A Note From Rod
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I’m guest-writing Dr. Jack Wheeler’s “Half-Full Report” again this month while he’s leading an expedition in the Himalayas. But it’s hard to feel very “half full” in a week like this one, with conservative champion Ted Cruz vanquished by The Donald in an Indiana blow-out.
Nevertheless, let’s start with this. If at the beginning of the race anyone was more written off than Donald Trump, it was surely Ted Cruz, who was universally derided, indeed generally expected to tie the now-nominee for 17th out of 17. In reality, he came 2nd, and had he not withdrawn Tuesday there is still a good chance that at a contested convention, he might have ended up 1st.
That is remarkable for what it says about a Republican Party in which, just one year ago, Jeb Bush was not merely the prohibitive favorite but so thoroughly “inevitable” that even Mitt Romney chickened out of a race against him. GOP voters this year wiped out an entire generation of Republican leaders. Indeed, in the end, Ted lost in no small part because Trump successfully painted him as the last Establishment candidate, however nonsensical that was.
What comes next may prove ugly for the conservative movement. But candidates and officeholders come and go, and even if Trump proves to be the train wreck many of us fear, it’s that broader repudiation of the status quo within the party – and by “party” I mean us, the millions of Republican activists and voters long betrayed by so many of our “leaders” – that is truly the most important story this week.
Ted Cruz ran one of the best campaigns in modern times. He tirelessly championed a positive conservative vision of a better future for every American. He lost. He’ll be back. And by a mile he is our Hero of the Week.
Why did Donald Trump win? This might provide a hint:
Meet La Raza, the Mexican-American (minus the American part) political organization whose name literally means “the race”. Yes, they’re Mexican supremacists, a throwback to Klan days that represents a group of people every bit as much a “race” as certain northern Europeans who once implausibly claimed to be “Aryan”.
Their chief aim? To remove from the United States everything from San Francisco to San Antonio.
If Republican voters just repudiated the Establishment, it is in no small part because their leaders have spent the past ten years helping these people achieve their aim. Of course I’m not suggesting John McCain wants Arizona to rejoin Mexico. But he’s perfectly willing to help create the demographic majority necessary to do so; and short of that, to hand the country to the Democrats on a platter.
Likewise, George W. Bush was absolutely more concerned about avoiding damage to Mexico’s economy through the drying up of remittances from illegals than he was about securing the border to prevent infiltration by al Qaeda.
In the aftermath of 9/11, any imaginable level of border security was possible. It could have easily been part of the Patriot Act, or the act creating the awful Department of Homeland Security. But it wasn’t. No Beltway Republican thought anyone but kooks and racists cared. Once they started caring vocally, the Beltway openly denounced them as a dangerous radical fringe. When the Tea Party arose – handing the GOP back a majority they’d lost – these blind guides learned nothing: in fact, they doubled down.
This is just one of oh so many ways by which a tone-deaf Washington set itself up for doom. People settled on Cruz and Trump because they wanted someone who would hear their concerns and actually act upon them, no matter what pigs squealed.
One of those pigs is former Mexican President Vicente Fox. You may recall some months back that Fox exploded on camera, raging that he would not pay for Trump’s “f*cking wall” along with a great many other epithets that sounded nothing if not Trump-like.
Well, no sooner had Trump cleared the field than Fox gave an exclusive interview to Breitbart News, in which he apologized at some length for his outburst. The video is…amusing.
One can forgive the Trumpkins for comparing this to Iran’s release of America’s hostages mere moments after Reagan’s inauguration. The timing was choice.
For all these reasons and many more, Pat Buchanan is correct when he says “Bush Republicanism is dead and gone.” He’s also right about why, even if he’s mistaken about The Donald’s intentions.
There’s been a revolution in the Republican Party. It remains to be seen whether that revolution was American or French. What is certain is that the ancien regime has been beheaded.
Perhaps it will come back in new clothes. Perhaps Trump is “one of them.” But my guess is, even if Trump isn’t a conservative, he’s not Talleyrand: he’s Bonaparte.
A lot of people are loudly certain that Trump can’t win. They might be right, and I explain why in an article I wrote this Wednesday (“Can Trump Win? Yes, If….”). I won’t repeat that analysis here, though I strongly encourage you to take a moment to read it.
Ignoring other factors, the Washington Post assures us this morning that any Republican – regardless of Trump – faces a near-insurmountable electoral climb, illustrated in this map:
This depicts the Democrat winning the 19 states plus D.C. that every Democrat has won since 1992, plus Florida (which twice went to Obama, but which has huge Republican majorities in its legislature, statewide officeholders, and U.S. House delegation). This map gives 271 electoral votes to Hillary. Game over.
More to the point, even without Florida – or Ohio, or Colorado, or New Mexico, etc. – by this analysis, the Democrat will probably start with 242 safe electoral votes, the Republican with just 102.
