Nominating Trump would be a disaster for the Republican Party.
In the interest of full disclosure, I support a candidate other than Donald Trump. However I have written this article, not for the benefit of the candidate I support, but because I love this country, and I believe in my heart that nominating Donald Trump will not be in the best interest of the Republican Party or of America. Donald Trump is not a political candidate, in the traditional sense. He is a cultural phenomenon. His appeal is his brashness, his rudeness, his over-the-top rhetoric, his bullying, his celebrity.
His supporters are the expression of the legitimate anger that many Americans, not just Republicans, feel about the direction the country has taken over the past 25-30 years, and who feel that their elected representatives have failed them. Republicans don’t understand why their elected Congressmen and Senators have not stopped the Obama administration’s unprecedented growth of the Federal Government, and the doubling of the national debt in the seven years he has been in office. It is understandable that the American people are very concerned that it took 233 years to accumulate $10 Trillion Dollars of National Debt, and only seven years of the Obama Administration to double that to nearly $20 Trillion. How could that happen? Where was the opposition party to stop it?
People are justifiably angry. They realize that their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be burdened with a huge debt they have to repay, thanks to the current and previous administration, which would likely mean that for the first time in American history, the quality of life for their children and grandchildren will be lower than theirs. And, Trump has led them to believe that he cares about them. He doesn’t. He cares about his Trump global brand. He cares about himself and will say or do what he has to to get the power and notoriety he craves.
It’s also true that people are angry because they can’t get jobs, or if they do get a job they will work fewer hours and will be earning less now than they did 10-15 years ago. They are angry that the cost of everything has risen dramatically in the past seven years. The average American family is struggling financially. The perception is that the Republicans are either too weak to stand up to a runaway authoritarian Obama administration or that they are complicit.
It is like when children are in the school yard and are being terrorized by a bully. He is taking their lunch money, and if they don’t turn it over they will be beaten-up. There is no one to stop the bully, so they have to comply. But then, a new student comes to school. He is big and strong and fearless. He is also a bully. So he steps in and beats up the previous bully, and all the school kids follow him and do his bidding because he saved them. He then orders them to do all sorts of things for his benefit they wouldn’t normally do, or want to do, but they do it because, while he is a bully, he is THEIR bully.
An excellent analysis of Donald Trump and “Trumpism” by Daniel Greenfield:
The average Republican voter is not a policy expert. Like Trump, he’s often learning about some of these things for the first time. Trump is excellent at capturing that bar/barbershop angry reaction and it may even be completely authentic. His responses are much more relatable than that of the politician or the expert who already understands the issue. But reacting isn’t leadership. Leaders are supposed to understand the issue. And when you can’t know everything, you need to work from firm principles.
Here some conservatives object that Trump channels a conservative outrage machine, rather than conservative principles. And they’re probably right. He isn’t the only candidate in the race doing that. Conservatives won their victories by mobilizing outrage, not through position papers. Conservative candidates in the race have turned to the right because of pressure from the base.
The trouble with Trump though is that he has no positions, only reactions. Beyond the outrage, his actual plans grow vague or backtrack. Obama loves calling his think tank leftist plans “common sense.” Trump’s plans actually are common sense, but they’re a common sense produced by some combination of FOX News, unknown websites, and chats with some of his friends.
And they’re liable to change depending on whom he talks to and what he reads and watches.
Foreign policy requires statesmen and diplomats, not bullies. How will Donald Trump relate to and work with world leaders? Will he be quick to send American youth into battle to prove his machismo? Will he have the respect of the American armed forces? These are all things one needs to consider when electing a President. He says he is neutral in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Doesn’t that statement tell you something? Will Democrats and Independents vote for him, or will they support the Democrat Party candidate? Will Donald Trump nominate a true constitutional originalist like Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court, or will he nominate someone like his sister? Can we trust that his appointment to the Court won’t be a liberal? Does he even know what an originalist is?
I know that no matter what I, or anyone else, writes about why Donald Trump should not be President, he has a following that refuses to be deterred by facts. They are operating on emotion, not on facts or reason. Donald has hypnotized a large group of followers. So roughly 30% of Republicans will support Donald Trump no matter what he says or does. They don’t care that he doesn’t have conservative political positions, or that he supports liberal causes like single-payer government-run healthcare, or that he is pro-abortion and thinks Planned Parenthood does wonderful things, despite the fact that it sells the bodies or body parts of murdered babies. Or that he has donated more money to liberal candidates and liberal causes than to conservative candidates and causes. Or that everyone, including prominent Democrats, believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They just like the fact that he is their bully.
As Instapundit says:
Trump’s impatience with criticism and quick resort to personal insult are a fertile breeding ground for an American Napoleon promising order and “greatness” in return for authoritarian power that functions within a merely ceremonial constitutional structure.
So here is my suggestion. About 30% of Republicans are “Trumpsters.” That leaves 70% who are not hard-core devotees of Trump. We need to rally that 70% around a single candidate – as soon as possible. We need to pick the candidate we feel can best represent our conservative principles and who can best restore a constitutionally limited government and repair the damage done to our Republic. We need to coalesce around that candidate and get him nominated. If we want a Republican to win in November, and we want an administration that will operate as the Founders envisioned, we need to select that candidate soon.