Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “Wreck-It Donald” Is Breaking Conservatism from Within

 

Wreck-It-DonaldIt’s always easier to destroy than to create. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has spent his candidacy showing Republicans just how easy it is. Media organizations, think tanks, and the electoral process itself have seen decades of hard work reversed in months by Wreck-It Donald.

Consider this partial accounting of the wreckage he’s left behind, starting with Fox News:

During a discussion about the fractured GOP today, The Five‘s Greg Gutfeld brought up how the current GOP fight has been a source of tension not just on their show, but on Fox News as a whole.

“We as a show,” he said, “are facing internal strife, from a micro level to a macro level… Look at The Five. On any given day, we have tension over this nomination, over this candidate. You can look at our network as a whole.”

He said this is true of pretty much “every area where there is conservatism” these days, but pointed to specific “issues within a family of anchors” that has fractured the anti-Obama unity they once enjoyed.

Breitbart:

Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields has resigned from the conservative news site over its response to her alleged assault by Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

Three of her colleagues also resigned from Breitbart: editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, national security reporter Jordan Schachtel and Jarrett Stepman, an editor.

In his departing statement on Sunday, Shapiro said the site should be “ashamed” of “their treatment” of Fields, whose allegations of assault came amid escalating violence in and around Trump campaign events.

Liberty University:

The chairman of Liberty University’s executive committee is knocking the endorsement of Donald Trump by the Christian school’s president.

“Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult,” Mark DeMoss, who sits on the Liberty University’s board, told The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday…

“I’ve been concerned for Liberty University for a couple of months now, and I’ve held my tongue,” DeMoss continued. “I think a lot of what we’ve seen from Donald Trump will prove to be difficult to explain by evangelicals who have backed him.”

Eagle Forum:

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has led to internal strife — and what she claims was an attempt to oust her — at the organization she formed nearly a half-century ago to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.

The 91-year-old said six of the Eagle Forum’s 11 board members, including one of her daughters, met improperly by telephone Monday “to wrest control of the organization from me” and “seize access to our bank accounts.” She said in a statement she was kicked off the call when she objected.

The New York Observer:

Following a fawning editorial endorsing Donald Trump in the New York Observer, which is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, the paper’s national political reporter, Ross Barkan announced he was leaving.

“I knew going into this there would be complications with covering Donald Trump and working for the New York Observer,” Barkan told CNNMoney. “I did not imagine that the events would transpire the way they did.”

Republican National Convention:

Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that his supporters could riot at the Republican convention in Cleveland if he is not “automatically” made the party’s nominee if he arrives with the most votes but fails to secure a majority of convention delegates.

Speaking to Chris Cuomo on CNN, Trump said that he hoped to win the nomination outright before the convention in July, but warned that if he goes to Cleveland with more delegates than any of his rivals and the nomination goes to anyone else, “I think you’d have riots.”

The nomination process:

Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone is threatening to make public the hotel room numbers of Republican National Convention delegates who switch from Trump to another candidate.

“We’re going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal,” Stone said Monday in a discussion with Stefan Molyneux on Freedomain Radio, as he alleged that Trump’s opponents planned to deny the democratic will of Republican primary voters.

“If you’re from Pennsylvania, we’ll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them. You have a right to discuss this, if you voted in the Pennsylvania primary, for example, and your votes are being disallowed,” Stone said.

Wreck-It Donald seems to break another conservative institution each week, not to mention the continuing damage to years-long efforts promoting limited government and civic virtue, denouncing crony capitalism and personality cults, and reaching out to women and minorities. Much of movement conservatism has outlived its usefulness, but 2016 isn’t a case of free-market “creative destruction.” It’s just destruction with nothing to take its place except dyed hair, a fake tan, and a big mouth.

As damaging as President Obama and Secretary Clinton have been, they were never able to infiltrate conservativism and tear it down from within. Sure, they could peel off a squish here and there, but imploding right-leaning media was beyond the limits of even the most statist IRS commissioner or NSA director. One big-government liberal was able to slap an R at the end of his name and leave chaos in his wake.

Breaking stuff is easy, but building things (e.g., state campaign infrastructure, detailed get-out-the-vote strategy) takes a lot of hard work. Despite the tacky buildings sporting Trump’s name in all caps, Ted Cruz is the only candidate who is creating institutions to advance conservatism.

For the sake of our Republic, let’s hope he succeeds.

There are 187 comments.

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  1. Saint Augustine Member

    Hear, hear!

    • #1
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. BrentB67 Inactive

    Respectfully, I think a lot of tension was building within the conservative movement generally and the Republican party specifically before Trump burst on the scene last year.

