I continue to watch in dismay as many of the people I consider to be great conservative minds flounder each week as they write articles about Donald Trump. Half of their articles are about trying to convince the GOP base to vote against Trump and the other half of their articles seem to reflect their confusion as to why none of the base is listening to them. It is clear that many of these astute minds have been going to DC dinner parties for too long and would do well to go live in “fly over” America for a while to regain perspective. The latest of these articles are being written as commentators across America are accepting that Republican voters have decided that Trump will be the nominee and are starting to discuss who his Vice Presidential running mate might be.
George Will is one of my favorite writers and I had high hopes when I saw he’d written a new article titled “In case of Trump nomination, break glass“. I had hoped that perhaps he was referencing the so-called “glass ceiling” and was going to reference that wisdom of perhaps choosing a female running mate to shore up his supposed problem with women voters. Instead, I read an article about how the GOP should help him lose in November so Republicans can preserve their 162-year old party identity. It’s a shame really. I respect George Will but have to conclude that he’s been “inside the beltway” for too long and can’t see that conservative voters and like-minded independents are drawn to Trump specifically because they no longer fit into that old party identity.
Next, I read a National Review article titled “Weighing Trump’s Running-Mate Options” with hopes of a more balanced outlook on potential Trump running mates. Instead, it’s just a rather simplistic analysis of running mates suggested by Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza’s recent article. Both articles accurately suggest why several possible candidates would not be helpful and both articles fail to mention several much more likely candidates. Both articles correctly mention Iowa Senator Joni Ernst as one smart possibility and both correctly mention that Ohio Governor John Kasich is basically throwing paper plane-folded resumes in Trumps direction but those are about the only smart comments in either article.
It is reflective of their deep dislike of Donald Trump that so many good writers are ignoring the many more likely candidates for the Vice Presidential running mate position. My first pick would be South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a popular female conservative governor of Indian descent. Showing South Carolina much love, I would also suggest that their Senator Tim Scott, a well-liked black conservative who is also an awesome public speaker, would be on the short list of potential nominees. Governor Susana Martinez, the female governor of New Mexico, would also be a very good pick. Also look at Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada. And closing out my wish list would be the ideal candidate, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Any of these would bring solid conservative credentials to the ticket and eliminate many of the supposed negatives that Trumps blunt speaking style have generated.
The GOP establishment has spent the past week starting to come to terms with the fact that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. And some are starting to see that he even has a better than even chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the general election. They are starting to notice that Trump is consistently bring in crowds of over 10,000 wherever he goes while Hillary Clinton’s events usually generate a few hundred. They see that Bernie Sanders has damaged her with the youth vote and that she is no where near as popular among black voters as the liberal media portrays her to be. This has every possibility of being a wave election that Trump rides to victory because of the dissatisfaction among all Americans with both major parties. I wonder when many of the more established conservative columnists will notice.
With the March 15, 2016 primary behind us and with Marco Rubio dropping out after his defeat in the Florida Primary, Republicans are now at a point where they need to look for a way to unify. The misguided efforts by some conservatives to create a brokered convention situation will only lead to a President Hillary Clinton. To avoid this horrifying outcome in November, conservatives need to begin immediately to take actions that will create a united Republican Party that can provide our candidate with solid support at all levels.
One of the first actions that need to be taken is that conservatives need to stop demonizing Donald Trump. Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump has a better than even chance of becoming the Republican nominee and we don’t need any more prominent Republicans or conservative media personalities making videos for future Hillary Clinton commercials.
Next, Republican leaders need to be very public and make it very apparent to the public that the Republican nominee will be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and that no brokered convention will involve anybody but one of those two as the nominee.
At this point, my preferred outcome would be that Trump and Cruz continue with more civil primary battles and end up with Donald Trump 100 or so delegates short come convention time. Being short the number of needed delegates would make Trump willing to negotiate and being so close to having the required number of delegates would make Republican leaders willing to negotiate Trump can come together with Republican leaders and come out of the meeting room with the agreement that Donald Trump will be our nominee and that an acceptable conservative will be his vice presidential running mate. Cruz or Rubio would have been ideal but I think there’s too much bad blood there now. I think the next best option would be picking Ben Carson as his running mate but others like SC Governor Nikki Haley, NM Governor Susana Martinez, OH Governor John Kasich or Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. This would unify the party more than any other option.
