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February 26, 2016

Trumpís Scorched Earth Policy

Joe Charlebois

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul, is an unconventional candidate. He is running for president at a place in time that allows him to disregard the typical mode of campaigning.


Not only has he walked past all of the politically correct red velvet rope lines, he has dismantled them. His brash anti-political correctness talk has drawn many of the politically dispossessed to his side. His supporters are the most fervent on the GOP side, and they are highly unlikely to abandon Mr. Trump no matter what he says or does.


Mr. Trump obviously has the clearest path to a nomination of any candidate on either side of the aisle; and, if he wins most of the delegates on Super Tuesday, he will most likely sew up the nomination early. But an early win will not assure a November victory as Mr. Trump’s negatives continue to rise.


Due to his high negatives, he is losing the head-to-head matchup against Hillary Clinton in spite of Secretary Clinton’s extremely high negatives of her own. He should be extremely concerned that he is the only Republican candidate that his oft-quoted polls show losing to Hillary Clinton.


Mr. Trump’s other problem is in his approach toward his primary opponents. When he could be solidifying his voting bloc through the positive “Make America Great Again” message he instead insists on tearing down his primary election opponents through bitter character assassinations.


His demonization of good men in the style of Saul Alinsky is troubling. Every ad hominem attack he unleashes toward his opponents increasingly pushes away potential voters in this general election and may harm some of the GOP candidates irreparably. The way he is going, he may pick up the Reagan Democrats as he says, but unlike Ronald Reagan he is likely to lose the conservative base at the same time.


Mr. Trump has been very careful to avoid positions that detail his future plans. He has very little knowledge on foreign affairs. His proposed trade war would lead to higher prices and less competition. His support for nationalized healthcare and calls to boycott Apple products are anathema to liberty and freedom.


He speaks on a fifth grade reading level.* He can be found to hold positions on both sides of many critical issues – and that is just in the past few years. He is for the status quo on the major socialized programs of today instead of looking at a way to save the programs for future generations.


It is unclear who he would appoint as a Supreme Court justice. He never mentions the U.S. Constitution as a guide for governance. As a businessman, he has supported politicians throughout the political spectrum.


If he wins – and he may very well – he will effectively silence many conservative voices for the foreseeable future. His willingness to deal with anyone is a blessing to those on the left and a curse for those on the right, who fight for liberty that the U.S. Constitution protects.


He is “bringing in a lot on new Republicans” as he said in last night’s debate, but will his scorched earth policy against his fellow candidates lose some of the “old Republicans.”


*Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level rating of Mr. Trump’s South Carolina victory speech.


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