By Mike Thayer
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is still leading in the polls in the GOP race for the presidential nomination and leading big.
Background: When he first entered the 2016 election cycle sweepstakes back in June, he had a meager 4 percent level of support. He now towers over the rest of the field with over 35 percent support according to Real Clear Politics, the specialists in poll averaging. That's more backing than Cruz (in 2nd place at 18.6%) and Rubio (in 3rd place at 11.6%) combined.
It's clear there is a very heavy anti-establishment sentiment this cycle and Trump has masterfully capitalized on that, much to the chagrin of establishment strategists, talking heads and the establishment/liberal media types. Trump's rise to the top has been nothing but puzzling to them. Their puzzlement is arrogantly ignorant. In the bigger picture, voters have embraced their version of 'Washington outsider'. It's why Trump leads, why Ben Carson has enjoyed some spotlight, why Ted Cruz - a man not afraid to chastise those of his own party - is gaining momentum. It's an 'outsiders' GOP nomination to take because the Republican faithful have largely rejected the career politicians, the establishment types like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee, all names displaying near or at the bottom of all the polling.
But why the large groundswell of support for Trump? He's not a conservative.
Let's take the bandwagon jumpers out of the mix for this discussion, it's an element that exists in every election, both parties.
What I'm seeing are a lot of smart conservative people getting in line to support Trump. These people aren't bandwagon jumpers - there's more to their decision than that - it's not just simply 'backing the perceived winner.' The conservatives I share political thoughts with know Trump comes up conservative-short on gun control, health care, eminent domain, opposes the flat tax and isn't conservative on a number of other issues..... but conservative voters are looking the other way in support of him. The only logical conclusion to that kind of decision making is that it's emotionally charged decision making. Emotion instead of fact-based reasoning.... Hmmmm.....
Question: Is it possible that some grassroots conservative Republicans have become SO anti-establishment - to an extreme point - that they have overlooked Trump's many non-conservative flaws just so they can, 'stick it to the establishment-man?'
Where are the core values in that?
Trump believes in gun control. How can a conservative support that?
Trump believes in some form of universal, government-run health care. He slams ObamaCare, but he wants to replace it with TrumpCare. How can a conservative support that?
Trump believes in the use of eminent domain, he's OK with taking a person's property, their castle, if it's for the betterment of the business community, a.k.a., if a dozen houses need to be plowed over for a shopping mall, so be it. How can a conservative support that?
Trump doesn't want to seriously reform this country's tax code. He doesn't believe in the flat tax or a national sales tax. How can a conservative support Trump's idea of taxation (more of the same, ADDING to tax code, not taking away)?
Donald Trump has massaged the anti-establishment sentiment well, but the truth is, he's part of the establishment problem, not a solution. Sure, he's saying all the right things, but his history tells a different story. It's one of backroom deals, manipulating rules, greasing wheels. He plays the cronyism game for a living. How else do you think Trump knows how to politically attack the establishment types so well? Because he's a player himself. Conservatives who have vetted Trump, know this.
So given the above, why support Trump then?
Because some grassroots conservatives have become SO anti-establishment, they want to 'teach the Grand Old Establishment' a lesson. After years of betrayal, of a party that says one thing and does another, of so-called leaders that are more interested in keeping their seat rather than doing what's right, these conservatives seem to think nominating Trump is somehow medicinal.
They see how the establishment has publicly shown a disdain towards Trump, which they have embraced. They see this establishment vs. Trump kind of thing going on and they like it. Trump sees it and markets it. The GOP establishment doubles down and wants things their way or no way. And so it goes. The establishment doesn't like Trump simply because he's not in their power circle, he doesn't do things their way. To them he's not polished, he's self-serving, he's not party power focused. There are only so many seats at the establishment power table and there's no room for a guy like Trump. The rub is, Trump is going to feed us the very same things the establishment does when it comes to the issues. He'll just sell it in a different way. That 'medicine' is nothing of the sort, it's snake oil, it just doesn't have an establishment label.
So would Trump be better than Obama, or Hillary? The answer to that is yes, but it's a progressive vs. progressive-lite kind of thing. Would you like to see the American Dream continue to die a slow death via Obama/Clinton style, or just a slower, more prolonged death via Trump? Would you like to swallow six poison pills, or just three? The amount doesn't really matter, each dose does the job. Trump's "Make America Great Again" is a fine line, but it's a sales pitch, not reality. What Trump is selling isn't medicinal and it won't teach the establishment a lesson.
Donald Trump is not a conservative. So it is illogical to support him for the GOP nomination. The support for his candidacy is not the result of fact-based reasoning, it's emotionally charged.
The only other logical conclusion one can make when assessing the support for Trump - is that the Republican party base is no longer largely made up of conservatives.
Related article: http://www.coralvillecourier.com/2016/01/why-i-got-rid-of-the-r.html