December 17, 2015

Dear GOP: Dump Trump (and do ONE MORE THING) to win back the White House

David M. SwindleRebel Blogger

Dear Josh: So, as you know, the last few months my enthusiasm for talking, thinking, and blogging about politics has diminished considerably.

Much of my political apathy is due to this obvious truism: politics is much less fun when there is NOBODY to root for and support. And that’s the situation in which I now find myself.

Back in August I named four candidates who I thought had potential to be future Ronald Reagan-level leaders. Since then, three of them have dropped out -- Governors Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker.

The fourth -- Carly Fiorina -- I was open-minded on initially but as the months have passed she’s failed to prove herself. I wasn’t sure whether to regard her as a corporate establishment narcissist or a genuine constitutional conservative guided by transcendent, Biblical moral values. At this point I’m leaning much more toward the former and have lost most hope in her.

Now, I’m not just being picky and insisting that whoever the candidate is share my ideology. My growing political apathy and professional shift toward culture and fiction is also pragmatic. It’s not just that I disagree with the different ideologies of the remaining candidates, it’s that from my political science degree perspective I don’t see a probable pathway for any of them to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- especially if The Donald chooses to play the Ross Perot role and run third party to split the Right.

I don’t want to write about Trump and how he’s a big phony snake oil salesman who’s duped a third or so of the Republican electorate. (Good post from you about him, by the way.)

The ultimate take-down of him personally and ideologically is the Encounter Broadside The Case Against Trump by Kevin D. Williamson, a regular columnist for National Review:

In just 48 pages, Williamson explains what would take me many blog posts to untangle:

How has a crass celebrity clown managed to create a political coalition that’s kept him above 30% in the polls?

It’s not just that Trump is a provocateur who knows how to manipulate the media -- with his focus on immigration and his previous years’ flirtations with the “Birther conspiracy movement,” he has created a populist, fringe coalition that has often been ignored.

Trump isn’t just one particular ideological tradition; he knows how to jump amongst, play with, and manipulate a half dozen of them. His root ideology, though, is the same as his pals Bill and Hillary: corporatist narcissism. He believes the union of big government and big business is to be encouraged and expanded because doing so enriches him. A favorite excerpt from Williamson:

It is impossible to say how and when the Trump phenomenon will end. It should end; rather, it never should have begun. Donald J. Trump spent most of his life as a progressive Democrat, a patron of Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Rodham Clinton –the woman against whom Trump presumably would be running. He is a lifelong crony capitalist who boasts of using his wealth to buy political favors to make himself wealthier still. He is a proponent of the thieving Kelo eminent-domain regime and has attempted to suborn local governments into using eminent domain to seize properties in order to clear the way for his casino developments. He was until the day before yesterday as absolutist a proabortion advocate as any you’d find at an Emily’s List meeting. He has proposed daft, confiscatory wealth taxes and remains in accord with Warren Buffett and Elizabeth Warren on taxation. His views on trade and immigration are much more like those of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist, than they are anything that might plausibly be described as “conservative” in the American context. He is apparently incapable of stringing together three complete English sentences, lies reflexively and instinctively, and contradicts his own pronouncements at every turn. On the verge of his 70th birthday, his mind remains unsettled about the most elementary issues of our time.

Is there a way to beat both Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump in 2016?

Yes, there is and Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro lays it out in his new ebook pamphlet, How To Win In 2016: Debunking The Five Myths That Will Lead to Republican Defeat.

Much of the short book explains why many establishment, centrist approaches will fail. Shapiro discourages Republicans from again trying to offer big government, Democrat-lite candidates. He explains the mathematical disadvantages to trying to target voters by ethnicity, to pander to single women on abortion, to Millennials on social issues.

Shapiro disputes the corporatist establishment idea that “consensus language” brings victory, instead arguing that the key is projecting strength:

Warmth at the expense of strength connotes neither warmth nor strength in politics. Voters want a leader, and they want that leader not to back down in the face of hardship. They would rather have the arrogance of Barack Obama than the humility of Mitt Romney; they’d rather have the swagger of George W. Bush than the stolidity of Al Gore. For Republicans, strength translates as warmth – and consensus language, without throwing your opponent out of the wrestling circle, translates as weakness.

The last two election cycles no Republican wanted to try and throw the Democrats out of the ring of respectability -- they let their opponents set the terms of the debate and then fought within them. And they lost and will lose again. In politics the one who decides what the game will be is usually the one who wins.

Until Republicans cease trying to imitate Democrats and instead actively reject their enemies’ core ideological assumptions then they will not see consistent electoral victories.

