Here’s a great suggestion for any fast-talking conservative who wants to lead this country with a new-fangled vision for America. Instead of wasting your media dollars and our time rambling on about a “new day,”1 “telling it like it is,”2 “a New American Century,”3 going from “hope to higher ground,”4 or scoring a victory against the “Washington machine,”5 try offering us something we haven’t heard before. Try being honest, not campaign-trail Republican honest, even if it means taking a risk.
Jimmy Carter had a new vision for America (see a copy of his “New Vision for America” poster on the Library of Congress website). Good intentions aside, that didn’t turn out so well, so here’s another great idea for Republicans who think they can lead: instead of flapping your lips about unity, freedom from politics, taking back America, standing up to special interests, and all the other nonsense meant to convince us to hand over our money and our faith, just do what Donald Trump is doing. Tell the truth, not what your party wants you to sell. No reason Trump should get all the publicity. If poll numbers are any sign, more than a few of us appreciate his candor.
Too many Republican jackasses and no new vision for America
Of course Republicans will stab each other in the back, especially anyone who strays from the rules of campaign decorum. Why wouldn’t they? It’s so damn easy it makes shooting fish in a barrel look hard.
Why do Republicans attack each other? Because they haven’t done much and too often what they have done runs entirely contrary to what their campaigns promise. At least Democrats have Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and a handful of executive orders to boast. GOPers have spent years repeating the same promises they will never deliver on. With little new to brag about, even with the smorgasbord of disaster handed them by a lame duck president, they have nothing better to do than turn on each other like a pack of starving hyenas.
That’s where Donald Trump comes in.
Trump has no too-long career in politics to defend, reinvent, or be ashamed of. He doesn’t have anything especially new to say, at least not from the perspective of saying things we haven’t all thought. What’s new is that what he is saying is being said at all. The Republican Party establishment seems to view telling the truth as too dangerous a luxury to indulge.
Republicans choose the wrong direction
Few politicians have earned the right to judge that America is going in the wrong direction. Rick Perry, who signed off on in-state tuition for illegals, has less of a right than most to slam Trump on immigration. Are conservatives dumb enough to think that Perry and Trump’s target from last week, John McCain, don’t appreciate the sales tax and other revenue that comes from streets seething with illegal immigrants?
Since most politicians don’t like to talk about that sort of duplicity, once again we’ll have to let a Republican outsider tell the truth. Whether the issue is border security or the charade over reforming Veterans Affairs, Trump is only being honest, albeit with a little more flair.
Given the Republican establishment’s willingness to go belly up on issues judged too much of a threat to tolerate, what are they left with? A vision for America we’ve already heard.
A real vision for America won’t be found here
Abortion is on the comeback trail, back in the headlines after the Planned Parenthood fetal tissue scandal. The issue wasn’t lost on Lindsey Graham, who squeaked out a press release announcing that he was “seeking answers”:
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has joined U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and 47 Senators in a letter to Secretary Sylvia Burwell of the Department of Health and Human Services, requesting answers to the controversial video released by the Center for Medical Progress.6
We can safely assume this will go nowhere despite a new attempt to bring change by denying funding to Planned Parenthood, as reported by The Hill. Going nowhere can be a good thing, but it reflects badly on presidential contenders who serve in Congress and want an old issue back in the spotlight. Do they remember that it’s been more than forty years since Roe v. Wade?
Trying to hold Obama administration figures accountable hasn’t met with much success either, whether we are talking the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or anything to do with Hillary Clinton. Same sex marriage? The Supreme Court had its say. Don’t look for that to change. States were already doing it and nobody stopped them. Spending cuts? They are always a farce because Republicans capitulate as soon as their plans for fiscal discipline bring down heaps of condemnation. Immigration? Ask Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Rick Perry. Presidential lawlessness? We are still waiting.
Republicans are the Washington machine, dummy
A new conservative vision for America will not be found in making hot button issues worse, colluding with Democrats, or keeping things in the spotlight long after Republicans have failed to deal with them. Democrats are not the only machine in Washington and they are not the only ones who like to keep things just like they are.
Members of the Republican establishment are just as entrenched as their colleagues across the aisle or sitting in governors’ offices across the nation. The conservative political establishment isn’t going to rock the boat for the sake of living up to a campaign slogan. That’s why Donald Trump has to be framed as a conservative pariah. At least he is holding the GOP together. If not for Trump, the feeding frenzy would be underway in earnest.