Of course it gets worse. Virginia is almost certainly a Democrat lock, especially since Clinton lackey and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe just handed the vote to 206,000 convicted felons (in an act considered unconstitutional by both sides). And you can rest assured the cheating is just getting started.
So that covers half-empty (assuming that a Trump victory constitutes half-full, of course). I go into a number of things in my article that I won’t repeat here. But consider this.
First, Trump pulled ahead of Clinton this week for the first time since October. His 41-39 lead isn’t exactly something to write home about, but for comparison, Hubert Humphrey was down 15 points on Oct. 1, 1968 and pulled out a 43-43 finish against Richard Nixon. Jerry Ford was losing by 33 points in July 1976, but only lost to Jimmy Carter by 2 (and might not have lost had he remembered Eastern Europe was enslaved by the Soviets). Ronald Reagan was down 29 points in February 1980; he won 51-41 in a 44 state landslide. Even Mike Dukakis was ahead 17 points at the end of his convention.
For Trump to be ahead in any poll is somewhat remarkable. But in additional to Rasmussen, the Battleground poll has him within the margin of error, and the RCP average has him within 7, up from a double digit deficit just weeks ago.
Oh, but his negatives are insanely high, you say. Well, yes they are. But so are Hillary’s: she’s at 56% unfavorable, he’s at 65%. In the Game of Thrones year of 2000, Bush was at just 30% unfavorable, Gore at 37%. So yes, these are unprecedented numbers.
But inasmuch as they’re both awful, all that means is that Trump must drive Hillary’s negatives as high as he can get them, in a year when half her party is rejecting her, including 81% of Millennials – women included – and 95% of the 34% of Democrats who say “honest and trustworthy” is their most important value.
In short, this is about to be the nastiest year since 1860.
But the real problem for Hillary is that she has no inspiring, positive vision for the country: Trump is not wrong when he says “the only thing she has is the woman card.” And the more he says it, the more he saps its effectiveness.
This is actually one of the main reasons for all the #NeverHillary sentiment among many of Bernie’s supporters: they know she’s an empty pantsuit shrilly demanding her turn at the trough.
Meanwhile. Trump may be the master of negatives, but the rationale for his candidacy is entirely positive: “Make America Great Again”. Years ago, I outlined the power of this approach: the Trump campaign seems to have absorbed my article whole. And whatever we may think of his particular implementation of that idea, bringing jobs home and looking out for America’s interests for once is likely to hold a lot of appeal in places the pollsters don’t expect.
Hillary’s troubles compound when you consider how many Americans she’s targeted for destruction. Her infamous promise to “put a lot of coal miners out of business” just blew up in her face when the powerful West Virginia Coal Association – which has lost 40% of its jobs since Obama took office – endorsed Trump.
Hillary wants to do for fracking jobs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado what she’s already done for those West Virginia and Kentucky coal miners. There are 180,000 energy jobs in Ohio, a must-win. There are 73,000 more in Pennsylvania, and over 100,000 in Colorado. Fracking created most of these. All of these workers have families and friends.
Then there are guns, the number of which (like the number of concealed carry permit holders) has simply skyrocketed since 2008. In Florida there are now 1.4 million permit holders, in Pennsylvania 1 million, in Michigan 600,000, in Ohio 460,000, in Colorado 160,000. Clinton has targeted all of them, and they know it, or will know it soon enough.
Americans now spend more on taxes than on food, clothing and housing combined. Hillary promises trillions in taxes more.
Indeed, Hillary is a walking hit-list, a human collection of groups who must be destroyed. She is the personification of pent-up frustration, a lifetime of leftist dreams unfulfilled.
By contrast, the only people Donald Trump wants to toss are illegal aliens who depress the wages or take the jobs from all of Hillary’s targets.
Who do you think wins that?
This mood is mirrored in a new Pew survey finding that 57% of Americans prefer an “America First” policy, one that prioritizes fixing America’s problems and pursuing America’s interests rather than the establishment’s consensus globalism. Just 37% disagree.
Note well: that’s 57% of Americans, not merely of Republicans. As I said, the ancien regime just got guillotined, and for a reason.
It is easy to make the case that Trump is no conservative, though to be perfectly honest, it’s hard to know whether Trump has any fixed beliefs other than the greater glory of Donald Trump. He certainly seems patriotic, which is a great improvement over Obama, Clinton or Sanders, although patriotism by itself has potential to take some very ugly forms.
What I cannot understand is the belief of some of my friends that Donald Trump is a ringer. As someone who’s called every move Trump’s made correctly this entire year, I believe I’ve earned the credibility to tell you, these folks are letting their frustration get the best of them.
