The Republican Mirror On The Wall
“Oh, mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all?” That seems to be the GOP theme for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. So many GOP leaders seem caught up in a twist. They couldn’t decide and now this. How can our party nominate someone like Donald Trump, they ask? Unstated but clearly indicated is the rest of their thought… “when we have so many other good looking Republicans over here”. Hmmm.
There is no doubt that Republican leaders are concerned. Many express their concerns in terms of “down ticket” collateral damage… read potential loss of Senate control. Others, especially the neoconservative crowd, express horror that Donald Trump might have his finger on the nuclear weapons button. Still others see someone who flaunts chapter and verse of the GOP ideology (as expressed in their traditional platform).
For these Republican worriers, the thought that their image might not be the fairest in the land is very worrisome. Of course, the cool aid these Republican leaders drink is the best everyone knows (except those awful Democrats). Hmmm.
Donald Trump’s populous message unfortunately resonates with a significant segment of the American electorate. Income inequality has resulted from both greedy Americans (the infamous top 1%) and from many average people for whom globalization has turned their fortunes into stagnated lower paying jobs. For these people, Government has just sat on their hands, look the other way, and filled their own pockets while life turned poorly for these middle class workers. Donald Trump will fix things, they think.
Of course, there is no evidence that Trump can fix anything and plenty that his road to riches was paved with the sweat of so many others like these disgruntled voters. Trump has outsourced jobs, paid wages as low as possible, and walked away from deals when ever it benefited him. Why should anyone expect a President Trump to be different?
Recently, Trump hinted that one way to lower the national debt was to ask (demand?) national debt holders to accept less than full repayment. Was this for real? The security of paper money is based upon the claim that its value is backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States. Hmmm. Well there goes the credit.
But even more telling is Trump’s response to Super Pac ads (favorable to Hillary Clinton) which recount derogatory statements Trump has made about women). Trump has invoked Bill Clinton’s behavior with regards to women (philandering) and that Hillary was an enabler. The pot calling the kettle black? What is Trump thinking?
Most of Trump’s supporters are not Hillary fans. Damning her, even if unjustly, makes no difference, his supporters will cheer anyway. The verdict is still out whether these anti-Bill Clinton attacks will change any Hillary supporters’ thinking.
So, there is evidence to justify GOP distaste for Donald Trump. His behavior is horrid and his policies are at best unclear, if not middle of the road. His apparent depth of knowledge appears quite shallow. But his attacks upon Hillary are welcomed and accepted by the GOP.
So, if Trump fixes his behavior, sharpens his policy statements, and does his homework on how government works, would that be enough to get full GOP support. Could Trump become the fairest in the GOP mirror?
The real problem with Donald Trump is that he is his own person. He owes nothing to GOP kingmakers. And frankly, Trump is so unpredictable that he scares them. Trump could raise taxes, nominate progressive judges, and enact punitive tariffs when trade negotiations do not go his way… even if those tariffs hurt other good Republicans’ businesses. Hmmm.
For GOP “leaders”, they might do well asking if Hillary Clinton is the fairest in the land.