Click to listen to yesterday’s “Pat Political Point” from the 3/20/16 edition of First Day on WSGW. Trump’s supporters are mad at GOP standard-bearers who are trying to block Trump, and thwart the Will of the People. That’s what the GOP has been doing to Democrats for years!
Let me say this up front so not to confuse you: I do not support Donald Trump. I will not support Donald Trump. Nor will I ever support Donald Trump. It’s not because he speaks at the lowest grade level of all the presidential candidates (which he does), but it’s because he loves himself, first and foremost. He is the product, as Bill Maher put it, of The Trophy Generation. Trump wants to be president, but he doesn’t want to be the president. He loves himself. Just listen to how much he lauds himself in speeches. He’ll build the greatest walls. He’ll build the greatest military. Why? Because he’s great! He’s the real-life version of Stuart Smalley!
That being said, Trump’s candidacy has confused the Republican Party. The GOP coveted Trump’s accusations that President Obama wasn’t a naturally born citizen. The GOP loved Trump’s multitude of media appearances in which he railed against the President’s immigration, foreign, and economic policies. The GOP’s last presidential nominee cherished Trump’s endorsement. Trump became a de facto spokesman for the party.
And today, the GOP is shocked and stunned that Trump is leading the 2016 race?
The built him. Or to put it in better GOP logic: They built that!
Trump is probably going to walk into the GOP Convention with enough delegates to secure the nomination, or at least get close enough. Barring some kind of major scandal, Trump’s most likely entering the convention in a powerful position. And let’s face it, nothing Trump says will alienate his rabid supporters. The more insane stuff he says, the more they love him.
Can you imagine if then-Senator Obama had called Senator John McCain a non-war hero because McCain was captured? Can you imagine that?
Neither can I.
Some GOP standard-bearers are having a mass freak-out with the prospect of Donald Trump becoming the face of their party. They worry his inflammatory remarks about Hispanics or women will alienate those two massive voting blocs in November. The party overseers are sweating over a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency combined with Democrats leading the Senate.
So, the GOP intelligentsia is doing reverting to its bread and butter playbook: Suppress the will of the people.
Conservative pundit and the head of RedState.com, Erick Erickson, is leading the anti-Trump movement within the GOP. Erickson posted a screed on RedState called, “The Will of the People Is Crap.” In this post, Erickson posted numerous emails from Trump supporters, lambasting Erickson for trying to thwart the will of the people. One Trump voter emailed,
I was a tea party advocate and I support Trump. How dare you and others support disenfranchising my vote and others because you don’t like him or want him!!!!!!!!!!!.
Erickson responded in the post by attacking former governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Huckabee said when the will of the people has spoken, you have to “suck it up,” and move on. Erickson says he will not “suck it up” because his will matters just as much as the peoples. (Remember when I was just talking about the trophy culture?)
Erickson says the will of the people gave us Barack Obama, and now that will is foolishly giving us Trump. But then, he wrote this baffling, yet insightful point:
The will of the people is just a polite way of saying the collective, which is the authoritarian, socialist destiny of this nation if Donald Trump is elected.
I want no part of it and will play no role other than to stop Donald Trump.
So, the Will of the People is now…communistic? Is that what Erickson is trying to say?
Yes he is.
Erickson argues that our Founding Fathers set-up safeguards to ensure that the important people got the final say in elections. If the people went in a direction that scared the ruling class, they could override the people. That’s why the electoral college was originally created.
But we’ve progressed since then as a country, and trusted the people’s voice. Senators used to be selected by politicians. Today, they’re picked by us.
There’s a significant anti-establishment fervor taking over the the nation. Americans are feeling the game is rigged. Americans are right. That’s why, in some ways, we’re seeing the rise of Trump on the GOP side, and Bernie Sanders garnering a big portion in the Democratic Party’s race. The people think the establishment is selling them out.
The so-called smart people, like Erickson, believe they are the wise ones. That’s why the GOP has led efforts to stifle the vote several states with voter ID laws to counter a voter fraud epidemic that doesn’t exist. That’s why the GOP has done everything in its power to make it difficult to vote, like Limiting the number of polling sites to slow down the voting process, resulting in longer lines. Even in Michigan, our awesome state legislature has banned straight-party ticket voting to slow-down the voting process. State Republicans understand many Democrats in heavily populated cities vote straight party. By making voters choose individual candidates, they have to spend more time in the ballot booth. Perhaps some voters, who have jobs, or have to take kids to dance practice, will simply leave the long line to vote.
Will of the People? The GOP has been working very hard at thwarting that will.
And now, Trump voters are getting to experience how that hard work is going against them.
To authoritarian worshipers like Erick Erickson, democracy is akin to communism. His, and the party elder’s, opinions mean more.
To them, that’s not elitism. To them, that’s how America should be. And they’re not going out without a fight.