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Why Is the Republican Base Upset?
I think there are many reasons why the Republican base is upset, and it is correct to be upset. I am not a Donald Trump supporter, and I am not sure at this point whether Mr. Trump will continue his candidacy until there is a nominee for the presidency or will discontinue his campaign before that. Donald Trump himself may not be sure what he will do at this point. However, any Republican politician who does not understand why Trump appeals to some voters in their constituency will regret it in the results of the 2016 elections.
I think I understand why The Donald appeals to many in the Republican base, but I’m not sure what to do about it in order to keep Hillary Clinton from being elected. Certainly, criticizing your base or potential voters is not a winning strategy for Trump’s opponents when those voters have reached a tipping point. Individual voters may have different tipping points, but without ranking them in importance here are my candidates for why people are saying “we have had enough.” Which significant ones have I overlooked?
– Immigration. The massive influx of illegal children immigrants into the US in 2014 and 2015, their social and medical impact and the drain on local resources, the illegal executive orders of President Obama, and the killing of Kate Steinle in the sanctuary city of San Francisco and the social and financial cost of the crimes committed by illegal immigrants.
– Elite political class. The creation in a classless America of a political elite who disdain the half of the country that they never come in contact with and are totally unfamiliar with the lives these non-elites lead, but insist on making policy for them in order “to improve their lives.”
– Increased bureaucracy. Elected legislators transfer their accountability by crafting legislation that grows the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy then imposes rules and regulations on citizens who do not have recourse through the ballot box to reject these oppressive and unnecessary measures, and the bureaucrats cannot be disciplined or fired.
– Republicans don’t seem to fight back. Obama’s daily, unearned, denigration of Republicans and the media’s amplification of his criticisms have emasculated Republican Congressional members and affected the Republican base. Obama’s politics — based on race and Saul Alinsky — have convinced those Republicans who want to govern responsibly that they cannot do so without a Republican president.
– An extremely politicized Department of Justice. Eric Holder may be gone, but his legacy lingers on in a department that has removed the blindfold from Lady Justice and substituted an obsession with “justice for all” with an obsession for “justice only for those minorities deemed important.” Loretta Lynch, like Holder, is simply another affirmative action appointee who is a racial activist and who should have been rejected by a Republican Senate.
– The “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (or Acela) Effect. Some in the base don’t understand that the battles described in this Jimmy Stewart movie about an idealistic small town senator who goes to Washington and tries to pass necessary legislation has been happening since the creation of the United States as a country. You may not like it, but it is reality. Politics is not ping pong. George Washington, de Tocqueville and many others have warned against the loss of citizen governance.
– The recent gay marriage and Obamacare Supreme Court decisions. The majority opinions that were written have little legal reasoning, and in the case of gay marriage, raise significant religious liberty issues. It is not clear how we can successfully defend those religious liberty issues.
– The refusal to acknowledge and address radical Islam and push back against Russia and China. The administration’s strategy of retreating from the world stage and failing to create a viable strategy to destroy ISIS and its related groups has emboldened radical Islam and resulted in almost two dozen attacks within the US in the last three years. The president’s foreign policy has resulted in complete chaos in the Middle East.
– Crony capitalism. Why hasn’t the Republican Party agreed to reject this like they did earmarks? Who believes that the Export-Import Bank has any positive effect on American trade or its economy?
– The Obama economy. From a one-trillion dollar stimulus to 99-week unemployment insurance, every policy implemented by this administration has resulted in an economy that is merely limping along, and is not creating the jobs and income growth that America needs and deserves.
– The presidential election loss in 2012. A good, talented man ran a terrible campaign against a candidate who should have been beaten based on the record of his first term. Blame the press, blame the consultants, but the candidate is ultimately responsible. Only Bob Dole’s campaign in 1996 comes close to this one for ineptness.
– A lawless executive. President Obama is a lawless president who has repeatedly violated the Constitution and significantly reduced the capability of America to defend herself and protect its citizens. No previous president has shown such a disdain for this country, its history, its accomplishments, and its positive impact on the world. There is no precedent for dealing with a president who so brazenly disregards the Constitution. The only recourse for this behavior is impeachment, but because of the president’s race, this option cannot be implemented.
– Obamacare has not been repealed. Such a bill could have been passed in the House and did many times, but it needs 60 votes in the Senate to reach the floor for an up or down vote. I don’t think any Democrat in the Senate would vote to allow such a vote. Obamacare is a wealth redistribution system that has not improved American health care or lowered its costs.
– The continual emphasis by the president and members of his administration on global warming as our highest priority. It is given a high priority with no justification, and billions are poured into renewable energy projects which produce no renewable energy and simply enrich many of his supporters. Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone pipeline and his refusal to issue permits to drill on federal land has denied thousands of Americans high-paying jobs.
