What a ride, huh?
It's a sticky wicket we're all in, us Republicans. By now, you've no doubt heard every argument possible from both sides of the issue about why you should or shouldn't vote for Donald Trump.
I've heard from the Trump fanatics who tell me we should vote for him because he's gonna change the world. I've heard from the #NeverTrump crowd (have I ever mentioned how much I detest hashtags?) telling me all the reasons I shouldn't. Christians are up in arms because we can't vote for a man so immoral.
What to do? What to do, indeed?
First off, here's links to two good articles from the Christian perspective. The first explains why Christians should NOT vote for Trump. The second explains why we, as Christians, SHOULD vote no matter who the choices are. I like both articles, as I think they both make valid points. And in the end, as a Christian, we're each going to have to make our own personal choice, through prayer and God's word, as to what we actually do come voting day in November.
But while it's been laid out there like its a simple black and white choice, it's not. And the truth is, I think it will do us all some good to try to grasp exactly why Trump is where he is, and discern, if we can, exactly what he stands for, especially before we simply state "I am," or, "I'm not." Because in reality, the GOP Establishment has yet to figure out why Trump has done so well, and Christians haven't done much better.
A couple weeks ago, I posted a transcript from Rush Limbaugh's show, where he states some of the same things I've been saying for the past few months. In the effort of full disclosure, I get quite a bit of my conservative news from Rush. Whether you like him or not, his take on what's going on in the world of Conservatism is usually pretty accurate, and long before Trump came on the scene, Rush was postulating that there is a huge conservative voting base out there that feels wholly disenfranchised from the Republican party they used to know. Moreover, Rush has stated for some time that there is a huge disconnect between the powers that be in Washington, and those of us "out there." And he's right.
Along comes Donald Trump, who recognized that disconnect and was able to tap into it. It really isn't a lot more complicated than that. I saw his appeal right away. Not that I was taken by him, but rather I saw why so many others were. But it's also important to understand why that disconnect was there in the first place, specifically within the Republican party.
Ronald Reagan was the last great Conservative, although George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr. were no slouches. But George Bush Sr. got shafted by a 3rd party candidate in 1992 (sound familiar?) and George W. was sabotaged by a rabid, increasingly Liberal media that incomprehensibly was able to convince an uninformed public that it was somehow wrong to fight back against evil people who shamelessly attacked and killed 3000 innocent American citizens. But more on George W. later.
Stuffed in there was eight years of our first modern Liberal President, Bill Clinton, who actually did some smart things financially for the country (which was to sign bills into law that were coming out of a Republican congress) but who's Liberal agenda started us down a path of not only moral degeneration, but of social dependence on the government. The American public, after eight years, saw that this was not a good path, and voted a Conservative back into office, but George W. -- who did not campaign as a wartime President -- had 9/11 dropped into his lap, and that pretty dominated his entire two terms, forcing him to back burner some other issues that could have helped get some things back on track. (Mark my words -- George W. will go down in history as one of the truly great Presidents. Save this blog, so you can refer to this when that finally happens!)
For reasons only God can ascertain, the GOP ran the most moderate candidates they could find in the next two Presidential elections (just like the media said we should... hmmm...) and they promptly got their butts handed to them by a black man with a Muslim name who NOBODY had ever heard of prior to 2008. And who also happens to be so Liberal, he makes Bill Clinton look like Mickey Mouse.
Out of that frustration of not having a viable and electable candidate in those Presidential elections, the American public then handed the Democrat party the two biggest beatdowns they have ever suffered in the Midterm elections of 2010 and 2014. By landslides, they elected Republicans and Tea Partiers to majorities in both houses of Congress with the specific mandate of going to Washington to oppose the absolute moronic Liberal agenda of the Obama Administration. They promised to do just that in their campaigns, and we bought it and elected them.
Needless to say, they have failed in that mandate. But it's far worse than failure. They absolutely refused to put up a fight! The GOP Establishment has backed down at every turn, unwilling to make the tough decisions needed to turn around the Liberal agenda that's demoralizing this country. Unchecked, Obama's policies have been implemented without barriers, and even though they vowed to stop them, the GOP has done absolutely nothing to oppose him, which is what we elected them to do. (All that talk about getting along is hogwash. Neither side elects their officials so they'll "get along" with the other side. That's just media fodder.)
So, that's where we stand today. Enter Donald Trump.
