The Republican Party Establishment Has Only Themselves to Blame for the Rise of Trump



Barring an event as equally unfathomable, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 2016. Is that strange or what? And yet, with a little bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, we should not be surprised at all by the rise of Trump. (Especially when you consider that Trump’s chief establishment rival, Ted Cruz has a personality as warm as a cadaver buried in a snow-bank.)

The strategy and tactics of the Republican Party have been preparing the way for the coming of Trump for decades. And now that Judgment Day is here, it is to be determined if Trump is the salvation or the devastation of the Grand Old Party. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican presidential nominee and Trump may be the last one. Trump has gone from joke to juggernaut, but he did not instigate the weakening of the Republican establishment that allowed this to happen. He is rather the beneficiary of a dubious Republican strategy employed since the time of Ronald Reagan.

Much like global warming, the evolving changes brought on by the actions (or lack thereof) of the Republican Party over the past few decades has triggered a momentum of destructive change that may now have become irreversible.

America’s Enemy

Since the time of Reagan, Republicans have campaigned on the premise that the mortal enemy of America is its own government. Ronald Reagan argued, “The government is not the solution, it is the problem.” The mantra of the Republican Party has been that government, any government, is bad – even evil – and any hint at the expansion of government is a sinister conspiracy against the very concept of freedom that is to be resisted as if it were a plague released on the people. (It should be noted that during the Reagan era the government doubled in size and the national debt tripled.)  

This Republican single-minded, dogmatic focus on the evils of government ignores the history of Americans attitude toward their government. For the first 200 years of the Republic, Americans were deeply suspicious of government, but they accepted its necessity. The issue debated was not how to destroy government, but how to make it more responsive to the needs of the people. The focus and tone of the debate began to shift to a pure anti-government stance when the Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 was taken as a validation of the effectiveness of an anti-government election strategy; but it can and has gone too far.  Donald Trump is the result of the modern Republican Party leaders overplaying their anti-government stance with over-heated rhetoric and under delivered promises.

Building the Base

The leaders of the Republican Party believed that a relentless use of an anti-government stratagem would open a clear path to winning and power; and they were right. Over the past 35 years the anti-government philosophies of the Republican Party has attracted a large, loyal and cohesive “base” of followers and believers. This “base” of the Party accepted the Republican mindset of animosity toward government in much the same way that devout Catholics accept the infallibility of the Pope.  

Appealing to the natural skepticism that Americans have toward government has proved to be an effective strategy for the Republican Party. After all, the majority of state governors are Republican; Republicans have their largest majority in Congress since 1928 and they have control of the Senate. The problem is that a majority of those voters who identify themselves as Republicans have become frustrated by the Republican establishment’s failure to deliver on their promises of a smaller, less intrusive federal government. With the Republicans in charge, nothing has changed; indeed, the government has become more intrusive, has increased in size and the national debt has burgeoned.

Revolt of the Base

The failure of elected Republicans to deliver on promises of smaller, less intrusive government has fertilized frustration among the Party base; triggering such movements as the “Tea Party” and other groups expressing their exasperation with the Republican establishment. This revolt of the base has led to an unraveling of the Republican Party from within. Even beyond its base of supporters, the Republican Party establishment has generally alienated the mass of voters who lean Republican, while specifically offending minority groups. As a result, the Republican Party has generally come to be viewed as both negative and duplicitous. The Party is seen as wanting to “take back and go back,” rather than move forward. The Republican Party is now viewed as more obstructionist than constructionist and this is compounded by often seeming to be two-faced.

The Republican establishment denounces “crony capitalism,” but at the same time caters to (and is funded by) the wealthy and narrow business interests. For the past eight years, Republicans in Congress have created an environment of political dysfunction by opposing rather than proposing and then attempt to win elections by railing against this paralysis of government. Arguing that government is evil, the Republicans emasculate the capacity of the government to perform and then disparage the government as inept, bungling and corrupt. The Republican establishment calls for a broad-based Party, while seeking to limit voting rights and denigrating virtually every minority in the country. And at the same time, failing to recognize that the very “base” of the Party that they depend upon for their power is becoming a dissatisfied minority.

