by Patricia L. Dickson 1/26/16
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.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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