A top Republican consultant whined last week, “Donald Trump is hijacking the Republican Party.”
This is a common and almost comical complaint these days from the establishment wing of the GOP, the same people who have hijacked the party pretty much since the end of the Reagan era.
In his disgraceful rant against Trump on Thursday, Mitt Romney even unveiled a new strategy by the establishment: Keep Trump from getting a majority of the delegates (though he is very likely to win a plurality) and then steal the election from Trump at the convention. Ironically, these are the same people who were making fun of the Democrats for “rigging” their nomination process to favor Hillary Clinton.
What is clear is that the party’s brain trust, such as it is, is doing everything it can to disenfranchise millions of new Republican voters and deny Trump the nomination.
Romney and the Republican elites keep scratching their heads after each election loss and wonder why voters have concluded that the GOP doesn’t “care about people like me.” After listening to the way the GOP brain trust disses Trump voters, maybe these working-class folks are right.
I’m not taking sides in this race, and I have policy disagreements with Trump. But I did say publicly last week, to the consternation of many friends and colleagues, that what impresses me greatly about Trump is he is attracting millions of blue-collar, working-class Americans back to the GOP. They are abandoning the Democrats. Hallelujah, right?
But all I heard from conservatives was: Why are you standing with these “low-information voters” who don’t seem to understand what a fascist Trump is?
I am not going to endorse Trump, but how many of his critics have been to a Trump rally? I have. You will meet truck drivers, soccer moms, veterans, taxicab drivers, immigrants, construction workers, young people and not a lot of Wall Streeters or political consultants. They are patriotic. They are seething in anger at both parties.
Trumpism isn’t hard to explain. We’ve had eight years of a mostly failed Republican president followed by eight years of a completely failed Democrat. Over this whole period, the middle class hasn’t seen a pay increase — while GOP political consultants rake in millions as a reward for losing. The fact that four of the wealthiest counties in America are inside or near the Washington Beltway says everything to voters about who is benefiting from a $4 trillion government.
The Republicans have only themselves to blame for this working-class revolt. These are voters who are horrified by what Barack Obama has done to our country and, so, in the 2014 midterm elections, they naively put their faith in Republicans to at least try to fix thing.
The exit polls from Super Tuesday’s elections showed yet again an overwhelming anger by voters over the “betrayal” of the Republicans in Washington.
Why wouldn’t they feel betrayed?
Republicans have promised these voters they will build a wall, solve illegal immigration, balance the budget, rein in the IRS, cut the waste and fraud and defund Obama’s illegal executive orders. But every time they are handed the controls of government, they invent some new excuse for not delivering.
The fiscally catastrophic budget that the Republicans in the House and Senate passed did the opposite of everything the GOP had pledged to do when they were trying to get these people’s votes.
Now we have the political establishment going to their billionaire check writers to fund their banal super PACs. Super PACs have become a way for the GOP to avoid talking to voters. Luckily, the super PACs have proven to be impotent, and if donors are dumb enough to dump another $50 million into the corrupt political-consultant sinkhole, so be it.
The same party elites who have told us that we conservatives have to hold our noses and vote for Bob Dole or George W. Bush or Romney now say they will bolt the party if Trump is the nominee. Who’s going to hand the election to Clinton in this spat? The party is cracking up. It’s the establishment and the check writers versus the working class in America.
In this fight for the soul of the party, I will stand proudly with the workers who are victims, not beneficiaries, of a $4 trillion government that everyone in Washington keeps saying is “here to help them.” I’m confident we will win, because this is still a democracy and, sorry, the rules are still “One person, one vote,” not “One dollar, one vote.”
Stephen Moore is a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, economics contributor to FreedomWorks and author of “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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