I will reiterate: I am not a fan of Trump. While he has successfully latched onto already existing justifiable anger over the nation’s insecure borders and porous immigration process, in the long run I think his personal association with the issue may prove to do more harm than good. That said, this commentary is perhaps the best explanation out there for why so many Americans are seeing something they like in The Donald. Excerpt:
What Republicans are trying to figure out is not so much how to handle Trump as how to handle his supporters. Ignore or confront? Mock or treat seriously? Insult or persuade? The men and women in the uppermost ranks of the party, who have stood by Trump in the past as he gave them his endorsements and cash, are inclined to condescend to a large portion of the Republican base, to treat base voters’ concerns as unserious, nativist, racist, sexist, anachronistic, or nuts, to apologize for the “crazies” who fail to understand why America can build small cities in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a wall along the southern border, who do not have the education or skills or means to cope when factories move south or abroad, who stare incomprehensibly at the television screen when the media fail to see a “motive” for the Chattanooga shooting, who voted for Perot in ’92 and Buchanan in ’96 and Sarah Palin in ’08 and joined the Tea Party to fight death panels in ’09…
What the radical middle has seen in recent years has not given them reason to be confident in our government, our political system, our legion of politicians clambering up the professional ladder office to office. Two inconclusive wars, a financial crisis, recession, and weak recovery, government failure from Katrina to the TSA to the launch of Obamacare to the federal background check system, an unelected and unaccountable managerial bureaucracy that targets grassroots organizations and makes law through diktat, race riots and Ebola and judicial overreach. And through it all, as constant as the northern star, a myopic drive on the part of leaders in both parties to enact a “comprehensive immigration reform” that would incentivize illegal immigration and increase legal immigration despite public opposition.
The writer notes the GOP is a hybrid of two distinctly different groups: upper-crust elites whose status and wealth isolate them from the socially destructive policies they often support (like so-called “free trade”), and the blue-collar working class — the people George Bailey reminded Mr. Potter “do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.” (As someone who identifies with this ‘rabble,’ I can attest they’re also often sentimental about classic movies…)
What all this really comes down to is that this ‘radical middle’ is experiencing a rare moment of clarity, where they realize their interests diverge sharply from the agendas of the self-appointed mandarin class sitting atop the GOP. So they are looking for alternatives. That is a good thing.
What isn’t good is that we’ve been here before, and the GOP has a playbook for such crises. It’s even hinted at near the end of the otherwise fine commentary excerpted above: the boogeyman of a Democratic victory. Every time a Perot or a Buchanan arises to speak to the unrepresented grievances of what used to be known simply as “the middle class,” the GOP darkly warns that a split in the party will result in “the other side” (i.e. Hillary) winning. As though there are actually two sides between the established political parties. What this discontented electorate needs to ask in response to such entreaties is “so what? What, exactly, would be different about an administration of GOP elites than one of Democrats?” That card has been played in many elections, and yet Roe v. Wade has yet to be restricted, let alone overturned, immigration “reform” in the 1980s resulted in a second, even larger wave of illegal entries, Federal spending (and power) remains out of control with the national debt 18 times what it was 35 years ago, and now a Supreme Court with a GOP-appointed Chief Justice suddenly discovers the Founders would have been OK with gay marriage or with the Federal Government managing your health insurance.
It’s a classic abusive relationship, where the mandarins tell the plebes “just come back to me and it will all get better.” Only it never does. The GOP of the last 20-30 years is just as complicit in the damage done to our nation as the Democrats; maybe more so, because at least the Democrats tell you up front most of the time they’re out to “fundamentally transform America.”
The only “fundamental transformation” we in the ‘radical middle’ want is a return of accountability with some treasonous heads on platters, a return to the rule of law and strict adherence to the written Constitution, and restoration of the ethic of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. I don’t see either party offering that, except in vague partisan terms aimed at the other team in the quest for voters they fully intend to ignore after election day.
That’s probably because our political class, regardless of party, doesn’t really believe in any of what I just mentioned above.
So why do we vote for ANY of these parasites?