Trump could then also announce the Republican leaders that would be members of his foreign and domestic policy teams. With a solid conservative as his running mate and experienced teams of advisers at his side, Trump would unite conservatives to his nomination and he would be able to begin running against Hillary Clinton from a position of strength
If there’s one thing conservatives of all types can agree on its that anyone will be better than Hillary Clinton as our next president. We have to unite behind the “Anybody but Hillary” line of thought. That means it’s time for us to unite behind Trump and position him as strongly as possible to beat her in November.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Donald Trump lately. He’s got some of my otherwise non-political friends very fired up and ready to vote for him. I like some of what he says but some of his comments seem off the wall. I haven’t been able to really see why he’s been so successful in this presidential campaign other than the obvious fact that people like his bluntness. They like that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I get that but it wasn’t enough to convince me to join the Trump bandwagon.
I’m still not there but a recent article by Tucker Carlson rings true on why he’s so popular and why he may very likely be our next president. Carlson gave several reasons that explain Trumps popularity and I agree with every one of them. They boil down to a) The establishment Republicans have failed us by never doing what they say they are going to do; b)He speaks many truths that many people feel but never hear from our elected leaders and c)He is a “doer” with a history of getting things done and he can make change happen because he has worked both sides of the aisle to build his business career. It is this last part that I find myself so completely in agreement. The best line of the article is “Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.” This is why I find myself joining with some many others around the country in saying that, while he may not be my first choice, I can definitely now see myself voting for him in the general election.
Yes, Donald Trump’s comments sometimes make me cringe. Yes, I disagree with some of his views completely. But as President Reagan famously said “If I agree with someone 80% of the time, they are my friend”. So I say, “If I agree with Donald Trump 80% of the time, then I could vote for him for President”. I still wont say he’s my first pick…I still think Marco Rubio would be a better pick. But I don’t agree with Rubio 100% of the time either.
With Ben Carson leading in most GOP presidential primary polls, it seems likely that he will be a contender for the length of the campaign season. Soon America will be distracted by the holiday seasons and the poll numbers will likely settle down without much change for a month or two. When the early primary elections occur in the early part of next year, we will start to get a much clearer picture about who is the more likely GOP nominee. If it is Ben Carson, then picking a running mate like Marco Rubio could make him a favorite to win the general election.
Ben Carson is an incredibly motivating speaker. His personal story and his professional accomplishments make him a very likeable candidate. And his calm and consistent manner project a presidential gravitas that Donald Trump is seriously lacking. An outsider not tied to the Washington establishment, he has all of Trump’s outsider benefits with none of his gaffes or un-presidential bluster. In addition to being energizing factor among the GOP base, Ben Carson could also offer the possibility of attracting a significant percentage of the black vote. Black voters who have voted Democrat in past elections have been economically hit very hard over the past several years of the Obama administration and might be more open than normal to looking at a Republican alternative. The brilliant retired brain surgeon is too successful and capable to ever bring up how his race might be a benefit in the general election but it would indeed be such a benefit.
Barring an unlikely indictment or a hereto for unknown health problem, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee. She hopes to maximize advantage among female voters looking to elect the first female President of the United States and to keep the advantage among black voters that President Obama enjoyed in both of his elections. But repeated polls over the past several months leave both of those in doubt. One of the worst kept secrets in Washington DC is that she plans on choosing HUD secretary Julian Castro as her running mate as a strategy to get more of the Hispanic vote. Ben Carson could easily eliminate any advantage she might get from this maneuver by selecting Marco Rubio as his own running mate.
Selecting Marco Rubio as his vice presidential running mate would offer several advantages. First of all he’s a much higher profile candidate then Julian Castro. Most people outside of Washington DC have never even heard of Julian Castro where is Marco Rubio will continue to be building his national profile throughout the candidate selection process. Also, as a Florida Senator, Marco Rubio would very likely guarantee a GOP win of Florida’s electoral votes. Julian Castro is a former three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX but it is highly unlikely that a very Red State like Texas would end up voting for Hillary Clinton regardless of who she picks as a running mate. And Marco Rubio could match Julian Castro word for word in the very likely large amounts of Spanish commercials and public events likely to happen during the election process.
