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Friday, March 4, 2016

Dear establishment Republicans: You had this coming for a while

So lately the news cycles are being dominated by anti Trump statements and doomsday predictions if he wins.  While I expect this type of fear mongering from liberals,  it's both sad and unsurprising to see it coming from the establishment types within the Republican party itself.

And just for those reading who don't know,  "the establishment"  refers to the Republicans that don't really hold to conservative values and are just about as interested in growing government power as Democrats are.  The difference between them and Democrats are while Democrats unabashedly tout their big government ideology, establishment Republicans pretend to espouse conservative principles to get elected,  but then operate and vote in a completely different way in office.   They're more interested in political power than they are acting on the mandate of their constituency.

Yesterday we see Mitt Romney come out and not only call Trump a terrible person, but also scold those that support him.  And while there are a number  of takeaways from this,  chief among them illustrating how out of touch the establishment is with its voter base, there's just one response that's been screaming in the back of my head:

YOU'VE HAD THIS COMING! YOU,  THE ESTABLISHMENT,  ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS SITUATION!

See,  here's the thing: conservatism has been on the rise for decades now.   It started with Barry Goldwater.   Yes he lost in a grand fashion,  but it laid the groundwork in state and local governments that started to see a rise in elected Republicans. It continued with Ronald Reagan,  the most conservative president we've had in the last 50 years.  It even continued into the 90s with Newt Gingrich and his conservative takeover of the House that brought forth some good legislation. 

But then something happened in 2000.  Running on what he called "compassionate conservatism",  George W.  Bush was elected president.  And despite him having a strong response to fight terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11, spending (not on the war) went through the roof,  very similar to what a Democrat would do.   And he signed some legislation that no true conservative would ever sign, such as the Patriot Act.  (slight aside fact: the modern tea party was founded near the end of his term in response to government overreach,  not when Obama was elected).  Resentment toward this establishment type of Republican began to strengthen.

Then Barack Obama was elected, a socialist riding on the blame Bush wave promising to make everything better.  His ideology was just about perfectly diametrically opposed to conservatism.  And after ramming through an unconstitutional law (no matter what type of judicial contortions John Roberts may have done to claim it otherwise) through dirty tricks,  the resentment against government overreach rose significantly.  And in  2010, fueled by the tea party,  an electoral wave swept out the Democrats  and put the Republicans back in charge of the House.  Many candidates ran on the tea party's conservative platform,  tapping into that growing anger at a government explicitly ignoring the will of the people. And they did it again in 2014, this time giving Republicans the Senate.

And yet,  despite two wave elections,  nothing has changed much.   Candidates promised to stand against Obama's agenda,  but instead have given him practically everything he's wanted including massive irresponsible spending bills. In other words, not only have they done nothing,  they've done worse than nothing. They've continued to let the government do what they want despite being elected to stop that.

It's because of this that people stopped trusting career politicians.  For three election cycles,  voters have received vows to "fight" for conservatism and restore sanity to DC.   Yet the opposite seems to have happened. And what's worse,  is that the politicians sounded so sincere and convincing.  It was exactly what voters wanted to hear.  And they were Republican, why wouldn't they believe them?

Then comes Trump.  He's not a politician.  People already know who he is.  And he's boldly speaking out on things many Americans have been praying for someone to speak about.   He also touts his ability to self fund,  meaning he's not controlled by donors,  the people who many believe actually control politicians via monetary influence.  It's the perfect  combination for the anti establishment sentiment brewing.  The sentiment is so strong that not only has Trump drawn massive support,  but establishment pick Jeb Bush was thoroughly rejected  by the people.

Now this isn't an endorsement of Trump.   There are indeed many sound reasons to be wary of him.   And many establishment goons,  and even conservatives,  are telling people not to trust Trump.  Which again there are some valid reasons to be wary.  He's espoused very liberal ideals in the past, even gave money to the Clinton campaigns. He's changed from Republican to Democrat and back whenever it suits his needs.  His Trump University lawsuit, from the sources I've viewed, looks like false advertising at the least and is the basis of why Rubio has called him a con man.  He's been married 3 times.  He's used government programs to his personal advantage on numerous occassions.  Heck, he's even called Ronald Reagan not fit for the job of President (which he also called Carter that too, for what it's worth).  That's also if you're able to look past his what many  seem to see as a very boastful, narcissistic over the top personality (which I don't necessarily agree with).  And there are plenty of people saying these exacts things why voters should not trust Trump and should not vote for him.  

Yet, to voters, what alternatives do they have?  Thanks to slick talking politicians saying what people want to hear to get elected, being a career politician is, ironically, an electoral liability in this election cycle.  Even more so if the candidate is someone the establishment is backing.  The answer is they really don't.  It's about who do the voters trust less. While they may not trust Trump completely, they trust career politicians even less since that's more of the same.  Trump could end up being a poor president, but at least he's not some smooth talking politcian where the voters are pretty certain it'll be the same betrayal as it has been these past few years.  

