In 2016, the desire by many Republicans to elect someone they perceive, rightly or wrongly, as not being part of the "Washington establishment" is strong. Otherwise how would clowns like Donald Trump and dishonest, smarmy used-car salesmen like Ted Cruz get any traction in a typical GOP primary?
I get the whole, "I'm sick and tired of politics as usual", and "There's not much difference between the two parties in Washington" mantra (there really isn't). But the desire by all too many Republicans in 2016 to find someone to represent them is going to blow up in their faces if they nominate someone like Trump or Cruz, and it comes down to this simple truth:
Winning the primary doesn't get you a win nationally.
I mean, the goal IS to get a Republican in the White House, isn't it? And don't tell me that an "establishment" Republican is no better than a Democrat in the Oval Office, because there has been NO real agenda moved forward on a legislative basis since the GOP gained majorities in both the House and Senate. Not a single, solitary GOP-sponsored bill has been signed into law in that time, and the only way Obama has moved his agenda forward is through the use of executive actions.
Think of the possibilities if conservatives hadn't sat on their butts 4 years ago when Mitt Romney ran for President.
And 2016 is shaping up as yet another electoral disaster for Republicans, all in the name of political purity.
If the trend continues through the primary season as it has thus far, GOP stalwarts will be celebrating the nomination of a Washington outsider in October, and wondering what happened (again) in November, all in the name of political purity. How can I be so sure about this? National head-to-head polls tell me everything I need to know.
Donald Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton (Hillary Clinton!) in EVERY national poll head to head. Here is someone a majority of people think is dishonest (and why everyone doesn't think the same way is beyond me), and she is beating the GOP front runner. Worse yet, if Bernie Sanders gets the Democrat nomination, he TROUNCES Donald Trump by a wider margin than Obama beat Romney. Ted Cruz fares better than the Donald, in that he splits the polling contest with Hillary (again, how pathetic do you have to be to have a 50-50 chance of losing to the most despicable woman in Presidential politics), but loses across the board to Socialist Bernie Sanders.
The point being that you have to get elected before you can serve.
Politically, Trump or Cruz might be what the GOP wants, but the COUNTRY doesn't. Some of their ideas may have merit to many in the USA, but neither Trump nor Cruz pass the first test of NATIONAL electoral politics.
You have to be likable.
George W. Bush wasn't a better candidate than either Al Gore or John Kerry, but he won by the slimmest of margins because he was both sincere and likable. Obama? White guilt played a big part, but he won against a truly unlikable opponent in John McCain, and a less warm opponent in Mitt Romney. Ronald Reagan against anybody. George H.W. Bush against the cold fish Mike Dukakis. Kennedy vs. Nixon. Bill Clinton over Bob Dole. The more likable guy almost always wins, which is why Trump and Cruz will not.
Only one candidate on the GOP side wins in a head-to-head match-up against Hillary or Sanders up and down the line, and that is Marco Rubio. And the truly sad thing is that Rubio is really and truly just as conservative as anyone else running on the GOP side of the house, but too many voters allow others to define a candidate instead of doing the homework themselves. He's certainly as socially conservative as anyone could possibly want from a right to life standpoint. He's fiscally conservative enough (although who couldn't be better?). And truth be told, if you looked at his support for immigration reform instead of listening to the talking heads on TV and radio, he has never supported amnesty for illegals - just a legal pathway to citizenship. And while I may not agree with him on every issue, I like the guy. He's someone I think I could sit down with over a slice of pizza and a glass of vino and talk WITH regarding policy, politics or family.
I can't imagine getting a word in edgewise with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. They'd be too busy talking TO me, instead of talking WITH me.
Either way, if the GOP continues their march over the cliff towards political purity, we'll never see a President Trump or a President Cruz - just a President Sanders.
I'll take a President Rubio any day of the week.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.