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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Donald Trump is right, the establishment should just stop talking

I have to admit, when I saw the headline “Donald Trump goes it alone” I was taken aback.

My first thought was, why? Why would the Republican presidential nominee have to “go it alone?”

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner expands on his headline, “Trump cannot count on Republican leaders to defend him during controversies or amplify his criticisms of the Democrats the way Clinton can Donald Trumpcount on her party. He cannot rely on the conservative media, which is often as critical of him as the liberal media. Commentators across the political spectrum are rooting for him to lose badly…

“To reunify the party, the man who claims he can make America win again must prove that his campaign can win again. And he'll have to do it all by himself.”

Hmmm. Let’s start with the premise that I didn’t vote for Trump in the Virginia primary. I also spent the last half of 2015 openly wondering how anyone could or would support him as the Republican presidential nominee. In the first four months of this year, I cheered Ted Cruz’s victories and fervently advocated for the rest of the Republican field to get out so Cruz could face Trump one-on-one and beat him.

I was depressed and rather shocked when Cruz uttered the words “I have decided to suspend my campaign” after the Indiana primary on May 3rd.

It was like the feeling you get the morning after the team you’ve lived and died with over the course of a 162-game Major League Baseball season loses in the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the World Series. I briefly considered withdrawing from politics altogether or joining with the #NeverTrump movement and abstaining from this year’s election.

But then reality struck. Donald Trump was going to be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton was in good shape to be the leader for the Democrats. One or the other is going to be celebrating on Election Day in November. Now isn’t the time to sit it out.

The decision to support Trump wasn’t all that difficult. After reexamining his issue positions, it became clear he isn’t that far apart from any of the other Republican nominees of the recent past – and he was actually much improved in other areas, such as immigration and some aspects of his foreign policy vision.

Trump is a bit of an oddball, for sure. He’s got a personality that’s bigger than life, one that turns off an awful lot of people. The “ordinary folks” I’ve spoken with who don’t like him are passionate in their opinions on the man. Snowshoes will be mandatory in hell before some of these people will change their minds.

I don’t agree with them. And I don’t agree with the Republican officials who are now treating Trump like he’s some sort of contagious disease that needs to be quarantined – and muzzled.

Republicans and conservatives should be rallying around Trump for more than mere disgust at the opposition, too, though there’s plenty not to like about Hillary Rodham Clinton. She’s the very embodiment of everything that’s wrong with American government. She believes in income redistribution, punishing taxation and a social agenda that’s about as far removed from tradition as you’re going to get.

Her list of negatives goes on and on. Vote for her and you get another Obama-like extra-constitutional dictator who will ignore the feckless Republican Congress and rule by executive fiat. She’ll appoint administration personnel who will impose their special interest agendas on the American public. And she’ll place several proven liberals on the Supreme Court.

America as we know it (or knew it) will cease to be if she’s elected.

But more than that, Donald Trump deserves support from Republicans and conservatives because the American People are looking for someone who’s different. Trump may have real political skills, but he’s not a politician. He brings a businessman’s perspective to government. If something’s broken, he’ll fix it, or at least try.

Listen to his speeches – at least the organized ones with the teleprompter – and you’ll realize he approaches problems predominantly from a pragmatic standpoint. He’s willing to frame issues in ways people understand and use language that’s direct and to the point. Trump sees terrorist attacks being perpetrated by radical Muslims. He therefore won’t be suggesting that the police start looking for the next possible murderer in an Amish meeting hall.

Some solutions are black and white. They may not be politically correct, but America can use a little practical know-how to get the government pointed back in the right direction.

Despite Antle’s claims above, there are a few signs Trump’s detractors are coming around. Nick Gass of Politico reports on one such person, “A week after Hugh Hewitt called on the Republican National Committee to change its convention rules if Donald Trump could not change himself, the conservative radio host has signaled that he is back on-board supporting the party's presumptive nominee…

“What changed his mind? Trump’s speeches on Friday and Monday, addressing religious liberty at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference and responding to the Orlando, Florida, attack, respectively. Hewitt wrote that Trump ‘has returned to a winning message and walled off the assorted ‘never Trump’ holdouts trying to upend his nomination.’”

Good for Hewitt. He has the guts to reverse himself and announce it publicly.