The Coming of Trump

Along comes Trump. Trump’s appeal is to those of the Republican base who have become disillusioned and frustrated by the establishment’s failure to live-up to their own stated anti-government principles. Millions of Republican voters have sent a clear message to the Party establishment that, “we are mad as hell and won’t take this anymore.” It is not that these Republicans have lost faith in their beliefs, but that they have lost faith in the beliefs of the Republican establishment and the candidates the Party puts forward.

Revealing is the Republican establishment’s reaction to the presumed nomination of Trump as the Party’s standard-bearer in the presidential election. The general repudiation of Trump clearly shows that the Republican establishment is more interested in the power of the Party, than in the power of the people in the Party. In the end, the exposure of the establishment’s hypocrisy of putting power over principle could do more long term damage to the Republican Party than Trump ever could.

Cruz – Kasich Deal is Reincarnation of the Keystone Cops



In the early 20th century, as the film industry was coming into being, a series of comedy shorts called the “Keystone Cops” was highly popular. These films depicted a squad of “cops” who were outlandishly incompetent. No matter what these cops did, they screwed it up. What created the comedy was that these supposed cops were so bungling and inept they could not catch a cold, let alone the bad guys.  (Click here to see an example of a “Keystone Cops” film.)

Each of these Keystone Cops comedy farces followed a set pattern. There always had to be a wild chase with the cops futilely trying to track down their prey. The Keystone Cops never had a coherent plan, but would franticly zig-zag their way through the chase as if they were bouncing off invisible walls. The cops always ended up frustrated and out-foxed by the nefarious bad guy.

Keystone Cops Reincarnated

When the Cruz, Kasich “arrangement” to work together to stop Trump was announced, my first thought was of the Keystone Cops reincarnated. These two – Cruz and Kasich – are frantically zig-zagging their way through the Republican presidential nomination process attempting anything – no matter how frenzied – that might allow them to arrest Trump’s momentum toward the nomination.

It seems as though Cruz and Kasich have adopted the same patterns as the Keystone Cops films.  While their goal is to take down Trump, the effort has become little more than a wild chase without a coherent plan. Cruz, for all his lovability, seems to be the leading Keystone Cop as he zig-zags from one desperate effort to the next; always bouncing off the walls of Trump support.   

The idea that Cruz and Kasich would collude in an effort to stop Trump is not only a sign of desperation and the failure of their own campaigns, but proof that desperate men do desperate things. And in true Keystone Cop fashion, this attempt to “team-up” against Trump only plays into the strength of his narrative.

Proving the System is Rigged

For weeks now Trump has been railing against the Republican nomination process, claiming that it is an anti-democratic fraud that is rigged against him. And now along comes these two Keystone candidates entering into a combined effort to stop Trump that, on its face, seems to be nothing more than an unseemly effort to rig the process. Trump could barely conceal his glee when the announcement was made.

Under the arrangement announced in the dead of night on Sunday, Kasich will step back from the May 3rd Indiana primary to let Cruz go one-on-one against Trump. Cruz will do the same for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico. The deal itself is not even fair and balanced. Cruz has out foxed Kasich because he is giving up nothing by ceding Oregon and New Mexico to Kasich. The reality is that Cruz has about as much chance of winning those states as he has getting named “most popular” in Congress. Indiana is the most important state in the agreement, only because if Cruz loses it he is clearly finished. According to recent polls, the only way Cruz can win Indiana is if all of the potential Kasich voters switch to Cruz. Thus the Keystone Cops strategy.   

