It’s Trump Time. (Now what?)

Trump-TIMEI know there are mixed emotions about Donald Trump among my friends on the right.  I have to admit my heart was with Ted Cruz, but it looks like that ain’t gonna happen. 

I forgot who it was in sports that said ‘You play with the players you’ve got, not the ones you wish you had.’  (Too bad the GOPe doesn’t play by that rule when it occasionally doesn’t go their way.)

Whether you like it or not:  The next president of the United States will be either (a) Hillary Clinton or (b) Donald Trump.   You’d be hard pressed to find a GOPer so awful that I’d even consider marking the ballot for that screeching, howling pants-suited bitch with the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard-voice. 

Trump has looked pretty inevitable as a player in the determination of the GOP ticket for a long time.  I’ve said for a while now that conservatives need to build a bridge to him.  He’s a CEO.  Those guys — at least those that I’ve come across (and I’ve known more than my fair share) — tend to listen to an inner circle and then make a decision based on that feedback AND their personal knowledge and gut instinct.  

As I’ve said before, I worked for Senator Helms for a short time in DC in the early 90s.  At that time, and earlier, Helms was surrounded by some very sharp, very talented conservative advisers.  They had him ramped up to be a one-man conservative wrecking crew within Bob Dole’s go-along get-along GOP caucus.  As I was heading off the Hill, I began to notice a change.  Helms replaced his longtime chief of staff — who passed away — with a younger, more moderate fellow who happend to be the son-in-law of a former senate colleague.  He also replaced his longtime top aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a staunch conservative, with a longtime friend from his hometown who happened, unfortunately, to be much more moderate. Those two key changes to his inner circle took Jesse Helms from pissing off everyone from Bob Dole to Ted Kennedy to sponsoring an African aid package, lobbied for by U2’s Bono, and campaigning for reelection with Lawrence Eagleberger.  

Remember how Reagan came into DC in 1981, rattling his saber and stocking up on conservative firebrand staffers and appointees?  We got ballsy moves like firing the air traffic controllers.  We got the Democrats to go along with tax cuts.  Then, the DC establishment got their claws into the mix.  We got chiefs of staff like James Baker and Howard Baker.  We got “deals” with the Democrats on taxes and spending and immigration.  Basically a sharp slide to the left.  All initiated with a few key personnel changes within the inner circle.

It’s pretty clear that Trump has the American people’s attention.  He IS a master salesman.  We need to make sure that our team is Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking at Politics and Eggs in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The event was hosted by New England Council and NH Institute of Politics. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)the one whispering sweet-nothings in his ear about stopping amnesty, building the wall, deportations, tax cuts, regulation cuts, and killing ObamaCare.  (Notice how NOBODY is talking about ObamaCare anymore?  The GOPe has been dangling that one in front of us for years.) 

It’s comforting to see that senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama appears to have a lot of political sway with The Donald.  Sessions has unquestionable conservative street cred.  I understand a top Sessions aide has been put in charge of the Trump campaign’s policy development team.

I  know things are a little bleak here in North Carolina with our state party.    But there is a glimmer of hope with the national ticket. Again, with Sessions so close an adviser.  AND the fact that the hardcore left has been vicious with Trump.  They’ve run him and his family through the mud. They’ve rioted at his events and assaulted his supporters.  Trump is a proud guy who holds a grudge.  Do you see him hooking up with THAT crowd on ANYTHING?

We know what we have to work with for November.  Our beliefs and principles are not going to be advanced via hero worship.  We have to stay out there, talking up our beliefs, and pressuring these people on the ballots to walk with us.  Moderates managed to get their claws into leaders like Reagan and Helms.  There is hope for us returning the favor with Trump and his team.  We’ve got work to do.

20 thoughts on “It’s Trump Time. (Now what?)

  1. No way in the world I’d ever vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They’re both absurdly awful… as a choice for President, and as just humans. Likewise, I’m not voting for Richard Burr, either.

    I’m not looking for perfection, and sometimes going with “the players I have” makes sense … but there has to actually be some kind of team, and “winning” has to have some sort of point… and the GOP seems determined to prove itself to “not” be my team, or even any team I’d want to be a part of.

    That they’re not “technically” Democrats just isnt sufficient, especially when it’s obvious that so many of them are willing to just abandon principle and common sense.

    The country “is” going to have a new ridiculous, miserable president now, and NC will have two fools for Senators and another one for Governor…all of that’s already been decided. It’s set, regardless of who wins what in November.

    I’ll continue to advocate for and support candidates and principles of value, but I’m not going to pretend that has anything to do with Donald Trump.

