ICMYI: Ted Cruz is done son. John Kasich is done son. Following the seventh straight slaughtering Trump issued to Alf and Johnny Boy, straight out of Clarice Starling’s childhood, the only 2 remaining Republican presidential candidates suspended each of their campaigns indefinitely.
Which makes, none other than Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee pending some crazy developments between now and the Republican National Convention in mid-July. Considering what’s already gone down during this 2016 election cycle, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Trump places himself in the middle of some major social or criminal scandal. But as for now, it looks like the Trump Train will continue it’s voyage for at least another 6 months up until the general election. Time to cue our newest addition to the “pending-doom music” related to Trump’s potential presidency (which has previously featured John Williams’ score to the 1976 American classic, “Jaws”).
Now that only a catastrophic event (or Mike Bloomberg) has a chance to derail the Trump Train, Republicans are “taking action”. There is now a full group of Republican Establishment politicians coalescing around an anti-Trump movement known as “Stop Trump” or “#NeverTrump”. By joining together and pushing similar rhetoric, traditional GOP figureheads are hoping to “talk some sense” into the Republican voter base. The coalition includes Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Bill Kristol. There’s multiple ironic elements to this group of Republican politicians hoping to curtail enthusiasm for a Trump presidency.
For one, it consists of multiple failed candidates that have been dismantled by the Trump Campaign within just the past year (Graham, Bush, Cruz). Simultaneously, the figurehead of the group of figureheads, is Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee that got taken to church by Barry Obama. Not only is Romney viewed by much of the Republican voter-base as a failed candidate, he’s also viewed as someone who ruined an opportune chance for the GOP. It’s actually hilarious that the Republican Establishment thinks it would be ideal for the face of it’s ant-Trump movement to be failed candidates that the voter base more-or-less already despises. Not only that, but the “Stop Trump” movement didn’t really take full action until Trump theoretically wrapped up the nomination in terms of delegate mathematics. This speaks to the RNC’s lack of coherent political planning.
This type of irony and ineptitude is just a small representation of why this article is titled: “The GOP Only Has Themselves To Blame For ‘Trump'”. And yes, we quoted “Trump” on purpose, as it now represents more than just Donald J’s family or his private company. “Trump” represents, to millions of Americans, not tolerating an inept and apathetic status quo for the United States and its government. “Trump” represents, to millions of Americans, a chance at no longer receiving the “short end of the stick”.
Let’s dive into the key reasons why the Republican Establishment and the failed GOP presidential candidates have no one to blame for the “Trump” other than themselves.
#1a) The Candidates:
The number of Republican candidates hoping to earn the party’s nomination during the 2016 election cycle was ridiculously unprecedented. With 17 egotistical blowhards thinking they could realistically be the “leader of the free world”, Republican voters were immediately faced with a clusterfuck of options. When presented with a clusterfuck of options, many of which didn’t have clear differentiating characteristics, voters drifted toward the unique candidate that stood out from the crowd. Voters drifted toward the candidate who appeared the most transparent, upfront, and “off the cuff”. That unique candidate was The Donald.
To the absolute ignorance and pure political stupidity of the other GOP presidential candidates, no one understood the sheer distaste Americans have for current “career-politicians”. A majority of the 17 GOP presidential candidates trotted out old and tired stump speeches that haven’t come close to resonating with a majority of Americans for years. When you have such an overwhelming number of candidates vying for your attention and dedication, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish yourself within a field of +15 tried-and-true (not a compliment) politicians.
DonDon, on the other hand, didn’t enter the race as a “career politician” (though he kinda sorta has been in an oligarchical sense). By painting himself as the biggest outsider in modern political history (despite the fact that he has donated to political campaigns for decades), Trump was able to actually distinguish himself. Shame on the moronic Republican National Committee, that thought it would be acceptable to trot out +15 different candidates on nationally televised debates. As corrupt as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC may be, at least they knew it was smart to only trot out 3-5 different candidates during the election cycle. By presenting a limited number of candidates on the national stage, the DNC has made it significantly easier for their predetermine selection, Hillary Clinton, to earn the nomination. If the GOP acted in the same smart, yet relatively undemocratic, manner, they probably wouldn’t be facing a presumptive Trump nomination heading in the general election.
With so many candidates, every element of each candidate’s campaign was “spread thin”. The amount of speaking for each candidate time during debates was spread thin. The amount of media coverage each candidate received was spread thin. America’s attention-span and ability to differentiate between similar candidates was spread thin. With all of these influential factors spread thinner than some fake-ass “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”, Americans zeroed in on the one dude that stuck out from the crowd. Maybe if the RNC only trotted out 4-5 establishment figures, the GOP wouldn’t have cannibalized each other’s visibility and progress.
