To date, I have not openly discussed my choice of candidate. My candidate was Rand Paul. I was a big fan of the Senator and I was dismayed by his poor campaign run. His policies are identical to my own political philosophies. I read his biography. I believe strongly in the Paul legacy.
When Paul was out, I struggled.
When I began Bacon, Books, and Bullets on July 4th, 2015, I weighed each candidate based on their merits and weaknesses. My candidates were, in order, Paul, Fiorina, and Kasich. I have said from the beginning that Cruz says many of the right things, but there is something about Cruz that makes him a bad candidate. I could not put my finger on it. Thus, while I genuinely appreciated his brilliance and campaign marketing, Cruz was never my guy. I like what he says; not how he says it. Meanwhile, Trump’s policies were so far from Paul’s that I never even considered him a viable contender for my vote.
Anyway, with my favorite candidate out of the race, I began to re-evaluate the options. Now my voting would focus on the Supreme Court (especially post-Scalia mortem). I needed a candidate that could win and thus, defend my Rights to Free Speech, Religion, and to Bear Arms (all under assault by the Left).
By the time the primary got to Virginia, my candidates were either gone or on life support. Still, despite his weakness, I voted for Kasich in Virginia, not because I specifically disliked Cruz or Trump, but because I felt he had the best chance to win the general election. I wanted the US to keep a Conservative Supreme Court.
After I made my vote, and Trump won yet again, I reevaluated my options one more time.
The problem with Kasich is that he is a Republican. There is no way that the media will allow him to get elected. Thus, when the media said Kasich was the most electable, I began to smell a rat. The media wanted me to fall for this myth, just as I did with Dole, McCain, and Romney.
Pick the moderate guy that does not excite the base because he is deemed electable by the media, only to have the same media subsequently hammer him as ‘out of touch’ shortly after he is chosen, killing the candidate.
If Kasich won the primary, Kasich’s effective closure of Planned Parenthood in Ohio would be used as a bludgeon against him to paint him as too conservative for the mainstream by a Leftist media. It was and still is a trap that Republicans continue to fall into. We pathetically grasp at this failed strategy over and over again.
Thus, I was wrong… VERY wrong.
In mid-March I was hanging at a bar with a bunch of union longshoremen. They always voted Democrat. We were discussing this or that when the television came on with some newly absurd Trump quote. At first they laughed. Some of them said, “That guy…” They made fun of his hair and his weird orange skin. They laughed at the way he talked… yelled. Then the conversation turned serious. Despite laughing at him, they liked him… a lot!
A serious policy discussion ensued on Trump’s nationalist politics. Trump’s message resonated with the two white and three black longshoremen at the bar. They agreed with Trump whole-heartedly, on everything from immigration to China. When the conversation turned to Trump’s alleged racism, one of the Black guys showed me a video of Sanders supporters dressed as Klan members instigating fights with Trump supporters.
Huh? I was stunned because I was told Black guys hated Trump. Fast forward…
Nearly the same conversation occurred with my lesbian barber… and the guys that fixed the suspension on my truck… and the guy from whom I buy pizza…
Even the Turkish Muslim small business owner from whom I bought my F-250 was supporting Trump.
That is when it dawned on me: the real fight in this election – any election – is not over independents. The real fight is over converts from one party to the other. The Republicans have been chasing Independent voters for years. The Democrats have been chasing Republican voters. The Democrats have been wining that fight for the White House by making the Republican Party’s candidates and positions unacceptable to Republicans.
Democrats stole women voters by making Republican women consider socially liberal issues as more important than economic issues… Democrats stole Latino voters by making Republican Hispanics focus on Republican immigration policy… Democrats stole Black voters by highlighting their Civil Rights bills despite Republican opposition.
Each group was once a strong Republican constituency. The points of the DNC were wildly hypocritical. and dishonest. Democrats signed into law socially conservative bills. Democrats, especially big labor, have been vehemently opposed to Latin immigration. Democrats fought tooth and nail against the civil rights bills that ultimately passed due to Republican Congressional support.
None of that mattered. The Democrat strategy of picking off voters, worked. The Republicans have not tried to take Democrat constituents – they have aimed for independents and ideological purity.
Maybe it is time to fight fire with fire.
Trump does not match my political philosophy. His personality is abrasive at best. But Trump does what no other Republican candidate can do: steal Democrats – especially Labor Democrats.
Kasich cannot win anything more than Ohio in November.
Cruz cannot win anything that Romney did not win.
Trump puts the Northeast and the Rust Belt into play. Trump can take Pennsylvania – Lucy’s football for more than one failed Republican presidential candidate. Trump may even win Michigan.
If I want to keep the Supreme Court, I need a candidate that can steal Democrats.
Trump is NOT a conservative. Cruz is a conservative and I admire Cruz for his political stances. But if Trump can keep SCOTUS conservative, I do not care about anything else. This race is not about 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it is about 1 First Street NE.
Republicans are NOT going to vote for Hillary Clinton, but labor Democrats will vote for Donald Trump.
In watching this election, I now firmly believe that Trump’s bombastic personality, his appeal to labor voters, and his wild political style will outflank Clinton. I believe that the Democrats know this, too. That is why they fought so hard to paint Trump as a racist. It did not work. Trump’s support among Black make voters is higher than any Republican candidate since 1960!
Anyway, I resolved myself to the reality that the primary race was over mathematically a while ago. It took me a while to grapple with the fact that Trump may not match my political profile, but he can win. From personal stories about the man, I believe he would work with the Republican leadership in the Senate to appoint Constitutionalist judges. The 2016 election is far too crucial to allow suicide by political-in-fighting. Trump is not perfect, but he is a Republican candidate.
And, he is not Hillary.
Now, if only he would nominate Rand Paul for the Vice Presidential appointment. Trump-Paul 2016… it would be Yuuuuuuuuuuuuge!