Trump Is Now The Establishment

 

Though I’m not willing to throw-in the towel yet — Lord knows this election has been unpredictable — it’s very nearly certain that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. As a once-and-future #NeverTrump and #NeverClinton, I’m going to have to start thinking hard about what options remain to me (short version: they all stink). But that’s not what this post is about: It’s about you, Trump voters.

First, a bit of preemptive congratulations: You did it. You took your candidate from someone snobs like me rolled their eyes at to the presumptive nominee of the GOP. More impressively, you steamrolled over Jeb Bush and Mike Murphy and their donor-class millions, as well as a bench of fifteen other candidates widely described in Trumpian superlatives (The best! The most beautiful! The bigliest!). You even blew-past National Review and the rest of the “respectable” conservative media. Moreover, you moved the national conversation toward your key issues. At least at the moment, you’re winners.

Which brings me to the friendly advice I wanted to offer: You’ve got a problem with a frustrated, demoralized minority whose concerns aren’t being met and who may sit out the election as a result. If you think defeating Hillary Clinton is as important as you’ve said — and I’ve no reason to doubt you — then you need to figure out how to appeal to this group of people. You need to understand them. You need to take their concerns with the kind of gravity you felt the GOP denied you for so long. And you need to figure it out quickly.

Now, again, I’m a lost cause here but libertarian squishes in Massachusetts aren’t going to turn this election (As Trump might say: Sad). But there’s a much larger number of people who have been opposed to Trump so far, but who might reluctantly fall in line if he gets the nomination. You need to figure out how to persuade enough of them to put their misgivings aside so your candidate gets over the line. That won’t be easy, and you should have started yesterday.

For illustration, consider what’s going on in the alternate reality — no, not that one — where Donald Trump tragically died in a meteor strike and Senator Marco Rubio is in the same position as Trump is in our universe. Over there, would-have-been Trump supporters are furious and some Rubio fans are starting to feel buyers’ remorse. “Why on Earth,” they ask each other, “Did we think it was a good idea to support a member of the Gang of Eight amidst a national freak-out over immigration? Romney after ObamaCare was bad enough; this looks even worse.”

Those Rubio supporters are in serious trouble. Their party is breaking apart because they chose one of the two most compromised candidates on the one issue that makes Republican voters reach for their pitchforks and torches and it’s their fault. “If we’re going to beat Hillary,” they say, “We need some real answers and we need them now.”

However, that’s an alternate reality. In this one, Trump supporters are the establishment, or just about to be. You’re not going to convince everyone — again, lost cause here — but you need to start taking #NeverTrump concerns seriously. Don’t tell people that Jon Gabriel, Claire Berlinski, Mona Charen, Kevin Williamson, Robert Zubrin, and I are jerks. That hasn’t worked and it’s probably not going to start working any time soon. You need to show #MaybeTrumps that we’re wrong.

Convince them that Trump gives a damn about the constitution. Demonstrate to them that he’s not going to wreck the economy or get goaded into a war with Vladimir Putin. Persuade them that he’s going to use the powers of the federal government to run vindictive little wars against anyone who insults him, only now with the added threat of guns and the IRS.

It doesn’t matter whether you think those concerns are valid, or if you think they’re a mote compared Hillary Clinton’s log. Their concerns are what they are and you need to grant their worries the attention they feel they deserve.

In short, you need to try to understand non-Trump voters.

Best of luck.

There are 519 comments.

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  1. Grosseteste Thatcher
    Grosseteste
    @Grosseteste

    Yep.  With you here: I’m a lost cause, but would love to see people try to prove that I’m wrong.

    • #1
  2. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    At this point it’s all diminishing returns.  It doesn’t matter who wins.  What matters is who loses, and the GOP needed to be taught that it does not dictate to conservatives and Republicans in general which planks are important.

    This sucks 360, but this is where we are.

    I actually can’t stand Trump.  If I thought there was a chance in Hell that Cruz wouldn’t simply have been Gingrich’d, he’d have been my guy.  As it is, if Cruz is fated not to win the nomination, I would rather my guy be crushed by Trump than by Jeb, etc.  There’s value to me in one of those losses, and nothing but defeat and despair in the other.

    I want the GOP to wake up with missing teeth, broken ribs, and a black eye circled by a tattoo that says “The Tea Party was Here”.