This is why voters, no matter how much Republican leaders say not to trust Trump, will vote for him.  The Republican leadership has lost virtually all credibility.  They've had their chance to do what they've said, and they haven't.  Why should the voters trust them now?  In fact, many voters are relishing the fact that the establishment looks like it's losing its grip on Washington.   The anger toward them continually throwing the average American under the bus has risen to a boiling point.  Again, they had their chance,and they blew it.

So why haven't people rallied around Carson?  He's an outsider.  A success professional.  On the outside he seems to have a stronger moral character than Trump.  So why aren't people going to him?  Two major factors:  Money and the media.  Carson, like other politicians, has to rely on donations to run his campaign.  And as such, he's seen as also beholden to donor influence, which is seen as one of the biggest sources of corruption in politics.  He's also been the victim of media coverage.  Trump dominates in mainstream media coverage because the media believes he'll be a pushover for Hillary in the general election, which is he's getting 30 times the coverage of other candidates.  As a result, Carson's not getting a lot of air time.  One could point to some of his flag raising gaffes, but that point is moot when when trying to figure out why people still are going for Trump who seemingly gaffes every other sentence, yet isn't affected in the polls.  One other point is that Carson just didn't go big enough.  People want a leader that wants to go big.  Trump definitely understands this and has delivered.  The other candidates, including Carson, have been left trying to catchup or mimic it.  Yet, after Trump, it just looks like a political ploy.  It doesn't seem genuine.  Basically, people did have a choice between Trump and Carson as outsiders, but consider Trump the better candidate due to his self funding and the fact that he's unafraid to go big.  They're willing to overlook quite a bit.

Anyway, back to the establishment.  They've had this coming for a long time.  And no, Trump isn't a perfect candidate that flows along typical ideological lines and has a checkered past.  Yet, voters are willing to trust hm more than they are willing to trust any career politician, especially establishment candidates.  

And all Romney's speech does is illustrate perfectly the disconnect and contempt the establishment has for its voter base.  Here you have Romney, the LOSER of the 2012 election;  an election that by all measurements should have been ripe for the picking.  The economy was in shambles.  The president's foreign policy failure was on full display with Benghazi.  Heck he even tried to lie about why it started by blaming a youtube video.  Scandals aplenty.  The outrageous SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare.  Yet, somehow, Mitt still lost.  He ran a very timid campaign.  He barely went after Obama himself.  Rarely pointed out the man's hatred for the average American.  His campaign was terrible.  He wasn't bold.  He wasn't passionate.  And he spoke in a way that made him seem like he was reading the establishment's "How to Perosnally Connect to Your Voters" handbook.  Yet now, he's showing MORE energy tearing down his party's own frontrunner, a position he had himself 4 years ago, than he did in winning the presidency.  Oh and he also praised Trump to the high heavens just 4 years ago after begging for his endorsement.  It's the ultimate in hypocrisy and contempt.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the death knell of establishment Republicans.  It shows such contempt for its voter base.  It shows a brazen disregard for the will the people.  No one will trust these people ever again and if they have a non establishment option in an election, that's where they'll head. 

And lastly, there's rumor this is a pitch for Romney to enter the race.  Which is laughable.  If that's the case, I guarantee Romney will do just as poorly as Jeb.  In fact, it'll be embarrassingly obvious.  No one is going to switch from Trump to Romney.  There's also rumor that Romney will run 3rd party in the election.  Which, if that happens, that will literally be the end of the Republican party as we know it.  To think that the establishment, while trying to get Trump to agree to not to run 3rd party if he doesn't get the nomination, would be willing to do the exact same thing is beyond outrage.  The party will not survive if that's what they do.  It's insanity.

Yet, it's not surprising, the establishment is desperate and I wouldn't put it beyond them to pull such underhanded measures.   I wouldn't put it past them to do everything to hold onto their power, even if it means giving power to someone far worse:  Hillary. 

Like I said, there's plenty of reasons not to trust Trump (though some of it is just liberal panick and bluster).  But people are willing to take that risk.  What's there to lose?  Doomsday predictors make it sound like we'll descend in fascism and it'll be the end of the Republican party.  Hardly.  The worst he could end up being is another big government shill that perpetuates the problems in Washington.  Yet, even if he does just two things:  build the wall and negotiate better trade deals, he'll have been a bigger success than any establishment or Democrat candidate.  And people will vote for that risk.  

So the next time some establishment goon starts bashing Trump.  Remember, it's their own fault for betraying their voting base.