Trump: I Didn’t Inherit The Republican Party, ‘I Won It’

Many Republican Party elites are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how an unorthodox billionaire businessman is a

Many Republican Party elites are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how an unorthodox billionaire businessman is a hair’s breadth way from winning the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

When Donald Trump launched his campaign for president, many in the Grand Old Party were not only aghast, but many were nearly hysterical with laughter: How a reality show TV host with a flamboyant coif and a penchant for the bombastic thought he could win the Republican nomination, let alone the White House was beyond their comprehension.

And yet, just days after his opening speech, in which he lambasted the Obama administration’s purposeful failure to enforce immigration laws while pledging to build a wall along the U.S. southwest border that Mexico would pay for, Trump rose to the top of GOP polling – and stayed there. In fact, Trump has led for more months than any previous GOP candidate since George W. Bush.

Now, the GOP elite are shaking their heads in disbelief after Trump vanquished 16 other candidates – many of them distinguished, solid conservatives with real governing experience – and wondering what just happened, and why.

Some of them have pledged they will never support a Trump candidacy. Some GOP establishment types have said they will support Democratic frontrunner and target of an ongoing FBI probe Hillary Clinton. Others have now tried to shame The Donald by cautioning him that he has “inherited” a very special party, something Trump himself quickly refuted.

Last week, in refusing (at the moment) to pledge his support for Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said:

I do not want to under-play what [Trump] accomplished. He needs to be congratulated for an enormous accomplishment for winning now a plurality of delegates, and he’s on his way to winning a majority of delegates, but he also inherited something very special, that’s very special to a lot of us.

This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp, and we don’t always nominate a Lincoln and a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln and Reaganesque.

Trump, with a characteristic tweet, said he didn’t “inherit” any party, including the GOP – he won it, and with “millions of voters.”

If anything, Paul’s portrayal of Trump’s near-victory – he still has to reach 1,237 delegates and have them vote for him at the party’s nomination convention in August – demonstrates just how out-of-touch the GOP is with its own base.

It may be that Trump is not a “conservative” in the party’s tradition. He certainly is no orthodox Republican candidate. But his ascension to the top of the GOP is less about party ideology than it is about finding Americans who can identify with someone whom they believe believes in them and is ready to fight for them. Trump will take them from the Republican Party, gladly, but he will also take them from anywhere else.

Why? Because for Trump, the Republican Party is merely the vehicle to reach the Oval Office; an means to an end. He has no particular ideological ties to the party or its bosses, and that’s why he riles them so: He’s not a member of their club, they did not give him permission to run for the nomination (let alone win it), and so they aren’t about to just hand the party over to someone like him.

What the Republican leadership doesn’t get is that Trump really hasn’t hijacked the party, he has reintroduced leadership to what the party has always been: America first, law and order, jobs, freedom, opportunity – all ideals that rank-and-file GOP voters obviously don’t think they’re getting from the party’s elected and appointed rank-and-file. If that were not true, Trump’s candidacy would have been laughed off the national stage months ago, like his naysayers predicted.

Too much deal-making with Obama and Democrats has soured millions of Republicans on their own elected leaders, and sure, in some ways a vote for Trump is a way to send that message. But I suspect more than a few Trumpists are in it to win it with their candidate because they really do believe if anything can be done to change the tone and direction of the country, Trump is the one to do it.

Republican leaders should embrace this historic opportunity, not whine about how we got here.

More:

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

×
Please like our Facebook Page
Show us your support by liking our page!
Close This Box