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Opinion
Noah Feldman

On Nov. 9, Let's Forget Donald Trump Happened

If Clinton wins, the best strategy for Democrats and Republicans alike would be to neither shun nor woo his voters.
Just call them a basket of voters.
Photographer: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

With Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House narrowing, it’s not too soon to ask: If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November, what attitude should Democrats and Republicans alike take toward Trump voters? It will be tempting to excoriate or patronize them, or to woo them to your cause. But all of these approaches would be mistaken. A much better strategy -- for both parties -- is to engage in selective memory, and to treat Trump voters as though the whole sorry episode of his candidacy never occurred.

That may seem counterintuitive, especially because there’s no doubt that Trump’s candidacy shows the system needs fixing. But it’s based on the solid intuition that Trump voters, many of them alienated already from mainstream party politics, will only be further alienated by anything that associates them with a candidate whose brand was victory and who delivered defeat.