Right now the party is up for grabs for who and what will define it going into 2016. I wish that there could be a candidate who could embrace Williamson’s ideological understanding and Shapiro’s tried-and-true political tactics.

Alas, I’m coming to suspect we’ll have to wait until 2020 or 2024 until more viable contenders arise, and that the GOP will have to spend more years wandering in the deserts like the Israelites after escaping Egypt.

Sincerely, your American pal,
David Swindle


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commented 2016-02-11 13:15:47 -0500
“Kurt Andrews commented 11 days ago
Trump will kill the GOP party of RINOs. Why would anyone fight that? "

Because the RINOs are 2/3 of their vote base?
commented 2016-01-30 13:29:22 -0500
Trump will kill the GOP party of RINOs. Why would anyone fight that?
commented 2015-12-23 07:11:47 -0500
I can prove Bens theory with a personal observation. Pollster Frank Luntz appeared on the Sean Hannity show with his participation group with the little dials that measure responses to adds and short clips of candidates. At the end of the segment, Luntz preened that overwhelmingly people were sick of negative attack adds , congressional gridlock blah blah blah. “Sean, people want to hear positive messages not more vicious attacks and partisanship” said the expert Luntz.
Well the next day I travelled through Ohio and blaring NONSTOP on the radio were the most vicious attack adds damning Romney to a thousand years in hell for threatening to kill Detroit and all the auto workers.
Well what worked? Being nice and mannerly and offering a positive message as Luntz advised was a complete failure. Obama won, Romney lost.
Luntz was on a few weeks ago advising that people don’t like the word capitalism. The word has negative associations. "Don’t use the word ",he advises. Well the people that hated the word capitalism seem to be of one political bent, communism. People like Castro and Stalin and Lenin and Marx and Mao. They killed hundreds of millions to stamp out “capitalism” .
Moral of the story. Avoiding the use of words and concepts and failure to state reality clearly results in failure at the polls.
commented 2015-12-22 13:26:53 -0500
He has every right to run, but he really ought to consider the consequences if he’s truly interested in his country’s future. I personally would like to see a Cruz/Fiorina ticket, but of course it’s not for me to choose; I just hope the American republican vote gets cold feet on Trump when the time comes.
commented 2015-12-20 12:00:20 -0500
I want to know if Trump is a plant or not. When I first heard the suggestion, months ago, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. Now I’m not so sure.

I don’t care what the Trump lovers say, the Donald is not competent to be the leader of the free world. He is too much of a wildcard, domestically and with his foreign policy. I’m leaning towards Cruz also. If the Republicans can’t get their act together, the whole world, is in big doodoo.
commented 2015-12-20 00:51:22 -0500
" Donald J. Trump spent most of his life as a progressive Democrat, a patron of Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Rodham Clinton –the woman against whom Trump presumably would be running. He is a lifelong crony capitalist who boasts of using his wealth to buy political favors to make himself wealthier still."

So which is it, the "slavish patron " or the “influential manipulator of the corrupt democrats in power”,?
I tend to lean towards the latter, which of course demonstrates who the real “slavish” hypocrites are.
commented 2015-12-17 21:44:52 -0500
Where did this commie come from?
commented 2015-12-17 18:57:37 -0500
After Ryans complete sellout yesterday, the GOP base is ready to start shooting. All it would take is for the RINO establishment to stab Trump in the back and all hell would break loose.
commented 2015-12-17 18:54:40 -0500
Who can say what the future will hold, and whether Donald Trump will secure the GOP nomination…and or win the election. But why Donald Trump is so danged important is, he is shaking up politics, and not just in America, not just the Democrats but the leadership of the GOP and all the RINOs who have been getting away with all their elitist, eastern-establishment BS for so long! He has a non-partisan appeal. He is actually leading. No matter what happens Donald Trump has made a permanent change to the political structure and business as usual – and for the better.
Canadian Conservative politicians – federal and provincial – should sit up and take notice. Understand what the appeal to The People is and exploit that. Stop allowing the left to set the agenda or lay out the argument. Ben Shapiro has a solid handle on this concept and clearly elucidates it.
The People want someone or something to vote FOR, not the same old strategic voting of voting for the lesser of evils…The CPC has less than four years to figure this out and implement it – that and finding a suitable LEADER!
commented 2015-12-17 18:16:28 -0500
Trump I agree is a bad choice. He is simply an attention whore. I say Cruz. He has most policies right on the money. Whoever it is they must NOT pull a Romney and act like a wuss. They need to be tough and go all out on Hilary. No holds barred.
commented 2015-12-17 17:43:01 -0500