Trump and the State of the GOP

Trump4by Patricia L. Dickson1/26/16
One of the often repeated memes from the Republican Party establishment against a Trump presidency is that he will somehow tarnish the party’s image.  This assertion has caused me to question: what exactly is this image of the party that they claim Trump will tarnish?

The RNC touts Republicans as the big-tent party that wants to attract members from all voting blocs.  However, if we look back to the last two presidential elections, neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney was able to peel off a substantial number of minority voters.  Obviously, for some reason, the GOP’s image is not one that is attractive to many people from different voter blocs.  The main reason why Trump has risen in the polls is because of his crossover appeal.

A few weeks ago, I was listening to talk radio on my commute from work here in liberal California.  Ann Coulter was the guest on the show.  As she was promoting her latest book Adios America, people were calling in saying that they were registered Democrats, but they were going to vote for Donald Trump because he’s not a typical Republican.  How is that for the GOP’s image?  Some members of the black community are saying that they do not see Trump as black or white, Democrat or Republican.  They say their support for him is because they see him simply as a man.  When I hear and read comments in support of Trump, I conclude that if anything, he might improve the party’s image rather than tarnish it.

Many commentators, writers, and pundits are stating that the Republican party is engaged in a civil war.  This time the civil war is over Donald Trump instead of slavery.  The fighting is getting so intense that the entire intellectual staff of writers at the National Review Online published a special issue warning the GOP base against Trump the deceiver.

The GOP establishment is constantly warning us that we are being lied to by Trump.  My response to their warning is, so what?  We are used to being lied to.  Trump may well be lying to us (we will know only once he’s in office), but so have our elected officials in Congress in both parties.

Rush Limbaugh took the media and the GOP to task over their over-the-top criticism of Trump by pointing out that they themselves have squandered all creditability.  Not only did our elected officials in Congress stab us in the back by giving President Obama everything he asked for in the current ominous bill, but after a conservative group exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby butcher business, the Republican Congress undermined the hard work by voting to continue to fund them.

If there is anything I can say about Trump’s candidacy, it is that he has laid bare for all to see the true mentality of the GOP establishment.  We have learned that not only are they out of touch with what concerns their base, but they don’t seem to care that they are.  Jeb Bush says Trump cannot insult his way to the nomination, yet that is exactly what he and the GOP establishment is trying to do to us.  In fact, Bush said that his intent was to win the nomination without the support of the conservative base.  If that’s not an insult, what is?

As for NRO’s so-called conservative intellectual writers attempt at educating the GOP base as to who is or is not a conservative, I contend that one can always tell what an organization really stands for by who and what it chooses to embrace or reject.  One of the reasons I stopped reading National Review Online was because many of its staff writers rejected Sarah Palin.  Regardless of your personal opinion of Palin (which should not be part of the political discussion to begin with), no one can say that she has not been consistent in supporting conservative agendas.  In addition, Republicans won the House of Representatives in 2010 largely because of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  Yet NRO rejects her while at the same time embracing establishment members like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, of whom neither has a record of supporting conservative policies.  Now that Trump is beating their establishment guys in the polls, the NRO’s writers have the nerve to lecture the GOP base on who is not a true conservative.

David Brooks, a so-called conservative writer and pundit, says that neither Trump nor Cruz is electable.  What does electable mean?  What are the qualifications for electability?  Are voters not the ones who determine a candidate’s electability?  In an attempt to explain Trump’s lead in the polls, the GOP establishment and the media paint his supporters as angry.  What is wrong with being angry?  The fact that Nikki Haley and the establishment GOP are not angry at the state of our country is a damning indictment on them, not on the angry conservative base.

PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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22 Responses to Trump and the State of the GOP

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I like this opinion. I don’t know why it was relatively buried in AT‘s blog section. It should have been the lead. Again, I’m glad to have it here. Thanks again to those writers such as Patricia who contribute. It helps me pad my retirement fund. I have this big stack of cash building up.

    LOL. Actually, no. But I think Patricia has captured an honest and un-blinkered look at Trump. The only thing I would add is that I think much of his appeal is that he presents himself as a real man. He doesn’t have marbles in his mouth. He doesn’t apologize for words he said just yesterday. He’s bold. He takes chances. He’s confident. He’s all the things the GOP Establishment is not.