In true Keystone Cop tradition, Cruz and Kasich could not even get their stories straight as they zig-zagged through their explanation of the deal. First Cruz, in his normal pompous and self-important fashion announced, “This is a big deal that will end up saving America from the clutches of Hillary Clinton.” At almost the exact same time, Kasich was telling reporters (between gulps of his breakfast) that, “This is no big deal and I still want the people of Indiana to vote for me.” Then later in the week, Cruz changed direction again and claimed there “never was an agreement with Kasich.” Keystone Cops at their best!

It is difficult to understand the logic of this arrangement, unless you view it in an atmosphere of desperation; recognizing that desperate people take desperate actions. It is not unusual for politicians to get together and make a backroom deal, but the success of this “deal” depends entirely on the voters buying into their scam and following along in lockstep obedience. Initial polls indicate that a majority of the Kasich voters in Indiana not only don’t want to vote for Cruz, but that they are offended to be considered pawns in this plan. A large chunk of the Kasich voters have indicated they may even vote for Trump as a protest to the deal. Talk about inept Keystone Cops!

Cruz is now the “chosen one” of the establishment Republican Party, but did you read what former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said about Cruz? Boehner said in a speech that Cruz was the “Lucifer in the flesh” and the most miserable “SOB” he had ever known or worked with in Congress – Republican or Democrat. What does that tell you about the health of the Party? How weak must the establishment of the Party be if they have to encourage two weak, flawed candidates to band together against a strong front-runner? Do two negatives make a positive? I now know why Trump, despite all his weaknesses and wackiness, has been winning. His opponents have been so inept at attacking him, they make him look stronger.

Fiorina in Bed with Lucifer

Kasich seemed to disappear after this deal was announced, but Cruz has doubled down on his Keystone Cops antics. On Wednesday Cruz made the dramatic announcement that he would select Carly Fiorina as his vice-presidential candidate. Talk about running into another wall. At a time when keeping and creating jobs in America is a critical issue in the election, Cruz selects Fiorina who has lost every election she has entered and was fired as CEO of HP after laying off thousands of workers and earning the moniker as the “outsourcing Queen” for outsourcing thousands of jobs to foreign  companies. The Keystone Cops would be proud!

There is one thing we can all learn from this: Trying to understand the actions of a politician – especially a desperate one – is one of the great causes of insanity.

Reasons to Support and Vote for Ted Cruz



Do we really want to roll the dice with our future by electing someone like Trump who promises to radically change the way the government in Washington functions?  And does not explain how he will do it.

Let’s be totally honest here and recognize that the only way to stop Trump from stealing the presidential nomination out from under the noses of the Republican Party establishment is to support and vote for Ted Cruz. Sure, Cruz has the uptight personality of a demented actuary and is as warm and cuddly as a coiled cobra, but if Trump is not stopped he will ruin the Republican Party as we know it. And even worse, if Trump is nominated, he will surely lose the general election to that liberal charlatan Hillary Clinton. Even worser, should Trump actually be elected president, everything in Washington and the government will be in flux and might be changed forever.

We just can’t take the risk of these things happening. Ted Cruz is the only one who can be America’s salvation by stopping Trump and leading the country back to the way it was. But preventing the catastrophe of a Trump nomination is only one of many, many reasons to support and vote for Cruz.

Allow me to offer just a few examples.

Cruz is rigid and inflexible in his beliefs – Unlike most politicians Cruz is steadfast in his views and will not allow the opinions of others, reason, changing times or the realities of the world to influence his thinking. Even though his unfaltering rigidity and unwillingness to compromise on any issue has caused nearly everyone who has ever worked with him – even in the Republican Party – to come to hate him, Cruz is exactly the type of intransigent, narrow-minded leader we need to get America back to the literal meaning of a constitution written 225 years ago.

Finally in Cruz we have a true conservative we can count on to not let us down once he gets in office. Compared to Cruz, Ronald Reagan was a left-wing liberal and even Barry Goldwater, that great icon of conservative thinking, seems middle of the road.  

