I took a short vacation with my wife to Portland, OR, this past weekend, and on the flight back I was soothed by the latest Ricochet podcast featuring Rick Wilson. For what it’s worth, I am petrified of flying because I find it to be like playing craps with your life – eventually you will roll “snake eyes.” Anyway, during the podcast, I was struck by many of replies to the things Rick was saying by you guys, and it struck me: I want to discuss with you gentlemen why the average American who makes up the Republican Party base is so outraged, and why guys like Rick Wilson do not and never will understand it.
First off, I am not a Trump supporter. Let me restate that for the record – I am not a Trump supporter. If you go through the archives, you will see that I started out as a Scott Walker supporter. Well, it seems that I have to find a new horse in this race. I am torn between Senator Ted Cruz – Wilson’s Trump Mini Me (what a condescending depiction) – and Carly Fiorina.
Second, I am a normal guy. I make roughly 67K a year and, combined with my wife, bring in about 135–140K a year. Now before you start saying that is not “normal guy pay,” I also live in the DC suburbs in Prince George’s County Maryland, so that 135–140K a year is probably about 80–90K when you factor in the cost of living in this area. We aren’t hurting, but that’s because we both worked very hard to be able to enjoy those wages. And we are also expecting our first child in March. We have a mortgage, a car payment, credit card debt (though this is manageable because we do not have entire books of credit cards), and my wife has student loan debt -– my education was part of the trade off I made with the Navy. And while we enjoy our neighborhood now, we know that when little Sprout comes -– we do not know the sex yet of our little one so we say Sprout -– the school system we are in is not going to cut it, so we have to explore saving for private school.
In short, I think that the things my wife and I have to contemplate and deal with in the current political and social environment are things that people like Rick and the rest of the GOP Leadership do not necessarily understand. That is not to say that they have not had to go through the same things in their lives, but that is to say as of now, in the year 2015, they do not have to deal with them in the current situation of Obamacare, $18 trillion in debt, rampant energy costs due to EPA radicalism, constant threats of raising the gas tax because the price is so low, increased grocery prices, empowered criminals because what they do is society’s fault and not their own, etc. To make these issues worse, there is no political push back from the Republicans against any of this; and when there is, the lone Republicans who stand up and try to call it for what it is are called “wacko birds” and “hobbits” by some, and “jackasses” by others.
So I challenge you three, if you truly want to get a sense for why Conservatives might be fed up with the Republican Party and mistakenly looking to Trump as the answer, to have a little discussion. I understand that what you are going to tell me is that the issues my family has to deal with are issues that families have dealt with for eternity, and that continuous harping on folks like McConnell and Beohner to change things when the GOP does not have the White House – the John Podhoretz line – is foolhardy. But I pose to you three that you – and the folks here at Ricochet who hold similar sentiments – do not understand where folks like me are coming from, because on some level you – especially people like Rick, Mitch, and John – are protected or insulated from the concerns that we have.
I eagerly await your reply.
Robert A. McReynolds