The GOP establishment is getting itself into quite a panic – recently saw that former Senator Sununu is asserting that if Trump is the nominee then not only will the GOP lose the White House, but we’ll also lose the House and Senate. Now, to be sure, the GOP has a treacherous path in the Senate in 2016 because so many GOP Senators are up for re-election, but anyone think that the Democrats, led by Hillary, will have a strong year in the House is just speaking nonsense. But the statement does show the level of fear – and what Sununu and others are trying to do is scare people away from voting for Trump. This is a formula for ensuring Trump is the nominee.
I had initially thought the Trump surge was due to his mere celebrity status. Then I figured it was his vigorous statements on dealing with illegal immigration. But as time has worn on, I’ve come to a different conclusion. What brought it about is that over the past few weeks I’ve just come across a number of people who aren’t GOP voters but who are enthused about Trump. The cap of it all was when a lady I know said she’d vote Trump to keep Hillary out of the White House – this lady is liberal and a two-time Obama voter. All of this got me thinking – what is it about Trump that makes him acceptable to such a wide variety of people? His celebrity status would only go so far – and if that is all he had, he would have fizzled by now. His policies are vague, so its not like there some definitive thing he proposes to do which gets people on board. And then it hit me: he hasn’t lied to us. And this means that when he says something, people take it at face value – he’s believed. Meanwhile, those most vigorously attacking Trump have a bad reputation among the American people and especially the GOP base: they’ve lied before, lots of times. And so when they say, “Trump is bad”, maybe they’re lying, now?
Oh, to be sure, Trump has said some inaccurate things – but there’s a difference between saying something that is inaccurate and saying something that is a bold-faced lie. An inaccuracy would be claiming that people in the United States celebrated the 9/11 attacks – I don’t remember any such here, but I do vividly remember Palestinians getting in a celebratory mood over it. Trump is still holding to his story, but I think its just a mixed-up memory, which any of us can have; and Trump is not the sort to back down on something he’s said. Even if you could prove to Trump directly that he’s flat wrong, he probably still wouldn’t back down. It’s not his way – and people do admire a person who sticks to their guns. At all events, there is a correct perception among the American people that a large number of people in the world wish the United States ill, and some of them live here. That they weren’t popping champagne on the streets on 9/11 is less important than the fact that such people do exist. The GOP base gives Trump a pass on such a statement because they know that whether or not anyone particularly celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey is trivial in the grand scheme of things. To dwell upon it is pettifogging – mean spirited, too. And it is easy to believe that those trying to shred Trump on it are not necessarily doing so in service of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but in service of merely stopping Trump – and just stopping Trump, as Sununu attempts to do with his electoral fear-mongering, is actually something which just reinforces Trump’s “street cred”…it is the Establishment attacking the hero of the hour. It is dumb and counter-productive.
To clarify, a lie is something like saying you’ll campaign on a commitment to repeal ObamaCare and then doing nothing to so much as slow it down. A lie is something like saying your swell new health care program will reduce premiums by $2,500.00 only to have them skyrocket. It is especially a lie when your actions post-lie demonstrate that you knew you were lying from the get-go. I can promise you sincerely that I’ll be over at your house next week to help you move the furniture. If I don’t make it, there are two things it could be: I lied, or something came up. If you know me well, then you’ll swiftly come to a conclusion about which it is. If I’m usually the sort of person who makes a promise and then doesn’t deliver, then you’ll be on firm ground figuring I lied. If, on the other hand, I almost always keep my word then my excuse that my back went out on the day of the move will be credible. Our political class has proven itself over the past few decades that it is just lying – and knowing that it is lying as it states the lies. We listen to their speeches, listen to their promises of this or that definitive action once elected and then we see not only that such promises don’t happen, but very often the exact opposite of the promise occurs, all with an explanation that there never was really a chance of getting that thing done because Reasons. It is those kinds of lies that the American people are sick to death of – and all politicians are smeared with them, even if a particular politician has never stated a specific lie. It is no surprise, given this, that the two top GOPers are non-politicians; ie, people who have not spent the past couple decades lying to us – and the two regular GOPers who are doing the best (Rubio and Cruz) are rather new to national politics, and thus haven’t had time to spread enough bull to fertilize the Sinai. As for Hillary (who has spread enough bull, twice) – sure, she’ll still claw her way to the Democrat nomination, but the astonishing lack of enthusiasm for her candidacy even among Democrats (and her miserable polling numbers) shows that even some Democrats are not willing to put up with liars forever (as noted with my two-time-Obama-voting friend who is willing to do just about anything to keep Hillary out).