    Mission accomplished.  I expect the effect on future nomination processes to be much more conservative, regardless of the merits, or utter lack thereof, present in one Jillionaire prick.

    I don’t expect to convince anybody, but it would be nice to be understood and taken at my word.  Hope nobody here is above a little retail politics.

    Standing by to be pathologized by our crack cadre of TDS psychoanalysts.

    • #2
  3. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    As to the specifics — sorry, can’t help you there.  I don’t think Trump cares about most of those things.  There’s a longer argument there, but we’ve had it before.

    • #3
  4. KC Mulville Inactive
    KC Mulville
    @KCMulville

    I quibble with the headline. Trump was always part of the establishment, but he was in the non-governmental-part of it. From his former position he could (and he gleefully admits, did) shower money on the government-part, engaging in unrestricted crony capitalism. Now, he’s merely switched his seating arrangement.

    • #4
  5. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Ball Diamond Ball: At this point it’s all diminishing returns. It doesn’t matter who wins. What matters is who loses, and the GOP needed to be taught that it does not dictate to conservatives and Republicans in general which planks are important.

    So we demonstrated that conservatives need to be taken seriously by nominating someone who stands counter to everything conservatives stand for? That is the definition of nonsensical.

    • #5
  6. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    It is impossible to make crank gadflies happy.

    #nevertrump are the people intellectually and tempermentally incapable of cooperative behavior.  They are like a kid with a nintendo who forgot the rules of next game.  Instead of passing the controller for a game, they toss the nintendo out of their window.  This presents 2 challenges:

    1.) Will mom buy you a new nintendo (unlikely)

    2.) Will the other kids come over to play again

    Sure Trump may lose, but conservativism as a serious intellectual movement will never be again.

    The grim trigger only works if the other guy gets hurt more.

    • #6
  7. Bob Laing Member
    Bob Laing
    @

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mission accomplished. I expect the effect on future nomination processes to be much more conservative, regardless of the merits, or utter lack thereof, present in one Jillionaire prick.

    I don’t follow how coalescing behind a person with a less-than-solid record of conservative behavior ensures more conservative picks in the future.

    It occurs to me that this primary represents a shift within the GOP towards cults of personality and nothing else.

    • #7
  8. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    “…I want the GOP to wake up with missing teeth, broken ribs, and a black eye circled by a tattoo that says “The Tea Party was Here…”

    HA! Leave it to BDB to say what so many are thinking!

    • #8
  9. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    Ball Diamond Ball: I want the GOP to wake up with missing teeth, broken ribs, and a black eye circled by a tattoo that says “The Tea Party was Here”.

    The problem is, Trump doesn’t do that.  The Tea Party was about a smaller government.  Trump is for a much bigger government.  This loss says the GOP is now a left-of-center economic-authoritarian big-government party.

    Which means, it no longer speaks to me.  I’m out.

    • #9
  10. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Ball Diamond Ball: Mission accomplished. I expect the effect on future nomination processes to be much more conservative, regardless of the merits, or utter lack thereof, present in one Jillionaire prick.

    I think what has been demonstrated in this election is conservatives are a small minority of the electorate even in the Republican Party. I think the lesson you have taught the dreaded EstablishmentTM is that they need to be more liberal like Trump.

    Well done I guess.

    • #10
  11. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    I still have trouble understanding the northeast phenomenon. What’s the appeal of Trump to them? Is it just because he’s a New Yorker and feels like one of them? Because I’d be surprised if they are being persuaded by his positions on things like immigration. But maybe they are? It’s not like someone who identifies as GOP in those states ever gets much of a national say. How do they think?

    • #11
  12. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Guruforhire: Sure Trump may lose, but conservativism as a serious intellectual movement will never be again.

    And there we have it – Trumpism is about destroying conservatism.

    • #12
  13. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Addiction Is A Choice:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    “…I want the GOP to wake up with missing teeth, broken ribs, and a black eye circled by a tattoo that says “The Tea Party was Here…”

    HA! Leave it to BDB to say what so many are thinking!

    I guess that happened, unfortunately the whole takeaway was “The TEA Party was here and stands for nothing.”

    • #13
  14. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Jamie Lockett:

    Guruforhire: Sure Trump may lose, but conservativism as a serious intellectual movement will never be again.

