Opinion by John Tutten:
I am beginning to believe that if Ronald Reagan were alive today and running for president, he would never be elected. He might not even win the Republican nomination given the state of our culture today. His landslide victories are fading fast in our rearview mirror and I doubt we will ever see such unity again in this country.
We have the most principled conservative since Reagan vying for the Republican nomination and yet so many of those that should be staunchly supporting him have been seduced away by a media persona of questionable substance.
Make no mistake, Tea Party conservatives and evangelicals are propelling Mr. Trump to the Republican nomination. They are casting aside what should be core principles and the certainty of action guaranteed by Senator Cruz in exchange for some vague idea of strong-arming the elites in Washington. They are willing to pass on a rock-ribbed conservative who has proven he has the courage, stamina, and integrity to challenge and win against the Washington establishment. Instead, they cast their support for a candidate who up until very recently was essentially a liberal New York Democrat.
I’ve heard many defend their choice by saying Mr. Trump is more electable than Senator Cruz. I have to ask them where are they getting their data? Every head-to-head poll I’ve seen shows Trump losing to Secretary Clinton in the general election. Trump’s undesirable ratings are even higher than Clinton’s, the same Clinton that is a possible felon and a known liar! Senator Cruz on the other hand wins against Clinton in the general election and his negatives are much lower. So how is Trump more electable than Cruz?
The Tea Party really took flight with the passage of Obamacare. This unconstitutional, coercive legislation that mandated citizens purchase government-approved health insurance was the catalyst that catapulted the Tea Party into national prominence. Many regional organizations coalesced around the country. There were marches on Washington to demand Obamacare’s repeal. The Tea Party energy propelled Republicans into majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate with the understanding that repeal of Obamacare would soon follow.
Of course, the scourge of Obamacare is still with us. However, why do so many Tea Partiers support Mr. Trump when he has stated many times he is for a government mandate on health insurance? A mandate is the essence of Obamacare and is what should make it so objectionable to conservatives. Yet many, many Tea Partiers continue to support Trump over Senator Cruz. Tea Partiers should be running from Trump’s campaign on this issue alone.
Mr. Trump has made it clear that he is very soft on abortion and even extols the virtues of Planned Parenthood. He tries to thread the needle by saying he doesn’t support Planned Parenthood’s abortion business but then commends them for doing a lot of other good for women.
Well, last year in Congressional testimony under oath, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecil Richards had to admit that 86% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for “other good for women”. When they are not performing abortions, they appear to be trafficking in baby body parts. I simply do not understand how evangelicals can support any candidate who is not committed to the demise of this vile organization and Mr. Trump clearly isn’t.
Mr. Trump says he going to get the government moving and makes a point of how good a negotiator he is and how skilled he will be in making deals with Congress. He prides himself on how he will be able to get everyone in a room and work out a “great deal”.
What Trump fails to realize is that his opponents will not be other businessmen. They will be Marxist ideologues. They will be Muslim Brotherhood zealots. They will not be interested in making a deal or compromising. They are ruthless, relentless, and committed to their agenda. His “Art of the Deal” will be of little value against such opponents. Senator Cruz’ approach will be like that of Reagan’s, “we win, they lose”.
With Mr. Trump, I’m afraid we are exchanging one cult of personality for another. Like Obama eight years ago, many people are processing Trump’s shallow rhetoric and are fashioning an image of the president they imagine he will be. He presents a history that is disjointed and contradictory and his followers are grabbing on those facts that fit who they want him to be and then ignoring the rest.
We must not allow our anger at the current administration to affect whom we choose for our next president. We have to look clearly and unemotionally at Mr. Trump’s history and not just listen to who he says he is. We must look at what he has supported in the past, what he has said in the past, and what he has done in the past. His past serves are prologue for what he will do as president and all of it must be considered.
We should all fear this continuing descent into populism. We are substantially unmoored from the Constitutional constraints on the presidency and we cannot allow any president to operate outside of his Constitutional limits no matter how good it makes us feel. The next president must pull executive branch power back into the proper balance the Framers prescribed. Senator Cruz understands this and will.