As of this point, there are only two GOPers who can possibly stop Donald Trump – Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. As I noted, they are still rather fresh to politics – they are far more trusted than, say, Jeb or Christie, who have long political lives. Even if people don’t attach a particular lie to either Jeb or Christie (or any of the other career politicians running), they have just been around too long – and the GOP base figures that if they get in then no matter what they promise on the campaign trail, it will be Corrupt Business As Usual once they are in the White House: that they’ll sell us out to cut deals with the liberal part of the political class. Both Rubio and Cruz have their weaknesses – especially Rubio over the “Gang of 8” immigration proposal. Do not for a moment think that it is necessarily just amnesty which is causing Rubio his problems – after all, even a President Trump will eventually sign on to some sort of amnesty (it is just in the cards, folks). But by being involved in the “Gang of 8”, Rubio has shown himself willing to work with the open-borders Democrats…and that means, in the minds of many, that once he’s President Rubio, we’ll get the amnesty with no border control, at all. That is what has, so far, prevented such a superlative politician like Rubio from rising to the top – fear among the base that he’ll betray the base. Cruz has less of a problem on that than Rubio, but he’s still an elected politician – he’s still a career politician. Sure, he’s got a lot of great things going for him (goes the GOP-base mind), but he’s still one of Them. How can we be sure that President Cruz won’t cave? And, so, to Trump – who hasn’t lied (in a manner which the people, on the whole, care about) and who isn’t a career politician (or, ditto to Carson).
So, how can Rubio or Cruz take on Trump and win? Simple – out Trump Trump. At the end of the day, Donald Trump is a rich business man who has worked the political system to advance his own wealth. To beat Donald Trump, you’d have to show yourself more on the side of the people than Trump possibly can. Trump is rising high because he proposes to take on our Ruling Class and Make America Great again. But Trump is part of the Ruling Class, too. If Senator Cruz wants to be President Cruz, he has to take on the part of Trump which is vulnerable – the businessman who works the system part of Trump. But that means taking on not just Trump, but the whole Chamber of Commerce part of the GOP. A Republican who wants to beat Trump will have to go to war with a great deal of the GOP Establishment – accepting the fact that, if nominated, a huge amount of normally GOP money will flow into Hillary’s coffers. That a large number of prominent GOPers will endorse Hillary and maybe even campaign for her. It means going after the banks. After the multi-national corporations. After the defense contractors. Of course, there would also be the more fun aspects of it – going after Big Education, the MSM and all the institutions feeding off the American people and leading it to destruction. The key is going after the entire Ruling Class, not just part of it, as Trump is doing…and by going after all of it, you go after Trump, as well. A pledge from Rubio or Cruz to intensely investigate our financial institutions and send sharp operators to jail will go far – as will a pledge to investigate corrupt union bosses, corrupt city governments, etc. From what I can gather just talking to people, everyone is just fed up – and that is left and right (except for those parts of the left – which will nominate Hillary – who live off the corrupt system).
This is not a sure-fire way to win, by the way. Trump has built up an impressive political following. He might be unbeatable in the primary by this point. But if there is a way to beat him, then it the way I’ve stated: going after everything from top to bottom, and making sure that everyone knows that Trump is actually part of the problem. He’ll still be able to fight back on that score and his followers are pretty firm…but I suspect that a real red-meat fight against all that is wrong with America would resonate. Done by a good politician – and Rubio and Cruz are good politicians – it could swing enough voters over to either of them to make sure that Trump starts coming in second place in the early primaries. The hardest part for Rubio and Cruz in this is keeping enough of the GOP Establishment on-side to ensure they don’t all coalesce around someone like Christie, presuming that Trump is political toast by Florida. Politics ain’t easy, folks.
And if you’ve beaten Trump, then you’ve just about automatically beaten Hillary. She’s going to talk a great game about fighting for the poor and middle class, but it’ll be Hillary who is raking in the money from major corporations. It is Hillary who has made untold sums of money off of the major corporations. You want to talk about an insider who has been twisting the system to get herself ahead? That is Hillary in a nutshell. She simply cannot win a race against someone who is attacking the very basis of her existence in politics because she cannot separate herself from herself. She is America’s problem demonstrated – everyone knows she’s only going to be the Democrat nominee because her last name is “Clinton” and the Powers That Be want her to have it…because they know full well she won’t actually rock the boat. She won’t actually help the poor and middle class. She can’t – she won’t be allowed to, even if she was so inclined; all she’ll do is ensure that her particular cronies are rewarded. And everyone knows this other than the most blinded of partisans (which, I suspect, won’t make up more than 40% of the electorate in 2016).
