They did it to themselves. And I tried to do a bit part in cleaning it up with a list of suggestions here and here. But no one listened (except you, loyal readers, who came by those years in this blog’s infancy).
Donald Trump is sweeping up the Republican nomination. To date, he’s only lost in Iowa to Ted Cruz, but only by three percent. Since then, Trump has gone on to take first place in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Projections suggest the rest of the dominos are already in place to fall Trump’s way. Time will tell if this bears out. But even if Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio pull the Republican Party out of this, the lesson has already been made: The GOP is finished as a party of principle. They did it to themselves.
Donald Trump wants to Make America Great Again. But I have no idea what he plans to do, exactly. There’s talk of a huge wall along the Mexican border, getting Mexico to pay for it (how?). There’s talk of keeping Syrian refugees out temporarily, I mean, Muslim refugees. And I understand the hesitation. But again, how? A change of clothing and swearing on a Bible or something to be convincing they’re not Muslims? I could do that.
Only a few of Trump’s Positions are available for review. On his website, five are listed: US-China Trade Reformation, Veterans Administration Reformation, Tax Reform, 2nd Amendment Rights and Immigration Reform. That’s it. I wonder why no discussion on Foreign Policy, nothing on welfare, crime and violence, on privacy, environment, energy, etc.
The US-China Trade Relations is full of how he and his negotiators will work out the best deal, not understanding that every company should be negotiating their own best interests with China. That way if the deal sucks, only that company suffers. Who’s negotiating for everyone again? See below.
The Veterans Reform is revamping government health care for veterans. As if the constant tweaking of this government program will get it working. A better idea would be phasing it out, dumping Obamacare, and working towards a laissez faire economic model of health care for everyone.
The Tax Reform punishes those who earn more money, like the Democratic reforms he used to espouse (see below).
The 2nd Amendment Rights keeps the principle of the 2nd Amendment. I have no quarrel with this one. I’ve already addressed that we could do something different to address gun violence but banning or better checks isn’t the answer. I’m still waiting for suggestions.
And Immigration Reform (see Illegal Immigration issue below)
Along with the Positions, he has some video messages on his issues section but they’re all pom-pom, cheer leader stuff. No policies or operations and procedures. But let’s look at some of these video messages. Let’s start with…
Drug Epidemic: His solution to the New Hampshire (heroin) epidemic is better borders between the US and Mexico? You could build the legendary Game of Thrones Wall and drugs will still get in. Isn’t he aware of Afghanistan’s heroin trafficking? And think of it, all of our federal and state prisons have walls; and yet, heroin gets in there. A better solution is to end the Drug War.
Self Funding: He gets to fund his own campaign, which is honorable. Then he says he knows the “absolute best people” and we’ll have the greatest negotiators with foreign countries. Woah. Who are these people? This doesn’t impress me. Kings are self funding too, ask Saudi Arabia. This is a “Just Trust Me, I Got This” attitude. I’d rather handle much of my own life, thank you.
Illegal Immigration: More Great Wall talk with a beautiful big door. How about just letting peaceful people come and go and keep the government in? Oops, see Self Funding. Government will be negotiating for us.
Unifying the Nation: He says he’ll bring the country together. But he’s done nothing on the campaign trail but divide, sometimes using name calling. And the GOP is in shambles. If he can’t unite the party he’s running under, how’s he going to reach everyone outside of it?
Education: He says schools and education should be locally controlled. And I approve of this message. This is a good one.
Jobs: Yes, Trump, you’ve done a great job creating jobs in the private sector. BUT, as president, you don’t create jobs. Why are you running for president if you want to help people get jobs? This isn’t in the job description of president. And again, no operations or procedures. Are we looking at a potential federal job program?
Anyhow, I picked a few from the Issues videos. Feel free to review the rest (all of them) and see if you come to the same conclusion.
Most of the above sounds like a continuation of big government, almost a secret government of “absolute best people” we know nothing about. I hate always reminding politicians that the best people is subjective. Who negotiates for Microsoft might be terrible at negotiating for Wal-Mart or Ford Motor Company. All different products with different markets and needs.
But I’m not at all surprised Donald Trump is on the trail to being the Republican nominee. The Republican Party brags about being the party of small government but over the past hundred years or so, they haven’t demonstrated it. Not even the legendary Ronald Reagan administration strived or created a smaller government. Us, in the Libertarian movement, joke that Republicans campaign like Libertarians but govern like Democrats. The Republican Party takes Democrat solutions, nibbles away just a little bit and says, “See, if it wasn’t for us, you’d be paying an extra five cents in tax but you’re only paying three because of our work.” This, of course, is still an increase in three cents. Never a decrease, never less government.
Look at the federal budgets over the past hundred years. Up, up, up, up, up, up whether it be Democrat or Republican. I give at least the Democrats credit for owning up to their share. The Republican Party blames everyone but themselves. This is why so many people left the GOP and went to the Libertarian Party (as well as other third parties). Tired of rhetoric, looking for action, these people found new homes.