    Some of the roots can be traced back as far as “no new taxes”, but more realistically the roots of our contemporary issues took hold in the early 2000’s culminating with the Democrats taking back Congress in 2006, the Tea Party emergence at the end of the Bush term, the 2010 Congressional election, 2011 debt ceiling debacle, Gov. Romeny’s loss to Obama in 2012, 2013 appropriations battle over ACA, the 2014 Congressional landslide, and finally Trump.

    Whenever a plane crashes there is always a chain of events, the conservative movement and Republican party have their chain, Trump is just one or 2 links from the end, that’s all.

    I oversimplify the cause of the rift to where conservatives or Republicans stand on the proper role of the federal gov’t i.e. limited government vs. conservatives.

    I look forward to other members’ opinions.

    • #2
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Saint Augustine Member

    But we still get to blame Obama and the left, right? The left did the most to create the conditions for Donald Trump: cultural degradation, anger, the mainstreaming of political lawlessness, the breakdown of social cohesion, etc.

    • #3
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:11 PM PDT
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  4. Could Be Anyone Member

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Thou hath TDS and art obviously a member of the GOPe. trump is a symptom, not the cause of this political upheaval.

    /end sarcasm

    • #4
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:12 PM PDT
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  5. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    It was my opinion at the beginning that Trump was a Democrat sent into the Republican race for one purpose, to derail what was a certain Republican victory in 2016. I am not by nature a believer in conspiracies, and as much as I would like to believe he was mole, it really is hard to believe that that much intelligence exists in the Democrat party. However, intentionally or unintentionally, Trump has wreaked havoc on what was in the beginning the strongest field of Republican candidates for the presidency that I have seen in my lifetime. He did it with concentrated attacks on his opponents within the party. If he had been really serious about putting a Republican in the White House in January of 2017, as I believe all of the other candidates were, he would not have begun the shooting war that ultimately left no one but he and Ted Cruz standing, both severely damaged by the fight. His very few and far between attacks on Hillary and Bernie carried almost none of the vitriole he has been spewing at Ted Cruz, although he did seem to harp on the familiar theme of yesterday in his first attack on Hillary in some time, calling her a liar. Though true of Hillary, it is equally true of Trump and reminds me that when you point a finger at someone else three fingers are pointing back at you. Appropriate for Trump, a liar of immense proportions.

    • #5
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Judge Mental Member

    BrentB67:Respectfully, I think a lot of tension was building within the conservative movement generally and the Republican party specifically before Trump burst on the scene last year.

    Some of the roots can be traced back as far as “no new taxes”, but more realistically the roots of our contemporary issues took hold in the early 2000’s culminating with the Democrats taking back Congress in 2006, the Tea Party emergence at the end of the Bush term, the 2010 Congressional election, 2011 debt ceiling debacle, Gov. Romeny’s loss to Obama in 2012, 2013 appropriations battle over ACA, the 2014 Congressional landslide, and finally Trump.

    Whenever a plane crashes there is always a chain of events, the conservative movement and Republican party have their chain, Trump is just one or 2 links from the end, that’s all.

    I oversimplify the cause of the rift to where conservatives or Republicans stand on the proper role of the federal gov’t i.e. limited government vs. conservatives.

    I look forward to other members’ opinions.

    I agree that Trump is hardly the first indicator. VDH published this a few days ago. I think he’s onto the truth here.

    • #6
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Richard Fulmer Member

    But he’ll be a terrific healer once he’s in the White House.

    • #7
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Commodore BTC Inactive

    not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    • #8
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Lucy Pevensie Inactive

    Commodore BTC:not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    Indeed. I think we have learned just how unprincipled many previously respected people actually are.

    • #9
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Bkelley14 Inactive

    Commodore BTC:not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    and Coulter.

    • #10
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Bkelley14:

    Commodore BTC:not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    and Coulter.

    Apparatchiks like Charen and Kristol, heck practically the whole mastheads of The Weekly Standard and The National Review haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.

    • #11
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Brent- You’ve definitely got a point that trouble has been brewing for some time within the Republican Party. The thing is that before Trump it was shaping up to be a productive debate about how best to advance conservative policy. The fault line was between those who favored an aggressive Tea Party/Cruz approach and those who favored an incremental Fabian/Establishment/Ryan approach.

    What Trump has done is shift the terms of the schism. It is no longer a debate about how best to advance conservative policies. It is a debate between Trumpist populism and principled conservatism. At the moment it looks like conservatism is losing.