    The GOP Establishment has taken on many of the assumptions of the Left, therefore they act from a position of weakness. They believe they need to apologize for being white, wealthy, or just in love with America. This weak-kneed orientation has fostered the classic GOP Establishment ideology of “reaching out.” Their belief is that the GOP’s main problem is bad press and that they won’t get that bad press if they show everyone that they’re not the things the Left says they are. This, of course, results in them not actually being able to take on any of the problems we face because doing so will inevitably cast them as “haters” of one type or another. That is why I tend to think of them not as the GOP Establishment but the GOP Eunuchs.

    This base of weakness is no way to build a national party that will accomplish anything but feathering their own nests. And at this feathering they have been very good.

    With Trump’s nest already feathered by other means outside of politics, we know we’ll see a different game being played. It may not be one we always like. In fact, we may come to regret it immensely, especially in terms of Supreme Court appointments. But even Reagan disappointed us in this regard.

    But in Trump, as with Reagan, we have a real, American, non chick-i-fied male. I may not always agree with Trump. But in this regard I can respect him. I don’t respect any of the GOP candidates other than Cruz and Santorum. And Jindal, but he needs me as a campaign coach. He needs an injection of personality. It it comes down to Hillary vs. Trump, Trump will wipe the floor with this hag. Nobody likes her but that (unfortunately growing) hardcore dependency/Red Diaper Doper Baby class of the corrupt and deluded.

    Anyway, if you have Facebook, but all means share this article. Get the word out.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      To many, this is the stereotype of the GOP. And that is not a way to win elections.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      With Trump’s nest already feathered by other means outside of politics, we know we’ll see a different game being played.

      One of the arguments thrown at Trump by “conservatives” is that he is just another crony capitalist who bought and sold politicians for personal benefit. Therefore, he is not a true conservative.

      To these people, I would like to remind them of an old saying, “It takes a thief to catch a thief.” I believe many of Trump’s supporters believe that, because he already has his and knows how corrupt the game really is, he will use his insider knowledge to break up the rotten system. They may be insanely optimistic in this hope, but they understand no other candidate has the possibilities that Trump has.

      Wasn’t there a novel titled “The Captains and the Kings” where the protagonist pretended to be part of the insider group while running for president, but he really wanted to break the group up? I think the insiders got him before he could be sworn in. Trump better watch his back if he gets elected.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Ain’t it amazin’ how we at ST are most generally ahead of the media?

        Here is a link to a Breitbart article which reinforces my comments re “it takes a thief to catch a thief” and the “Lords and Serfs” angle.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Ain’t it amazin’ how we at ST are most generally ahead of the media?

          This is why if this site ever turns a hefty profit and/or becomes a vehicle for prestige, we’re finished. Truth-telling then has to be filtered to make sure it doesn’t work against other needs.

          We may not always be right. As you are fond of saying, the world is a very complicated place. And due to this complication, it’s difficult to have one’s hand on the pulse of everything. There are just so many things going on. We can’t know it all.

          But we can at least not deny what we do see. And we can discriminate between facts and spin. Speaking of prestige, the only thing I really want is Sarah Palin’s endorsement. I dig her. I don’t agree with everything she says and supports. But she’s no shrinking violet nor is she your typical ball-busting shrill feminist. She’s a lady but bold all the same…something that used to be part and parcel of the American idea. Now they’re all victims even as they claim to be just as good (if not better) than men. I’d crawl naked over broken glass for that lady even while criticizing her on some stuff.

          But the biggest endorsement we can ever have is just truth itself. If you don’t have to carry the BS for some other cause, it’s surprising how relatively simple finding the truth is. It takes a lot of work to obscure it and we have people working overtime in all walks of life to do just that.

          And kudos to Breitbart.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Here is an excellent piece by Charles Murray which explains why the Trump phenomenon is much bigger than just Trump.

            Trump’s America

            Others are beginning to see the death of the American idea which has opened the door to the “Standard Operating Procedure” as practiced by others throughout history.

            The differences between the classes are widening and the middle is being forced out. Serfs and Lords.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I cleaned up that url for you, Mr. Kung. It was hanging off the page.

