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Modern Trump vs. Traditionalist Cruz?

March 9, 2016

As the voters are dragging the GOP kicking and screaming into the 21st century, an interesting profile is emerging, one that may need new adjectives to define it.

With both Rubio and Kasich going down in flames Tuesday, the entrenched Washington GOP types are milling about, inexorably faced with accepting either a decidedly un-political rogue or a man who is their Senate colleague in name only as the general election headliner.

With somewhere between 70 and 80% of all Republican leaning voters and 30-35% of their Democrat leaning counterparts showing their total repudiation of politics as usual, the old rules just aren’t in play today. Stale political labels just don’t cover this election season.

Take “establishment” for instance. At this point, it’s clear that the “establishment” GOP may have to embrace Ted Cruz even if they have to hold their noses to do it.

That’s a label neither Cruz or his supporters want, as evidenced by his acceptance, if not outright drafting, of fellow campaign outsider Carly Fiorina’s support.

So what can you call Cruz?  One of his supporters suggested “traditional”, since he is campaigning on God and the Constitution, two themes that can’t possibly be much more traditionally American. Another said “American purist”, while still another offered “real American.”

So how do  Donald Trump’s supporters describe him ? Interestingly, many of them see him as “modern,” in the sense that he appeals across factional and possibly even party lines.

Asked to explain that moniker, one lady offered this reasoning.

“Trump is a lot more like me.  I’m as God-fearing as the next person, but religion isn’t the be-all and end-all of my existence.  I believe in the Constitution, but it’s ridiculous to think that interpretations of it have to stay in the 18th century. If we did that, no black people or women would be able to vote or own property. I don’t believe free speech includes the right to incite people to riot or have their personal lives posted all over the internet. I recognize that inequalities still exist in America, but I don’t believe in destroying certain groups and pandering to whole groups of other people to correct those deficiencies. I believe that compassion has to be combined with common sense. If my little business makes me well off, I don’t want to apologize for it or have it taken from me to support people that don’t want to work toward their own success”

A man said it this way.

“I’m not a political emoji. I don’t seek or want a label. I want to be free to think for myself and succeed or fail without seeking the blessing of some person sitting in their ivory tower in Washington and ordering caviar with my money.  I think that is the face of the modern voter, and Trump is as close to that as there is right now.”

You may have your own description and you are welcome to share,  but chances are it isn’t going to include the word establishment.

From → op-ed

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