    And there we have it – Trumpism is about destroying conservatism.

    Nothing you said has anything to do with what I said at all.

    Trumpism didn’t destroy conservativism, conservativism committed suicide.

    • #14
  15. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Guruforhire:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Guruforhire: Sure Trump may lose, but conservativism as a serious intellectual movement will never be again.

    And there we have it – Trumpism is about destroying conservatism.

    Nothing you said has anything to do with what I said at all.

    Huh, it sure seems like your direct quote says exactly that. Please explain otherwise.

    • #15
  16. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    I say this as a conservative:  He needs to understand non-Trump voters, just not conservative ones.

    My recommendation to Trump would be to ignore conservatives.  Not because I think conservatives are wrong.  I am one, and think we are largely right, and our solutions are largely better.  Its because I don’t think electorally it is wise for him to associate with conservative policies and conservative leaders.  He gets enough of them just by running against Hillary.

    If Trump all of a sudden started talking about the Constitution it would just serve to make conservatives realize he doesn’t understand it the way conservatives do and also would alienate his voter base who couldn’t care less about it to begin with.  It’s a losing strategy.  He wins by stealing Hillary voters and demonizing Democrats, not by consolidating conservatives.

    As to convincing others that he is not crazy on foreign policy, only time will tell on that.  My personal opinion is that conservative fears are based on misunderstanding him, and juiced by the temperature of an election.  That will only dissipate with time, if at all.

    Eventually, if he wins, he will need to govern.  Can’t hide a record.  It’s then that he will either convince conservatives or lose them permanently.  It’s not likely to happen during the election because its not in his interest.

    • #16
  17. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Mike H:I still have trouble understanding the northeast phenomenon. What’s the appeal of Trump to them? Is it just because he’s a New Yorker and feels like one of them? Because I’d be surprised if they are being persuaded by his positions on things like immigration. But maybe they are? It’s not like someone who identifies as GOP in those states ever gets much of a national say. How do they think?

    The Northeast was the stronghold of the Rockefeller Republicans, why are you surprised that a Neo-Rockefeller Republican with Nationalist overtones is doing well there?

    • #17
  18. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Jamie Lockett:

    Guruforhire:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Guruforhire: Sure Trump may lose, but conservativism as a serious intellectual movement will never be again.

    And there we have it – Trumpism is about destroying conservatism.

    Nothing you said has anything to do with what I said at all.

    Huh, it sure seems like your direct quote says exactly that. Please explain otherwise.

    I merely pointed out that committing suicide is unwise.

    • #18
  19. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Jamie Lockett: I think what has been demonstrated in this election is conservatives are a small minority of the electorate even in the Republican Party.

    That is one of my top 5 conclusions from this primary.

    • #19
  20. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Trump has always been establishment.  It’s his supporters that aren’t, but that is always the way it is.  Establishment is a symbiotic relationship between powerful private sector players and powerful  politicians.   Trump’s been there for quite a while but on the Democrat side.  Cruz was the only non establishment person in the race.  Still Trump won’t get our votes unless he can promise a solid Supreme court and a few key cabinet picks, these will be reasons to vote against Hillary.   The rest we can live with.

    • #20
  21. Dave_L Inactive
    Dave_L
    @Dave-L

    Look, I haven’t been seeing any meaningful conservative impacts in my daily life as a result of GOP leadership, nor did I have a sense that there was any will or desire to fight for anything “conservative”.

    Honestly, it’s a wash to me whether Trump is in office or if it’s the business-as-usual GOP go-along-to-get-along status quo.

    In the last four years, the GOP has squandered any goodwill I had for it.  I am exhausted from making excuses for its lack of any meaningful accomplishment.

    • #21
  22. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Put me down as a lost cause as well.

    I’m still waiting for a Trump supporter to point out a single coherent answer he gave in the Washington Post interview a couple of weeks ago.

    • #22
  23. Bob Laing Member
    Bob Laing
    @

    Mike H:I still have trouble understanding the northeast phenomenon. What’s the appeal of Trump to them? Is it just because he’s a New Yorker and feels like one of them? Because I’d be surprised if they are being persuaded by his positions on things like immigration. But maybe they are? It’s not like someone who identifies as GOP in those states ever gets much of a national say. How do they think?

