The party versus the people
Mitt Romney’s uncharacteristically harsh attack on Donald Trump revealed the extent of desperation felt by Republican leaders over the prospect of a party take-over by Trump and his supporters. Republican leaders are apoplectic. So enraged are they that they are willing to risk a loss in November to ensure that Donald Trump is not the nominee. In other words, they would prefer Hillary Clinton or another Democrat to Donald Trump. Indeed, despite his conservative ideological purity, Ted Cruz is loathed by the Republican leaders almost as much as Trump. They find Marco Rubio their only comfortable choice, but Rubio is so far behind that he cannot win. How then can Americans thwart the anti-Democratic efforts of Romney and Republican leaders to prevent a Trump nomination? The answer lies in an intelligent recognition that Cruz, while popular among Republicans, has no appeal outside of Republican circles and, so, is unlikely to win in a general election. Because of that, Republicans can overthrow the establishment and keep Romney and Republican leaders from thwarting the will of the people only by voting overwhelmingly for Trump in the remaining primaries. If they do so, Trump will win on a first ballot, and the machinations Republican leaders are planning will be foiled.
Why is it that Republican leaders are so willing to sacrifice Republican prospects in November to ensure the nomination of a candidate not supported by rank and file Republicans? It is not because they adhere to some sort of conservative litmus test. Despite his ideological purity, Cruz is persona non grata with them. Indeed, they have embraced the likes of Mitt Romney and George Bush in the past who were often proponents of big government. Remember, Romney brought us Obamacare writ small when he was Governor of Massachusetts, and George Bush championed the passage of Medicare Part D (the prescription drug benefit for seniors), the largest welfare program adopted in the United States before Obamacare.
Republican leaders, the old party guard, are not ideological purists like Ronald Reagan was, they are protectionists, more interested in feathering their own nests than in limiting government power. They have long allied themselves with Democrats to favor political appointees who, and government programs that, are favored by industry special interests who hold out the promise of lucrative paybacks for them.
In short, they support the corrupt government quid pro quo with industry that is crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is a form of corruption wherein politicians align themselves with specific industry special interests against others, to pass legislation or enact regulations that are anti-competitive, favoring the economic interests of select industry players at the expense of those others. That game has become the primary business of Congress and the federal agencies, and the leaders of the Republican party cling to it and are responsible for perpetuating it.
Donald Trump, in particular, and Ted Cruz threaten crony capitalism. Because Trump has not sold his soul to Republican leaders and threatens to take dramatic steps that will increase competition, restore upward mobility, and oust the old guard from power, he is intolerable to the leaders. Likewise, Cruz who refuses to curry favor with Republican leaders and has openly condemned them is not an acceptable pick for the old guard.
Driven to the extremes by the very real prospect of a Trump nomination, Romney and his establishment cronies would thwart the democratic selection process by using old fashioned strong arm tactics at the convention to undo the will of the people in favor of the choices of party elites. If that anti-democratic revolution takes place, and Trump is prevented from obtaining the nomination, the Republican party will experience a profound loss in popularity, rendering it incapable of achieving that unity necessary to win the White House in November.
Republican leaders know that, and they do not care! They do not care, because they would rather have a Democrat in the White House who will keep crony capitalism in place than achieve conservative goals of limiting the federal government, revitalizing the nation’s defenses, and restoring competition to the market. Indeed, truth be told, they are not conservative at heart, they are self-interested politicians willing to sell the nation’s founding ideals down the river if it means improving their own financial futures and enhancing their own political power. As they condemn Trump for being a con man, they themselves have presided over the greatest con in American history: selling Americans the idea that government programs are essential when, in fact, they are ordinarily just a cover for political deals that give federal protection to industry leaders at the expense of competition.
What then can Americans do to stop this? A rout at the convention depends on public acquiescence to a greater or lesser degree. Republican leaders’ present plan is to ensure that the remaining primaries deny Trump sufficient support to secure a nomination on the first ballot at the convention. Therefore, if Republicans vote for Trump overwhelmingly, the plan will be thwarted.
But how can conservative purists reconcile that with the risk that Trump will bolt from the conservative reservation on occasion and favor bills of a liberal bend? It is either vote for Trump or watch as a Democrat dedicated to a far left agenda becomes President of the United States. The fact remains that most Americans outside of the Republican Party will not support Cruz for President, but a significant number of Independents and blue collar Democrats will vote for Trump. And a Trump who supports blocking illegal immigration, restoring America’s defenses, aggressively annihilating terrorists, and unleashing free enterprise is a Trump worth voting for, even if he thinks Planned Parenthood outside of abortion services has helped women and even if he thinks he can find a way to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians. If we are going to alter the dynamic in Washington, we need a meat cleaver, not a tooth pick. Only Trump wields a meat cleaver.
© 2016 Jonathan W. Emord – All Rights Reserved