No, not his plan to Make America Great Again – there’s no real details on that. Deliberately – it is an excellent and effective advertising slogan into which everyone can pour whatever mental content they like. What I’m talking about is Trump’s plan to win.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is click on the TV – which is set to the local news because right around wake-up time is the time they do the weather forecast, thus allowing me to plan, weather-wise, my day. After watching that, I click over to the national news to make certain the world didn’t blow up in the night…usually, this is about 30 seconds because (a) if the world blew up it would be right there and (b) I can’t take more than 30 seconds of national news mindlessness at a time. But this morning the news was showing Trump at some sort of town hall event – I watched through two questions.
The first question was about the life issue – apparently originating from a couple Catholic guys, one of whom is a priest: once and for all, are you pro-life or pro-choice? Boom, goes Donald – “I’m pro-life”; then a bit of attacks on Cruz for questioning Trump’s pro-life credentials.
The second question was about Social Security – what will you do to save it? Trump’s answer – I’m going to make the economy so strong that we can fund it forever; I’ll never cut it or raise the retirement age; every other candidate will cut it; remember Paul Ryan? They had him pushing granny off a cliff in a wheelchair, they won’t be able to do that to me.
Trump didn’t provide any details, at all – but he said precisely what a winning electoral coalition wants to hear.
Make no mistake about it, the GOP has a disadvantage on Social Security – relentless Democrat lies have convinced a large number of people that in some way, the GOP wants to cut benefits to current Social Security recipients. Don’t doubt this – I personally know such people. That Social Security is a hideously bad program which doesn’t provide near what a privatized retirement plan could provide is neither here nor there: for tens of millions of people, it is all they have for retirement and even the slightest hint of risk to the program gives them a sinking feeling in their gut…and makes them, in the end, vote Democrat just to be sure. Donald Trump just laid down an immovable marker – he won’t cut it in any way, shape or form. Hillary tries to attack him with that, he’ll be able to smack down such talk and be convincing about it. Elderly voters already trend GOP…Romney won 56% of their votes in 2012…but Trump, by being absolutely firm on this, could increase the GOP share of the elderly a significant amount.
Trump is now officially pro-life, but he’s no Holy Joe and he’s never been involved in the fight over abortion, and thus hasn’t built up any “hate factor” on either side. The United States is becoming a more pro-life nation all the time, so being pro-life, aside from being crucial in the GOP primary, is in tune with the broad majority of the American people…who, though, still in their majority don’t want an actual end to abortion, at least in the early part of a pregnancy. Given the nature of Trump, a “War on Women” campaign against him would probably roll off…and do keep in mind that 21% of professed Pro-Life people voted for Obama in 2012, which is an absurdity…Trump could pull even more Pro-Life people into the GOP voting booth.
What this all boils down to me is that Trump, by keeping it vague but firmly on the side of the vast majority of the American people (gotta protect SS; you know, it is just better to be Pro-Life, etc), his plan is to win the GOP nomination and the Presidency by sheer out-appealing everyone else. Trump is not looking for wedge issues to divide the electorate and pick up just enough of it to secure victory (a long-standing Democrat tactic which the GOP has never been effective at) – Trump is looking to convince a gigantic majority that he’s for them.
Whether or not he can do it remains to be seen – just as it remains to be seen what, precisely, he’d do as President. But if he can do it, then he’s not only going to be the GOP nominee, but he’s going to utterly crush the Democrats in November.
I’m still hopeful that Cruz or Rubio can somehow stop him – but time is rapidly running out and I’ve yet to see them hit Trump where it would actually hurt…in the fact that he’s a rich man. Trump is rich, Hillary is rich – attack the rich. Go full-blast after corporations, rich people, the use of money by the Establishment to twist things. Still might not work, but hitting Trump on the fact that he used to be pro-choice or that he’s not a true conservative won’t get you anywhere…people don’t care about that. They are disgusted with business as usual and are searching – in both Democrat and GOP ranks – for whomever seems most likely to be a political hand grenade in DC. Just as in 2008 the whole exercise was to find the politician who was least like George Bush, so 2016 is all about finding the politician who is least like a politician. Hence, Trump.
I will never be a Trump supporter – because Trump, bottom line, is just another Progressive…a more patriotic variety of Progressive than we’ve seen for some decades. There used to be a lot of them, you know? Teddy Roosevelt was one, for instance. If he becomes President, I’ll support anything he does which actually works towards Conservatism, oppose anything he does which doesn’t. But if we in the GOP don’t want to have a Progressive, Patriotic Trump as President, then we’d better get our act together very fast…and that really means Cruz and Rubio getting their acts together.