Republicans are not as comfortable as Democrats in using identity politics as a tool in elections. And both Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are gifted and talented enough to never need to stoop to using race or ethnicity for political benefit. If they were to become the eventual nominees for the GOP, it would not be because of their race or backgrounds but rather because both have incredible abilities and offer a leadership vision that America badly needs.
I do not pretend to know what is in the heart or mind of Donald Trump. He has caught a lot of flak over the past couple of weeks or so about his inartful comments on Mexican immigrants. He should not have implied that all Mexican immigrants are criminals. But he was 100% correct in stating that a percentage of Mexican immigrants are criminals. If you ignore this then you ignore reality. And if you dispute the political correctness of stating this then that’s your problem and not Donald Trump’s. There is no denying that illegal immigration is a problem for our country.
Any serious political problem usually requires both tactical and strategic thinking when seeking resolution. Tactically, we have to control our borders better. We have to know who is coming into our country. We have to know if our enemies are trying to cross our borders to do us harm and we need to know the health status of those who enter to ensure that no infectious diseases endanger our population. We need to know who is coming into this country to better themselves versus those who are coming into this country with criminal intent.
But equally important to the tactical necessity of controlling our borders is the long-term strategic value of immigration. If we wish to compete with the likes of China and India as they become more industrialized and more powerful, we need a bigger population. In the coming decades, we will need a population of 500 million to compete with China, which will have more than three times that population by then. We will need that number to have additional workers and additional job creators. It is clearly in our nations interest for us to make legal immigration much easier.
If the GOP wishes to increase the percentage of Latin voters that vote Republican, then they must get rid of the false narrative produced by the left-leaning media that portrays Republicans as anti-immigration. We must increase the number of Latin GOP candidates. We have to increase the number of Latin community GOP groups. We have to increase spending on commercials and other advertisements that emphasize that most Latin voters agree with GOP on a number of important voter issues. We should connect with Latin religious and community leaders to promote GOP efforts to make it easier to legally come into this country.
Regardless of their country of origin, most Latin Americans share our Judeo-Christian values and are pro-traditional family, hard working, religious and distrustful of the large powerful governments that often cause so many problems in the country they left. Many Latin voters agree that controlling immigration is good for our country and specifically for their communities in regard to job growth, crime control, etc. We must make it clear to Latin voters that Republicans, not the Democrats share their values.
I’m not sure quite what to think about Senator Rand Paul. I’ve been a fan of many of his positions since he was elected to the Senate and I usually feel like he’s got a good, common sense approach to many of today’s most troubling issues. But he did not sound like a person with a clear grasp of the situation when he said last week that GOP hawks were responsible for the creation of ISIS. He has since backtracked somewhat on that statement but even his clarification leaves a lot to be desired when we are talking about someone who wants to become the leader of the free world.
I was already questioning Senator Paul’s ability to lead this country when I found out earlier this month the he was one of five GOP Senators that shamelessly prevented Senator David Vitter from uncovering the truth behind who had fraudulently exempted Congress from Obamacare requirements that enabled Congressional staff members to qualify for subsidies that they clearly should not have been able to get. The whole deal smelled of hypocrisy, deceit and the type of business-as-usual Washington backdoor agreements that Senator Paul is usually protesting. To think that he was one of the primary instruments holding up the investigation of the fraud led me to feel like I couldn’t trust Rand Paul to look after the interests of average people instead of the needs of the Washington establishment. If I can’t trust Senator Rand Paul, then how could I trust a President Rand Paul?
Maybe that’s not being entirely fair to Senator Paul. He did just stand up against fellow Senators from both sides of the aisle against a renewal of the Patriot Act, a law I’ve always thought gave the government a bit too much power. When someone has the conviction to stand up for what they believe in regardless of party, that is to be respected. I guess the truest thing you can say about Senator Rand Paul is that he is not as easy to fit into any particular political or philosophical box. And that puts him above most of his Senate colleagues.