    If Clinton wins? That sucks, but it’s not my fault, and at this point, it’s irrelevant. Donald Trump isnt “better” than Hillary Clinton… he’s just a “different” bad.

      1. Was that in reply to my post?

        Yes… the people, in the GOP, gave Trump the nomination… I’m not sure that’s a distinction that matters much. Being a decision made by “the people” doesnt make it any better.

        Either way, it’s really an absurd, laughably bad choice, that I’d not choose to support, participate in, or otherwise associate myself with. 🙂

        1. A plurality of voters in GOP primaries have given Trump this prize. Two things that helped him get there badly need to be addressed in the GOP rules. One is winner take all primaries which need to be abolished. The second is allowing non-Republicans to vote in GOP primaries which also needs to be done away with. If only real Republicans were voting, we would have had a stronger candidate than McCain in 2008 and a better candidate than Trump in 2016. Exit polls show that non-Republicans skew more to non-conservative candidates like McCain and Trump. In 2008, exit polls show that McCain would have lost the early primaries if it was not for the votes of non-Republicans and then he would have been toast.

          If they cannot be abolished, they need to be discouraged. A state should lose half of its delegate strength if it is either winner take all or allows non-Republicans to vote, and it should lose 3/4 if it does both. It should also not be allowed to vote in the first six weeks of the election schedule.

  2. Many who supported George W Bush now regret it. I am not going to enable another pathetic Republican President.

    Trump has proven himself to be a waffling spreader of lies. I have ZERO idea what he believes in other than himself and power.

    But at least he is closer to solving the Kennedy assassination!

    For all I know, he might have been just as comfortable running as a Democrat. How/why could anybody possibly support him, if they have their ears and eyes open?

    At least Hillary would be basically like a lame duck from day 1. She’s old and disliked and will have little more than the formal powers of the Presidency. She would have an opposition party unafraid of challenging her.

    If Trump could give me a list of conservative nominees for Supreme Court, including Cruz, and assurances he will fight for them, that’s about the only way he could win me over.

  3. The lesser of the evils strategy just does not play any more. Trump is going to have to prove himself to the more astute segment of the GOP base. His supporters so far have come from the low to medium information portion of the GOP base, but those more knowledgable on issues have generally been wary of his changes in position where he reinvented himself to run for president. His handlers are establishment fixers who care little about issues, so they will likely try to get him to reposition left for the general election. That would sink him with much of the issue-oriented GOP base. We are already sick of sellouts like Boehner, Ryan, and McConnell. We do not deal a similar sellout deal maker.

    I do not trust Trump, but I am willing to consider him. Heck, I voted for McCain and Romney in the general, who also were crap shoots on issues. If Trump, for instance tries to back up on immigration, he is road kill in the general because a lot of conservatives will leave that space on the ballot blank.

    I would not write off Trump totally at this point, but I would be very wary of him between now and November.

    His two handlers, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, make Stewart and Shumaker look like Boy Scouts, and are just as noxious establishment fixers.

  4. I can’t bring myself to vote for Trump. As bad as Hillary would be for the country with her liberal policies, corruption and willful flouting of US law, I fear that Trump really doesn’t know what he’s doing and would not be able to assemble a competent team to even run the Office of the President with any minimal competency.

    I have no confidence in Trump as a CEO. He’s been and out of bankruptcy court and seems to base his business decisions on his own ego. I look at Trump and think there was wasted potential – he seems to have no focus in his business outside of building a vague Trump “brand” that has one business failure after another.

    I fear he may do more damage to the conservative movement because he can’t really articulate a coherent set of policy statements that he stands for. It’s as though he just says whatever pops into his head at the moment, then backtracks the next day. While he has been able to charm the bulk of my fellow Republicans, his campaign has been a sprawling mess with no consistency. He captures the anger that many conservatives feel, but can’t seem to offer anything more than that.

    He reminds me of another Washington outsider that came from nowhere. This guy was promoted as a successful businessman, had served as a governor for one term and was the rising star of his party. There was even a faction that tried to keep him from getting the nomination at the convention and it failed. People in his party were attracted to his vague message of reestablishing “trust in government” and the way he would do it would be with a whole team of Washington outsiders.

    Of course, I’m talking about Jimmy Carter and I think we all remember how that worked out. While he had a big smile and could charm people with his Southern drawl, he was out of his element. Competent, knowledgeable people that had careers in government service wouldn’t work with him. His mismanagement of the executive branch, including his incompetence with the military and State Department, created a mess that Reagan had to clean up.

