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It’s time for a GOP deal

May 13, 2016

If you followed the last three posts, you are no doubt aware that the kitchen table discussions over Donald Trump’s suitability for the office he seeks are not uniformly in his favor and they are not even uniform when it comes to political party.

Clearly, none of the people presented are from the same backgrounds, professions or gender.

The one common characteristic they all share is a deep uneasiness over the future of the country. The underlying message is that they sense something is terribly wrong in this country, even if they can’t quite pinpoint one thing.

They may not be sure that Donald Trump can fix it, whatever “it” is, but they are 100% sure that Hillary can’t.

Like him personally or not, for these people at least, he’s the only viable game in town. It’s probably time for his party to reach the same conclusion.

If everyone is focused on protecting their turf, that still leaves Mr. Trump fighting this fight on two fronts. Still, it does provide a window on how good the nominee’s negotiating skills really are.

Republicans are reportedly about to lose their collective lunch over Mr. Trump’s effect on down ballot candidates.

That should only be a problem if they are guilty of ignoring their constituents. Being perceived as part of the problem while refusing to even think about being part of the solution will truly be the kiss of death this year.

People seem to be in the mood to prune the dead wood this year, so it might be wise to show a few new leaves to voters. Categorically refusing to work with a President Trump is not going to work.

It isn’t as though Republicans shouldn’t have seen this coming.  Every news outlet has hyped polls that say people don’t like Congress, or at least the people in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. Yet it still took them eight months to see that  Donald Trump was the real deal and even now they don’t seem to know why.

Democrats think it’s because they didn’t give people enough free stuff, while Republicans think it’s because they weren’t  “conservative” enough.

As for the candidate himself,  he does need every voter he can scrape together.

Even with VP Joe Biden telling the world (or at least ABC News) that Hillary was the second-best choice for the top of the Dems ticket, it would still be the height of folly to count the Clinton vote-getting machine short.

All of this effort in the primary will be for nothing if Trump can’t swing a handful of traditionally Democratic states his way in the general election. He may need the cushion.

In most elections, the Electoral College representatives usually vote for the winner in their state, but that isn’t assured and becomes less so the longer Trump goes without a full-throated party endorsement.

Clearly, his strategy to date has left some people in doubt as to his competency.

Everyone seems to think that Mr. Trump will have a harder time getting up to speed than someone who has been part of the political profession for years.  Given that he seems to be a quick study, those concerns may be over-empathized.

After Mr. Trump is confirmed at the convention, assuming that he is, he will be privy to briefings that will give him a deeper understanding of what he’s up against.

It’s at that point that he may start to flesh out his specific messages, and he needs to be better about getting them right the first time.

Case in point is him being recorded as saying he might raise taxes on the rich without making it clear at that moment that he meant from his top rate of 25%, not the present 39.6%.

Constantly having to pick up the pieces or “clarify his remarks” doesn’t instill confidence in voters. It plays right into the argument that he doesn’t think things through before he acts.

If, as one of the commenters noted, there is a thoughtful and disciplined Trump he needs to reveal it without shedding his core message. People aren’t looking for someone who will go along with the status quo or compromise his principles once he’s in office.

The so-called conservative wing of the GOP clearly thinks that he will serve as the head of their party at their pleasure. That was crystal clear when they made the demand that he show them all his personnel choices before the convention. They seem to have lost sight of the fact that we have three branches of government. The price of their cooperation shouldn’t be capitulation.

Some of the present GOP congressional players seem to be as unpopular with voters as Hillary Clinton.

That’s on them, not on Mr. Trump. It’s time to get over being mad at the world because it isn’t the world you want. If it was, we wouldn’t need an election.

It’s too bad it has to happen now, but Mr. Trump’s first test as a dealmaker is whether he can convince a majority of the people he will have to work with to take him seriously.

If you read between the lines, Mike, Ruth and Leo have similar concerns about what seems to be a concerted effort to dismantle the America they know. They may see different facets of that, but they all see it, even those who didn’t make the publication cut.

Here’s a sampling of from some of the unprinted replies.

“Americans have been held hostage to the war between both the hard right and the hard left for at least ten years. It’s time for both of them to go.”

“What we’ve had for the past eight years isn’t immigration, it’s a government sanctioned hostile takeover.”

“I’m damned tired of “conservative values” being defined by where and how many times somebody goes to church.”

“America will be great again when we have a government that doesn’t want to control every thought, word and deed we have.”

“There are an awful lot of Republicans that deserve to be voted out for the way they’ve acted for the last eight years, no matter who wins.”

Because you asked – about the finalists

Here’s how they were picked to share their views.

When what we called the debate watcher club went on hiatus, it compiled and sent out the list of questions to see if anyone they knew would be interested in commenting. There were some 40 responses. Just as happens in real  life, you win some, you lose some, so not everyone got printed.

Some were disqualified because they didn’t comment on all the questions. Since it was clearly stated that replies would be printed unedited and in full, that disqualified those folks. Some were just not coherent in explaining why they were or weren’t sure about voting for Mr. Trump, and predictably, some were too profane to use.

The three people  presented were chosen because they seemed to have put the most thought into their answers and weren’t just parroting some campaign line or angle. For the others, your responses are noted and figure into the remarks above. Thank you!

From → op-ed

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