It’s not an easy thing to do. Because of my 100% commitment to Ted Cruz during the primaries, it still feels a little strange to advocate so strongly for Trump. But I honestly believe that despite the many blemishes on The Donald, he can be worked with to set a new and positive course for the country. And I say this because he’s chiefly a practical person.

He’s also patriotic. As a golfer, I’ve been to a couple of Trump’s golf clubs and was surprised to see a huge American flag flying over the 18th hole at each of them (and he did this long before running for president). The flag is never out of place in any setting, but most golf club owners don’t position it in such a prominent place. You know what that tells me? Donald Trump loves America. He may be a little nutty about his persona and celebrity, but there’s a patriotism there that isn’t found on the other side of the aisle.

He won’t go on a worldwide apology tour. He’ll advocate for the country’s best interests at all times. He’ll be a president that people can feel good about, even if they have reservations about Trump the man.

And if he loses, don’t blame the Democrats. It will be because the Republican establishment failed to get behind him and support him when they had the chance. Period. They’d rather lose with a stiff plastic candidate like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush than try to win with Trump because he won’t kneel and kiss their ring.

For those who say Trump will destroy the Republican Party if elected and therefore can’t support him, then maybe the party needs to be destroyed. The voters chose him. Now it’s time to get behind him and help him win.

With an intractable establishment, Trump says he’s willing to go it alone if necessary

For his part, the ever prideful Donald Trump says he’ll win on his own if his own party won’t support him. Trump said similar things all throughout the primaries when he repeatedly claimed he didn’t need his opponents’ backing to win in November.

Caitlin Huey-Burns of Real Clear Politics writes, “Donald Trump is doing nothing to console or encourage [Republicans], even after a series of transgressions he made just this week. Instead, the GOP standard-bearer effectively told party leaders: sit down, and shut up.

“’Our leaders have to get a lot tougher. And be quiet. Just please be quiet. Don't talk. Please be quiet,’ Trump said at a rally in Atlanta Wednesday afternoon. ‘They have to get tougher, they have to get sharper, they have to get smarter.’”

In her article, Huey-Burns proceeds to recount all of the supposed missteps Trump’s made in the past couple weeks as well as emphasizing the fact Trump’s post-Orlando comments were seen negatively by a majority of Americans.

Without anyone backing up Trump, is it any surprise Americans are joining in the effort to kick him when he’s supposedly down?

As I argued above, Trump basically represents something different, a whole new way of looking at political issues. People aren’t used to it, having been conditioned to accept what politicians from both parties have been dishing out for decades as accepted discourse.

Again, if you look at the content of his message, Trump represents a refreshing change from the stagnant status quo advanced by both parties’ leaders. But instead of adapting to Trump’s new way of doing things, the establishment is the one insisting Trump must change in order to earn their support.

This is a completely backwards mentality, especially since the “status quo” basic Republican message (“we’ll manage the welfare state better than the other guys!”) doesn’t work for a general election. If you don’t believe it, just ask Presidents Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Ted Cruz may be the conservative future but he should get behind Trump now

Since dropping out of the race in early May, Ted Cruz has been keeping a fairly low profile, going about his business as a senator and deftly dodging questions about whether he’ll endorse Donald Trump for president this year.

That doesn’t mean Ted’s given up on his career goals. Likewise, his supporters were disappointed that his 2016 bid came up short, but some of them are looking to the future right now.

Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal reports. “Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday night attended a private dinner of conservative leaders who, looking beyond 2016, want to keep him in the forefront of their movement and plot the next stage of his political career — likely another run for the White House in 2020.

“The dinner was attended by about 30 conservative leaders at the Virginia home of Brent Bozell, a conservative activist who like others at the dinner supported Mr. Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid.”

Naturally, the content of the discussion was off the record and attendees didn’t feel like spilling the beans afterward. But needless to say, there’s a sizable group of influential conservatives who recognize Cruz’s enormous potential and want to keep him in the game.

As for now, I think it’s time Cruz tipped his hand and threw his support behind the party nominee.

If there’s one person who can put a stop to much of the Trump-bashing that’s being dished out from the Republican side, it’s Ted Cruz. And frankly, Cruz needs to come forth soon because the future of the country he loves so much is at stake.

