In a recent essay, I submitted seven reasons to account for the reluctance of a conservative or libertarian to vote for Donald Trump. Yet these arguments only tell one side of this story. There are also reasons for why such a voter could gravitate to Trump.
First, unlike every other candidate—including the “conservative” candidate, Ted Cruz, as well as the two Democrat presidential aspirants—Trump cannot be bought. In calling out the audience at the New Hampshire debate, Trump wasn’t lying when he noted that he alone is not beholden to the donors, lobbyists, and special interests of various sorts that have been buying candidates from time out of mind.
Trump is his own man. He is his own brand.
Second, Trump alone among the Republicans is managing to do precisely that which Republicans in both Washington and certain quarters of the so-called “conservative” media have been preaching for decades:
Trump has built and continues to build a coalition, a broad cross-section of voters from across the spectrum of demographic groups.
According to all of the polls, Trump has (for a Republican) an historic level of support among blacks. According to one poll, as many as one in four blacks said that they’d vote for him. Another, more recent poll, shows as many as 40 percent of blacks backing Trump. The latter shows as well that Trump commands the support of 45 percent of Hispanics and 19 percent of Asians.
His support among blacks and Hispanics isn’t just comparable to that of his white support; it exceeds it.
Trump has also garnered the support of those “Reagan Democrats” who haven’t been around since Reagan.
Trump, the Republican, is transcending demography by doing exactly the opposite of what the usual suspects among “conservative” talking heads have been urging for far too long. Rather than appropriate the standard Republican strategy of stomach-wrenching obsequiousness toward racial minorities and “moderates,” Trump has taken stances on hot-button issues like immigration that the “conservative” geniuses against whom he’s now competing and their propagandists on Fox News and talk radio have sworn will doom the GOP.
He is proving that their McCain-Graham-Rubio approach has been wrong all along.
Third, though Trump is neither a conservative nor a libertarian, neither is any other candidate.
Every one of Trump’s current rivals—every one of them—is a proponent of Big Government. For all of their rhetorical nods toward “limited government,” not a single GOP candidate has proposed taking the slightest measure toward rolling back the Leviathan that is the national government. Out of the gazillion federal programs and agencies that constitute our gargantuan central government, programs and agencies many of which Republicans either created or expanded, there are none that any of the presidential candidates are genuinely interested in eliminating.
This, at any rate, is what we must conclude based on their actual records.
As for repealing Obamacare, all of the candidates are always quick to add that they have a huge federal healthcare scheme with which to replace it.
All of the Republican candidates support infinite military spending (which, by the way, is government spending). All of them have supported deploying our troops to the four corners of the Earth—to places like, say Iraq—in order to spread “liberal democracy.”
And all of them have supported amnesty.
Though Ted Cruz did indeed fight against Marco Rubio’s Gang of Eight, he also supported amnesty. That’s right: Cruz may have resisted placing illegals on a path to citizenship; but he advocated on behalf of legalizing them.
This is amnesty.
Fourth, it isn’t only his current crop of rivals who are no better than Trump. Take that GOP idol, Ronald Reagan.
If Trump is no conservative because he has spoken in favor of, say, a socialist healthcare system, then how is Ronald Reagan a conservative when he not only spoke in favor of a socialist healthcare system, but actually grew a socialist healthcare system? Reagan expanded Medicaid not once, but multiple times.
If Trump is no conservative because he at one time spoke in favor of “choice,” then how is Reagan a conservative when, as California governor, he legalized abortion in his state? Trump is not responsible for the death of a single unborn human being, but the permissive abortion act that Reagan signed into law resulted in the deaths of one million unborn human beings.
If Trump is no conservative because at one time he spoke in favor of some “gun-control” measures, then how is Reagan a conservative when he imposed “gun-control” measures while governor of California? Reagan signed the Mulford Act. This law made it a crime for gun owners to carry their guns—anywhere. Reagan remarked that he was aware of “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” Guns, he added, were a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”
And when Reagan’s presidency was over, he came out, via an editorial in the conservative publication, The New York Times, in support of the Brady Bill, a federal law compelling the states to adhere to its requirements.
If Trump is no conservative because he speaks in favor of eminent domain, how is Reagan a conservative when he also supported eminent domain?
If Trump is no conservative for allegedly being a tax-and-spend “liberal,” then how is Reagan a conservative when as president he eliminated not a single federal government program, much less an agency, in spite of having pledged to do so? The government grew under Reagan. Moreover, while he cut taxes, he also raised them eleven times.
If Trump is no conservative for talking about arresting immigration from Islamic countries and deporting millions of largely illegal Hispanic immigrants, how is Reagan a conservative when he granted amnestyto the three million illegal immigrants who were in the country back in 1986?
There is no reason at this point to think that the country would be any worse off under a Trump presidency than it’s been under any Republican administration in a long, long time. There’s no reason to think that it would be worse off under Trump than it would be under any of his rivals in the race right now.
In fact, there’s some reason to think that it would be better.
In defying the sacred cows of our Politically Correct orthodoxy—in telling the truth about immigration, as well as our disastrous American Last foreign and trade policies—Trump has shown a kind of courage that, at least in recent memory, no public figure, and certainly no politician from either national party, has ever so much as approximated.
Whether Trump follows through with all of this is yet to be seen. But it is to his eternal credit that he has taken, and continues to take, one wrecking ball after the other to the liberal internationalist/open borders axis of evil, i.e. the power brokers in both parties as well as their apologists in the both the “mainstream” and “conservative” media.
He is changing the political culture. More importantly, he is emboldening millions of decent Americans into breaking the silence into which leftist bullies of both parties have been forcing them for decades. In doing so, he affirms their humanity and gives voice to the voiceless.
Even after Trump, the Trump phenomenon could live on.