In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, novelist Joseph Epstein suggested that Republican presidential candidates should use the primary debates to turn the tables on Trump’s name-calling.
Epstein, notes that Donald Trump isn’t known for being a “brilliant debater.” Instead, he is known for insulting his opponents.
He writes that it is curious that none of Trump’s opponents are willing to hit back at him, especially given how “eminently insultable” Donald Trump is. Epstein lists all of the things on which Trump’s opponents could insult him, including his hairstyle, his orange skin, his weight problem, his history with women, and his historical and cultural ignorance.
Epstein concedes that some of the Republicans running for president may not be “adept at invective,” but argues that they may not have a choice in this election.
Epstein recounts his experience attending high school in Chicago in the 1950s where personal attacks, or what he called “bugging,” was a specialty among students.
He said exploiting physical flaws was common at his school, with a large-nosed boy getting labeled “José Nosay” and a slightly overweight boy getting the moniker “The Swine.”
Based on his experience from high school, Epstein suggests that a Republican opponent should hit Trump on his hairstyle by noting that the money Trump spends on hairspray and dye could “easily clear the national debt.” He also suggested that someone could ask how long Trump had to remain submerged in orange juice to get his skin that color.
Noting that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said one of the reasons he is running for president is to go after Donald Trump, Epstein said he hopes that Christie follows through and encourages Trump’s other opponents to do the same.
He argues that Republican candidates won’t have any choice since “Trump is sure to come after them.”