Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nick Vaughn's column: "A Spoonful of Trumpmania."

For 2016, Nick aims to write regular Friday columns, though this week's submission is running early owing to the holiday weekend. If you're reading today and think you have what it takes -- the few, the proud, the terminally splenetic -- to author regular columns at NAC, then please get in touch and we'll talk.


A Spoonful of Trumpmania

I’m sure that the title has caught you off guard, seeing as this is typically a local oriented blog, sorry, but this needed to get off my chest and Roger has been kind enough to allow me to send him content. When I initially began to write this article, my words were not coming from a happy place, in fact they still are not. Nevertheless, this draft is a lot less hate filled than my first draft.

Admittedly, I am quite furious with this Republican Primary; Donald Trump is leading in all national polls and seems to continue to make inroads by exploiting very angry, very fed up conservative voters. So on one hand, I hate to see my party take this route right off of the deep end into the sea of defunct political parties (i.e. the Whigs, Democratic­Republicans, and the National Unioners), but on the other, this creates a very unique situation for our country. It has the potential to blow the two party system away and bring in with it several parties? Maybe. One party? Hopefully not. Who knows! Let’s dive in and find out!

First, let’s put into perspective just what Republicans have at stake here. Currently, there are 32 Republican Governors, over 5,000 Republican State Lawmakers, a very large majority in the House of Representatives, a slight majority in the Senate, high voter turnout, and a general upward trend nationally. These are all of the makings for a very strong push into the White House.

But what happens instead? Donald Trump is leading national polls, he wants to build a wall, he wants to discriminate against a religion because a small percentage are terrorists, and wants to shut down the internet, which truthfully seems ridiculous and nearly impossible.

Donald Trump knows nothing about foreign policy, creating a working budget, crossing the aisle (except for own personal gain), and doesn’t understand the Constitution. When you have someone talking about creating a database of citizens based on religion, why are alarm bells not going off? Is that not an encroachment on our basic rights of privacy, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression? Oh, and he wants to end birthright citizenship. Does Donald Trump hate the Constitution?

The truly sad and infuriating part of this whole process is that Donald Trump is playing his supporters like a fiddle. Yes, it’s the year of the “outsider,” but never have I seen a more masterful politician. Is Donald Trump a career politician? No. But he is a politician in the most generic sense: he is a straight up liar.

Of course, in the same breath I will say he is also the worst politician in the most generic sense: he alienates voters. His off the cuff, downright deplorable comments about women ranging from Michelle Obama to Megyn Kelly (not to mention his obvious hate for anyone not a White American) should disqualify him from running for President. But they don’t and he continues to rise because he has appeal.

People, specifically conservatives, are very angry. We have unfortunately come to a point in the Republican Party where negotiating and compromising are signs of weakness instead of examples of getting things done. Instead of celebrating and rallying behind Speaker Ryan and his efforts to keep the government open and running so that after the New Year he can begin to make meaningful reform, we have instead a far right wing sect of the Republican Party that feels they are being betrayed because Planned Parenthood isn’t being defunded in this Omnibus bill.

It’s not being defunded in this bill because it can’t be! If that was attached as an amendment the bill would be vetoed and the government will shut down and Republicans will take the blame (because it really would have been our fault). No, we should not defund Obamacare for the 50 millionth time, it’s just going to get vetoed by Obama! That’s not smart governing, that is very, very dumb governing.

As Republicans, we should focus on fights we can win with a Democrat in the White House. We should not get angry and blame a certain race or religion for our woes because when that happens, not only our party declines but so does our very nation.

So, what if Donald Trump is the nominee? Well, I think that makes for a very interesting scenario. I think that if it becomes clear he will be the nominee the RNC should make the convention brokered, this way delegates have free range and can vote for the best candidate. Although, I think an actual brokered convention seems very unlikely. Instead I think you will see prominent Republican figures like Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and their loyalist walk out of the convention.

From there you have an even further unique scenario because what will those thought to be “establishment” supporters do? I would think that fracturing the party with such a stronghold on state offices would be a very chaotic, some would say it would be a mistake. I’m not sure though. Yes, there would be growing pains and obvious confusion and turmoil. But creating a new Republican Party might be the best avenue to take. Yes, it would almost secure Hillary Clinton’s ticket to the White House, but I think long term it might be a good choice.

With a new Republican Party, those a part of it could begin to appeal to new voters, voters who otherwise wouldn’t vote Republican today. You would also see a lot less pandering to hardline conservatives and begin to see less of an emphasis on socially conservative causes and instead more focus on fiscal issues and common sense solutions to government waste. It will be very interesting to see the coming events and how they play out.

Buckle up, America!

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