Trump really is a uniter. Look, he united beltway Republicans with Trumpkins. Now that was an accomplishment! Especially since he won over the Trumkins by attacking, belittling, and mocking the Republican establishment. Now, the moneymen stand firm behind the rich guy who said he didn’t need them or their ilk.
Trump used a three-part plan to win over the establishment. Step one was to win primaries; in step two, he shut up for a few weeks so that memories of his transgressions faded; and in a dazzling third step, he sent the establishment a Valentine card listing eleven (potential, possible, maybe) nominees to the Supreme Court. The establishment swooned like the formula dull girl who gets an invitation to the prom by the most popular boy in school. They proceeded to dress up in their best duds, comb their hair, slap on a little makeup, and fall in lust.
The Trumpkins? This suck-up to the establishment fell short of shooting someone on 5th Avenue, so all is forgiven — or more probably Trump’s unfaithfulness went unnoticed by his legions of fans who get all their news from Twitter. For cultist in the know, they marked it up to a brilliant strategy for winning, winning, winning. It never occurs to them that he must eventually betray one set of constituents or the other. For the few who ponder such things, they feel confident that Trump will be disloyal to his new friends, not the ones who got him invited to the fall gala.
What about principled conservatives? Has Mr. Trump won them over? Have they united behind the big hair? Not so much.
It is for lack of trying. With transgender bathrooms, President Obama handed him a perfect way to endear himself to social conservatives. He waffled for three days and then punted the poor Republican governors to the sidelines. A few supportive words would have converted millions of #NeverTrumpers to his side, but who needs them anyway.
The presumptive Republican presidential candidate ignores fiscal conservatives as well. A Republican controlled Congress continues to enable Obama with nonstop spending that includes a bail-out for Puerto Rico. Trump, the ostensible party leader, refuses to take his new buddies to task. After all, he needs their money, mailing lists, and get-out-the-vote apparatus.
All of this might be viewed as politics as usual, except Trump ran as a non-politician, anti-establishment, I’m-going-to-tear-it-all-up candidate. He ran as a winner. Someone who can beat the Wicked Witch of the East. The paladin for everyman.
So when is he going to fight her highness? So far, he’s wrecked everything Republican, but hasn’t laid a glove on Hillary — or any other Democrat for that matter. He keeps saying I haven’t even started on her yet. We noticed. Most candidates pivot once they lock up the nomination, but not Trump. Trump is AWOL. Oh sure, there’s the occasional tweet mocking The Shrieking One, but these have been glancing blows. Is the big macho man afraid of a little girl? Does he suspect she has a devastating counterpunch at the ready?
If he’s too frightened to challenge Hillary, why not Obama? Hillary’s running for Obama’s third term. Nail him and you demolish her. Heck, his record’s a travesty. Sending him permanently to the locker room ought to be dead easy. Where does Trump think all that anger came from anyway? Aim your Trumpkin army straight at Obama.
Trump versus Obama — now that would be a battle royal. One for the ages. Two epic narcissists going at it until one remains standing. Both possess force fields that deflect all but the most piercing of blows. Neither allows an insult to go unanswered. Each harbors a profound psychosis driven by father issues. Neither has any respect for opponents — or even allies for that matter. They both fight dirty because demigods are never bound by gentleman’s rules. What a match-up!
Come on Trump. Defeating wimpy Republicans is not a feat worthy of a colossal titan. Obama been doing it for years while playing untold rounds of golf. Put your New York face on. Man up. Show us you’re a real winner.
James D. Best is the author of numerous books, including Tempest at Dawn and Principled Action, Lessons from the Origins of the American Republic.