Looking at it objectively, the speech Trump delivered the other day offered policies that were very similar to those proposed by Cruz himself – namely, temporarily banning Muslim immigration from war-torn countries and giving police special powers to focus on Muslim neighborhoods.

Likewise, Trump will move the needle on border security, just as Cruz advocates. Hillary will only encourage more illegal immigration.

We’re all aware of the animosity Ted must still feel in regards to Trump. It’s very understandable and no one would blame him if Ted ends up doing nothing. But if Cruz is looking to the future, his best interest includes Trump winning in November.

Cruz will need Trump’s voters if he’s going to be able to put together a winning conservative-populist coalition in the future – not only for the Republican primaries, but also in the general election.

Further, Cruz knows what Trump is going through in terms of being dissed by the party establishment. From one outsider to another, it’s time for Cruz to act. The establishment will do what they will – there’s no reason why conservatives should sit idly by and let them do it.

Trump’s VP shortlist apparently does not include Iowa’s Joni Ernst

Finally this week, with all of the largely media/establishment generated controversy surrounding Donald Trump, there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk recently about who might end up as his running mate.

Of course no one – except for maybe Trump himself – knows for sure. But we also have some clues about who will not be standing next to him at July’s party convention.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports, “Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said Thursday she hasn't been contacted about the vice presidential vetting process by anyone affiliated with Donald Trump's campaign, despite rumors that she is being considered as a possible running mate…

“Ernst has declined to explicitly endorse Trump, instead saying she intends to support the Republican nominee. The Iraq war veteran previously said she is focused on serving her home state right now without fully closing the door on the possibility of running on the bottom of the GOP ticket.”

I’m sure Senator Ernst is a fine person and I’ve never heard anything bad about her, but at this point, Trump needs someone with a national profile who will make a big splash to run with him on the Republican ticket.

I doubt very many folks have even heard of Ernst. That’s fine.

Last week, Richard Viguerie suggested Rick Santorum for the job. We haven’t heard much about who’s on Trump’s list, but it would make sense if Santorum were under consideration.

Since the Republican convention begins on July 18, we won’t have to wait long to learn the identity of the mystery person. Until that time, speculation continues…

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Supporting Donald Trump

I appreciate this article because I have been struggling with the knowledge that Donald Trump is our nominee, but Hillary must be defeated to preserve our country. When Donald Trump mocked that disabled man, he lost my respect entirely. If the attitude he displayed then is how he thinks about people, that is indefensible. If that stupidity was the result of being too tired, overwrought or just not thinking, it's still dead wrong, but more understandable. Your article made me feel like there is hope that Donald Trump would improve our country although I know he is not a constitutional scholar nor has he always been anti abortion. I sincerely wanted Ted Cruz to win, but our reality is Donald Trump or vile Hillary. Now I feel somewhat better about voting for Trump, and for that, I thank you.

The Party must die!

"Maybe the Republican Party needs to be destroyed..."
You Betcha!, as they say in Alaska!

I've read "Takeover", and I appreciate the advice to take over the GOP from the grassroots, but its elite leadership has become so isolated from what the voters really think, that I'm not sure they'll listen even if the state parties turn conservative.

I was afraid that the Party would "Goldwater" Cruz if he won, but it seems that they'll destroy their prospects, and the country, rather than accept short term pain cause by a blunt talking candidate like Trump.

Trump's way with words may leave us scratching our heads, but he's right on most things (I personally believe in free trade - 2 page deals, not 2000 page deals!).
Islam IS the problem, and we need less infiltration.
That judge isn't "Mexican", he's a La Raza sympathizer, and therefore should be impeached.

If there's any coaching Trump needs it is to state a little more fully what he means, but not to dumb down his message. Even Romney could have won 2012 without the consultant class who want to dumb down Trump. Romney knew how to attack the Democrats and Obama, but he stopped right after the nomination, once the handlers got on the job. Even then, in the first debate, the killer instinct came out, but was promptly smothered before the second debate.

Who, even here, remembers Romney's website "obamaisntworking.com" and it's excellent videos riffing off Obama's failures and Thatcher's winning slogan "Labour Isn't Working".
Who remembers the dawn raid on Solyndra and the blistering speech Romney delivered?
Yes, he knew how to win, but the Party stopped him - if that's what they do to the man they want, why shouldn't Trump go it alone?