Here's the big speech Clinton needs to give
© Getty Images

Some advice for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE.

Secretary Clinton, you have largely been invisible to the American people during the last month. Your focus on fundraising has netted a remarkable $143 million in just 30 days. But presidential elections are not won by money alone.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the same period, your favorability ratings have plummeted to a new low and GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE has creeped up in the polls. You need to stop playing it safe and reemerge in a bold new way. Here is the speech that that reenergize your campaign and puts Trump on the defensive again.

Your speech should focus on the issues that concern the American people. Constantly, ordinary voters complain that they don't hear real solutions to the nation's problems. You have solutions on your website, but not one in a 100 voters is likely to plow through that material.

You need to distill your ideas into simple and compelling messages that people can readily understand: Get it down "to where the goats can get it." You should unabashedly compare your solutions to those posed — or not posed — by Trump.

Here are some examples of issues that the big speech should address. Other issues can be added and the policies outline here would obviously be fleshed out.

• Jobs and the economy. You have a realistic plan to create jobs and lasting growth. You propose investments in needed infrastructure, "make it in America" initiatives, tax relief for working families and small businesses, research to create jobs for the future, and control over the excesses of Wall Street.

Trump backs tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires like himself and irresponsible degregulation — the same policies that brought on the great recession of 2008. Trump welcomed the recession because he could buy up homes cheaply from displaced families. Independent analysts have praised your plans and noted that Trump's plan would tank the economy.

• National security and terrorism. You strongly support America's NATO alliances, oppose Russian aggression, back the treaty that keeps Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other nations.

Trump has suggested that we abandon our NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression, has said he might recognize occupied Crimea as part of Russia, has promised to tear up the Iran treaty and has talked loosely about sanctioning the spread of nuclear weapons. He has invited the Russians to meddle in America's election.

Secretary Clinton, you have plans to beat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the world of ideas. You would continue our successful efforts to take out ISIS strongholds, work with our allies to dismantle global terrorist networks, and improve intelligence gathering and analysis.

Trump has no plans to strike at the root cause of terrorism. He has been the poster boy for extremist recruitment with his demeaning of Muslims, his racial profiling of Muslims and his unconstitutional idea to ban all Muslims from the U.S. He now seems to be proposing a ban on immigration from all unspecified countries with terrorist issues and to impose an ideological test on immigrants. He fails to understand that terrorists could come from virtually any nation and that they will simply lie to pass any an ideological test.

• Immigration. Like the majority of the American people, you support a path to citizenship for immigrants who have paid their taxes and stayed free of crime. You support secure border initiatives that already have reduced illegal immigration to record low levels.

Trump calls for a "deportation force" that would impose terrible hardships on millions of families, balloon the deficit, scuttle the economy and require a vast diversion of police forces from crime control and enforcement. He supports the building of a 2,000-mile border wall that Mexico will never pay for, is impractical to construct, would hurt the environment and would not stop illegal immigration.

• Climate change and the environment. The effects of climate change are not a theoretical possibility; they are already here in the U.S., from flooding on the East Coast to record droughts and wildfires in the West. Outline your specific proposal to make the transition to an economy based on clean, renewable sources of energy: clean power standards for vehicles and power plants, support for the Paris climate agreement, investments in clean energy sources, ending subsidies to wealthy oil and gas companies, and a $60 billion clean energy partnership with the states. These policies would not only combat climate change but would benefit the economy and create jobs.

Trump denies not only the overwhelming scientific consensus of climate energy, but also the evidence that stands before our eyes. He would repudiate the Paris agreement and advance drill-and-dig energy policies that would make the problem of climate change even worse than it already is.

• Civil rights and liberties. You support the right of women to safe and legal abortions, the right of marriage for gays and lesbians, and restoration of the Voting Rights Act to full strength. You oppose measures passed by Republican state government to suppress the votes of African-Americans and Hispanics.

In his foray into a black church in Detroit, Trump claimed he will "build on Abraham Lincoln's legacy" and said we need a "new civil rights agenda." But he has opposed all these policies for which you stand and his website is silent on civil rights and liberties.

This big speech would satisfy the yearning of Americans for specific solutions to national and international challenges. It would set the agenda for the rest of your campaign, gain press coverage, establish an agenda for the presidential debates, and put Trump further on the defensive.

Lichtman is distinguished professor of history at American University in Washington.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.