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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