On paper, Donald Trump should not be an issue for any of the 2016 Republican candidates, given Trump’s background.
Trump has been on record supporting a Canadian style, universal healthcare system. He received several deferments to avoid the Vietnam War. His company reportedly hired illegal aliens. He has had several businesses go bankrupt. He has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats and their causes, including a good bit of money to Hillary Clinton. He had previously been in favor of abortion rights and told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts that he is “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage.
But Trump is giving the GOP heartburn. They should all relax.
First, this is a product of the GOP’s desire to avoid a protracted nominations process. They set polling benchmarks for debates, compressed the primary cycle, and essentially made sure any Republican who wanted to compete was paired with a sugar daddy to boost their viability headed into January. The law of unintended consequences suggests something like this would happen. One of the would-be sugar daddies decided to run himself.
Second, the base loves Trump right now because he’s giving them what they want. Barack Obama houses Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s testicles in a lockbox five stories below the White House and keeps them both ball-gagged like a Pulp Fiction icon. The base wants a fight and Donald Trump gives them that fight.
Third, the Washington Establishment treats its base with utter contempt and Trump is doing a one-man road show to tell the base he not only understands their concerns, but shares them.
So here is a hint for the other men and women running for President. If you want to tap into what Trump is getting, you do not have to be bombastic. You do not have to resort to hyperbole with every statement. But you do have to do something Republican candidates are loathe to do. You have to run against the Republican Party.
That is, frankly, why Trump is doing so well. Republicans in Washington look at polling that shows how they are disliked and their advisors whisper in their ears that they need to be more like Barack Obama. Actually, conservatives hate the Washington GOP more than Democrats hate the Washington GOP. Further, conservatives see too many self-styled conservatives go to Washington and puke all over themselves getting along with the other side.
Combat Trump by running against not just Barack Obama, but John Boehner and Mitch McConnell too. Those of you who are consultants for some of the camps are queasy just thinking of that. And that, my friends, is your problem. You’re thinking “my candidate might have to work with these guys one day.” Donald Trump is thinking “you’re fired.” So you’re . . . well . . . think of another “F” word.
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