Let me say on the outset that I am a Ted Cruz supporter, and for me Donald Trump is a careful consideration. Another point is that the only time I have ever talked about politics here is for obvious reasons when Romney ran. This break from personal protocal is because many of my fellow bloggers have expressed concerns about Donald Trump on outside venues or some comments. They are flabbergasted why such a man with such an “arrogant demeanor ” and “past RINO” views is liked by so many conservatives. Why is it that no matter what he says, criticism only seems to bolster his popularity for a large part of the Republican electorate. Part of their confusion and fear is because they can’t get past the man and look at the political context.
Some of what he says does have me concerned because he is not very articulate or perfect, but unlike George Bush Jr. he is not boring. For those who are calling Mr. Trump a RINO, they seem to ignore that every single candidate (even Cruz) has been accused of the same. There are degrees for sure, but none are immune from the label. Some like Bush and Kasich are seen as RINOS outright by supporting illegal immigration and common core. Others like Fiorina are seen as too lenient on Islam or supported the bailouts, Huckabee a welfare big government social conservative, Carson for questioning the Second Amendment and advocating some race carding of his own, Rubio for his flip flops especially with illegal immigration, and even Cruz for a vote that he later claimed he was tricked into a yes. Rand Paul doesn’t do so hot either, at times seen as going against his libertarian ideals and endorsing Mitch McConnell. So the voters look at them all and say “he who is without political sin . . . ”
Probably the number one reason Trump is in the lead is because of Jeb Bush. He was supposed to be the anointed one. Frankly, he still could be and that is what frightens so many more than Trump winning the nomination. Bush stands for everything that Trump does not: Career politician, establishment puppet, go-along to get-along weakling, and momentary media darling. Regardless of how much one might believe Trump is just as much a RINO, he is NOT part of the establishment no matter what conspiracy theories exist. Cruz should be the one in his place, but the media and GOP establishment poisoned his well long ago. Yes, even Rand Paul should have been the one in Trump’s place, but he played the game too close to the rules while acting the outsider. Trump became more than an outsider, but an outlaw! He is the middle finger for many who want to tell the GOP and others where to go.
Nothing says “We don’t want you,” more than the illegal immigration debate. The GOP establishment wonks hissed and pounded and moaned that we should welcome our illegal alien invaders. Push back was fierce, but not loud enough to get the point across. With one impolite accusation of how bad illegal aliens were, he got instant support. That support was sustained and increased when he did not apologize. Not that he was correctly quoted, because he did say there were also some good people among the bad crossing over. He just didn’t see the positives overcoming the absolutely bad negatives of non-enforcement just as many people believe. The GOP elites might not agree, but with a combined swell of support and swagger they could no longer ignore. He made an issue out of something people not in power had an issue with.
Then came the first debate that by all measures he didn’t win, yet in the end he did. Carson and Fiorina were considered the biggest winners according to pundits and polls. That didn’t matter because Trump won on individual moments. His biggest “gaffes” were actually not losses. His raising his hand against the promise of not running against a Republican he didn’t like had lots of boos in the crowed. Outside the room he was only voicing what many who call themselves Republican for political convenience also will consider. There is a growing number who, as observed in the 2012 presidential contest, will simply not vote for voting’s sake. They don’t see any difference between the current Party Politics with the choice of a slow drive over the cliff or a faster one. Another moment was taking Megyn Kelly to task for her “gotcha” question about women. His statement that America didn’t have time for Political Correctness struck a cord. She became just another establishment shrill media sensation that tries to shove politicians down American’s throats. He was open about using legal means to buy favors from politicians, because that is how the game was done. This should have killed him, but it only counted toward his honesty since its an open secret that all politicians are privy to participating. He says things with conviction and without fear that many are glad someone with his platform and bullhorn would.
Misinformation by the media and opponents is still a problem that won’t go away. As an example, a segment of conservatives thought they had him by the neck pointing out his support of Planned Parenthood. Those who were paying more attention noticed the much more nuanced opinion. He said that he would support them if they got out of the abortion business. Otherwise, they don’t deserve any funding. Trump continues to express other political positions that are sidelined by those who believe he only has one issue. He believes China is purposely devaluing the U.S. dollar while losing their own grip on financial security. The war on terrorism, and especially against ISIS, has gone soft. This leaves Christian minorities in the Middle East on the endangered list. Climate Change is a scam to destroy prosperity for many so a few can gain. “Gay marriage” is an individual State issue. He believes that veterans are getting ignored even by those, like McCain, who would seem to be natural advocates. He does say things questionable, like how proud he is for his pro-abortion bench judge relative. As pointed out above, no politician is perfect although some are closer than others.
Speaking of McCain, that is another whopper that many predicted would scuddle his hopes. Forget that he was quoting a comedian when Trump said he had more respect for soldiers who aren’t captured. Almost all the challengers spoke out against that, but they missed the point. He wasn’t attacking prisoners of war as a group. The ire was aimed at McCain who many think uses his “war hero” status as a way to deflect serious political acts of treason against conservatives. This “war hero” doesn’t even put his money or actions where his mouth is for veterans, ignoring them in times of need. Besides that, McCain didn’t just call Trump names. He is know for calling those who should be his voters crazy and stupid. Although Trump says nasty things to political opponents who are in the spotlight, he has never attacked a potential group of sympathetic voters. No matter how many of them have attacked him.
Perhaps none of this will persuade others to take a closer look, but hopefully it at least helps to explain why the support. Trump has not said and those who support him never claim he is a conservative. What they see in him is a very flawed Ronald Reagan type who will bring back the American spirit. It might end up a very loud and in your face spirit, but it will be alive. There is some doubt he can pull off what he promises to do, but at least he doesn’t apologize or look weak while making statements. To paraphrase “The Dark Knight,” he may not be the President we want, but he could be the one we need.
Again, I support Ted Cruz as a first choice because he holds most of the views that I do. The Donald is my tentative second because he has discombobulated the GOP establishment, media hacks on the left and right, talking head opinion spouters, and of course liberals. In the process only grown stronger. He has made enemies of those worth bothering while not getting bothered, and exposed rifts that otherwise would remain hidden by vote manipulators. He is NOT the status quo for the many that feel remaining on the same path while none speak for them, or speak too softly and carefully, has only caused America to decay. When you can’t trust your leaders then you will trust those who the leaders don’t trust. Only time will tell if Donald Trump for his many supporters is the wrong horse to bet on, but so many sure bets have been lost that a huge gamble doesn’t seem so bad. At least he has taken Jeb Bush and a few major RINOS down a few pegs while strangely giving more conservative challengers a fighting chance.