A few days ago, it became apparent that Donald Trump is all but the GOP candidate for the Office of President of the United States of America.
So, like any other good commentator, I asked 2 important questions:
How did it happen?
What is Social Media Saying?
The answer to the first question is a much longer and antiquated answer, so I start with the latter. I opened up Twitter and Facebook to see an explosion of emotions from conservatives. The “Pro-Trump” and the “Never-Trump” people were attacking each other viciously. It was like the last scene of the Mel Brooks comedy “Blazing Saddles” where EVERYONE was fighting, and sometimes even friends were accidentally hitting each other.
This brought me back to the first question “How did it happen?”
We got to this situation well before Donald Trump formed an exploratory committee or Gov. Mike Huckabee had a book to sell (seriously, the only reason he ran). The GOP has been screwing with voters for the last few elections, and the voters were getting fed up with the Grand Old Party.
Let’s go back to the 2014 midterms where the GOP was touting “true conservatives” and winning the house and the senate to have full control of Congress. The country was weary of the Obama Administation and Congress. Conservatives were seeing their rights under attack daily. People were worried about their Religious Freedoms, their right to bear arms, health care and more. They were nervous, scared and on edge. The incident in Ferguson Missouri was front and center in the news, the economy wasn’t recovering, we were starting to hear about ISIS more and Bruce Jenner was still, well, Bruce Jenner. The country was in a dismal position, and here comes the GOP.
With Reince Priebus at the helm, the GOP was seemingly trying to become the stabilizing force. The GOP attacks on the Tea Party candidates had lessened (slightly) and the party was seemingly embracing more “traditional” conservatives who were running for congress. Fresh off the “We have to fight Obamacare and stand up to the Left” soap box speeches, we ushered in some new blood and changed the tune of some of the older blood. It was November 2014, and the country appeared to be heading in the right direction. Hell, even John Boehner and Mitch McConnell sounded like actual conservatives.
Then January 2015 came around, and the changes were all but ripe to make some headway in government. The champions of smaller government and individual liberty were poised to take charge. We were told “no more politics as usual,” the dependable people were going to start the good fight and take it to Washington on behalf of the voters.
I think it was sometime in April 2014 that most conservatives realized we had been duped again. Boehner was back to giving back rubs to President Obama, Mitch McConnell was back to suppressing the “junior senators” and only pushing whatever the hell he felt like, which was usually a pork filled bill for his state. Most conservatives felt betrayed and suckered yet again.
We did have a few that kept swinging for the fence; Sen. Ted Cruz along with others did keep trying to do what they campaigned on. But, alas, the leadership in congress and the party in general were the same feckless, power hungry, do nothing politicians that we had come to loathe. The likes of Rep. Peter King of New York talking more like a leftist than a Republican. It was, in my opinion, the last slap to the face of the conservatives in this country, and I wasn’t alone in this thought process.
For months we all took to social media, calling them out on stupid votes or spineless speeches. Railed against John Boehner and demanded his resignation. We were furious, and we were letting the do nothing politicians and GOP leadership know it!
Once again, they did NOTHING.
Then, the beginning of the presidential election cycle began. We all knew Hillary was jumping in. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and others were sharpening their debate skills. A few, otherwise “not serious” candidates also tossed their hats in the ring, including Donald Trump, Rick Santorum and a few others. Candidates who would make some noise, but not really do a lot of “damage,” per se.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Marco Rubio jumped in the race as the “leading potentials” as far as the well-known, Republican Candidates who had a chance at winning the nomination. If you asked me back in November 2015, I would have said that Sen. Cruz and Rubio would probably be the President and Vice President Republican ticket and I was fairly “ok” with that ticket. But, there were 17 candidates and a long, long way to go.
As time progressed, the field lessened, it became obvious that this wasn’t going to be a “normal” election. Candidates who should have been doing well based on their past performance were polling dismally, minus Cruz and Rubio. Kasich never really HAD good numbers, Jindal never really caught on. It was, however, apparent that Donald Trump was doing much better than expected and hanging in with Cruz and Rubio. Why?
The answer was fairly easy: the party was fractured into 3 separate categories. The Right Center – Rubio, The traditional conservative – Cruz, and the pissed off at the GOP/Politicians – Trump. Then, the primaries started and so did the fight.
Cruz supporters attacking Trump, Rubio attacking Trump, the GOP attacking Trump. Hell, THEY DUSTED OFF MITT ROMNEY IN A LAST DITCH EFFORT, but to no avail. Trump was gaining delegates and supporters in a pace that wasn’t being matched by the other candidates (there is a reason I am not mentioning Kasich)
WHY? Well, Rubio has become more of a rank and file Republican, and seeing how the GOP screwed us after the midterms, his campaign's demise was all but obvious, and just to prove it, he held on longer than he should have.
The Cruz Campaign was going along well, and he was debating well, but he wasn’t reaching a core group, the “I am sick of politicians and pissed off segment.” After the GOP went semi-nuclear trying to drop Trump with Romney, it became obvious to many that the GOP was starting to warm up to Cruz, or at least willing to give him a bump by trying to take down Trump, and that struck a chord with a lot of people. Was the Tea Party candidate, and evangelical conservative Sen. Ted Cruz working with (*gasp) the GOP elite? We may never know, but many assumed they were. WHY??
TRUMP! The GOP Elite was afraid of Trump. You see, the GOP ducked a party take over with the Tea Party Movement a few years back. The Tea Party had some steam and was gaining, however small, seats and power in the GOP and congress, the GOP knew it and HATED It. Now, you have Trump running around talking about building walls, standing up to other countries and “Making America Great” and people are listening and responding, fairly rapidly.
