Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Republican Establishment Needs to Stop Worrying and Love the Donald

February 23, 2016

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd after being declared winner of the Nevada Repulican caucuses at his caucus night rally in Las Vegas (Reuters)

Now that Donald Trump has wiped the floor yet again with the other Republican candidates in the Nevada caucuses, it's time for the GOP to face reality -- barring force majeure, they have a presidential candidate, like it or not.

The so-called establishment has a choice: Get on the Trump bandwagon or try some desperate maneuver to stop him. But what would that be? A Rubio-Cruz ticket, assuming they would do it?  At the time of this writing, the two men added together don't equal the Trump vote in Nevada -- and that's even assuming their voters would hold, which is a risky assumption, given the current momentum. I mean -- Donald won 46% of the Hispanics!  Enough already.

A lot of my Republican friends are depressed about this situation. They worry that Trump is not a real conservative.  They cringe at his vulgarity. They are concerned he's a bully, even totalitarian.

I'm not.  And  I am not depressed, even though I admire many of the other candidates in the race.  Given the gravity of the situation, what Obama has done to this nation and the candidates being offered by the Democrats, a world class liar and a Eugene V. Debs retread, a personality as large as Donald may be necessary to revive our country. In fact, I think I'll take the "may" out of that.

This is what I think the electorate senses and what the Republican establishment fears. Rather than being afraid that Donald will lose, many establishment folks, I suspect, are afraid he will win.  It will not be business as usual and most human beings seek business as usual, especially successful ones. What, for example, is more conventional and unchanging than the Democratic Party?  They have patented stasis under meaningless junk terms like "liberal" and "progressive." Nothing ever changes.  Republicans are at risk of doing the same thing with the word "conservative." If I hear another candidate claim to be the most "conservative," I think I'll bang my head against the table.  I can't be the only one who feels that way.

So if I were a member of the Establishment, whatever that is, I would quit bellyaching, embrace Donald and make him my friend.  He's ready and willing.  If you bother to check that ultimate news source the Daily Mail, you'd see that already he is hobnobbing with such Republican stalwarts as Rudy Giuliani, Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore.  Unless I missed it, I didn't notice the article mentioning  David Axelrod or James Carville.

And listen to what Trump is actually saying.  He's for lower taxes and a strong defense and he's not really against free trade.  He just wants a better deal.  Who wouldn't and who wouldn't assume he'd  get a better one than the Obama crowd?  Or the Bush crowd for that matter, on just about anything. He's also pro-life, despite soreheads like Erick Erickson screaming that Trump supports Planned Parenthood when he has said explicitly he does not support what they do on abortion, only on other women's health issues.  Does Erickson oppose pap smears for cervical cancer?  (Frankly, I don't want to know.)

People like Erickson and pundits far more sophisticated suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Because he's not part of "Their Crowd" they can't really grasp what he's saying.  Time to end that.  Don't fight Donald.  Be smart, co-opt him.  Or, as we used to say, be there or be square.  Next November depends on it

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