Everybody can agree that Donald Trump’s persistent lead in the Republican presidential race creates potential conflicts within Republican Party ranks. Trump has shown himself to be rhetorically divisive. He sources his popularity to some degree from being divisive; yet, in our opinion, the Republican Party actually has a potential presidential candidate in Trump for the first time since Ronald Reagan’s successful initial presidential campaign, because he can make significant inroads into core Democratic constituencies.
The Republican establishment is increasingly horrified by the fact that Trump could really become the Party’s nominee. The same competing candidates who attacked him for threatening a third party bid during earlier stages of the campaign are now are suggesting that they may not support him should he become the duly elected Republican presidential candidate. Due to increasingly frantic leaks from the establishment, the idea that their convention may be deadlocked serves as reassurance and threat to those who believe that Trump would have little chance of becoming the Republican candidate in a back-room-brokered convention managed by the political establishment of the Party.
Such a brokered convention last occurred on the Republican side in 1948 when the Party elected Thomas Dewey, who failed to defeat Franklin D. Roosevelt in his fourth election cycle.
Too smart and too sophisticated a tactician, Trump immediately countered the threat of the party’s establishment, threatening to go rogue and run a third-party candidacy, which would doom not only the Republican presidential candidate but also Republican Senate and House majorities.
This leaves few options for the Republican Party establishment, because Trump would view any organized opposition against him as a cause-celebre to go to war. He could do that at almost no cost because more than enough of his loyal followers would vote third party to assure a disastrous Republican election experience in 2016.
If we know that, so does The Donald and so does the Republican establishment. Anybody who does not see Donald Trump as the principal Republican candidate to beat should return to reality.
Which brings us back to the original purpose of this column, which was to explain why Donald Trump could actually rebuild a dominant Republican majority in the country in 2016: one that has not been seen since the days of Ronald Reagan.
Reagan’s electoral success was built on his unique ability (as a former Democrat and union president) to attract a core Democratic constituency, – the so-called “Reagan Democrats.” Those were mostly white, lower-middle class, blue-color workers without college education who had never voted for a Republican candidate (and have not since).
Trump appears to attract the same constituency: maybe more so than Reagan. There are good reasons for that, considering the disastrous economic effects of the Obama years on blue color workers and the middle class in general. Add to this Obama’s divisive race policy and disastrous foreign and security policy and one observes a huge block of traditional Democratic voters not only staying home, but also switching allegiance for the first time since 1981, when the choice was between reelecting Carter or electing Reagan.
But Trump’s and the Republicans’ opportunity looms even larger than that and, once again, Trump’s actions suggest that he is astutely aware of it: for the first time in decades, a significant block of African American voters is up for grasp by a smart Republican candidate, and nobody is rhetorically better suited to go after that vote on the Republican side than The Donald.
Like white, blue collar America, Black America experienced a rather disastrous times during the Obama years. Paradoxically, the county’s first Black president’s policies lead to the most significant economic deterioration within the American Black community in decades, with poverty reaching a new high, incomes declining, youth unemployment at record highs and race relationships the worst since the 60s. The Black community, which, based on their loyalties to the first Black U.S. president, voted almost 100 percent Democratic in the last two presidential elections, will not show the same allegiance to Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat candidate in 2016.
Increasingly, even liberal voices from amidst the African American community are reaching the conclusion that traditional liberal policies have not served their communities well.
And who can blame them?
If one looks around the country, cities under decade-long, one-party Democrat rule like Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore, African American communities are doing the worst. It is in those cities where most black youth are murdered every day, where schools are employment factories for union members but don’t offer even minimal education to children and the economic future of the youth is, therefore, the bleakest.
But the camel’s back was probably broken for the African American community with the apparent murder of the African American teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer in Chicago. It was not the murder itself that did it (after all, Chicago is the murder capital of the country for black youth), but the very obvious cover up by the decades-old Democratic administration of the city, which is run by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former Chief of Staff at the White House. Emanuel’s administration tried to silence McDonald’s family with a payoff of $5 million and attempted to hide an evidentiary video from the public for over a year out of fear that its disclosure could derail Emanuel’s reelection as major (does that sound like Benghazi deceptions before Obama’s reelection?).
The blatancy of this cover up demonstrated the decades-long abuse of Black America by the Democratic political establishment, which was never able to advance the community’s economic and social interests.
Mayor Emanuel’s administration’s behavior suddenly demonstrated to the world how little Democrats really cared about the African American experience. Just like classical Marxism, allegedly representing the best interests of the proletariat, they only used the proletariat to achieve ideological goals under a highly educated and privileged political elite. The liberal Democratic establishment always viewed African Americans as political fodder in their power struggles with the political right, guaranteeing them an almost unanimous voting block during election seasons.
By recently meeting with a group of African American ministers in New York City, Donald Trump demonstrated that he understands the political uproar that is currently ripping through traditional political relationships in Black communities all over the nation. Witnessing Black demonstrators in Chicago demanding the resignation of Obama’s prior Chief of Staff as mayor of Chicago is telling. Like everybody else, looking for a better future under true leadership, the African American community is ripe for the political picking by a Republican candidate who is convincing in persuading them that she/he offers new opportunities that will finally improve Black lives in America.
No Republican candidate is better suited to deliver this message than Donald Trump.
As we already noted in our last posting, barring completely self-destructive behavior by Trump or suicidal actions by the Republican establishment, it may be time to consider a Trump presidency a reasonable likelihood. As we also indirectly noted in our last posting, he would be well-advised to choose a female running mate. Considering Trump’s relative lack of foreign policy experience, we are increasingly betting on a Trump/Fiorina ticket. America could do worse than that!