Donald Trump will change everything.
This seems to be the consensus among anti-establishment Republicans. According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, Trump leads among anti-establishment primary voters with an actual majority of 51 percent. And a full 51 percent of Republicans think Trump is "the best choice to bring needed change to Washington, perhaps the single most crucial attribute to leaned Republicans."
Trump makes this case, too. He's said that he's the establishment's worst nightmare. He says he's too rich too be bought, too independent to care about what his enemies say, too powerful to be stopped. He'll stand up for the American people by standing against the powers-that-be.
Then he turns around and says he'll make deals. "I think the [establishment is] warming up," Trump said this week. "I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call establishment, from people -- generally speaking ... conservatives, Republicans -- that want to come onto our team. We are getting calls from everybody that it's actually amazing. I'm actually surprised."
Why? Because, says Trump, unlike his chief rival, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, he'll make deals. He's a deal-maker! "Guys like Ted Cruz will never make a deal because he's a strident guy," Trump said. "That's what the country's about really, isn't it?"
And Trump will make deals. He isn't lying. He's friendly with everybody on the Democratic side of the aisle. Here's Trump on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: "I think I'm going to be able to get along with Pelosi -- I've always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi." Here's Trump on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: He "always treated me nicely. We need that in Washington." Here's Trump on Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., godfather of amnesty: "I think I'll be able to get along well with Schumer, Chuck Schumer. I was always very good with Schumer. I was close to Schumer in many ways."
For that matter, here's Trump on Hillary Clinton circa 2012: "Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman." Here's Trump on President Obama circa 2009: "I think he's doing a really good job. ... He's really a champion."
It's not that Trump represents the establishment. He's still anti-establishment because he's not taking cues from them. He's running his own campaign, and he's following his own advice. But just because you oppose the establishment doesn't mean that you're a conservative. Trump opposes the establishment because he thinks of himself as a political outsider. The base opposes the establishment because they don't want Republicans in the establishment cutting bad deals with Democrats. Which means that Trump's anti-establishment viewpoint doesn't match up with that of the conservative base.
Trump may change Washington, D.C., but not in a way conservatives will like. He could be a Republican Barack Obama, but he won't be a conservative one. And another egomaniac without Constitutional strictures is the last thing we need.
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