Over the past several months, I’ve made a habit of watching the Sunday talk shows. It’s not that I think the shows provide the slightest bit of enlightenment above their entertainment value, but I do find watching and listening to the talking heads instructive in how those who live inside Washington and New York view the rest of the world. Without fail, these learned and most gifted thinkers among us work tirelessly to manipulate the observed data into a set template that matches the conventional wisdom of the ruling classes. Of course, those of us who live in fly-over country come off as being ignorant boobs who really do not know what is best for us. We are all Tea Party haters who are angry but are not smart enough to know why we are so ticked off. This morning’s network offerings provide excellent examples of this phenomenon.
Take Chuck Todd’s interview with Donald Trump. Regardless of what one might think about Mr. Trump, one has to be impressed with the fact that since he has joined the race for President, he has led every single poll. Now, his lead is double digits, well outside the margin of error. His closest competition is Dr. Ben Carson, another outsider who had the temerity to call out Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast some years ago. Also included in this very competitive mix is Mrs. Carly Fiorina. She is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and senate candidate from California. All three of these individuals have touched something inside those Americans who feel disenfranchised and abandoned by the Republican Party. Chuck Todd and the rest of the pundits still insist that none of these individuals have any staying power and that sooner or later, the American people will “wake up” and move more to the establishment candidate. I don’t think that is likely to happen any time before Super Tuesday in March of 2016.
Back to the Todd interview. Trump talked about his immigration policy, at least he tried to, but Todd wanted to put the billionaire into a set box, posing questions in such a way as to present The Donald with false assumptions as starting points. Mr. Trump is way smarter than Chuck Todd and would have none of it. What followed on Fox News Sunday was even more entertaining where George Will and Arthur Brooks, the “conservatives” on the panel, were dismissive of Mr. Trump and those who are currently supporting him. The two liberals on the panel were a lot more respectful of Trump’s current status. To Chris Wallace’s credit, he kept pushing back against Will and Brooks, presenting evidence these two could not or would not acknowledge. George Will, in particular, was hopeful that those of us who are really ticked off at the Republican establishment would come to our senses. Brooks went so far as to suggest that those who are supporting these outsiders were really “low information voters.” The folks I have been talking to are not low information voters. Of course, we live in Iowa so what could we possibly know.
One of my old Air Force buddies used to say that when one sees lightening, one is likely to hear thunder. That analogy works in today’s current political climate. The lightening is that Trump, Carson and Fiorina have given voice to all those who think they do not have a voice in government and governance today. The thunder is how well they are doing in the current campaign. In a microcosm of what is going on in our country today, study up on the speeches that were given at the Right to Life rally held on the Capitol steps on Saturday. Those who held elected office were in general much more circumspect in their pronouncements about defunding Planned Parenthood. Those who were not in office delivered much stronger speeches.
The American people, and in particular American conservatives, have seen nothing come of all their work to support the party in winning the House back in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. All the promises made were cast aside as soon as the new congress was sworn in. All of that political capital was squandered with little visible remorse on the part of the party leadership.
I think that the Republican Party establishment would very much like to see Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina go away. These incredibly successful people are gumming up the works right now. They are not following the script. I say more power to these interlopers. It’s clear that what we have been doing for the last 30 years hasn’t worked, so maybe it’s time to try something else. I am certainly willing to see how this plays out before having to hold my nose and vote for another candidate who will do no more than represent the establishment and who will work shamelessly to shore up the corrupt and vapid status quo. Is that lightening I see on the horizon? Yes, it is. The thunder is rolling across the verdant fields of Iowa and the establishment better pay attention.
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