The GOP had to make a move. You have heard the term “the enemy of the enemy is my friend”? So had the GOP, and they were starting to make friends with their enemy's enemy. They were going all hands on deck to try to trounce the “Trump Train” and had a pretty good handle after they started “Cruzin”. But, it wasn’t enough.
You see, people were still disgusted with politicians in general. The GOP screwed them before and probably would do it again if they could. They could not be trusted, was the general opinion. Trump was dissing the GOP, Cruz, The Left, and even a handicapped journalist. But, he was unapologetic, and that was ringing with people. People knew he wasn’t a “traditional” politician, and didn’t really care about being politically correct. He would attack when needed and defend if forced, but never apologized. People who have been screwed by government via the economy, votes, lack of votes, and utter indifference were starting to feel like they had a voice.
Everyone attacked Trump in the media and politics, and he fought back, often times in a very uncouth way, but he didn’t give up. He kept going back to “Make America Great” and people really want that in this country. We the People no longer want the quagmire of politicians who forget who they work for and what we elect them for (First Term Senators aren’t allowed to speak in the Senate without approval, remember that).
Oh, the Trump and Cruz supporters fought nonstop. Each one tearing the other’s candidate down and frequently being down right horrendous to each other. All the while, the GOP was trying to figure out what to do with their “Trump” problem. Then, it hit the media: “BROKERED CONVENTION”. Reports began FLYING that the GOP would conduct a brokered convention and potentially hand the nomination to who THEY wanted, even if the beltway pick wasn’t really leading candidate. The people responded.
Now, if you honestly can say “I don’t care if he has the votes from the people, I want candidate A and I will fix the process so I get candidate A, no matter what,” congratulations, you are in the wrong party. That would be the DNC with the Super Delegates Game. The old, bait and switch. It is how you fix an election to get the person the PARTY LEADERS want, and not necessarily the candidate the PEOPLE want.
Even though I was undecided (always a late choice for me), I was OUTRAGED and FURIOUS. The DAMNED PARTY LEADERS were going to take the will of the people away? I don’t care WHO the candidate is, if the people want him or her (legally) then that is the final answer. The GOP was doing it again, they were going to once again take what the people wanted, pat us on the head, give us a cookie, and walk away with OUR election. There was a reason President Washington warned us against a 2 party system, and we were bearing the brunt of it!
The numbers started to reflect this, too. After a few losses in the polls, Trump began to build steam in New York and continued right through Indiana. People were coming out in record numbers.
Was this all for Trump or was some of it anti-GOP? We may never know, honestly. It is the cart and horse metaphor. Is Donald Trump so great to people that they would consider no other, or is ANYONE with ties to the GOP so potentially toxic that Trump SEEMED more palatable. Who knows.
Either way, following the Indiana loss Sen. Cruz decided to suspend his campaign and all but hand the nomination to Trump. Ted Cruz gave a speech that was amazingly strong, gracious and patriotic. The type of speech that, had he given more, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But, alas, we are where we are.
Now, back to social media this evening. The insults and firestorm continue. Each side STILL attacking the other and it made me realize something. I have said in the past that we as conservatives have led to the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump. With all due respect to Mr. Trump, we have allowed OUR party to disintegrate and become a shell of its former self. Whenever we were about fed up and the talks of a “third party” rose, the GOP would straighten up and fly right for a limited time. It was like a relationship with an alcoholic: it would get bad, you would call them on it, and they would go to meetings for a while, then fall off the wagon and the cycle would repeat.
Only, this time, people weren’t going to settle for “the cycle” -- this time was different. The GOP knew it, and kind of….gave in. Sen Cruz knew it, and I am sure after much deliberation decided to give in. Trump had a commanding lead because people feel they have a voice with him. I know there are MANY in the GOP who call him a fraud and a phony, and there will only be one way to know for sure. Whether you like it or not, he IS the defacto, and eventual, nominee.
Now, comes the other question that is all over the place: will Trump be able to get the support of the GOP behind him?
I see SO many people saying they would NOT support and vote for Trump because “Hillary has essentially won the election now that Trump is the nominee.” My response? “HILLARY HASN’T EVEN WON THE NOMINATION YET,” nor has she been successfully cleared of potential criminal charges.
But, let’s say that she IS the nominee, for argument sake.
Would you RISK letting her win this election and DESTROY SCOTUS, and never mind what else she and Huma can come up with. The woman who let four Americans perish in Benghazi, through inaction? The woman who used an illegal server, cut backroom deals to get money for the Clinton Foundation, made Uranium Deals with the Russians, and on and on?
Sure, Hillary is (at times) more polite than Trump, but can you HONESTLY say that she is less offensive? I think the answer is NO.
If you don’t like and or trust Trump, then make sure you are all over the congressional elections and ensuring that the people who are getting elected or reelected will keep the president in check (unlike the ones we have now). Campaign and help them, then, let us get a third party going, or a fourth or a fifth. Let’s dismantle the GOP as we know it, I am actually OK with that.
But DO NOT give away the election to Hilldog or Bernie through inaction because your candidate didn’t win -- that is like taking your ball and going home. You OWE it to this nation to make sure you are NOT letting the left seize control of the White House and potentially congress.
So, even if you can NOT stomach Trump, vote against Hillary, because she is EXPECTING you to stay at home.
Remember, no vote for Trump, is a vote for Hillary. It sucks, but we can change that, we have the power!