    Now you can say that it’s establishment fecklessness that has allowed trump to rise, and I would agree that that’s part of it. But I think it’s important to recognize that Trump is categorically not conservative and the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s rhetorical claims of an establishment stab in the back have played a part too.

    • #12
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. BrentB67 Inactive

    Salvatore Padula:Brent- You’ve definitely got a point that trouble has been brewing for some time within the Republican Party. The thing is that before Trump it was shaping up to be a productive debate about how best to advance conservative policy. The fault line was between those who favored an aggressive Tea Party/Cruz approach and those who favored an incremental Fabian/Establishment/Ryan approach.

    What Trump has done is shift the terms of the schism. It is no longer a debate about how best to advance conservative policies. It is a debate between Trumpist populism and principled conservatism. At the moment it looks like conservatism is losing.

    Now you can say that it’s establishment fecklessness that has allowed trump to rise, and I would agree that that’s part of it. But I think it’s important to recognize that Trump is categorically not conservative and the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s rhetorical claims of an establishment stab in the back have played a part too.

    I agree that Trump is no conservative. He talks openly about relevant issues, but outside of early speeches offers no conservative solutions.

    I’ve never been a talk radio listener, but do read Rush’s website weekly and occasionally check Coulter’s column on Wednesday, but that hasn’t been fun in months.

    I do agree that the schism has been exploited for max effect to gain listeners/clicks/etc. by the conservative entertainment crowd.

    • #13
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Matt Y. Member

    Nick Stuart:

    Bkelley14:

    Commodore BTC:not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    and Coulter.

    Apparatchiks like Charen and Kristol, heck practically the whole mastheads of The Weekly Standard and The National Review haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.

    How’s that? In their predictions? Very few prognosticators, if any, saw this going the way it has. By their principles, they’ve been pretty strong and upstanding, it seems to me.

    • #14
    • April 13, 2016, at 6:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Brent- I think I should expand on my point about the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s culpability in this. It’s that they’ve characterized the debate about how best to advance a shared ideology as really being about the establishment v anti-establishment split. As a result, tons of people now think that attitude is more important than ideology; that conservatism equals antiestablishment. Well, Trump is definitely antiestablishment. Cruz wanted to be the leader of a anti-establishment revolution, but he’s finding out that revolutions tend to turn on themselves.

    • #15
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Lucy Pevensie Inactive

    Matt Y.:

    Nick Stuart:

    Bkelley14:

    Commodore BTC:not just institutions, individual reputations (Carson, Palin, Christie, Giuliani, Sessions, Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh)

    and Coulter.

    Apparatchiks like Charen and Kristol, heck practically the whole mastheads of The Weekly Standard and The National Review haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.

    How’s that? In their predictions? Very few prognosticators, if any, saw this going the way it has. By their principles, they’ve been pretty strong and upstanding, it seems to me.

    I think he’s a Trump supporter.

    • #16
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. BrentB67 Inactive

    Salvatore Padula:Brent- I think I should expand on my point about the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s culpability in this. It’s that they’ve characterized the debate about how best to advance a shared ideology as really being about the establishment v anti-establishment split. As a result, tons of people now think that attitude is more important than ideology; that conservatism equals antiestablishment. Well, Trump is definitely antiestablishment. Cruz wanted to be the leader of a anti-establishment revolution, but he’s finding out that revolutions tend to turn on themselves.

    I am not sure the shared ideology you describe. I think there are incompatible ideologies emerging.

    • #17
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The firing inside the tent has been going on for a while now. It got significantly worse when the Tea Party was announced to be dead by elements of the power structure. I won’t call them “elite,” and “establishment” implies some kind of coherence. It is more like individuals, each with their own agenda.

    Then the SoCons were informed that the SSM struggle was over, and they needed to just move on. Their core concern is more important than baking cakes or delivering flowers or any of that guff. They don’t want their churches forced to recognize and participate in something that they profoundly object to. No help from the party, though, and action against Planned Parenthood after it was caught red-handed selling baby parts was hardly a moment of pride for the party either.

    So, you have two major constituencies that don’t feel particularly attached to the current leadership or their perceived candidates of preference. Not all of them have left, but a lot of them have. Add to that the much-sought support of “moderates” and disaffected Democrats who owe the current leadership nothing whatsoever, and something like this was bound to happen.

    Trump isn’t the cause; he’s the result.

    • #18
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. HVTs Inactive

    Eugene Kriegsmann: It was my opinion at the beginning that Trump was a Democrat sent into the Republican race for one purpose, to derail what was a certain Republican victory in 2016.