Iran will be put in its place – Cruz has had the courage to call the Iranian Nuclear agreement a “moment like Munich” that will lead to the deaths of “millions of Americans.” He has promised that, “If I am elected president, on the very first day in office I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.”

In a speech to the Values Voter Summit in Washington last fall, after reiterating his promise to terminate the Iranian agreement, Cruz went on to say that as president he will demand that Iran not re-start their nuclear program. He then reinforced this by saying, “And if the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to introduce him to the 72 virgins.” He was referring the belief of Islamic extremists that 72 virgins will be waiting for them in the afterlife upon martyrdom for Islam.

Tell me, what other candidate has exhibited the sharp strategic strategy to declare that as president, when the leader of another country does not do what we want them to do, we will simply assassinate them. That should be reason enough to vote for a strong principled leader like Cruz.

Solving the Syrian and ISIS Challenge

When we elect Cruz president, the Syrian turmoil and ISIS will soon be history. Once Cruz is president, there will be no more of the weak-kneed, lily-livered approach to ISIS followed by Obama. Cruz has repeatedly promised that, “We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.” Unlike Obama, Cruz has committed that our military might will not sit idly by as Syria disintegrates and ISIS marches on. We have spent trillions on our military and nuclear capabilities, and Cruz will not be afraid to use them to obliterate ISIS once and for all; as well as anyone else we don’t like. How can we not vote for a leader so committed to projecting American self-interests around the world?

Immigration that becomes emigration – Trump gets a lot of credit for his stance on illegal immigration, but he can’t hold a candle to the views of Cruz. Of course like Trump, Cruz has promised, “As president I will stop illegal immigration, build a wall that works, triple boarder security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border.”

Cruz has followed Trump in demanding that all 11 million undocumented aliens living in the United States be arrested and deported. This includes deporting an estimated 4.5 million illegal immigrants with minor children who are naturalized American citizens. But being the strong leader he is, Cruz has out trumped Trump by calling for “significantly increasing permanent detention capacity for illegal immigrants in the interior of the United States.” This is reminiscent of “internment camps” set up during World War II to contain Japanese living in America; even though over 60 percent were American citizens. Just imagine, if Cruz becomes president, you could have an illegal immigrant detention center near you. It takes courage for a leader to propose this type draconian action to solve a problem, but that is the essence of Ted Cruz, and that is another reason to vote for him.

Leading the way on social issues – No candidate has been as direct and clear on social issues as Cruz. In simple terms, Cruz is a devotee of the Constitution as it was written and not how it has been interpreted by the left-leaning liberal courts. With the possible exception of slavery, Cruz would like to see America return to the individual rights in place at the time the Constitution was ratified. Because of this, Cruz argues that equal pay for women has “been the law for decades” and he sees no need to do anything different. As for abortion, Cruz would make it illegal under all conditions, including rape, incest and the potential death of the mother. When it comes to LGBT rights, Cruz has consistently opposed any and all antidiscrimination laws. Cruz has referred to the issue of marriage equality as a “time of crisis” in America, calling it “fundamentally illegitimate, lawless and unconstitutional.” How could you not vote for a man with such strong fundamental Christian views on the rights of all individuals?

Health Care – In simple terms Cruz believes that access to healthcare is a privilege and not a right. Because of this Cruz has committed to repealing Obamacare and a return to the old system that allowed insurance companies to decide who they are willing to insure and how much they want to charge. He is a staunch supporter of the “free market system” that will allow people the freedom to buy as much healthcare coverage as they can afford and not be forced by the government to buy coverage even if they don’t want it. If you are healthy and wealthy and not worried about getting sick, you have to vote for Cruz.

And so …

If you believe that Trump has to be stopped from stealing the Republican nomination and make sure he does not accidently get elected president, then you have to support and vote for a great American (even though he was born in Canada) leader like Ted Cruz. If we get Trump we don’t know what we will get, but if we get Cruz, we know exactly what we will get.