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The cost of being right.

May 5, 2016

Speaking truth to power has its pitfalls.

The Trump campaign to date hasn’t been afraid to skewer sacred cows wherever it finds them, but that kind of pragmatic thinking does leave a blood trail.

In the wake of the collapse of his GOP opponents Tuesday and Wednesday, Donald Trump made what for him were some conciliatory moves, pledging to raise money for the Grand Old Party, and acknowledging his former jousting partners as “tough and smart.”

All of that simply falls on deaf ears when it comes to the big money GOP power brokers, who have vowed that they will never, ever, under any circumstances allow him to get his hands on a single penny of their money, unless of course he “conforms” to their pure-as-the-driven-snow conservative expectations.

That’s no idle threat.

These people control politics on both sides of the aisle, and depending on their personal political compasses some of them aren’t above funding Hillary Clinton just to keep Trump out of the White House.

Trump knows that game better than anyone.  After all, he has freely copped to supporting whatever party’s candidate he needed at the moment  to conduct his business ventures.

It is estimated that the next seven months will cost the Trump campaign some one to two billion dollars to compete with Hillary Clinton.

That’s a lot of money by anyone’s standards, even Donald Trump.

He’s already proven that he isn’t afraid to invest in himself, but that’s billion with a B. That number in itself is immoral when it is applied to the cost of running for public office.

Trump has already fired at least a load of birdshot across the bows of his detractors by saying that if necessary he could sell a building or two to fund his own campaign.

This is one place where instead of giving Bernie Sanders advice, he might want to take a page out of his playbook.

The Sanders campaign has famously vowed not to take any money from the moneyed class, and he has purportedly run his whole campaign on small repeat donations that he says have averaged well under $250 per person. That’s not a bad CRM tactic.

Like Bernie, Trump has largely won with the grassroots of his party. The hard line ideologues, not so much.

Mr. Trump pulled this preliminary round win out with the support of plain old folks who are sick of the contentious status quo.

For some reason, the idea of a middle ground is anathema to both ends of both parties.

There are GOP party hardliners who profess to be so morally outraged when they hear Trump talking about such radical liberal ideas as raising the Federal minimum wage that they have formally resigned from the Republican Party.

These are the people who spell the word “deal” s-e-l-l-o-u-t. That rigidity doesn’t play as well in Peoria as it does in Washington.

The “normal” person’s reaction to that brand of conservatism goes something like this:

Are you for real? The minimum wage has been raised multiple times under many administrations. It’s kind of a fact of life, given that it started at 25 cents an hour in 1938. Perhaps you conservatives would prefer it had been left there?

Real people don’t customarily think in ideological terms on a day-to-day basis. As one man said in the wake of another well-publicized conservative rant…

“I don’t give a tinker’s damn what y’all call yourselves, as long as you call me for a job.”

It’s one thing to be the party of No in an Obama administration. It’s quite another when it’s your own guy.

Typical primaries are decided by a small fraction of the eligible voting public. Adding up the numbers so far for both parties, it looks like somewhere around 10% of eligible voters on both sides are weighing in on a general election choice.

The voting percentage in presidential elections historically rises to somewhere around 60-70% in November. It’s all those people between 10 and 70 per cent who need to be addressed in the general election race.

Trying to predict Donald Trump’s strategy hasn’t worked very well up to this point. Whatever it turns out to be this time, having come this far it’s unlikely that he’s going to give up now.

It would be nice though, if he only had to protect himself from the other party, instead of continuing to fight the battle on two fronts.

From → op-ed

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