    If that’s all it took, then the dry rot was so thorough the structure was going to fall in any case.

    • #19
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:15 PM PDT
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  20. HVTs Inactive

    BrentB67:I oversimplify the cause of the rift to where conservatives or Republicans stand on the proper role of the federal gov’t i.e. limited government vs. conservatives.

    I look forward to other members’ opinions.

    It’s a simplification, but not an oversimplification. Here’s my opinion: you’re right. To blame this on Trump is to confuse symptoms with causes.

    • #20
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Martel Inactive

    Salvatore Padula:Brent- I think I should expand on my point about the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s culpability in this. It’s that they’ve characterized the debate about how best to advance a shared ideology as really being about the establishment v anti-establishment split. As a result, tons of people now think that attitude is more important than ideology; that conservatism equals antiestablishment. Well, Trump is definitely antiestablishment. Cruz wanted to be the leader of a anti-establishment revolution, but he’s finding out that revolutions tend to turn on themselves.

    Long before this split plenty of conservatives had plenty of doubt that those institutions meant to serve us actually shared our ideology.

    Ensuring your supporters you’ve got their back is one of the primary responsibilities of a political organization. Even if all these strong and proud organizations were doing their very best for us, they’ve come across as useless at best, obstructive or hostile at worst.

    We’re these “leaders” in touch with their supporters there’s absolutely no way Trump could have had such a massive impact on them so quickly and easily.

    Remember, a lot of these people thought Jeb! was going to sail into the White House without a hitch. It’s impossible to reconcile that belief with being anywhere other than in a bubble.

    Groups like this don’t die so easily if people think they’re useful, especially not at the hand of a political novice.

    • #21
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Lucy Pevensie Inactive

    Percival:The firing inside the tent has been going on for a while now. It got significantly worse when the Tea Party was announced to be dead by elements of the power structure. I won’t call them “elite,” and “establishment” implies some kind of coherence. It is more like individuals, each with their own agenda.

    Then the SoCons were informed that the SSM struggle was over, and they needed to just move on. Their core concern is more important than baking cakes or delivering flowers or any of that guff. They don’t want their churches forced to recognize and participate in something that they profoundly object to. No help from the party, though, and action against Planned Parenthood after it was caught red-handed selling baby parts was hardly a moment of pride for the party either.

    So, you have two major constituencies that don’t feel particularly attached to the current leadership or their perceived candidates of preference. Not all of them have left, but a lot of them have.

    The first part, maybe, but I’m not buying the second part of this. Social conservatives had an amazing opportunity for a powerful and eloquent champion in Rubio, and many of them saw it. There were lots here on Ricochet who were on board with Rubio as the most effective defender of the prolife cause they’d ever heard.

    Maybe some of them didn’t hear it because of the all Trump media show, but if so that’s not because their cause had been ignored or abandoned.

    The Jerry Falwell Jr.’s of the world are the exception.

    • #22
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. EB Thatcher
    EB

    I admired Phyllis Schlaffly in the early 70’s. I met her in Atlanta at an ERA conference.

    However, when I read her 500-page screed (insert hyperbole emoticon) against Marco Rubio and then her endorsement of Trump, it became plausible that she is suffering from dementia. The cultured, well-spoken woman I met and whose articles I read would never have approved of this boorish, uneducated lout.

    • #23
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. HVTs Inactive

    Percival:So, you have two major constituencies that don’t feel particularly attached to the current leadership or their perceived candidates of preference. …

    Trump isn’t the cause; he’s the result.

    Yes, and well said.

    But my plan for Mr. Trump all along* was for him to clear the field of worthless GOP smudge pots brimming with next-in-line-itis, leaving the way clear for Cruz. I’m so glad The Donald has obliged my cunning plan! He just needs to complete the meltdown I long ago predicted . . . seems to be well on his way with embarrassing daily whinging about the amount of politics in politics.

    * You can thank me later . . . [:-)

    • #24
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    BrentB67:

    Salvatore Padula:Brent- I think I should expand on my point about the Tea Party/talk radio/Cruz camp’s culpability in this. It’s that they’ve characterized the debate about how best to advance a shared ideology as really being about the establishment v anti-establishment split. As a result, tons of people now think that attitude is more important than ideology; that conservatism equals antiestablishment. Well, Trump is definitely antiestablishment. Cruz wanted to be the leader of a anti-establishment revolution, but he’s finding out that revolutions tend to turn on themselves.

    I am not sure the shared ideology you describe. I think there are incompatible ideologies emerging.

