First of all, you should know that the Wall St. Journal editorial board is famously cuckoo bananas. They are so extreme and so fact-free that they often contradict the fact-based reporting of their own journalists. (And do I have to mention they're now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.?)
And yet, despite their happiness over deregulation, they just published an editorial that shreds his rationale for a second term, criticizing his greatest hits formula for his re-election rally in Orlando.
They don’t much care about Mr. Trump’s greatest hits about Hillary Clinton, who alas for the President will not be on the ballot in 2020. They want to know why they should take a risk on Mr. Trump and his volatile character for another term.
There's a message in there, and it's an important one. Business wants stability. They want to be able to plan ahead, they don't like surprises. And I've never met a small businessman who not only reads the Journal, but takes those wacky op-eds as religion. There's not much that can change a Republican's mind, but this will probably plant some small seed of doubt.
Mr. Trump may figure he can persuade some of those skeptics by making the Democratic nominee even more unpopular than he is. If the Democrats oblige by nominating Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, that might be possible. But that is making a bet on the other party’s mistake, and a re-election campaign is typically a referendum on the incumbent.
Which is all the more reason to offer voters something more for a second term. He could put Democrats on the spot for high housing prices and homelessness by talking about restrictive zoning for elites and high property taxes. He could offer to reform higher education by making schools responsible for some of the debt of students who can’t repay loans, or invigorate vocational education to help young people who can’t go to college.
In other words, Trump should adopt the policies proposed by almost every major Democratic candidate! (See what I mean about the Journal editorial board?) Oh, and ironically enough, they praise Trump for ... fixing Obama's economy.
On trade, Mr. Trump has disrupted global rules but has put nothing new and stable in their place. Asking voters to believe he’ll do better on these issues in a second term isn’t likely to turn many swing voters his way.
[...] This is far from an exhaustive list, and Mr. Trump won’t win as a policy wonk in any case. But Mr. Trump also won’t win by relitigating the 2016 election or playing only to his political base. He needs more than he offered voters on Tuesday night.
But he doesn't know how to do anything else! He's a con artist. Sooner or later, reality sets in.
And thanks to the Journal op-ed gang, who helped demonize Hillary Clinton, Obama, and just about everything Democrats ever proposed, they have a tiger by the tail. What do you with that?