Mark Gundy looks at Trump’s recent South Carolina primary win, with an eye on Nevada, and is sure that Trump will secure the Republican nomination, and ultimately the Presidency.
Donald J. Trump just won the Republican nomination and likely the White House. I know, I know, but what about his “hair” or the “wall” paid for by Mexico or his excommunication by the Pope? News flash to pundits, you’ve been wrong for eight months on Trump. Pundits have not just been wrong they’ve been wildly wrong. “Obama Wrong.”
The Republican Establishment is beside itself. The RNC had already chosen Jeb Bush to battle Hillary Clinton in a 1980s, Back to the Future sequel and how dare Republican voters object. Jeb Bush is the perfect metaphor for what is wrong with the Republican Party Elites. Old white guys embarrassed about the wealth they’ve amassed but didn’t earn and channeling that guilt into their politics. Romney was their perfect candidate before Bush, another decent moral man ashamed of his success.
What every day average Americans recognize, that the RNC with all of its supposed think-tank brilliance doesn’t, is this time things are different. The stakes are bigger. After eight years of diminishing the USA in almost every measure that matters, we’re finally at a tipping point. Normal people can sense this is not the status quo, that there is a real danger the America they grew up in will no longer exist in their lifetimes.
Trump connects to this sense in a way other candidates seem incapable of doing. Like Reagan before him, Donald Trump is vocalizing the simple key issues before us. Under Obama, we’ve become a debtor nation on a scale that would make Greece blush. The wonderful socialized medical program we were promised is broken even before it is fully deployed. The military under this President has shrunk to pre-WWII levels in some cases and the “nuclear triad” though still formidable has been weakened to a degree unthinkable just thirty years ago. Our efforts to help veterans have done more harm than good. The economic engine is misfiring so badly that jobs have become scarce while millions of illegal immigrants invade our country undermining our schools and taking advantage of our programs meant to help Americans, not invaders. Meanwhile, after all of the bowing and scraping, Americans see the USA standing on the world stage reduced to the point Iran feels safe to abduct U.S. Navy ships and hold crewmembers on their knees at gunpoint.
Trump’s solutions to reverse the perceived slide are straightforward and common sense, like any Army doctor conducting triage during battle: Stop the bleeding first. Close the border, terminate a dying Obamacare program, increase our military, improve care to our veterans, smash ISIS, and change the tax code to become an economic growth incentive, including repatriating three to five trillion of offshore monies and finally end the trade deals stacked against the USA.
Americans have watched The Donald over the last ten seasons of The Apprentice make quick and logical decisions and while a reality TV show does not qualify one to be President, neither does the empty rhetoric from out of touch politicians. In Trump, America sees a winner at a time when America doesn’t win much anymore, to steal a line from the Trump campaign. They see a proven record of success not just on television but in real life. They see Donald as someone who doesn’t just talk but gets things done at a time when that skill set is critical.
Trump’s style bothers many potential voters. Another sign of how emasculated the men in America have become after a sixty year assault on males with “political correctness,” the modern-day Inquisition. Trump smashes all of those politically correct chains and throws its enforcers into the icy waters to drown. While the pundits point to each violation of the all-sacred political handbook on what to say and do, Donald’s followers cheer their iconic rescuer who would dare stand toe-to-toe with the mainstream media, FOX News, both Clintons, and the RNC and not only not blink but more importantly not back down. To people rightly sick of the chains of political correctness, Trump is not just a breath of fresh air, he’s a bloody hero.
His followers not only don’t care that he is trampling on over sixty years of political re-education by the Left, they are celebrating each time he does. Name another figure besides Trump who has managed to stand up to the press the way Donald has and live to talk about it. Trump is a fighter. Trump is unapologetic about his staggering wealth he created from a one million dollar loan from a tough father who demanded it back and with interest. Sure that’s a lot better start than most of us but look what he did with it. One million into ten billion and you’re willing to dismiss that as “given” to him? Then you’re not even an honest critic.
“Americans love a winner,” as George C. Scott says playing Patton in the film by the same name and it’s true. American’s aren’t so keen about an apologetic winner as Romney proved. Trump also backed Romney and it looks like that was the final straw for a successful guy backing someone who fumbled the ball on the one-yard line. Another RNC pick by the elites. Gingrich was the upstart populist candidate eventually crushed by the RNC and Romney’s relentless attack ads fueled by his money. Gingrich would not have choked in the third debate nor allowed Obama to skirt the matter of Benghazi without even mentioning it. Still one of the historic political blunders of all time.
The enormity of Trump’s South Carolina win is not to be understated. If Ted Cruz was to win anywhere besides Iowa, South Carolina was handpicked for him and yet the Religious Right he was counting on broke hugely for Trump instead of Cruz. The victory was not just a win it was a rout, an old-fashioned beating behind the barn. Of the 50 delegates up for grabs in South Carolina, Trump took all 50. Allow me to put this another way perhaps easier to understand: No candidate received any delegates except Donald Trump. Not one.