    In good conscience, I cannot give my vote and the support of my part to someone that I feel is just as incompetent as Jimmy Carter.

    As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the good and the bad come and go with politics. The GOP has been strong enough to recover and fight back when we’ve been on the ropes. The disastrous Cater years gave us two terms of Reagan and two terms of Bush. If Trump turned out half as bad as Carter, the conservative movement would be looking at a couple of decades being the butt of liberal jokes.

    There was really nothing behind Carter’s big peanut-man smile. There’s nothing behind Trump’s thunder and bluster.

  5. OP:

    Absolutely the best thought you have posted in ages! Couldnt agree more. However, I think many of the responses here are going to only show why so many of our movement end up powerless and side-lined as they watch our country go down the drain.

    I really have come to the conclusion that many people just prefer to whine, complain and fail. After decades of doing it, I get what that approach is easier. I just hope I never end up so negative, defeated and in the end, inconsequential.

  6. Wow! For all the “intellectual” heft cited in a couple of the above replies and a similarly arrogant dismissal of Trump supporters as low information, you sage conservatives fail to see what is right in front of your face about Trump. The Establisment — on both sides of the aisle — HATES him. And, these Elites — on both sides of the aisle — HATE us. Trump has exposed everyone for the frauds that they are — and I am willing to take a chance on a guy who has actually done something in his life, is not an attorney and will UPEND the corrupt status quo. He will take it to Hillary and expose her for the treasonous (let’s start with her selling the rights to our uranium supply) criminal that she is. I am willing to take a chance on someone who is willing to put America first. Trump 2016!

    1. That might have had more credibility if Trump had not heavily funded the status quo over the years including 6 members of the Gang of 8, Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Anthony Weiner, socialist NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, and a host of others. Some of his funding has gone to the GOP establishment, even more to the Democrat establishment, and virtually none to challengers to the establishment. What is wrong with this picture when Trump claims to be against the establishment?

      What is wrong with the picture of Trump as an anti-establishment figure when his two main campaign gurus are Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, two longtime establishment GOP fixers. Manafort goes all the way back to Gerald Ford’s campaign against Ronald Reagan. Manafort and Stone are two big reasons to be very very wary of Donald Trump. Joe SIxpack voters don’t have enough information to know that, but many seasoned political activists do.

      What Trump says just does not fit with what Trump does, and that causes a great deal of discomfort for seasoned conservatives. When Trump’s campaign openly told the RNC that what he had been saying in the primaries was just an act, we cringe at what the real Donald Trump will turn out to be based on his long liberal history on issues and contributions before he ran for president.

      If it is November, and Trump has not flip-flopped back on issues, then maybe the comfort level will have gone up to the point of voting for him, but if Manafort and Stone pull him back left, just having an R by his name will not be enough for many of us to vote for him. I might note that there are some issues on which he has gone left even in the primary.

    2. “The Establishment — on both sides of the aisle — HATES him.”

      Nope… if they “hate” anyone, it’s Ted Cruz.

      With Trump, they see a guy they can mitigate and work with. He’s willing and eager to deal and he’s not going to let things like any constitutional or limited government principles get in the way, and he doesnt much care about messing up their agenda.

      That’s why they’re fine with Trump now, and are largely falling in line behind him, and why guys like Boehner can be Trump’s golfing and texting buddy but consider Cruz to be “Lucifer”.

      Thinking the establishment (GOP or Dem or both) is horrible and corrupt is absolutely correct, and they deserve all our anger and rejection… but Trump is hardly a good response to that corruption. Heck… he “is” that corruption, and has been his entire career. He doesnt want to break up their Washington agenda… he just thinks they arent running their machine as well as he could.

      Also, Hillary is a weak, flawed, disaster of a candidate – with pretty much anyone else on the right, it should more rightly have been one of the easier candidates to beat in decades. Trump has a small chance, of course… but not much of one, and odds are he’ll fall short. Trump makes Clinton look like the adult in the room, and her unfavorables and lack of trustworthiness and honesty is all largely offset by Trump’s own same deficiencies.

  7. Far and away plenty conservative enough for me…Second Amendment – check. No amnesty – check. Enforce immigration laws – check. Build the wall – check. No common core – check. Repeal and replace Obamacare – check. Pro life – check. Muslim immigration moratorium – check. Less Gov with less spending with less waste – check. No globalism tying our hands – check. No unfair trade treaties deleterious to America – check. America first – check. Less foreign wars less interventionist except when our national interest directly affected – check. No Bush like nation building – check. Fight outsourcing American jobs – check…

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