    That’s actually a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and I think you’re on to something. One thing that the rise of Trump has demonstrated is that a large segment of the anti-establishment right is not really conservative in any meaningful sense. They’re just disaffected. A few years ago they made a big deal about how they wanted to restore the constitution, oppose Obamacare, and enact fiscal probity. Now they’re supporting a man who mocks the 1st Amendment, supports the individual mandate, and categorically opposes entitlement reform. But they don’t care, because Trump isn’t PC and he promises them a lot of cool stuff.

    • #25
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. billy Inactive

    BrentB67:Respectfully, I think a lot of tension was building within the conservative movement generally and the Republican party specifically before Trump burst on the scene last year.

    Some of the roots can be traced back as far as “no new taxes”, but more realistically the roots of our contemporary issues took hold in the early 2000’s culminating with the Democrats taking back Congress in 2006, the Tea Party emergence at the end of the Bush term, the 2010 Congressional election, 2011 debt ceiling debacle, Gov. Romeny’s loss to Obama in 2012, 2013 appropriations battle over ACA, the 2014 Congressional landslide, and finally Trump.

    Whenever a plane crashes there is always a chain of events, the conservative movement and Republican party have their chain, Trump is just one or 2 links from the end, that’s all.

    I oversimplify the cause of the rift to where conservatives or Republicans stand on the proper role of the federal gov’t i.e. limited government vs. conservatives.

    I look forward to other members’ opinions.

    So Trump is our punishment for not being conservative enough?

    • #26
    • April 13, 2016, at 7:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. BrentB67 Inactive

    Salvatore Padula:

    BrentB67:

    Salvatore Padula:

    I am not sure the shared ideology you describe. I think there are incompatible ideologies emerging.

    That’s actually a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and I think you’re on to something. One thing that the rise of Trump has demonstrated is that a large segment of the anti-establishment right is not really conservative in any meaningful sense. They’re just disaffected. A few years ago that made a big deal about how they wanted to restore the constitution, oppose Obamacare, and enact fiscal probity. Now they’re supporting a man who mocks the 1st Amendment, supports the individual mandate, and categorically opposes entitlement reform. But they don’t care, because Trump isn’t PC and he promises them a lot of cool stuff.

    I am not convinced the same people that pushed for restoring the Constitution, opposed Obamacare, and supported fiscal probity are his base. There are some for sure, but I don’t think that is his core.

    The folks like me that support those measures haven’t been seduced by him, but that is my narrow group.

    • #27
    • April 13, 2016, at 8:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. BrentB67 Inactive

    billy:

    BrentB67:Respectfully, I think a lot of tension was building within the conservative movement generally and the Republican party specifically before Trump burst on the scene last year.

    Some of the roots can be traced back as far as “no new taxes”, but more realistically the roots of our contemporary issues took hold in the early 2000’s culminating with the Democrats taking back Congress in 2006, the Tea Party emergence at the end of the Bush term, the 2010 Congressional election, 2011 debt ceiling debacle, Gov. Romeny’s loss to Obama in 2012, 2013 appropriations battle over ACA, the 2014 Congressional landslide, and finally Trump.

    Whenever a plane crashes there is always a chain of events, the conservative movement and Republican party have their chain, Trump is just one or 2 links from the end, that’s all.

    I oversimplify the cause of the rift to where conservatives or Republicans stand on the proper role of the federal gov’t i.e. limited government vs. conservatives.

    I look forward to other members’ opinions.

    So Trump is our punishment for not being conservative enough?

    Not punishment in my opinion (though it may feel that way).

    I think he accidentally exploited or stumbled into an area of weakness on the right.

    • #28
    • April 13, 2016, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Brent- I agree it’s not a one to one overlap between former tea party activists/anti-establishmentarian enthusiasts and Trump supporters but I think there’s a strong degree of overlap. My parents used to run a tea party group (which they are in the process now of reconstituting). It broke up because after the initial unity around opposition to Obamacare and excess federal spending it became apparent that about 40% of the group were truly committed constitutional conservatives while the remainder were primarily motivated by a feeling of disaffection and anger toward the powers that be. in the process of getting the band back together my mother has been canvassing the former members and has found the 40/60 split to be mirrored in a similar division between those who support Cruz (or other candidates previously) and those who support Trump. Now, this may not be representative, but I suspect it’s pretty close.

    • #29
    • April 13, 2016, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Brent- I think the way I’d put it is that there was certainly a substantial segment of the Tea Party that was sincere in its protestations of ideologically principled conservatism, but I think as large a segment was making principled claims as a pretext to justify their anger and resentment.

    • #30
    • April 13, 2016, at 8:13 PM PDT
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