Afterwards of course there were the usual pundits opining as to how this wasn’t really so much a win for Trump as for the amazing Rubio who had come from behind to be the first loser. Rubio and Cruz both held cheerful speeches after the vote showed they had both been crushed and proclaimed “victory” in one way or another. Rubio did a better job than Cruz of pretending not to have just been crushed by the novice politician that all pundits had maintained for the last eight months was simply a sideshow.
Jeb Bush, proving once again that Trump has been right all along about donor money controlling the candidate, did exactly as the desperate RNC and donors commanded and dropped out of the race so that more votes in the upcoming defeats could go to Rubio’s losing campaign. RNC elites like Karl Rove are finally awake that Trump’s for real and they are marshalling their money, influence, and power to try and stop the Trump Train before it’s too late. Except, it’s already too late. Ignoring its own voting base as usual, the RNC continues to try and back candidates the voters see as losers this time around. As long as the vote is divided amongst candidates the way it currently is, Trump wins the nomination. Nevada will be a huge win for Trump and in less than two weeks we’re into Super Tuesday where Trump has a huge lead in eight states and could sweep them all with the momentum from NH, SC, and Nevada.
Unless Cruz were to drop out and throw his support to Rubio, something very unlikely, it becomes more and more difficult to see a path to victory for the fair-haired establishment boy, Marco Rubio. Instead of realizing its mistake and backing the party’s true frontrunner, the RNC will now sanction a vicious series of attacks on its frontrunner in the forlorn hopes that its second choice after Bush will have a go at it. More wasted time. The sooner the Republicans coalesce around a candidate, the stronger that candidate will be in November when the vote matters.
Fortunately, the attacks will likely only serve to improve Trump’s ability to handle the Clinton war machine when it turns on him exclusively. Twelve months ago, Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee of the Dems and the odds-on favorite to be the next President of the United States. Some pundits even used the word “unstoppable,” while Donald Trump was not even on the radar.
What a difference a year can make.
Enter Trump who is not an ideologue. This has made him difficult for pundits to pigeonhole and we know how confused they became when someone doesn’t fit neatly into some preconceived category. Trump is a realist. His entire life’s training has been about winning, about getting deals done no one else could, about the “art of the deal.” He’s dealt with government waste fraud and abuse firsthand, he’s dealt with idiotic government regulations causing construction projects to cost ten times what they should, he’s seen politicians up close and for sale, and all the while he’s seen the greatest nation on Earth with the greatest workers getting the shaft from foreign countries whose very names used to invoke laughter compared to American quality.
The reason pundits can’t quantify Trump is because they’ve never seen anyone like him. He already has fame and wealth beyond measure, his own Air Force One, and a full family and life. The last thing Donald J. Trump needs is the burden of the Presidency. What separates The Donald from his rivals is that his only true motivation is to make America great again. Trump is a true patriot in a time when the elites of both parties scoff at such a concept. Trump rises like some conflicted Marvel superhero above the rest of the field just as Trump Towers rises above lesser buildings.
As the recent death of Judge Scalia so vividly demonstrated, an important prize of this election will be the nomination of multiple Supreme Court Justices in such a way as to preserve the Constitution and the Second Amendment for the next 40 years. This will reverberate long after a Trump Presidency is in the history books though a thousand-mile wall bearing his name on the Mexican border and paid for by the Mexican government will stand as a testament forever.
While Hillary has to still be seen as the presumptive Democratic candidate, the skirmishes with Bernie have not only weakened her, but shown her to be anything but invincible. The battle is also alienating one of her major support groups she was counting on, namely the youth vote. Young voters seeing the Clinton dirty tricks for the first time as her superdelegates ensure her the delegate win regardless of the outcome. Just imagine how that is going to play with idealistic first-time voters. I frankly doubt many Bernie voters will decide to then switch to and support the “Queen” who lopped off their heads. I believe many of the young voters will be disillusioned enough not to bother to vote at all.
Trump meantime is pulling Democrats as well as first-time Republicans to his campaign. While most polls show Trump to be the weakest candidate the Republicans can field against Hillary, those polls won’t really mean much until after the first Clinton/Trump debate. Trump has already shown his skill in debates while Hillary has revealed quite the opposite in her battles with Bernie.
Donald Trump will make Hillary Clinton look like the criminally-corrupt, bitter old woman she really is, while she is left defending the eight years of failure of the Obama Presidency as well as Hillary’s own involvement with Russia, Syria, and Libya, not to mention Benghazi or the email scandal. This optic will contrast sharply with a vibrant Donald Trump promising, with few details, to “Make America Great Again.”
What twelve months ago was supposed to be the coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton as first female President will instead become one of the worst landslide defeats in history. As Donald is fond of saying, he might just “run the table.”