– Fiscal irresponsibility. The Republican Congress has allowed President Obama’s profligacy to continue without putting a stop to it. I’m not sure how much fiscal authority Congressional Republicans really had until the 2014 elections that returned the Senate to Republican control. There have been no federal budgets approved since Obama’s first election. Republicans have their first chance at the 2016 budget. Congressional Republicans have not had the power to pass appropriations based on a budget to severely restrict Obama, but discretionary spending has decreased.
– We don’t like the sausage. We understand that making sausage (legislating) can be off-putting, and that sometimes disdainful compromises need to be reached for a greater good. Given that, the sausage coming out of the factory still has to taste good. We don’t like the taste of the sausage coming out of the factory since the 2014 elections.
I am sure there are more reasons why the base is upset than the ones I have enumerated. Which important ones didn’t I list? When the senators and representatives come home in August for their “outreach” in town halls and other venues, let them know what you think and why you are upset. We know that many legislators may be missing a spine, but as a group they are very good weather vanes. Influence them in these meetings and they will respond. The reaction the Tea Party caused in 2010 is testament to that.
The Republican base has many reasons for dissatisfaction, and the Republican candidates for president and other federal offices need to address this dissatisfaction. The voters in each state’s Republican primary will decide the fate of Donald Trump. Please don’t let your disappointment, frustration, and a feeling of “what planet do the people who govern this country live on?” prevent you from working very hard to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming the next president. Four or eight more years of governance by the Democrat left is too depressing to contemplate and may be fatal to this experiment in republican governance.Published in Elections, General
Because the professional republican’s are insulting, condescending [CoC]holes, who need a swift kick in their collective jimmies. Which would be fine if they knew how to behave in public, but they don’t, so you get the Donald who gets points for epically trolling all the people who desperately need to be trolled IRL.
It would also be better if the professional republicans displayed the first ounce of self-awareness.
My guess is that Trump polls well because he says what a lot of people think, and doesn’t back down from criticism, unlike most Republicans.
My next guess is that he will not get the nomination, because voters either don’t think he’s the right person for the job, don’t think he’s serious, or don’t trust him enough given his previous positions on a variety of issues.
My next guess is that he could very well make a third party run if the other Republicans don’t start to show him respect, or take him seriously.
My last guess is the eventual nominee will be the candidate that takes what Trump is saying, polishes them up, delivers them in a way that is tactful, and doesn’t sound like someone ranting.
Gunforhire, I think they forget who they work for. They work for us. I had a long career in the IT industry. On my first day, my boss called me in and said “Our company is successful because many people are buying what we make. Your and my job is to ensure that they buy more from us each and every year. Because when they don’t, you and I don’t have a job. Don’t ever forget who is paying your salary” I never forgot that.
Stad, I think those are four very good guesses. I certainly hope that guess #3 (third party) doesn’t happen. He also might be influenced by the response he is receiving and convince himself he really could be president. Enthusiastic crowds can do that to a person.
None of those reasons specifically match the one that got me into not voting for the GOPe candidates starting in 2000 (mostly for President). But GOPe is so tiresome it’s hard to care about it today, much less vote for it. Maybe I’ll get up to my normal level of outrage after a couple of cups of coffee.
So after a couple of cups of coffee, what are the reasons that convince you not to vote for Republican candidates after 2000?
This should be moved to the main feed immediately following the next “Humph, Trump” post by a main feed contributor.
Al, I’d say that’s an excellent list of our frustrations. The ‘We don’t like the sausage’ analogy is particularly apt because pols do fall back on that defense, that they have to give up some to get some in the political process – but Republican voters end of with nothing in these ‘deals’ with the President.
I’ve heard several Republican reps say something like they feel they were voted in to ‘get things done’, and that means compromises have to be made. I always feel like shouting at the TV, “No, I voted you in to STOP THIS PRESIDENT.”
Trump is the result of the spineless ineffectiveness of Congressional Republicans. They kept making the excuse “it’s hard to get anything done with only half of one third of the government.” Well since the 2014 election they have had the whole third and nothing seems to have changed. We are tired of excuses. We want to see either effectiveness or at least some spine.
Donald Trump seems to have both in spades.
I have shouted the same thing myself. In his desire to transform America, President Obama has so disrupted normal politics that we are not sure how we can effectively counteract him. I have fantasized that Obama may treat his domestic opponents with the same deference he has extended to Iran, who is an enemy. Good luck with that.
Z, I understand your frustration. I just can’t sign up to support The Donald. I’m sorry. The fact is that our republic has changed to a presidential centric government. Obama has significant power and is using it. Our constitution simply didn’t anticipate we would have someone like him as president.
Thanks Nick. I live in Japan, and it’s almost 11 pm Sunday here, and I’m going to bed. I’ll check in tomorrow and see what people think. I haven’t seen the “Humph, Trump” post yet.
The republican base is not upset. The conservative base is. These are two different things.
