Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Trump?
by Tom Donelson on July 20, 2015 at 2:47 PM
In a recent blog post, I noted that the most intriguing debate would be the Donald of today against the Donald of just a few years back as he has made several shifts in his position. For me, I was never sold on Trump as a true conservative but an actor playing a role. His comments about Mexicans was painting a brush too wide about an important voting bloc, and his most recent comment about John McCain showed a candidate who simply can’t keep a filter on his mouth. Before Trump’s recent trip to Iowa, National Review Jonah Goldberg wrote, “He reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney, at least in one respect. I always said that Romney 'spoke conservatism as a second language.' That’s why Romney called himself a 'severe conservative,' talked about how he 'likes to fire people,' and anathematized the '47 percent.' Trump is even less truly conservative, but he’s trying to speak in an even grubbier dialect of conservatism. And having grown up in the tabloid politics of New York, he’s better at faking it. Eventually, I suspect, this will be the cause of his undoing. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know about conservatism, and at some point he will say something that even his biggest fans will recognize as a damning revelation about the real man beneath the schtick.”
This past weekend, that damning revelation came out with his condemnation of McCain’s war record and just as bad, his statement to evangelicals about his faith. Red State Eric Erickson added, “In addition to his statement on McCain, Trump also said he had never asked for forgiveness from God for anything. He referred to communion as eating a cracker. In other words, Trump sounded very much not like a believer to the ears of the average evangelical…They may have liked some of his fiery rhetoric. They may have loved that Donald Trump was throwing punches. But they’ve been skeptical on Trump’s faith issue for a while and yesterday largely closed the books on evangelical support.” Trump's unfamiliarity with Iowan evangelicals is part of Jonah Goldberg point about Trump's misunderstanding of conservativism as Eric Erickson added, “If one has never asked God for forgiveness, that person has never engaged in a foundational part of Christian faith, i.e. repentance.”
The problem with Trump is that he sucked the air out of those legitimate candidates who had a message that appealed to the grassroots and too many conservatives overlooked his past record and assumed that maybe he truly switched. While he gave voice to an anger in the American electorate, his solution and rhetoric did little to solve the problems of the Middle Class as he adopted a message that “I am rich so I am a great businessman and will be a great President.” "I don’t give a damn what others think" may be satisfying now, but in a few months, Trump will have crippled the conservative message, and his threat to run as a third party should be taken as warning that he is willing to allow Hillary Clinton to become president.
I have already made the case that Republicans are blessed with riches with candidates and there are plenty who are not part of the political class. If you want a business person who has attacked the political class and is actually a conservative, simply listen to Carly Fiorina. Or if you want a governor who has stood up to the left, there is Scott Walker. Scott Walker has waged a political battle with the left including suffering through a month in which some 100,000 leftists from occupied the Wisconsin State House as an act of intimidation to force Walker to retreat from his ambitious plan.
Governors like Rick Perry had to deal with border security issues and Obama's neglect of those borders, but Trump fails to advance an agenda beyond anger, and his recent comment should give pause to those who are seeking real change within the Republican Party and beyond Washington itself. Trump is leading conservatives on a suicide mission. In 2010, Trump helped finance Democrat efforts to keep the Senate including aiding Harry Reid, and he has not made a commitment to ensure that Democrats don’t take back the Senate and win the White House. So tell me, why are we following a false prophet when we have plenty of leaders who can win? Trump is still in the race and will be part of the first Republican debate, but the bloom is off the rose and we have been given a second chance to review our options.