Donald Trump is leading in at least one poll for the Republican Party nomination for President.
The Economist/YouGov pollshows 15 percent of Republican respondents identified Trump as their first choice with 12 percent having him as their second. The next best showing was by Jeb Bush who trailed by 4 points in first place ballots and another 5 when asked to name a second choice.
What is The Donald’s secret?
An unwavering commitment to an issue, and a willingness to not play by the well-scripted political rules on the right.
What Trump was supposed to do, according to the rules, was back down on his remarks, declare them to be “inartful” as the late Mario Cuomo once did in relation to a slur he uttered against hunters and gun owners many years back, and slink back to reality television.
Rather than play the game of saying he was sorry that people were offended as is common practice when the left offends Christians, veterans, or others, Donald Trump instead doubled down; and when NBC’s Univision broke their contract with him, he sued. When Macy’s decided that they were going to discontinue his clothing line, he didn’t care. When the PGA cancelled their engagement at one of his golf courses, he laughed saying he wasn’t returning their deposit and he will rent it again and get double the money for the weekend.
And the people cheered.
The people cheered because they are sick of mealy-mouthed politicians who promise to fight Obama’s Executive amnesty tooth and nail, and then cut-and-run at the first sign of opposition. Trump stood firm resisting the attempts by his “business partners,” the media, and the political elites to bully him into submission.
All the “right” people in the Republican Party attempted to tell the rest of us that we should be quiet on the impact of the flood of illegal immigrants and the disastrous catch-and-release policies pursued by the Obama administration.
Then the horrific San Francisco sanctuary city murder of Kathryn Steinlehappened. Trump didn’t have to say another word. His point was made. Politicians from D.C. didn’t flock to San Francisco to Ms. Steinle’s funeral. There were no Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, or Eric Holders stirring the pot.
The murder itself crystallized Trump’s warning. The failure to secure our borders and to enforce our immigration laws is a dangerous and disastrous policy. Suddenly, the rape trees that have begun to spring up in Arizona’s Sonora Desert have seeped into the news, even though this gruesome phenomenon of hanging rape trophies up on trees has been widespread since 2009.
Rather than excoriate Trump, the real question the political elites should be forced to answer is why were you silent?
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been aware of the flooding of the country with dangerous gang members and the crime networks being set up across the nation by them. They have been aware that somehow Phoenix, Arizona has become known as the “kidnapping capitol of America” and that a drug trade has thrived in that border state city.
Yet, they have remained silent in the face of the exporting of the notorious Mexican crime cartels to America, intimidated by the fear of being called racists, and into that silence Donald Trump rose unafraid of the left’s professional intimidation campaign.
Now, Trump has moved on to the education front taking on the issue of Common Core, and its underlying roots which lie in the George W. Bush Administration’s “No Child Left Behind” law, which was just re-authorized by the Republican House of Representatives in spite of massive grassroots opposition in the states.
If the D.C. political class is not careful, they are going to get exactly what they fear – a Donald Trump nomination or perhaps worse, a Donald Trump-led third party that has far more staying power than the Perot effort that many believe cost George Herbert Walker Bush a second term.
It is the Republican elites’ tepidness and outright capitulation on issues like immigration, Obamacare, Common Core, and fast track trade authority that has created this backlash. Donald Trump is the symbol for this backlash, and the Party has no one to blame but themselves.
The author is President of Americans for Limited Government.