candidates nor journalists have yet figured out how to counter Trump the Fabulist, who says whatever comes into his head and has a keen instinct for what kind of insults will rev up his base. Facts don’t matter, because the truth of what Trump says — always elusive — isn’t the message. The message is that he can mock, humiliate, savage, without consequence. That talent is apparently what his followers admire, and wish they knew how to do.
Trump has mocked Elizabeth Warren by calling her Pocahontas, and Warren has recently responded by releasing DNA information strongly suggestive of Native American heritage. That isn’t going to matter to Trump, who continued the birther business about President Obama long after the actual birth certificate was released. He’s going to continue to call Warren Pocahontas too.
What Warren now needs to do is go after a specific part of Trump’s mockery, in which he vowed to send a million dollars to charity if in fact Warren has Native American heritage. Trump is notoriously cheap. Anyone who has paid $1 in federal income taxes, given $1 to charity or put a dollar bill in a church collection basket has done more than Trump. Warren needs to go after that, to hammer the point that Trump promised a million bucks but is too cheap to come through with it. She also might start calling him Don the Con, because the name certainly fits.
I don’t think we have to stoop to Trump’s level — indeed that would be hard to do. Most people have some sense of shame. But we do have to figure out how to stop the ugliness that Trump spouts on a daily basis in its tracks. Don the Con. Too cheap to come through. I think it might work.