Who is Nixon and Who is Reagan in 2016 Presidential Election?
by Tom Donelson on January 25, 2016 at 12:03 PM
Sometimes in the heat of a discussion, one can make a statement that doesn’t come out right. I criticize Rick Wilson for his statement on MSNBC, “The screamers on the AltRight who love Trump are mostly childless single men who masturbate to anime.” We had a series of exchanges about what he said and meant. His point is that he was referring to a small group of extremists infecting the Trump campaign. My own point was that his statement could be and was misinterpreted as meaning most of Trump’s voters. My point was and still is that going after Trump's voters is counterproductive, and Trump's voters have serious concerns that we need to reach if we are going to convert them to the Party. I made the case that Mr. Wilson would have been better off by not making the statement and that it was counterproductive. I will let the reader decide which one of us is right. Wilson actually has been working on a PAC with Liz Mair, Make America Awesome, whose goal is to make the case that Trump is not a true conservative and goes after Trump’s past records. Their approach deals with Trump’s past support for many liberal positions including single payer and higher taxes. I will discuss their efforts in a future article.
I won’t say this is a game changer but National Review's attack on Donald Trump provided a broad base attack on Trump by leaders of the conservative movements, many opponents of the Republican establishment. On immigration, they note,
His signature issue is concern over immigration — from Latin America but also, after Paris and San Bernardino, from the Middle East. He has exploited the yawning gap between elite opinion in both parties and the public on the issue, and feasted on the discontent over a government that can’t be bothered to enforce its own laws no matter how many times it says it will…But even on immigration, Trump often makes no sense and can’t be relied upon. A few short years ago, he was criticizing Mitt Romney for having the temerity to propose “self-deportation,” or the entirely reasonable policy of reducing the illegal population through attrition while enforcing the nation’s laws. Now, Trump is a hawk’s hawk
…As for illegal immigration, Trump pledges to deport the 11 million illegals here in the United States, a herculean administrative and logistical task beyond the capacity of the federal government. Trump piles on the absurdity by saying he would re-import many of the illegal immigrants once they had been deported, which makes his policy a poorly disguised amnesty (and a version of a similarly idiotic idea that appeared in one of Washington’s periodic “comprehensive” immigration reforms). This plan wouldn’t survive its first contact with reality.
The National Review's point is that Trump's own proposals are inconsistent with his own past declaration not that long ago, and the result of his proposal will be similar to others, that the vast majority of those here illegally will still be here after his reform. The question is will he actually do a touchback and deport 11 million illegals only to bring them back. His own past history suggests otherwise. Irony is that as the National Review published their dissent, Trump got valuable support from the Iowa Republican establishment based on his support for ethanol and Cruz’s opposition. The establishment made it clear that they preferred Trump over Cruz, and Trump reciprocated his appreciation. So now Trump is the candidate of Washington D.C. K street lobbyists and power brokers and the National Review is now leading the conservative insurgency. Just as I will discuss MakeAmericanAwesome.com, I will delve further into NR’s efforts and what it means.
Trump has conservative instincts but he is not a conservative but rather a moderate, a man of the center. This is a primary between the ghost of Richard Nixon and the spirit of Ronald Reagan with Trump playing Nixon while Rubio and Cruz run on the spirit of Reagan. Nixon ran in 1968 on behalf of the silent majority who were overtaxed, whose sons were fighting in Vietnam and who saw crime going up. Nixon ran a law and order campaign and when he governed, he expanded the welfare state in his first term while giving us the Department of Energy and the EPA. His goal was to rein in the bureaucratic state and create a conservative big government that worked for the middle class, but he did not reduce government spending or power. Nixon's impeachment ended much of Nixon’s attempt to build a centrist Republican movement as Vietnam fell and the Soviet Empire made substantial gains throughout the decade until the Reagan Presidency.
We faced a similar time as America’s place in the world is collapsing as our adversity and enemies are advancing and our economy is but a shell with the weakest recovery, with a recession just over the horizon. If the Iowa Caucus showed, Donald Trump and the establishment are similar in their goals, build a centrist Republican Party with tax reforms and manage the present administrative state while isolating the conservative wing. Trump has pulled a Nixon by speaking out for the silent Americans who have seen their income stagnant during a supposed recovery. The average American has lost nearly 4000 dollars since 2007, and their concerns have often been mocked by much of the Washington political class.
At this time, Trump is the weakest candidate we can field versus either Sanders or Clinton compared to either Cruz or Rubio. Many have made the case that Cruz could cost us the election but yet supporting Trump, we are supporting even a weaker candidate. It could be argued that if the economy is approaching negative growth, or if a major collapse similar to Lehman brothers in 2008 happens, then the GOP can’t possibly lose even if they tried just as the Democrats had the election clinched when Lehman Brothers fell. So this is a primary over what kind of Republicans we want: a descendent of Nixon or Reagan? Remember, where Nixon failed, Reagan succeeded.