Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. Constitutional conservatives are up-in-arms over the bombastic billionaire’s belligerent beat-down of the republic’s only viable savior, Ted Cruz. Meanwhile, the Trump surrogates are tripping over themselves in joy, tantamount to a prepubescent boy on Christmas morning.
Now what? Here's a breakdown of the divisions and doubts: To put them in Trump terms, the “Yuuuge”, the “Frankly Not That Great”, and “We Have a Serious Problem.”
Like him or not, Donald Trump is helping fight the culture war.
The ripples of his (stubby) middle-finger-politics, firm opposition to authoritarian speech police and social justice cry-bullies have been felt on college campuses. If not in intent, then in effect, Trump has given voice to countless students, who despite not necessarily identifying as conservatives, are fed up with the left’s identity politics and culture of victimhood.
As pointed out by Breitbart editor-in-chief, Alex Marlow in an interview with Milo Yiannopoulos, every cultural movement needs a “cool guy”. The left has had this down for decades, with Hollywood and music-industry celebrities evangelizing the gospel of leftism to the masses.
Runner-up Ted Cruz was never an effective communicator in this manner. Despite resonating with by-the-book constitutionalists around the country, Cruz just couldn’t package his message to a wider audience. Where Cruz failed, Trump succeeded immensely by invigorating a backlash-movement against the cultural left with his “we’re going to take our country back folks” mantras.
Take this tweet as an example, Donald Trump flagrantly fires back at socialist senator, Elizabeth Warren – going after her for lying about her non-existent Native-American heritage – after her Twitter-tirade against the Republican nominee.
On specific policy, Trump’s firm standing on immigration and national security make him the paragon of the storybook-strongman. This precisely has won the hearts and minds of prominent conservatives ranging from NYT bestselling author and professional provocateur, Ann Coulter, to the often cited immigration hardliner, senator Jeff Sessions.
For a comprehensive list of renegade Republicans who’ve hopped on the Trump-train, The Daily Wire’s Robert Kraychik breaks it down here.
The Frankly Not That Great
With his protectionist positioning on free trade, Trump actually finds himself to the left of Hillary Clinton on a key issue. However, despite his Bernie-Sanders-esque incoherent rambling about how NAFTA has ravaged America’s economy, the fact is that free trade and NAFTA have worked to the benefit of the United States, not to its detriment.
As noted by Kevin Williamson in National Review, Trump’s promulgation that NAFTA has somehow been a leviathan-liability to manufacturing in the United States simply doesn’t hold any water. When adjusting for inflation, manufacturing output in the United States has increased nearly 70% since before NAFTA was signed.
Williamson goes on to address trade deficits -- Trump’s preferred line of attack when bashing NAFTA -- writing:
“What drives bilateral trade deficits between the United States and other countries is not, for the most part, trade policy, but simple supply and demand. The United States exports a lot of farm commodities and industrial products, along with a great deal of very high-end goods.”
We Have a Serious Problem
Where things seriously head south, is in asking the overbearing question and foundation for the #NeverTrump movement, “who is Donald Trump?”
Is he genuinely an immigration hardliner who wants to strengthen America’s military and will fight to uphold the constitution? Or, is he a Clintonian con-man who’s managed to pull a ruse over the plurality GOP primary electorate?
As noted by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, it only took Trump 24-hours since securing the nomination to do a full 180 on four key issues.
Whether it’s replying “I’m looking into that” when asked about minimum wage increases, or pivoting to suggest he’s “not necessarily a huge fan” of his originally proposed tax plan, and is considering a more progressive system. The question stands, will the real orange Donald, please stand up?