It has been a good week for Donald Trump. He continues to lead in the national polls and has regained the lead in Iowa. The media continues to obsess about everything Trump; his statements, his campaign and his rallies. Crowds were massive for Trump this week in Iowa, Oklahoma and Nevada.
This week, he received a coveted endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a Tea Party darling. This will undoubtedly help him in Iowa, South Carolina and other states. He was also endorsed by the “Duck Commander,” Willie Robertson, who said that Trump was a “real leader” who epitomized “success and strength.” As usual, he was also interviewed on numerous TV programs touting his campaign success.
His week was made even better by the unrelenting attacks against him by Fox News hosts, such as Megyn Kelly, who gave plenty of air time to guests lambasting Trump as an inauthentic conservative. Yet, what Kelly and others need to realize is that these attacks will just make Trump supporters even more committed, while increasing their anger at the media.
On Thursday night, Kelly continued her anti-Trump crusade by starting her program with a panel of conservatives who penned anti-Trump columns for the National Review magazine. In fact, the magazine editors devoted their entire “Against Trump” edition to criticizing the Republican Party presidential front runner.
In true Trump fashion, he responded by labeling the National Review as a “dying paper” and lamenting that the founder, “The late, great William F. Buckley would be ashamed of what had happened to his prize.” It was remarkable to see a conservative magazine devote an entire issue to stopping one candidate. Never before had the magazine gone to such lengths to stop moderate Republicans like Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, or Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination.
In fact, the National Review and Fox News and many others in the Beltway conservative media are very comfortable with a “neo-con,” or moderate winning the presidential nomination. With Trump, there is incredible discomfort for his is a very different type of Republican presidential candidate.
Unlike all of the other candidates, Trump is self-financing his campaign, so no donors will have any influence over him. He will not be controlled by GOP power brokers or special interest influence peddlers. This type of independence is hated by the party elite in the establishment who like to control the nomination process.
Unlike most of the other GOP presidential candidates, Trump is extremely strong on the issue of border security. He was the first to champion a border wall and claim that Mexico will pay for it. He wants to deport the illegal immigrants and stop Muslim immigration into the country. This is not popular with many leaders in the Republican Party who are in favor of open borders and want the cheap labor of illegal immigrants. They are controlled by crony capitalists who have benefited nicely from traditional Republican leadership, but would suffer greatly if Trump is elected President.
On other issues such as trade, Trump presents a nationalist stance that is steadfastly against the United States running massive deficits with countries such as China and Japan. Many so-called conservative leaders are in favor of phony “free trade” and have no problems with the United States running massive deficits. They support the Trans Pacific Partnership, a colossal international trade deal that is an attack on U.S sovereignty. Trump’s major opponent, Senator Ted Cruz initially supported the trade deal, and then flipped his position as he has done on a number of other issues, including amnesty for illegal aliens.
At this point, the conservative movement is split with many supporting Trump and others supporting Cruz, despite his failure to report a Goldman Sachs loan to his Senate campaign and inconsistent positions on key issues. Trump is the best choice because of his successful business experience and his non-political background. If nominated Trump would be able to expand the typical Republican coalition and, for the first time in decades, the GOP could attract working class voters and Reagan Democrats. As evidence, witness any Trump rally and look at the type of people in attendance. It is a cross section of all socioeconomic classes, the type of support any candidate will need to win a presidential election.
While Cruz still has to worry about lawsuits challenging his eligibility for the presidential campaign as a “natural born citizen,” and may have to answer inquiries in court to decide the case, Trump has to answer to no one, but the people of America.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.