Pencilvania, my apologies for overlooking this comment. Isn’t it ironic that American citizens ended up with nothing in the negotiations with Iran who is a foreign enemy and that Obama thinks this is equivalent to his domestic opposition who love this country and simply disagree with his policies ending up with nothing? We are in Never-Neverland here.
The conservative base and the Republican base are not the same thing although they do overlap. However I can’t agree that the Republican base is not upset. The polls I have seen simply don’t reflect that, and many respondents to this question are conservatives.
I received an interesting email from a cousin, by Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty, dated July 7, 2015
For my entire adult life, Republicans have been claiming to be the “silent majority,” or the “moral majority,” or some other kind of majority. The simple truth is that on some issues we have a majority of public opinion with us, and on some issues we don’t. Recognizing that simple fact would help us get more people elected, and would help us prioritize those goals that are realistic from those goals that are pipe dreams.
I think the OP does a pretty good job of setting out a “wish list” for Republican voters. But if the OP is correct that Republican voters are so upset about not getting their way on all these things that they are running off to support a semi-left-wing clown like Trump, then we truly are doomed. This must be the first time in history that the leading candidate for the Republicans was, up until a year ago, a big supporter of the presumptive Democratic candidate.
As Dennis Prager likes to say, America has two parties: the dangerous party and the stupid party. We are the stupid party. And if our voters won’t focus in on establishing an achievable agenda and electing candidates who can achieve that agenda, then we are being extra stupid. If our voters just want to hear lies – promises on which no one can deliver – there are lots of candidates who will oblige them. If you want results, demand to hear some uncomfortable truths; not just comforting pablum.
Kay, thanks very much for the link. I read the article and he just didn’t convince me to support Donald Trump. The fact that Trump has many influential enemies does not necessary make him the best Republican candidate to be the next president of the United States.
I can’t generalize to every red state, but I know in some — South Carolina for instance — the very fact of sweeping Republican control leads to mistrust.
In South Carolina you have to be a Republican to win almost anything. This means that almost everyone who wants to win elections is a Republican — regardless of whether they have any convictions or not. Sometimes outright Democrats run in the Republican primary. The Republicans have done a poor job policing their own ranks.
What makes it all the more confusing is that for every candidate, good or bad, you’ll find someone calling out loudly that their past support for x means they’re an all-out RINO. Add to that a swarm of outright lies buzzing around. It’s very hard to find reliable commentary to help sort the wheat from the chaff.
That isn’t true everywhere. (Contrast to Wisconsin: they’ve done so much with a very narrow majority because the Republicans are Republican.) But where it is, distrust runs very deep.
Have any of these polls showing Trump in the lead checked to see whether the Republicans supporting him actually know this yet? It’s still hard to tell to what extent we’re still dealing with name recognition.
You mistake me. I would never vote of Donald Trump. His stance on the Kelo decision disqualifies him for me. However, I support him remaining in the primary campaign for at least a while longer, if only to drive the other candidates (and the GOP in general) in the correct direction on certain issues (illegal immigration) – and more importantly to teach all these spineless Republicans how to run a real media and PR campaign.
Trump knows that you don’t win points by backing down when the press attacks you – you have to punch back twice as hard. Romney would have won against Obama in 2012 if he ran a campaign half as effectively as Trump.
That’s a dangerous game. Unfortunately, things have gotten to a point where we can’t get by without courting danger.
Z, I can’t disagree with that. My apologies for misunderstanding your comment.
Leigh, that’s an important point. None of the polls I have seen deal with this point. It’s possible that name recognition has been the primary driver of his positive polls.
Reticulator, specifically what is the danger we are courting?
It is so critical that the Left’s hold on the White House be broken I’ll vote for Trump is he’s the nominee. I hope I don’t have to.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that he’s polling below Bernie Sanders. The crowded field make his numbers look more impressive.
Perhaps not, but a man’s enemies are often a better indication of his character than his allies are. The US allied with Stalin to defeat Hitler.
For most of the last three decades my baseline position (surely based on something said by someone much wiser than me) has been that the Republicans do the worst possible job of being on the right side of almost every issue.
Unfortunately, for them, the curtain has been pulled back on too many occasions in recent times. As a result, most of what comes to us from the beltway has been thoroughly exposed (for those willing to see it) for the charade it really is. Every budget or legislative showdown is played out long enough to maximize the fundraising potential for the players on both sides and then the leadership consults the ordered list of Representatives / Senators (listed in order of safest seats on whatever particular issue may be at hand), draws the line for those required to pass the Ruling Class agenda, and makes the calls to give the orders. It is pure Failure Theater (as they say over at RedState).
Now seeing this game for what it is, it is also abundantly clear that the establishment Republican Party is much closer to even the most radical Progressives in charge today than to me. Consequently, while I may still continue to give my vote to the occasional Republican that has proven himself conservative enough to earn it, my fundamental separation from…and growing repugnance for…the Republican Party now makes is awfully hard to consider myself one of them, let alone part of the “base”.
That is absolutely true. I just don’t think he should be underestimated.