Is Trump Dead?
Up until the Republican debate of Saturday, February 13, the Republican nomination appeared to be Donald Trump’s to lose. The primary issues debated on Saturday were illegal immigration and ISIS. Many good ideas and noble ideals were championed by each of the candidates, but then something went terribly wrong.
Upon being criticized by Jeb Bush over his use of eminent domain, Donald Trump lost his temper and began a tirade that culminated in what may have been the stupidest statement uttered during any presidential contest. Donald Trump said that the attack on the World Trade Towers “happened on your brother’s watch,” implying, of course, that President George W. Bush was somehow culpable for the tragedy.
NBC and other Democrat media outlets are falsely reporting, “Trump blamed Bush for 9-11,” but that is not true. He did however, come dangerously close. Nevertheless, attacking President Bush as a way to smear Jeb Bush makes no more sense than someone cutting his own throat in order to spurt blood on his opponent. This blunder is especially dangerous since Mr. Trump’s most committed supporters are members of the U.S. military, veterans and Christians who elected George W. Bush twice.
Mr. Trump has said that he opposed the Iraq war from the outset, and that’s fine. Trump should have said that he was against the war at the start but then, gone on to say that once America became engaged in the war, we had an obligation as a nation to win it, clearly, quickly, and decisively. We are not the party of cut-and-run.
Few things infuriate a military member or veteran more than political opportunists who thoughtlessly use a war to bash the Commander-in-Chief. That is why Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, and other Democrats are so despised by veterans. Morale is one of the most important assets of any fighting force, and it is also very fragile. Words of dissent that embolden the enemy are unforgivable because their cost is paid in human blood.
The primary contribution that Donald Trump has made to the 2016 campaign is to point out the destructive effect of illegal immigration. Tragically, none of the other candidates has presented a coherent policy solution that will work. Jeb Bush’s amnesty plan is highly unpopular and will only result in an acceleration of illegal immigration. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made contradictory statements, many of which are ambiguous. Neither has any credibility. In addition, both Cruz and Rubio will have to clear legal challenges to their claims of eligibility, since neither Senator is a natural born citizen.
For his part, John Kasich clearly does not get it. He repeatedly says, “We cannot round up 11 million illegal aliens and deport them all,” suggesting that we should just give up and do nothing. On the contrary, while the actual number is closer to 20 million illegal aliens who presently reside in the United States, they need not be rounded up and deported. Simply enforcing our laws, preventing criminal aliens from gaining employment, medical care and free education will cause them to retreat back to their homes on their own. It’s not complicated, but it will require something Kasich clearly does not possess, and that is commitment.
Ben Carson has some great ideas. Unfortunately, he is no leader. He is gentle, polite, soft-spoken and likeable and perhaps the most distinguished of the candidates, but he lacks passion or any indication of confidence in his ability to carry out his policy initiatives.
Of all of the 2016 Republican candidates, only Donald Trump has demonstrated the leadership ability to become an effective U.S. president. His remarks on Saturday have clearly cost him support. Whether or not it’s enough to sink his campaign cannot yet be known. But if he has another public explosion of anger or foolishly attacks former President George W. Bush again, his campaign may be over, ensuring that our next president will be Clinton or Sanders.
It’s always disturbing to see America’s future recklessly manipulated by a few obstinate and belligerent people who are determined to have their way. But that seems to be where we are today. Republican leadership, or lack of it, gave us John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives, who sold out the American people and our futures to the fanatical demands of the incompetent Obama administration. Republican leadership also gave us the lack-luster candidacies of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
Donald Trump has repeated his threat to leave the RNC and run as an independent. Republicans need to wake up, swallow their pride and embrace Trump’s success, and stop attacking one another. Donald Trump needs someone to advise him about who makes up the unseen part of the Republican electorate. Neither Trump nor the RNC can win alone. While it is true that the top 10% of income earners pay 90% of income taxes, it is also true that the middle-class does 90% of the work of building and defending the nation, and they are most often disregarded.
Trump may be the only Republican candidate capable of winning the general election in November. If Republicans lose this election, they might as well stop pretending that they represent an effective, noble and sensible alternative to the sinister, irrational and futile policies of the Democrat Party. The bottom line is that if Trump leaves the Republican party to run as an independent, all Americans lose.
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