Columnist George Will thinks Donald Trump will lose to Hillary Clinton and take the Republican Party down with him. He says the Republicans can’t let him win the White House. Radio talker Glenn Beck asked the country to fast with him and pray for God to intercede, essentially to save us from Donald Trump. The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol is pushing Gen. Jim Mattis — no offense, but a general no one’s ever heard of — to run as a third party candidate.
What is wrong with these people?
Look, Trump was not my first choice, and I get it that he rubs some people the wrong way, but he is going to be the nominee. Not only that, he’s racking up votes like no Republican has ever done in a primary. He’s also attracting voters no other Republican candidate could attract.
I have a family member who has voted Democrat his entire life. In fact, he’s a Bernie Sanders guy, but if Hillary gets the Democrat nomination he’s voting Trump. Why? Because he sees Hillary as being bought and paid for. He’s sick of the two parties carrying on as usual. He thinks Trump can’t be bought and it’s time to shake things up. I would have to disagree a little. Trump can probably be bought, too. It’s just that nobody can afford him.
Let me tell you where I think George Will is coming from. He sees Donald Trump and crass and tacky. He thinks he’ll sully the image of the Oval Office. He thinks he’ll redecorate the White House like a Trump casino. He thinks Trump is high-dollar trailer trash, Elvis money if you will, and he thinks it’s worth putting Hillary in office to keep Trump out.
Bill Kristol’s in much the same boat. I’m not quite sure where Beck is coming from.
I think their fear and trepidation are misplaced. Yeah, Trump can be a tad on the crass side but that’s the appeal to the working class. I’ve heard him referred to as a blue collar billionaire. Think about that for a moment. How many people who live like Trump can appeal to everyday workers? I don’t know of any and that leads to the salient point in all of this. Trump is redesigning the base.
Back in 2008 and 2012 both McCain and Romney lost because they couldn’t jazz the base. That base consisted of hardcore conservatives who saw both gentlemen as hardly an alternative to Obama. They weren’t worked up enough to get off the couch and go vote.
Trump’s base is different. It’s a nice chunk of those disenfranchised conservatives, but it’s also people like my relative who are sick of Wall Street puppets and business as usual. How many other candidates can draw from Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul, Reagan Democrats, and rock-rib conservatives?
The latest Rasmussen poll has Trump pulling ahead of Hillary in a hypothetical matchup. I think that gap will only widen. That is unless Hillary is indicted. If she enters the November election under indictment she’ll win. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the only thing that will gin up her base. Right now the Democrat base is rather indifferent to Hillary, but nothing gets them fired up like a perceived victim.
Of course, this is just a snapshot of today. Anything can happen in American politics. Right now Trump has the enthusiasm. He also has the dregs of society foaming at the mouth in protest against him. Notice how they’re not protesting anyone else. If they’re against him, can he really be all that bad?
Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.