              It sort of says it all in the opening paragraph. That, by the way, is evidence of good writing, Mediocre writers seem to want to pop the gist of their article on you halfway down the page — if that — like some sort of surprise or treasure hunt. The inability to get the point also is a symptom of people not actuallly having a point and substituting volumns of text as if the sheer weight of words will somehow spell out a point. Just saying. It’s a pleasure to read an opening paragraph like this:

              If you are dismayed by Trumpism, don’t kid yourself that it will fade away if Donald Trump fails to win the Republican nomination. Trumpism is an expression of the legitimate anger that many Americans feel about the course that the country has taken, and its appearance was predictable. It is the endgame of a process that has been going on for a half-century: America’s divestment of its historic national identity.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I cleaned up that url for you, Mr. Kung. It was hanging off the page.

                Thanks. I have no idea how to do such a thing.

                I think this bit is important

                The new lower class consists of people who have dropped out of some of the most basic institutions of American civic culture, especially work and marriage.

                I think many libertarians belong to this group.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        This was the logic FDR used in naming Joseph Kennedy Sr. to run the SEC. I don’t know how well it worked, but I doubt it was a total failure, anyway.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    A very good summary of the case for Trump. I suspect that the fear of Trump hurting the already-stinking GOP brand is partly Beltway insularity. People who have no connection to the rest of the country tend to think everyone else thinks like them. The argument that Trump isn’t a genuine conservative is a more reasonable one, and very likely true. But which among the alternatives is a reliable conservative? Cruz and Paul in their different ways, and maybe Fiorina and Rubio (though the latter’s betrayal on the Gang of 8 bill wrecks his trustworthiness). But Christie isn’t, except by comparison to the regional norm. And Bush and Kasich both have chosen to run against their party’s voters, which is why they’re the 2 candidates I won’t even consider voting for.

    David Brooks was brought in to be the conservative alternative at the <i.New York Slimes. Naturally, as with his predecessor (William Safire), this meant he wasn’t all that conservative (there are limits to what they can tolerate). And Brooks over time has become increasingly liberal, corrupted by his environment. (Much the same thing seems to be happening to Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      David Brooks was brought in to be the conservative alternative at the New York Slimes.

      Glenn Beck said he would vote for Bernie Sanders over Trump. Well, this may equally shock you: I have more respect for Bernie Sanders than I do David Brooks.

      Bernie Sanders is one of those sad, indoctrinated, probably even evil, characters who wants to punish as all under the guise of do-gooder “Socialism.” But socialism ever only is about payback, not building anything (other than feathering the nests of the elites).

      But I can respect his honest evil, his social megalomania, the dishonest smiley-face he puts on destructive ideas and policies. You might not like Hitler, for instance, but you know where he was coming from. There’s a purity of purpose there, even if the purity is perverse.

      But with guys such a David Brooks, they are the Voldemort of politics. They cloud and obscure. They assist the Bernie Sanders of the world (or their counterparts in the GOP) with their cloud of double-talk and particularly their obsequious naiveté. They are the supercilious drip, drip, drip of political sanctimony dolled up in pseudo-intellectualism.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I suspect Beck would say something similar in terms of why he would vote for Sanders over Trump. For myself, I would vote for any Republican over any Democrat, even if only as a lesser of evils. Of course, I won’t rule out abstaining or voting for an independent.

  3. Rosalys says:

    Imagine the pig farmer telling the florist not to build a greenhouse in his neighborhood – it might effect the smell in the air. I don’t know how it’s possible to tarnish an image that is so corroded with rust and crud as to be just about unrecognizable. Your article, Patricia, as usual, is spot on!

  4. David says:

    I am not a Trump supporter, however, I have watched with great interest the furor he has caused, not only in the liberal MSM, but within the Republican party leadership as well.

    I believe Trump’s popularity would evaporate overnight should the other so-called presidential contenders stop playing lip service to a corrupt Republican party leadership and truly listen to and articulate their party base concerns. They have become so overwhelmingly tired of the lies told to them and have embraced Trump for precisely this reason. He listens to the base and his talk thus far resonates with them. It remains the sole reason his polls continue to increase despite all efforts to destroy him.

    Similarly, I tell my liberal friends who routinely castigate Rush and other conservative commentators that if they really wanted them gone, all they had to do was convince the media begin printing the truth again instead of liberal opinion.

    I therefore conclude that the current political situation for the Democrat party and the Republican party leadership is precisely where they want it. Trump earns their vitriol simply because he threatens their long term plans.