Everyone agrees that Trump has an enormous ego. He is utterly driven by his desire to compete and win. Indeed, it’s not enough for him to defeat an opponent: he feels he needs to crush them.
Don’t believe me? Just look at February. Trump could have easily put the nomination away the day Scalia died. He was ahead, he had momentum, the tide was turning his way, and he had not horrified Ted’s supporters yet as he proceeded to do in March.
Had Trump announced that Cruz would be his pick to replace Scalia, at least a third of Ted’s support would have instantly defected to Trump in an effort to have their cake and eat it too. Few believed at that moment that Ted had any real path forward. His second ballot strategy had not yet entered the public discourse. Cruz as a Supreme Court justice was simply too good to pass up.
Trump knew this. Trump’s people knew this.
But what did Trump actually do? He went scorched-earth on Ted. Because Trump has to win. The man has a psychological need not merely to beat his opponent but to stand triumphant over that opponent, rip open his chest, and eat his still-beating heart.
There is absolutely nothing in this world that Hillary Clinton could give Donald Trump – much less that he would ever trust her to give him – that he is not within inches of taking for himself. And more to the point, he is driven to do so: he does not want it from her hand. And if, as many believe, he is truly misogynistic, then crushing her will only add to his joy.
Donald Trump is no ringer. He may blow this election, sure. But he will do absolutely everything in his considerable power to utterly annihilate Hillary Clinton, to smash her against the rocks. He will fight her with every fiber of his being.
Trump wants nothing less than to be the entire planet’s alpha male. There is but one weak, sickly, highly unpopular woman between him and achieving that.
Yeah, he’s going for it.
A lot of people feel like we’ve lost the party. We have not: if anything, we’ve regained it. The overwhelming majority has repudiated a long-entrenched Establishment. Endorsements by their members are now badges of shame. Ted Cruz walks tall, with a huge warchest and an important Senate seat. The Senate looks safer than the pundits pretend. The House looks secure, and improves in quality with each new cycle.
I am certainly not ignoring the assault we face, internally or externally. But I am encouraged in numerous respects, not least the rising crop of Republican state legislators and officials – like Pat McCrory and Greg Abbott – who are challenging the federal government, championing conservative reform, and are repudiating the Political Correctness equivalent of the Brezhnev Doctrine.
It’ll be a hard fight. This week made it harder. But it’s always hard. Freedom is never free. So we wake up tomorrow morning, greet the day anew, and fight on, certain in the hope that the consensus demanding change is less crisis than it is opportunity.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it. Do your friends a favor and pass it along; and remember, there’s a lot more we publish each week that doesn’t make the newsletter.
P.S. Don’t forget: we’d like to know whether you think Donald Trump can win this November. Vote now!
Oh, and don’t miss my article on that exact question, immediately below.
Can Trump Win? Yes, If….
by Rod D. Martin
Speaking as one of maybe two writers in the whole country who correctly predicted Donald Trump’s success over the past year, I am somewhat amused that the same gang of “experts” is confidently predicting his demise in November.
But there is one factor that may prove very different for The Donald. If he can’t overcome it, he’s doomed.
How Should We View Party Loyalty?
by Rod D. Martin
There is always a debate, especially when things go other than our way, about whether we should be loyal to our political party. It’s a question conservatives have long struggled with. It’s especially vexing for Christians. And there is absolutely a right, and a wrong, answer.
Can the Saudis Really Pull This Off?
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Saudi Arabia has just launched a radical ‘Thatcherite’ shake-up to an avert economic crisis and prepare the kingdom for the post-carbon world, stunning analysts with claims that it could break reliance on oil within just four years.
The question is whether it’s too little, too late.
“Cataclysmic” Zika News and the Prospect of “Peak Babies”
by Patrick Cox
Take a look at the map to imagine the impact that widespread Zika infection would have on politics, regulators, and markets. It will not only be couples of child-bearing age who will demand a solution to the threat of Zika-induced mental retardation—it will be their parents, worried about the health of future grandchildren.
The result is likely to be increasingly rapid government support for a number of specific biotechnologies that will radically improve human life.
Why Students Give Capitalism an F
by B.K. Marcus
Not only are young voters more likely to support Democrats than Republicans, they are also more likely to support the most left-wing Democrats. In recent polls of voters under 30, self-declared democratic socialist Bernie Sanders beats the more mainstream Hillary Clinton by almost six-to-one.
The question is why? And just how revolutionary are they?
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
by Rod D. Martin
Few of America’s drunken partiers this week, celebrating some confused combination of Mexican heritage, Corona and Dos Equis, probably had the slightest idea of the reason for their revelry. But much like the heroes of the Alamo, the courageous Mexicans of the 5th of May gave their lives to delay the seemingly inevitable, and in the process, made it anything but.
They saved their country. They very likely saved ours too.
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