Republicans, Trump Is Not Your Friend
Trump is a man who either doesn’t know when to stop or has no plans to stop. It’s hard to tell.
Ever since Trump announced that he’s running for president, I’ve been suspicious of him. In March of 2016, I published this article, A Thought Experiment About Trump: When The Jackass Becomes The Joker For The GOP. It was my view at that time, that Trump Trump was acting as a foil to ensure that Hillary Clinton got elected. Well, that probably didn’t work as planned. And I’m here today to say that Trump is no friend to the GOP.
In Trump, I see a man so cavalier, so unpredictable, that I have to wonder what the elites in the GOP were thinking when they let things go this far. Trump is a billionaire, too. He’s practically untouchable at the moment. I see him as a bull in the GOP’s China shop. And the GOP let him in.
I’ve watched Trump debauch the GOP in so many ways. He has emasculated the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency created under the Nixon Administration. He has thrust America into a trade war with China, putting a serious hurt on Midwestern farmers, and a big share of GOP support comes from the Midwest. The only people who seem to be doing really well under Trump are working on Wall Street. And even they are kind of nervous about Trump.
It seems like every week now, a member of the GOP in the House announces their retirement. They see the writing on the wall. They could even run for re-election and still win, and as CNN notes, and some are walking away. 19 members of the House GOP have announced retirement. Just two days ago, Greg Walden announced that he’s not running for re-election. He’s number 19.
I have heard some rumblings that the GOP could lose their majority in the Senate. Truthout lays bare the argument that with eroding support nationwide, a virtually certain impeachment from the House, and a very possible trial in the Senate, the GOP will lose their Senate majority next year. The litany of abuses described by Truthout is just unprecedented.
And when I think about all of the controversy stirred up by Trump over the last few years, I see Trump as a man who either doesn’t know when to stop or to be quiet or a man who never intends to stop. I see Trump as a man determined to either destroy the GOP or seriously injure the GOP for a generation or two.
I’ve been watching the news unfold on how Trump has interacted with Ukraine. I’ve seen how he has glibly released sensitive information on how the leader of ISIS was killed. And I’ve seen how Trump was greeted at a World Series game with chants of “Lock Him Up”. With each misstep, I see how Republicans in Congress becoming more and more wary of Trump. They really don’t know how to manage the narrative with Trump.
Then I think about the lawsuits against Trump’s for-profit schools. I think about all the mechanic's liens that were outstanding against Trump’s companies while he was seeking the nomination. I think about the recordings of Trump’s mean-spirited comments about women and how they were released. I think about his multiple marriages, the paid off porn star, and I wonder what Evangelical Christians see in him. There was so much wrong with his campaign, and yet he still managed to get elected.
And that election was a defining moment in American politics. Every poll seemed to have it wrong. And that makes me wonder what the Federal Election Commission was doing. And what are they doing now? Why won’t Trump fill every seat on that commission now so that they can do their job now and for next year? Why aren’t Republicans asking about it? They’re very busy confirming judges, but the FEC? Who cares? If that were Barack Obama not sending nominations to the Senate, Republicans would be crying foul every day. But today, “elections are a states rights issue”.
In some far reaches of American political discourse, I find that there are people who truly believe that Trump wants to unify the country. That’s not what I’m seeing. All that I see right now is a president playing to his incredibly shrinking base.
The demographics do not bode well for the GOP. If they are still playing by The Southern Strategy, just as Nixon did, they may be surprised to find that by 2045, whites will be a minority compared to all the other races. I’d say that given current trends, Trump will have single-handedly lost an entire generation of young voters for the GOP.
Remember that tax cut that Trump signed in 2017? Remember how happy the Republicans were in Congress after that vote? Remember how they said that most Americans would see a raise after that tax cut? I sure do. But there was one thing that I remember that doesn’t get a lot of airplay. That tax cut placed a limit of $10,000 on state and local tax deductions from income. That provision was intended to punish the liberal states for their high taxes.
What happened? More than a few wealthy liberals moved to lower tax states. That has decreased the margin of error for the Red States. Districts that were easily won in the past, saw their winning margins decreased or erased. In many Red States, what used to be a safe seat, was no longer safe. That might help to explain why so many Republicans are not running for re-election next year.
I recall that in May of 2015, as reported by Vanity Fair using Trump and Clinton sources, before Trump announced his candidacy, Trump and Bill Clinton talked politics together by phone:
According to several Trump sources (and one Clinton source) who spoke to the Post, the two men spoke over the phone in late May, shortly before Trump announced his run in June. During the call, the Trump sources said, Clinton “encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party” and “analyzed Trump’s prospects and his desire to rouse the G.O.P. base.”
Donald Trump and Bill Clinton used to play golf together. Bill and Hillary Clinton attended Trump’s wedding in 2005. They were friends, though Hillary denies it. Considering that she’s a lawyer, I’m sure she used caution in her wording.
I really can’t tell if Bill Clinton was sincere in his conversation with Trump. I have to wonder if Bill Clinton was amused by the possibility of Trump running for president, winning, and making a complete mess of himself, the country and the GOP. But given the current calls for impeachment, a very likely trial in the Senate, and how that looks on the GOP, whether they vote yea or nay, I’d say that Mr. Clinton threw a fast one to Donny and he caught it.
The only question in my mind now is whether Trump is an unwitting tool, or not.