    You think you are struggling to understand it?  I live here and I’m probably more confused than you are.  My extended family is (was?) conservative to the core. Most now support Trump.

    • #23
  24. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Jamie Lockett:

    Ball Diamond Ball: At this point it’s all diminishing returns. It doesn’t matter who wins. What matters is who loses, and the GOP needed to be taught that it does not dictate to conservatives and Republicans in general which planks are important.

    So we demonstrated that conservatives need to be taken seriously by nominating someone who stands counter to everything conservatives stand for? That is the definition of nonsensical.

    This is as childish as little girls who claim that you can’t fight for peace, you can’t cut taxes to raise revenue, and you can’t incarcerate to protect freedom.  Easy to convince little girls with this sort of argument, like the one on the CNNi spot who says “I don’t think any war is fighting”.  That’s a beautiful sentiment, and I give full credit for a pure soul and a blessed ignorance of what makes war worth fighting, but that’s because she’s a little girl.

    Grown-ups know better.

    • #24
  25. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    A-Squared:he problem is, Trump doesn’t do that. The Tea Party was about a smaller government. Trump is for a much bigger government. This loss says the GOP is now a left-of-center economic-authoritarian big-government party.

    Which means, it no longer speaks to me. I’m out.

    No it wasn’t.  It was against a big spending bill and reductions to medicare.

    • #25
  26. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    I could be wrong about this, but I also have trouble believing that Trump is going to have the effect those who are trying to send the GOP a message want.

    What it shows is that 1.) If you are a populist you can convince a bunch of people who are reflexive national socialist statist to vote for you. 2.) If the GOP doesn’t sufficiently pander to Republicans of a certain flavor of conservatism they’ll throw in their lot with literally anyone to make sure the GOP loses. 3.) ??????? 4.) Win elections.

    I don’t think holding the party ransom is going to work as well as they think it will. It’s at least as likely enough people say “[expletive] you” and walk away.

    • #26
  27. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Bob Laing:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mission accomplished. I expect the effect on future nomination processes to be much more conservative, regardless of the merits, or utter lack thereof, present in one Jillionaire prick.

    I don’t follow how coalescing behind a person with a less-than-solid record of conservative behavior ensures more conservative picks in the future.

    It occurs to me that this primary represents a shift within the GOP towards cults of personality and nothing else.

    Well that’s your little-girl linear projection to ridiculous ends.  It was 75 degrees at breakfast and 90 at lunch.  By dinner it will be over a hundred, and we’ll all die at midnight.

    • #27
  28. Bob Laing Member
    Bob Laing
    @

    Guruforhire:

    A-Squared:he problem is, Trump doesn’t do that. The Tea Party was about a smaller government. Trump is for a much bigger government. This loss says the GOP is now a left-of-center economic-authoritarian big-government party.

    Which means, it no longer speaks to me. I’m out.

    No it wasn’t. It was against a big spending bill and reductions to medicare.

    It seems you and I had a very different understanding of what the tea party was all about.

    • #28
  29. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    A-Squared:

    Ball Diamond Ball: I want the GOP to wake up with missing teeth, broken ribs, and a black eye circled by a tattoo that says “The Tea Party was Here”.

    The problem is, Trump doesn’t do that. The Tea Party was about a smaller government. Trump is for a much bigger government. This loss says the GOP is now a left-of-center economic-authoritarian big-government party.

    Which means, it no longer speaks to me. I’m out.

    We’re all ghost dancers now anyway, groping for a magic shirt.  Bye.

    • #29
  30. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Jamie Lockett: The Northeast was the stronghold of the Rockefeller Republicans, why are you surprised that a Neo-Rockefeller Republican with Nationalist overtones is doing well there?

    It’s not about issues primarily.  It’s about culture.  Trump is Queens.  He is one of them.  That’s his primary appeal.  They have not had a candidate in generations that resonate with them culturally.

    I think Republicans have under appreciated just how much linking their brand to social conservatism and southern personalities has really harmed them in many parts of the country.  Trump is showing what is possible when you ditch all of that and nominate a rough around the edges guy from Queens whose brand of “conservatism” consists of bashing political correctness and “talking straight” (as they see it), combined with some all-out American nationalism.

    He is going to get more votes in the Republican primary than any other Republican…ever.  Let that one swish around in your mouth for a bit before swallowing.  Ever.

    • #30
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