February 24, 2016 9:00 AM
I believe Donald Trump’s appeal shows what a lot of TEA Party folks are truly about: power. I honestly don’t believe that they’re concerned about big government, in general. They don’t like President Barack Obama, but I think that is because *they* are not in charge and he is not on their side. Consider some of the rhetoric that comes from Trump like using executive orders to “get things done” and pointing to Obama as setting an example to building a wall and making Mexico pay for it to coercing US companies to build products in the United States.
We get it, TEA Party. You hate us. You hate the Republican Party, and you’re willing to use your numbers to angrily nominate a hot-headed candidate who does more to bad-mouth opponents than actually talk about policy stances and a positive vision for America. I will argue that the GOP has had a few policy wins with a Democratic administration, but, yes, we could do more. I believe calm, level-headed Republican leadership can make that happen. Speaker Paul Ryan has done a lot to communicate the Republican vision of moving policymaking more towards the conservative realm and working to unite the different factions in the US House. Even with the progress of new leadership, it seems like a lot of conservatives would rather burn down the house just because they’re angry. My observation is that they want a candidate who will talk loudly and carry a “yuuuuuge” stick.
Trump’s top campaign line is that he can “get things done”. He doesn’t talk much about policy, but rather, he talks more about bullying the world to do what he wants to do. I believe it will do more to hurt the position of the United States in a time where the current administration has done more to weaken our stance on the world stage. If anything, it will make it tougher for us to do business. A President Trump may successfully bully Apple and other manufacturers to build in the United States, but who will we sell to if we anger our customers?
Charlie has said before that channelling anger leads to poor policy, and I would venture to say that it certainly won’t lead to decent conservative policy. I’m sure there are TEA Party folks in our state who are now wanting to see my head on a spit, but seriously think through the whole process. In fact, read and re-read the article from Kyle Wingfield about Trump’s rally this past Sunday. If you’re a conservative, it should strike some concern in your soul.
Trump’s statement about how he would “put a lot of pressure on Apple and these companies to make their product here” is not a conservative principle. I believe we can enact policy to encourage (not force…not coerce) companies to bring jobs back to the US and repatriate dollars that are being held overseas, but, again, Trump doesn’t talk about policy. He only sees the presidency as a powerful central figure, and he sees everyone else as dumb, stupid, incompetent, losers, flakes, and other insults that fly out of his mouth. It’s a sad state of how our body politic on the right has devolved due to anger. Cool heads and pragmatism has given way to anger and slogans on ugly trucker hats.
If you are a TEA Party activist and are seriously considering voting for Trump, consider this: exchange Trump for Obama or Hillary and consider the same rhetoric of how they would get things done. Would you be okay with that?
Checks and balances were instituted for a reason. Congress has ceded a lot of their power to the Executive over the past century, and it seems like Trump is willing to take advantage of that precedent…and a number of “conservatives” say that it’s a good thing when, not too long ago, they were leading the charge against it. It’s a dangerous precedent to continue no matter if a Republican or Democrat is in the White House.