Burning Down The House

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.

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Baker
Baker

Great column Nathan. Sadly, at this point I think there are very few Trump voters willing to peel away and vote for someone else. I really think the only hope at this point, and it is slim, is for Cruz and Rubio to stop attacking each other, perhaps one of them drop out (needless to say all the others definitely need to drop out – who really thinks Kasich has a chance?) and bring all the anti-Trump people together. He is a dangerous (although I don’t think he’d go willy nilly with The Button), wreckless man who we really have… Read more »

Yuppie Pundit
Yuppie Pundit

Trump is the result of years of “Vote for X republican, he’s better than Y democrat.”

Guess what, X keeps getting elected and isn’t living up to expectations. People are numb. Trump has the support of blue collar workers AND those with post-graduate college degrees. Odd combo.

Calypso
Calypso

^True dat^

billdawers
billdawers

There is at least one very good reason for Kasich to stay in the race. Ohio is late in the season and it’s all-or-nothing in terms of delegates for the winner (or something close to that). A Kasich win in Ohio could literally be the last chance to keep Trump from going over the top in terms of delegates.

Calypso
Calypso

Brokered convention then, huh?

Bart
Bart

Tea Party groups have endorsed Cruz, not sure you can blame them for Trump. In fact, the ‘blame’ for Trump’s rise rests completely with the GOP and it’s years of arrogance toward the rank and file. This lead to the Tea Party groups being formed after they voted in ‘conservatives’ who did very little that was considered conservative upon taking office. Yet the GOP kept acting like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, ‘Remain calm, all is well’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro – even as the party was imploding. The burning house is a case of self inflicted arson. The party needs a… Read more »

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Trump is certainly a backlash to what has been going on in our fractured political world. Look no further than what is occupying our political scene here on issues. Tea Partiers are doing nothing but loading up on the current lead wagon. They know they were becoming irrelevant. To blame them when we rip to pieces any candidate that is not a fundamental purist to our list of personal demands is getting us no where. Look no further than this or most reactions here, we don’t list what we see as positive but select areas for an all out assault.… Read more »

Raleigh
Raleigh

Wow, the Republican establishment’s hatred of the Tea Party is only second to that projected toward Donald Trump. The Tea Party wanted their concerns addressed and Republicans to stand and fight. The Establishment Republicans (I wonder when they will be “offended” by that term like they are by the term RINO) not only ignored them they were openly hostile toward them. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell both publically derided the Tea Party. This is a substantial conservative voting block and they have now revolted what did you expect them to do? Look Bill Clinton made you guys look like chumps,… Read more »

Calypso
Calypso

“Establishment Republicans are the direct reason for Donald Trump. You created him.” In a way, yes. Because for years and years the Republican Party has let the fundamentalist, extremist, religious folks have a stranglehold on them, solely because the Party wanted their support and votes. They thought the evangelicals would shrink back into the woodwork afterward. They didn’t and the Party began drifting at a rapid pace from its mooring pier. Trump is the outcome of this foundering which the Republican Party has been suffering through for many years. “If I were you I would embrace and work with the… Read more »

Jack Fitz
Jack Fitz

Pro Tip to the general electorate: Stop listening to every news outlet and vote your heart If the Republican party wants to win the White House, it’s list of potential nominees should go in order of Kasich, Rubio, Cruz, and then Le Don. They have to assume the Dem’s nom Hillary and that’s the order of greatest opportunity to beat her. If the Democratic party want to win the White House, its lists of potential nominees should go in order of Sanders…..and then Hillary. Assuming the potential opponents are in order: Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich. Sanders outpaces all of them… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

The Dems are most scared of Trump. He would hurt Hillary one on one via the issues. In one exchange with Trump he dropped the poll numbers of Bill and Hillary by over 10 points. The reason Trump has been going after Bernie lately he already knows Hillary weak spots. Iraq, lobbyist payola ie trust and Monica-gate. As the Dems pointed out if she is nominated the above will be tough for her to overcome. Just use google, you will see Dems are sacred. Hillary would rather have Cruz or Rubio verse Trump. And if it was about winning, Kasich… Read more »

Baker
Baker

No one is ignoring them. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan are the “moderates” of the party now. The Tea Party won but they’re still pissed because we didn’t shut the government down for the last four years. Them agreeing to Paul Ryan as Speaker was great but I wouldn’t say counts “as working with you.” There was literally no one else that was willing to do it. Part of the point of an opposition Congress is to stop further bad legislation coming down the pike from the President. Since Republicans took over, I’m pretty sure they did that. Unreasonable expectations… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

………….Unreasonable expectations and rhetoric set up by talk radio types and irresponsible politicians………

Part of the problem is Erick Erickson, Ted Cruz…..say outrageous comments often….When they attack Trump for his rough comments it does not add up. It was always about firing people up verse any real substance. You are right that group has changed how leaders can communicate and get elected. Time for that crowd to do a mirror check…..

Davo65
Davo65

Have to say there’s nothing in Nathan’s article that I would agree with. As mentioned by others here, the GOP establishment has been tone deaf to their base and to the constitution for years…long before Trump. I can totally understand why no one would want to take responsibility for this disaster but to blame your own acolytes is pretty lame.

The only silver lining here is that once something is burned down it can be rebuilt. It’s just unfortunate that so many are willing to do that rather than concede their faulty policies and lack of integrity.

xdog
xdog

Nathan, you’re upset that a couple of generations of uninterrupted pandering to racist and nativist fears have played out for the gop as lesser educated, blue-collar folks come to realize that unfettered trade and tax cuts for the wealthiest have done nothing to address their legitimate concerns about their future economic livelihood, and so have moved on to someone even more prone to pandering. If only they’d go back to doing what they’re told, all would be well and Jeb! would be president. Bad Trump! Bad tp! The fact is the tpers are fighting to control the gop, if they… Read more »

analogkid
analogkid

+1000

The R party has been in shambles for a very long time. I think they need to (and almost certainly will) lose one more very winnable election in order to begin to fix some of what ails it. That said, the differences may be irreconcilable. If so, I wouldn’t be disappointed if the end result was the creation of a credible third party.

chefdavid
chefdavid

Who do you think these new voters are registering for? http://neighbornewspapers.com/view/full_story/27070933/article-Record-breaking-number-of-voters-registered-in-Georgia?
They aren’t going to change there mind.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Authoritarians…those are the Trump supporters. The research tells it all.

http://www.vox.com/2016/2/23/11099644/trump-support-authoritarianism

Baker
Baker

I would encourage everyone to read this… Clearly some of you will likely not be convinced but thought I would suggest it anyway. https://ricochet.com/frontal-assault/ “But, of course, the “Republican establishment” is not going to ride to the rescue, because it is itself mostly a shell. Money doesn’t buy elections (see Bush, Jeb), and there is no one behind the curtain.” The idea that there is some Establishment Cabal is ridiculous. 535 people are elected on a regular basis by voters in their home districts. There’s no conspiracy to put one over on the “base.” Legislating means building majorities and Trump… Read more »

dickRDAanderson
dickRDAanderson

You are so far out of touch with “We The People” that it is difficult to imagine. “The Tea Party folks” are simply citizens that are fed up with government abuse and the complete lack of understanding, by our Elected Republicans (the Establishment – of both Government and the Republican Party), of the Principles on which this country was created. This has to do with POWER all right – the total ABUSE of Power that the entire Republican Establishment is exercising every day – to the detriment of the Citizens. We are NOT desirous of being in charge. We want… Read more »