Democrats should thank Donald Trump

Story highlights

  • David Wheeler: As a voter who's leaning toward voting Democratic, I just wanted to say thank you
  • Thank you for your antics, arrogance, and most of all, thank you for damaging the GOP brand

David R. Wheeler is a freelance writer and a journalism professor at the University of Tampa. Follow him on Twitter: @David_R_Wheeler. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Dear Donald:

As a voter who's leaning toward voting Democratic, I just wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for your antics. Thank you for your arrogance. And most of all, thank you for damaging the GOP brand -- possibly beyond restoration for quite likely the entire election season.
    If you'll indulge me, I have some ideas about how you can further alienate key demographic groups from the Republican Party. After all, it's going to be a close election, and we don't want to leave anything to chance.
    David Wheeler
    Wait -- where are my manners?
    Before I start dispensing advice, let me show my sincere appreciation for what you've accomplished so far. In fact, your three-ring-circus of a campaign has propelled you to the top of the poll for GOP candidates.
    First, there's your offensive reaction to a lawyer who requested a break from a deposition to pump breast milk. You had called her "disgusting" — a word that sane people are now using to describe your presidential campaign.
    Then there's your decision to hire a special counsel who's capable of saying something awful: Namely, that it's impossible for a spouse to commit rape. True, this person later apologized, but not after inflicting damage to a party already known for tone-deafness on the rape issue.
    These actions are disconcerting, especially for women, who face sexism and misogyny in our society.
    Alienate the female vote: check.
    Next, there's the Latino immigrant community.
    Although first-generation immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans, you disregarded this fact, not to mention common decency and civility, by saying Mexican immigrants are criminals and "rapists." Then, in a moment of smug genius, you added, "Some, I assume, are good people."
    After the inevitable uproar, you refused to back down. Bravo, Donald!
    No amount of advertising dollars spent in Latino districts could ever generate a comparable level of negativity toward Republicans -- or, for that matter, goodwill toward Democrats. Only a statement as outrageous as yours could have done the trick. And let's not forget that Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the country, a constituency the GOP can't ignore.
    Alienate the Latino vote: check.
    As if that weren't enough, you questioned the heroism of a prisoner of war, saying you preferred war heroes who "weren't captured." And it wasn't just any prisoner of war; it was none other than GOP elder statesman John McCain, who was held captive and tortured for more than five years by the North Vietnamese. In other words, you could not have chosen a better target for your outrageously disrespectful, out-of-touch, privileged comments.
    Alienate the military veteran vote: check.
    I cannot sufficiently emphasize the importance of your role in securing the presidency for the Democrats. Considering the polarization of the electorate, the 2016 race might come down to just a few votes on Election Day. Your offensive statements might be the very factor that tips the election in the Democrats' favor.
    And I have a request along those lines: Please don't stop what you're doing. In fact, don't even slow down. There are plenty of important constituencies both inside and outside the GOP base that you haven't denigrated yet. For example: religious conservatives and Southerners.
    According to Gallup, 34% of conservatives describe themselves as "highly religious." Known for their literal interpretation of the Bible, many religious conservatives observe a Sabbath and choose not to do any work for 24 hours once a week. Donald, aren't they begging to be insulted?
    Admit it -- aren't you just a little bit tempted to call them out for their laziness? I mean, how can you be a successful business owner if you're taking an entire day off once a week? I shouldn't meddle with your signature style, but maybe your comment could go something like this: "Religious conservatives? Yeah, right. They're only religious because they take a day off once a week. I prefer conservatives who aren't lazy."
    Putting down Southerners will be just as easy. You're a New Yorker. You've been to the South. They talk differently down there, don't they?
    I've lived in the South my whole life, and I can personally attest to the speed with which Southerners can turn on you when you start making fun of their accent. Even better, let's combine the Southern accent with the stereotype that Southerners are less intelligent. Again, you're a maestro at effrontery, so you probably don't need my help. But hear me out. You could say something like this: "Southerners. They mangle the English language. They're unintelligent. And some, I assume, are good people."
    Admittedly, your chance of securing the nomination is a long shot. But here's the great thing: It doesn't matter. As long as you keep doing what you're doing, all the groups that you're offending right now will associate your vitriol with the Republican Party come November 2016.
    So, on behalf of Democrats everywhere: Thanks, Donald!
    Yours truly,
    David