Donald Trump has taken politics by storm. In recent weeks the rambunctious real-estate mogul has surged from a novelty candidate to a leader in national and early primary polls. But, the very reason he caught fire, his blistering rhetoric on illegal immigration, is the very reason that many in the Republican establishment have been stricken with fear that the party will be viewed as bigoted and therefore lose votes next November. This view, taken by many Republicans, is short sighted because it misses the very real gift that this celebrity has given their party; a real shot at winning in 2016.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that trump is the next Reagan who will capture the party’s nomination and march on to give the Democrats a thorough whooping in the general. No, that would be naive. Trump will be the tool that focuses our party on the issue that our base of voters are interested in and will take the media heat off of our best candidates including whichever one ultimately is selected as the party’s banner holder.
The last two election cycles we have suffered embarrassing defeats at the hands of a rank amateur. In 2008 Obama was a four year senate freshman who never held a real job and had no expertise on any issues on importance and by 2012 the man was loathed by a majority of the population and had just two years earlier been rebuked nationwide by the TEA Party revolution. The reason we lost those races was threefold. The first two are well known; Obama caused a surge of voters who typically were apathetic and the media fell in love and therefore never said a negative thing about him. The last reason, and one that the establishment seems to be oblivious to, is that neither republican contender inspired the republican based to get out in force. Palin stimulated conservatives for a time but then McCain spent the weeks leading to the election following the market crises refusing to campaign and stating that Obama had all the right solutions to the problem thereby squelching all enthusiasm that had built up. Romney never inspired the party and as a result 40 million evangelical conservatives stayed home in 2012.
Trump has taken what started out as a pretty boring campaign and turned it upside down. None of the candidates prior to Trump were catching widespread support. The reason for this is that none of the candidate were hitting on the wedge issue that would stir Trumps followers. Bush was running as the stable, electable candidate, Cruz was reading Green Eggs and Ham, and Santorum was nowhere to be found. Trump brought illegal immigration into the forefront of the campaign as a pivotal issue that the party’s base can use to get out the vote come November of next year. The Democrats and media (is there really a difference?) were, predictably, quick to demonize the television star for his comments putting them on record, in the minds of the conservative voters if not in real life, as supporting illegal immigrants in their efforts to undermine our nation’s border security. These statements will make for fantastic television spots come late October when it is necessary to rally the troops, they’ll just have to be deployed strategically to not also encourage the democratic base to get out.
The second area that Trump is contributing towards a Republican victory in 2016 is that he is taking the heat off of the eventual standard bearer. The media has made it a custom to find any conservative running for office and make every attempt to smother them in the crib before they grow to be a threat to the progressive agenda. Santorum was the whipping boy throughout his tenure in the senate being marked as a radical evangelical and Cruz spent the last few years being labeled a TEA Party fanatic up until Trump stole the spotlight. This will be a blessing in disguise for the eventual conservative Jeb alternative. Trump’s unfiltered comments are being interpreted into racist diatribes worthy of condemnation. By setting Trump up as the boogeyman all other candidates, the ones that would ordinarily be in the crosshairs if the media weren’t distracted, are left to seem sane by contrast when they make well-reasoned, responsible arguments against the invasion of our southern border. The media and the democrats have unwittingly given the republican base the opportunity they needed to rally around a true conservative who will still be viable come the end of the primary process.
Trump will not be the Republican nominee next year. His background is only just beginning to be made public and once his current crop of supporters come to terms with the fact that he has praised both Hillary and Obama, been registered as a democrat in the past, and has not been consistent on any number of issues which are important to the GOP most will abandon him in favor of another, this time true, conservative. It will be similar to 2012 where conservative voters jumped form Bachmann, to Cain, to Santorum in search of their anti-establishment winner. But just as each of these alternatives began to catch on the media crucified him before the Iowa caucuses leaving Romney as the only one left unscathed and thus making him the only viable option. This time will be different. As I already stated, Trump will lose his supporters but it will take longer. His personality nor his ego will not allow him to retreat when he comes under fire and his pockets are deep enough to maintain a viable campaign once donations dry up keeping an umbrella of protection from the barbs of the media over Jeb’s contestants who will be using a more refined version of Trump’s own talking points to gather up the billionaire’s former supporters.
No one sees it yet, but 2016 will be the year that the Reagan revolution returns and the GOP is wrenched from the death grip of the establishment and we can all thank Donald Trump for making it happen.