January 4, 2016
The Republican Part is in the midst of a slugfest. Conservative activists who have toiled in the trenches for decades feel that they have been betrayed by pragmatists who compromise with the Democrats too easily. Whether this is actually true or not is irrelevant. In politics, perception is reality. Thus many of these activists have gravitated to Donald Trump.
These activists are of the opinion they get nothing, even when they win. George H.W. Bush reneged on his promise not to raise taxes in order to goad the Democrats to bail out the Savings and Loans. He appointed the liberal John Souter to the Supreme Court. His son started unwinnable wars, wanted to appoint the liberal Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court, increased the deficit $3 trillion and bailed out the Wall Street Welfare State. Alarmed with the liberalism of President Obama, these activists worked like dogs to deliver the House and Senate to Republican hands. Yet the present Republican Congress – fearing the political consequences of a Government shutdown – has been a doormat for the Democratic agenda. The activists are not pleased.
The success of President Obama has conservative activists pining for a similar leader. When the President said he is the LeBron James of politics, he underestimated himself. Unlike the experience of Republican activists, the President delivered to Democratic activists: free health care via the expansion of Medicaid, pension security for public employees, gay marriage, permanent disability for minor ailments, student loanforgiveness, taxpayer funding of abortion, higher taxes on the wealthy, carbon emission regulation, the closing of coal mines, liberal Supreme Court judges, expansion of the rights of illegal immigrants, speech codes at our colleges, women in combat along with the decreased funding for the military.
Not only does the President know how to win, he knows to maintain his victories. He unleashed a high level IRS employee Lois Lerner on Republican contributors, intimidating them into not contributing in 2012, easing his reelection. He went to bat for Planned Parenthood, daring the Republican Congress to defund them, even though there were videotapes of their negotiating the price of fetal body parts. He had the political wisdom to let the Wall Street Welfare State mooch off the taxpayers, thus keeping this crucial fund raising constituency satisfied. And he will work like a dog to ensure Hillary Clinton’s election, even though he is not her biggest fan.
Enter Donald Trump. When a Hispanic anchorman hectored him during a speech, he had his body guards remove him. He did the same with black-lives-matter activists. When he made a crude reference about Hillary Clinton, the former first lady accused him being sexist. Rather than cower in fear, Trump shot back that her husband’s treatment of women was now fair game. The conservative activists ate it up. While Trump’s conservative record is spotty at best – he was once a Democrat and has contributed heavily to Democratic politicians – the activists admire his willingness to stand his ground and not grovel at the altar of political correctness.
Whether the average voter will be enamored with Trump’s macho persona remains to be seen. Sixty-five percent of the country believes we are on the wrong track. Preliminary polling indicates that Trump may be able to broaden his appeal beyond the Republican base. The same polling also shows that 50% of the country would be embarrassed to have him as President.
But in reality, the President has only one job – to prevent nuclear weapons from becoming airborne. Everything else is irrelevant. The question for the American voters now is whether they want a man with Trump’s personality to have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Stay tuned.