In National Review Online, Henry Olsen presents a 4-point plan for defeating Donald Trump, focusing on his 4 bankruptcies, 3 wives, 2 political party affiliations, and one “Trump is bad for America.” Applause for a good effort, but only 25% on point. Debating bankruptcy proceedings in a twitter-obsessed nation drags you right into Mr. Trumps weeds where you don’t want to be. Nobody cares anymore how many wives, partners, or affairs anyone has. Of course Mr. Trump has been all over the map with his positions and donations, seeking to suck up to whatever political power he can for his own personal and business benefit. Again, this is not important to the people who claim to support his candidacy, or anyone else focused on the issues of the day.
He is, however, bad for America, and historically the country has rejected these types of candidates. Mr. Trump generally has 3 types of supporters at this point: folks who are angry at our broken political and governmental systems, folks who are angry at Republican leadership (especially Senator McConnell who, at this point anyway, will not throw the time-honored filibuster rule out the window just to force the President to veto something), and folks who are afraid or resentful of the growth of non-whites and non-Christians among us. The first group will go with a candidate who can make the case that his/her election to the presidency will change much of what is broken in Washington. The second group will do likewise. The third group are forever Trump supporters, but likely won’t vote anyway if he is not the candidate. Ann Coulter and Trump’s media supporters can rail about illegal immigrants, Muslims, Muslim migrants, whoever fits the definition of “them” all day long and even encourage people to vote for a Democrat rather than a non-Trump Republican, but they will all fail in the end. This country is bigger, smarter, and better than that.
Like 2012, this election should be easily winnable by the Republican party. Even more so. It will never happen with a candidate whose communication strategy consists of childish Twitter trash-talk, speeches about the number of people who came to his last speech, and only slightly veiled comments about the dangers of non-whites and non-Christians among us. It will also not happen with Dr. Carson, who is an admirable individual, but hugely unprepared for what he is trying to accomplish. It will only happen with a candidate who appeals to as many voters as possible with a positive message about the future, and yes, an ability to operate effectively inside the hated “Washington D.C.”
What, exactly, will “Make America Great Again?” Installing all types of barriers to entry? Trade tariffs and trade wars? Increased racial and religious conflicts? Sorry, ain’t gonna work. There is a tremendous opportunity to right the ship of state in an historic, game-changing, generational election, and neither Mr. Trump nor Dr. Carson can do that.
So, the best way for the GOP to defeat Donald Trump is to take his thinly disguised “us” vs. “them” rhetoric and stick it right back in his face. It appears that Senator Rubio has now joined Governor Bush in that exercise. Whoever wins the Florida primary will be the nominee.