    Oh well….you can lead a horse to water…

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I believe Trump’s popularity would evaporate overnight should the other so-called presidential contenders stop playing lip service to a corrupt Republican party leadership and truly listen to and articulate their party base concerns.

      I don’t believe that is the case. Would you believe Jeb, Kasich, Cristie or Rubio if they now found religion and started talking about things which concern the base? I wouldn’t.

      Any Republican pol who does not have a proven anti-establishment record can not and will not be trusted. And this is a reason the Trump phenomenon is much more serious than some seem to think. The party has lost the trust of millions of its base voters. The only way to get that back is for the old faces to disappear and be replaced by new faces which might, and I stress might, not turn out to be lying sobs like their antecedents.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        But note that even now, Trump has nowhere near a majority of Republican voters on his side, and in fact a large number who at least say they would never vote for him. I think this reflects his many severe personality flaws rather than his anti-establishment stance, but it remains a reality. Of course, much of the support for Cruz and Carson also reflects their anti-establishment status, and (whether you think it’s valid or not) much the same is true of Carly Fiorina.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          But note that even now, Trump has nowhere near a majority of Republican voters on his side, and in fact a large number who at least say they would never vote for him.

          That Trump does not have a majority of Republican voters on his side, at the moment, is not too much of a concern. The nominee, normally, solidifies his numbers in late March or April.

          But the fact that many Republican voters say they will not vote for Trump is another side of the problem facing the party. The conservative base hates the establishment. But the base is badly split and the moderates despise the base as a whole. This does not make for unity behind a candidate.

          While Trump may lose a significant percentage of the Republican base, I think he can make up for this by picking up Reagan democrats.

          If the party nominates a Rubio or Jeb, I am pretty convinced millions in the base will not vote in the election. They may even split away from the party.

  5. David says:

    Barring a Whig-like party abandonment…and a new candidate this late in the game – what you’re both saying is…that if Trump loses, Democrats win again by default – ugh!

    Bad as Trump is, I’d take him over any Democrat any time.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      We don’t know what we’ll get from Trump, but it probably won’t be very conservative. We do know that any Democrat would be very harmful in all respects, and we know that the GOP Beltway Bandits rarely have the moral courage to stand up to them. Freedom of religion might better survive the Lavender Thought Police with a more standard Republican, but even there you can’t always be sure.

  6. GHG says:

    The phrase drain the swamp has been used by pundits and politicians from both parties, but the swamp remains as fetid and snake infested as ever. Is there even one Mr. Smith out there to go to Washington and survive long enough to make a difference?

    Donald Trump is no Jimmy Stewart, not by a long shot, but he has something going for him that others do not – he is impervious to attacks. As such he has a superhero aura about him where the slings and arrows that would fell a mere mortal only make him gloat from behind that smile of superiority. There is a line from the movie As Good as it Gets where Simon tells Melvin “The best thing you have going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself.” Trump has that same character flaw, although perhaps a bit more contrived.

    I would rather Cruz win the presidency but I can’t see how he survives the gauntlet of the enemies that would be arrayed against him. He may be a true Mr. Smith, but he’s not a superhero and I believe it will take a superhero to drain the swamp. Even knowing he isn’t pure of heart, I’d rather have Trump.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Interesting metaphor there. My 6th grade teacher was a big fan of the Greek myths (which was appropriate, since this in American Schools Greece), and suggested that many of them no doubt were based on actual events, greatly distorted over time. As an example, she suggested that Herakles/Hercules kiling the hydra at Lerna might originally have been a swamp clearance project.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      but the swamp remains as fetid and snake infested as ever.

      The swamp is still fetid and snakes are dangerous, but don’t forget the mosquitoes. The Left has its mosquitoes buzzing around us and we, too often, do not notice it when they bite us. Snakes we look out for, its the mosquitoes that get to a civilization over time.

      he is impervious to attacks. As such he has a superhero aura about him where the slings and arrows that would fell a mere mortal only make him gloat from behind that smile of superiority

      Being impervious to attacks works until it doesn’t. And while people love to look to superheroes, they can turn very quickly if the hero’s flaw is finally found.

      That being said, Trump is flying pretty high and has changed the course of this election. Let’s hope nobody finds the Kryptonite.

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