A Republican ought to be sitting in the White House right now. In 2012, the economy was barely limping along and Democrats carried so many negatives that voters swept them from every office not oval. Obamacare and the economy should have made the race a Republican cakewalk.
What the heck happened?
Mitt Romney happened. He was Obama’s most desirable opponent. Obama won because Romney removed the top negative issue for Democrats and he demoralized a crucial element of the Republican base. Romneycare took Obamacare off the table and many devout Christians view Mormons as cliquish and irreverent. So how did Romney secure the nomination? Every other candidate who stuck his head up felt it severed from his body. The Republican establishment owns a big piece of that, but they couldn’t have done it without the media’s all too willing help. Any Republican slight was instantly fed into a reverberating echo chamber.
This time will be different. This time Republicans will run against a wounded Democrat who’s the antithesis of cool. There’s no way the Democrats can win with a Clinton. The economy is still anemic, ObamaCare is coming home to roost, and the whole world shudders in chaos. And look, Republicans have several top notch candidates with accomplished resumes. Except …
The Donald burst onto the scene. Everything looked rosy until he elbowed his way center-stage. Now it looks like he might singlehandedly ruin Republican chances. How can this be? One outlier shouldn’t be able to unsettle years of positioning and planning. Is he serious, naïve, manipulated? The motive doesn’t matter because the damage will be the same. Many are impressed by what he says. Not me. If nothing else, Obama taught me to watch for the sleight of hand. Our president often espoused reasonable positions in order to put opponents at ease while he manipulated events in a wholly different direction. My rule is to ignore what politicians say and watch what they do.
So what is Trump doing?
Demeaning every other Republican candidate
Instead of knocking off one candidate at a time like the last primary, The Donald annihilates them all in one fell swoop. His army of trolls swing their digital machine guns in whatever direction he points and they blast away endlessly. No one is to be left standing.
Demonizing Republicans as rich, old, white, racists who war on women
Trump epitomizes the slander … and then works tirelessly to reinforce it with rhetoric that would make Stephen Colbert proud. Democrats set up the narrative, and Trump staples it onto the back of every Republican within sight.
Damaging the credibility of Conservative Media
Obama took swipe after swipe at Fox News and conservative talk radio. He didn’t put a dent in their audience. Trump, on the other hand, got the job done handily. In fact, he hurt Fox News credibility with its most loyal viewers. Quite a feat. No wonder the rest of the media cheer him on.
Stealing all media attention
The Media Research Center reports that Trump received significantly more coverage than any other candidate. Never has the nation seen a Republican garner so much attention from the mainstream media. He’s priceless. He bellows the opposition demonic narrative every time he opens his mouth.
Using Democrat tactics
Appealing to anger gets people excited. Even a consummate community organizer would be hard pressed to coordinate this level of assault on the Grand Old Party. Trump’s vast legions of cyberspace warriors are highly effective, and seem immersed in Saul Alinsky tactics. It makes you wonder from which side he recruited them.
This man uses the personal pronoun more than Obama. Who would have thought that was even possible. He not only regards himself highly, he dismisses everyone else as stupid, a loser, or third rate. It makes you wonder how he’ll treat us little people if he wins office.
Some wonder if Trump is a true conservative. Why would anyone wonder? He was a registered Democrat until his first run for president. He’s been a long-time supporter of Chuck Schumer, contributed to Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel, the Clintons, and many other Democrats. He supported Obama’s stimulus package, the Kelo decision, gun control, universal health care, sky high taxes for everyone but himself, and used to be staunchly prochoice. Crowdpac ranked Trump as the least conservative Republican presidential candidate. The Conservative Leadership Project for America gave him an F. And if that is not enough for you to decide his conservative bona fides, you should remember that he committed a cardinal sin by noisily endorsing Mitt Romney. That alone ought to give pause to his conservative supporters.
I challenge anyone to put together a similar list of conservative positions that precede his 2012 run for president. But even if he has changed every one of his progressive opinions, he still wants for character. If you’re a banker, business partner, or wife, you do not want to enter into an agreement with this man. Opinions may evolve, but character remains fixed, especially for a sixty-nine year old.
Donald Trump is not much more than a crony capitalist, and Democrats are the party of crony capitalists. He should go home.
James D. Best is the author of Tempest at Dawn and Principled Action.
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