Over our cups, Byron and I had the sudden, uncanny feeling that Trump could go all the way to the GOP nomination.
After all, with Trump enjoying more Republican support than any other GOP candidate -- and with all Republicans fully aware that any other candidate could not possibly beat Hillary if Trump launched a third party -- what's to stop the The Donald?
He has enough ego -- and enough money -- to launch a thousand political parties.
In recent months, you have probably noticed my gathering conviction that Republicans -- and conservative Christians, even if apolitical -- are their own worst enemy, behaving with such ugly self-certainty that their constituency can only wane because young people have no interest in following elders into madness, whether their madness be clinical, or just a frozen pose of anger at other people who do not genuflect before their (slightly variant) altars of Absolute Authoritarianism.
I encourage you to read the following post:
"Moderate Republican For Trump: Only Trump Can Restore GOP Sanity... By A Landslide Loss"
The United States -- spearheaded by its scaredy-cat right-wing -- disintegrated into National Lunacy on 9/11.
Bruce Bartlett -- a high-ranking Reagan, Bush, Kemp official -- was immune to The National Lunacy and reminds us what mainstream Republicans were before Tea Bags went Mad Hatter.
The Moderate Republican’s Case for Trump
Only Trump can make the GOP sane again—by losing in a landslide to Hillary Clinton.
As a moderate Republican who voted for Obama, I should be Donald Trump’s natural enemy. Instead, I’m rooting for him.
The Republican establishment foresees a defeat of Barry Goldwater proportions in the unlikely event Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination. As Trump’s lead in the polls grows, so too does their panic. Yet, for moderate Republicans, a Trump nomination is not something to be feared but welcomed. It is only after a landslide loss by Trump that the GOP can win the White House again.
Trump’s nomination would give what’s left of the sane wing of the GOP a chance to reassert control in the wake of his inevitable defeat, because it would prove beyond doubt that the existing conservative coalition cannot win the presidency. A historic thrashing of the know-nothings would verify that compromise and reform are essential to recapture the White House and attract new voters, such as Latinos, who are now alienated from the Republican Party.
A best-case scenario would see the nation souring on the Democrats after three victories in a row, the most either party has achieved in the post-war era, and the election of a pragmatic Republican in 2020, unencumbered by the right-wing baggage essential for winning the nomination that dragged down John McCain and Mitt Romney.
The Trump phenomenon perfectly represents the culmination of populism and anti-intellectualism that became dominant in the Republican Party with the rise of the Tea Party. I think many Republican leaders have had deep misgivings about the Tea Party since the beginning, but the short-term benefits were too great to resist. A Trump rout is Republican moderates’ best chance to take back the GOP.
The Republican Party historically has been the party of the economic elite. There’s much truth in the old joke is that Republicans could never understand why they lost an election because all their friends at the country club voted Republican. The conservative movement, by contrast, largely consisted of small businessmen and country folk suspicious of anything that came out of the big city. The GOP and the conservative movement have always been uncomfortable allies.
William F. Buckley, long-time editor of National Review, the leading conservative journal, was famous for his vocabulary and use of big words. This was a conscious way of demonstrating that conservatives could be smart and urbane, not just a bunch of ignorant yahoos. In the 1960s, he cut many of the yahoos loose from the conservative coalition. He effectively banished the anti-Semites as well as the conspiracy theorists in the John Birch Society from the movement, distanced it from the extreme libertarianism of Ayn Rand and made peace with the Civil Rights Movement.
These actions made the GOP more palatable to conservative Jews and others who opposed the excesses of liberalism in the wake of the Great Society, but were repelled by the lack of education and sophistication exhibited by most conservatives. In the 1970s, Irving Kristol created “neoconservatism” as a sort of halfway house for such people, allowing them to abandon liberalism without throwing in with the uncouth conservative masses.
Republican leaders couldn’t stop the far right from briefly taking control of the 1964 convention and nominating Goldwater. But it ultimately proved beneficial to the party. The extremists had their chance and lost in one of the great blowouts in history. This chastened them and allowed regular party leaders to reassert control and nominate Richard Nixon in 1968, who proceeded to accommodate the Great Society by trying to make it work more efficiently, just as Dwight Eisenhower had done with the New Deal.
For a few years, this technocratic version of conservatism dominated the GOP. Perhaps without Nixon’s resignation and Gerald Ford’s defeat in 1976, the technocrats might have remained in control of the party. But just as Goldwater’s defeat was treated as a defeat for conservative ideas, the ignoble end to the Nixon and Ford administrations signaled a defeat for Republican moderates, who were tolerated by the conservative rank-and-file only as long as they won. In defeat, the party base had no patience for them.
From the ashes of the Ford defeat, a new group of Republican leaders epitomized by Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan revived a more full-throated conservatism. But they were not the sort of conservatives who ruled the party in 1964; they had learned from Goldwater’s defeat that uncompromising conservatism would not sell. They had also learned a lot about public policy from the neoconservatives and understood that it was not enough to stand on principle; conservatives also needed a workable program that could pass Congress if they hoped to succeed.
By the late 1970s, liberalism was intellectually exhausted and inflation, which naturally tends to benefit conservatives politically, had proven to be an insoluble problem. Not only did inflation make conservative attacks on the budget deficit and Big Government resonate more strongly, but it pushed workers up into higher tax brackets when they got cost-of-living pay increases. This made tax cutting a highly potent campaign issue for Republicans.
Although the far right’s mythology paints the Reagan years as the triumph of their ideas, the truth is that he governed very much in the moderate tradition of postwar Republican presidents. Reagan raised taxes 11 times, gave amnesty to illegal aliens, pulled American troops out of the Middle East, supported environmental regulations, raised the debt limit and appointed many moderates to key positions, including on the Supreme Court. But he skillfully kept his right flank protected by using thundering conservative rhetoric, even as he violated his own stated principles on a regular basis.
Or, First Centerfold?
Trump's Immigrant Slovenian Wife (And Nude GQ Model) Gives First Interview