PS: it doesn’t help the RNC when dudes like Rubio and Cruz take part in senatorial-intellectual-masturbation about their falsely perceived record for extended periods of time on live television.
#1b) The Candidates (Part 2)
It probably would have been smart for all of the establishment candidates to solely attack Trump from the get-go. Not only did some candidates not even attack Trump right away, they were mostly busy attacking each other. Quick, what’s the fastest way to get Americans to vote for the least-politician(y) candidate? Answer: have career politician A argue with career politician B about their records. If you’re going to attack a candidate, at least do it in style, a la the Christie-Political-Shank.
Shouts to The OG Turtle (Jeb Bush) for being the only establishment candidate that actually attacked Donald Trump from Day 1. The worst part of Jeb Bush’s failed candidacy is the fact that we don’t have more reasons to use the nickname “The OG Turtle”.
#2) The Approach:
Not only did the Republican elites coordinate and implement a sophisticated plan to stop Donald Trump’s appeal, the RNC didn’t even take him seriously. For months, politicians old and new mocked Trump’s presidential candidacy and categorized it as simply a bombastic attempt to get attention and further build his brand. It took the GOP basically until the first Republican Presidential Debate to recognize Trump’s overall appeal and staying power. That’s how out of touch the Republican Establishment is with its voter base. Not only did they not anticipate Trump’s meteoric rise, they also didn’t anticipate how voters would react. Considering Congress’s approval rating was extremely low, you’d think the RNC would recognize that it’s current message and rhetoric is misguided.
And after spending months of not taking Trump seriously, the Republican Establishment spent another set of months not taking action. When faced with an atypical candidate that played by his own rules, the GOP thought they could derail Trump using typical strategies used for decades (putting “experts” on television to lambast a certain individual and their beliefs). As if the Americans supporting Trump would give a shit about some pundit’s pontification.
By the time the GOP actually developed a real, true, ground strategy to defeat Trump, it was too late. As we already covered, Cruz and Kasich announced a late/desperate strategy to “divide key primary states” between each other. This plan ultimately failed within just a few weeks, as both men have dropped out of the race. Maybe if Cruz and Kasich attempted this strategy before they pushed the other GOP candidates into suspended campaigns, this strategy would have worked. However, the plan was too little, and wayyyy too late. Trump already built a group of passionate supporters reached a size larger than the Cruz and Kasich’s supported combined.
#3) The Media Coverage
As Nate Silver highlighted over at fivethirtyeight: the media coverage that Donald Trump and his presidential campaign have received since the announcement of his candidacy has been equivalent to over 2 BILLION DOLLARS in paid advertising. That’s more than any uber-rich Super PAC could ever dream of spending on on-air advertising.
One of the biggest perpetrators of disgustingly high levels of Trump coverage (all for ratings and $$$, of course) was Fox News. Fox News, most will tell you, is basically controlled by the Republican Elite, and exists for the purpose of pushing and maintaing conservative rhetoric (right or wrong). However, based on the amount of coverage Fox News provided to Trump, it seems the station and it’s puppeteers were more focused on the dough, and not on the effect that the constant media coverage of DonDon would have. While Fox News probably thought this excessive coverage of Trump would dissuade Donald’s supporters, it had the opposite effect.
#4) Playing Rhetorical Catch-Up
The Republican Party has experienced a relative renaissance in terms of the revival of conservatism since 2010. Between the years 2010-2015, the Republican Party looked more and more like the Tea-Party than the 2000’s Bush Neo-Con Party. Up and coming politicians touting a devotion to the United States Constitution gained serious visibility and upended many mainstay Republicans. Between the Tea Party’s rise and Obama’s shitty, weak-ass first term as POTUS, Republicans more House seats (246) in January 2015 than the GOP has held since the Truman Administration (pre 1953).
So how, with all of the GOP’s political momentum, focused on real policy and constitutional interpretations, did Donald J. Trump end up the GOP candidate dictating all of the major talking-points of the 2016 presidential election cycle!? Think about it, while Tea-Partiers like Ted Cruz rubbed each other’s nipples to the idea of banning gay marriage and abortions, Donald Trump focused on real issues that (apparently) a majority of Americans are concerned about. These include immigration, the economy and decreased labor force, international trade agreements, and the war on terror. The Republican Party was SO focused on bullshit talking-points that their stupid and most likely inaccurate focus groups were telling them, they allowed an outsider to drum up real concerns that real Americans have.