For those who think that Trump getting the nomination means a sure-Hillary win, think again. Hillary is disliked – and not just by GOPers. And even those who aren’t nauseated by her politics are just not all that fired up for her. First Woman President is just not that big a thing – not after we’ve already had our first African American President. Hillary plus a War On Women campaign won’t do it. This is not to say that beating Hillary would be easy. It would be a hard fight and may come down to excruciatingly narrow margins in a bunch of States. On the other hand, it could be a substantial loss for Hillary and the Democrats – it is notoriously hard for a party to win the White House three times in a row and Obama isn’t popular (Bush the Elder really got in back in ’88 because Reagan was so popular…Gore lost because Bill Clinton just wasn’t all that popular in ’00; people tend to forget that the Political Genius which is Bill Clinton never secured a majority of the vote). Trump could well win the nomination and then go on to win the White House. If you don’t want that to happen, then you’ve got to figure out how to beat him…and just insulting him and his followers isn’t the way to beat him. In fact, insulting him and his followers just makes his nomination more likely. Attack what Trump stands for in his real life: Big Business and slick deals. People don’t like either or those things. Once you’ve beaten Trump then just do the same to Hillary because she’s also all about Big Business and slick deals.
At the end of the day I think that a solid majority of Americans want a place where the rules apply to everyone equally. That no one is getting a rake-off. That everything is above-board. No one minds it when someone works hard and gets rich – the weakness of the left is because they don’t differentiate in their policies, and it gets worse for them when people perceive that if you toe the left’s line, you can be rich as you like (and make as many corrupt deals as you like). But people do mind it when they perceive that someone is getting special treatment – and that is whether its a government union, a big bank or a real estate developer who likes the idea of confiscating people’s property so he can build a hotel. No one minds immigration – people do mind people jumping the line, and they also don’t like it at all when the line-jumpers get government benefits; the left tries to make out that such sentiments are anti-immigrant and/or racist but it isn’t that, at all. It is cheating the system. It is something that most people can’t do – and it is something that some get to do because others benefit from it (liberals at election time, big business in low-wage employees). If someone will set themselves at the head of a movement to make sure that a fair deal is had by all, then that person will win big, in my view. Trump’s appeal is that he is saying he’ll do that – fight for a good deal for everyone. But he’s vulnerable on the fact that he’s been deep in the economic-political system all his life. It might not be enough to beat him, but it is the only way to beat him I can see. And it is the way to beat Hillary – and why I see a nominated Trump beating Hillary: whatever sharp practice Trump has ever engaged in is nothing compared to the monumental stench of corruption emanating from Hillary’s doings.
Since Jindal and Walker dropped out, I’ve no longer got a dog in this hunt. None of the candidates for President are my cup of tea. At all events, I’m ever more convinced that neither party as currently constituted can successfully implement the deep reforms needed to restore America. I think that Rubio or Cruz could do some good things – I don’t know what Trump will do. I can’t go on anything he’s done in the past because all he’s done is make business deals and appear on television. Maybe he’ll surprise me and become one of the greats, if elected President. I don’t know. I do know that if he’s up against Hillary, he’ll get my vote – whatever flaws he has are as nothing compared to the disaster which would be a second Clinton Presidency.
While neither of the party’s are vehicles for reform at the moment, the Trump phenomena does demonstrate that the GOP is still my best bet for eventually getting a party of reform. The Democrats had their shot with Sanders – socialist as he is, he’s an honest man. He would actually try to do what he says he wants to do. But the Democrats, after a short fling, are starting to fall in line behind Hillary. But I think that such Democrats are a decided minority of all Americans (just as the GOPers who would turn out for an establishment GOPer are a minority – and if the GOP does go establishment for 2016 then the race is a complete hold-your-nose tossup with a slight advantage to Hillary; it’ll be two minorities battling it out to see who can drag the most number of disappointed people to the polls). I do believe there is a majority which wants real change – real reform. Trump is catching a bit of that lightening in a bottle – will anyone else step up and make a try for it? We’ll see.