Of the 17 candidates who jumped in the GOP Presidential race, only Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina were truly outsiders of the political scene. Ted Cruz is not a Republican, but rather a Tea Party member, with a voting history of opposing the GOP Establishment in Washington. So, he really was the outsider before Trump took that role.
To begin with, the Establishment candidates didn't stand a chance, not after 2010 and 2014. But Trump was able to tap into that disenfranchised base in a way that Carson and Fiorina couldn't. Sadly, Carson was too nice. Great guy, he really is, and one of my top choices. But for right now, in this climate, the base was looking for someone not only willing to fight, but PICK a fight, and maybe fight nasty if need be. Ben Carson is not that guy. Perhaps in another time and place, Carson could rise to the top. That would be nice.
Fiorina just couldn't connect, for similar reasons. Our side is looking for a bulldog, and we don't want that person to be a woman. We just don't. Someday, a woman will rise to the top of the Conservative ladder, and she'll do so for the right reasons. With grace, and skill, and purity. We just don't want to throw a lady into the depravity of Hillary Clinton, and watch them duke it out. That's probably a good thing.
But that's where Donald Trump thrives, and from the very beginning, he knew what he had to do to win. And that's get down and dirty, and not take any crap from anybody, including the media. It's what we've been begging our reps to do for years now, with no takers.
Meanwhile, the voting base was screaming "THANK YOU! FINALLY!" Somebody not only willing to fight, but willing to pick a fight, and willing to tell the media dopes to shove it, and to finally stop caving to all the PC nonsense.
So it's easy to see his appeal. He simply tapped into that disconnect Rush has been speaking about, a LARGE group of voters who were simply waiting for someone to come and get them. Trump did.
And the Indiana primary voting numbers prove this. In 2008, John McCain won the GOP Indiana primary with just over 330k votes. In 2012, Mitt Romney won with nearly 430k votes. Now get this: in this year's primary, Ted Cruz garnered almost 406k votes, nearly matching Romney's winning total from 2012, AND LOST! Trump nabbed 590,000 votes! Cruz got more votes than either Hillary or Bernie on the other side, but Trump almost matched their COMBINED totals with nearly 600k votes! There were over 1.1 million total Republican votes in this year's primary, an all-time record. In short, Trump got nearly 600k votes that haven't existed for years!
Why is he winning so big? How does a complete outsider, a man who had no political background, no campaign management to speak of, funded his own campaign and did no fundraising, and is as off-the-cuff as they come, beat the absolute best, most experienced politicians the GOP can throw at him? And they used every political tool they could to beat him -- still trying, in fact -- and he just keeps winning bigger and bigger.
How does that happen?
The Establishment can't figure it out because they are trying to put Trump, and view his campaign, in the traditional political box they all know so well. And Trump doesn't exist in that box. Never has. And he's not trying to reach the people that live in there so comfortably. He’s an in-your-face, say-what’s-on-his-mind, not-afraid-to-tick-someone-off, and not-back-down-from-a-fight kind of guy. With any other faults, he’s connected to the void, the base that's "Out There," the wild-card that no politician has had to deal with for a very long time. Sure, he’s pulling from some traditional GOP voters, and he's also pulling from some traditional Democrat voters as well, but the bulk of those nearly 600,000 votes mentioned above have come from voters who haven't been voting in a while. THAT'S why he's winning.
In the end, the Republicans AND the Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for Donald Trump. The Democrats need look no further than the last eight years. I mean, if Obama has been so great, why would someone like Trump rise to the top and be so popular? If pandering to transgenders and people who want to kill policemen and burn down cities, and limiting people’s legal right to protect themselves is so great, and if gay marriage, growing the deficit, Christian-bashing, open borders, and Obamacare are such positives for America, then why in the world are so many people fed up to the point they’d support a candidate like Trump? Make no mistake, his appeal isn't just with Republican voters. One of the knocks on him by Conservatives is his past connections with Democrats. He's as popular with Democrat voters who realize the mistake they made in falling for Obama as he is with disenfranchised Republicans.
And Republicans have been screaming for someone to stand up and fight. And they found him. Quite frankly, I'm surprised there's as much backlash as there is. Both sides have been yakking about ousting the incumbents for the last several years. Now they have a candidate who looks as though he can get that done, and they're freaking out. Fickle kids, those voters.
There’s much more to consider here about Trump, and if you stuck with me this far, feel free to check out Parts 2 and 3, where I share why I believe not only why he’ll win big in November, but what I think we, as Christians, should do concerning the election. More to come….