The GOP did it to themselves. They can’t blame Trump’s climb solely on his presentation or celebrity status. The GOP had options for a truly smaller government for a long time but passed them over. They ignored the campaign of Ron Paul, twice, and over looked his son, Rand Paul. They also overlooked New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson. They had their chance at small government politicians. They chose others. And when they controlled the House of Representatives under Republican President George W. Bush’s from 2001 to 2007 and the Senate from 2003 to 2007, nothing but growth. That was years of chance with nothing to stop them from cutting away the growth and they failed. And now because they left the gate of principles wide open, Trump slid in. Trump, very approving of Bill Clinton, calling him the best president of recent times as early as 2015 and also claiming Hillary Clinton would make a good president or vice president, is now running and leading in the GOP’s own race! The Republican Party’s failure to stick with a strictly socially liberal, fiscally conservative policy allowed this. Their party is now meaningless.
Some are now calling for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, the last hope against Trump, to join forces to beat him. But the lesson is already played, even if this tactic is successful. That is, even a Cruz/Rubio ticket won’t change the public’s perception of the GOP even if they beat Trump. Because a Cruz/Rubio ticket is a continuation of what I jockeyed against here and here.
The GOP did it to themselves. Many sticking with the GOP are behind Trump on the lesser of two evils approach. Mike Gallagher, along with some other people I’ve listened to and talked to, have argued that if Trump is the nominee, the GOP must stand behind him. The only reason. ONLY REASON. Is to make sure Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) doesn’t get into the White House. But this is more leaving principles behind and working to keep someone out rather than get behind someone they’d rather see in. It’s more nails for the GOP coffin. Do they really want to stay just the party that keeps Democrats out? Or one with principles?
I think those who work like this suffer from Wasted Vote Syndrome. If they leave the GOP, they say, they’re definitely letting the Democrats win. They think going to a third party is a waste. I say they’re definition of winning is flawed. Take any third party, most only get about one percent of the total vote. But what if they suddenly got three percent? Then the next election, five percent? Then ten percent? Those currently holding seats in government would have to start taking their positions seriously. Ten percent of a vote could still make a huge difference.
If my own preference for the Libertarian Party can garnish the votes of what’s left of the Republican Party who really believe in smaller government, then differences can be made. The GOP would get the picture and stop existing just to stop Democrats (in name only, I might add). It might take time, but change can be made. It took decades for the Republican Party to get to Donald Trump. It might take several more to get away from Donald Trump. But it has to start somewhere. And the GOP has demonstrated it’s inability to be the leaders.
They did it to themselves. This Party is Over. Let them go. It’ll be okay.
1 thought on “Reckoning Day – Party Over”
As always, Eric provides a thorough and thought-provoking piece that should be read and shared by anyone even remotely interested in this year’s political process, especially as it relates to the GOP’s accidental creation — Donald J. Trump. Though I’m not on the doom and gloom train just yet, I can tell you he isn’t my first choice.
However, in an effort to push the conversation forward, I did want to point out a few issues with this article. I would argue that Trump isn’t dividing the country. He may be fracturing the established leadership within the GOP and is certainly shattering all traditional political thinking for running a campaign, but looking at the demographics of the first four primaries/caucuses, it’s hard to make the argument that he isn’t bringing folks together. He is winning with almost all age ranges, income levels and education levels. He is winning equally with women and men and he is getting huge support from the Hispanic crowd. He is pulling just as many evangelicals as Cruz (so far) and is winning with those who are less religious or not religious at all. And, while it’s expected he will win with moderates and less-conservative voters, he is also winning with strong-conservatives.
If the record setting turnouts (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada) aren’t showing it, the demographics certainly are; he is unifying a large chunk of the electorate and it looks to be one of the most diverse since Ronald Reagan had his landslide reelection win in 1984 against Walter Mondale. (Please note, I am NOT comparing Trump to Reagan in terms of policy, only in terms of depth and breadth of support.)
Another comment I have about this piece relates to the subject that both parties have never done anything but run up the debt. I want to point out that under President Bill Clinton, the Republican Congress had a revolutionary sweep in the House in 1994 to take control — something that hadn’t happened in over 40 years. Under that sudden change in political winds, Clinton (a master at triangulation) knew he was going to have to support the budget set by the House, which did provide the first balanced budget in decades. Though short-lived, it is an example where both parties did, in fact, have a budget meant to bring the debt down.
Finally, when George W. Bush was in office, it took two years to gain back a majority in the House and the Senate. However, even at it’s peak, the GOP did not have a filibuster-proof majority. Regardless of the maneuvers Bush wanted to make to reform banking and the toxic loans being reckless bundled within the housing sector, the Democrats were able to block him at every turn. This led to the bailouts, continued qualitative easing and a huge spike to the debt — something our current president has continued as well.
Beyond those (ahem) addendums I would ask Eric to consider, the piece is quite compelling and the conversation should be continued. Please add your thoughts and pass this along. Nothing is gained through silence except to give up the very liberty with which we are all blessed.