I grew up in a Democrat family… 5th generation Texan, yella dogs, my Mama called us. I learned that at one time the Democrat party stood for the working men, like my grandfathers, one who worked for the electrician’s union and one who engineered refineries. If it was good enough for my Papa, it was good enough for me.
My senior year, I was lucky not to be thrown out of Earl Richardson’s government and economics class. Looking back, the man was brilliant and I would sincerely apologize to him in person today if I could. It was difficult to take it all in when my Democrat dad was at home telling us that Ronald Reagan was the reason he could not find a job.
The key words in that paragraph are… “I grew up…” By the time I was 30, some friends that I worked with at a prominent energy services company challenged me to listen to Limbaugh. “Try it for a week,” they said. After a week, they challenged me to tell them how Rush was wrong. It was tough because Rush was right, no pun intended.
So, at 30, with two kids and a mortgage, I aligned myself with the Republican party and listened to my Papa yell at me for some of the last days of his life about how George H.W. Bush wanted to sell out America and the Bush’s, Cheney’s, Rove’s of the world were commies. There were other words, but he has since passed and I will honor his memory with dignity and omit the profanity. Smile.
It was not a perfect party, but for the most part, the people that had always been portrayed to me as the rich people who steal from poor people aligned with my values in most ways and miraculously, they worked and did not steal from anyone, especially old people. They were surprisingly generous, patriotic and responsible members of the community. I traveled a great deal by car, so I became very interested in talk radio of all sorts and thus my interest in not just government, but politics was born.
To make a long story short, for a number of reasons that everyone knows and forgets by the time the next big news story comes out, I and many others have become disenchanted with the Republican leadership or GOP. To complicate that frustration, there are some of whom are dyed in the wool Republicans whose commitment to the party match or better my mother’s commitment to raising us to be Democrats. They are firmly committed to the Republican party and to the hierarchy, protocol and chain of command that exists.
I can think of no other way to express this but to say these folks are plumb freaked out about Donald Trump. They have lots of theories about what type of person you have to be or what benefit there is to you as an individual in supporting Trump. They have ugly names for their “opponents,” like “Trumpkins” or “Trumbots.” They explain them away as insane, dying to win, followers, losers… the list goes on and on.
I think it is a mistake to underestimate and insult these people. They are the working class. They have families, jobs, mortgages, 401k’s. They have worked tirelessly for the last eight years while the Republican party has put up little to no opposition to President Barack Hussein Obama. They fight the government only at the levels that they have to in those pressing times when the government gets in their way, but it is time consuming and they only do what they have to do to get by because… yes, they are busy working, feeding their kids, paying their bills and hopefully building a retirement for the future.
Of the umpteen candidates that are on the stage saying they want to run this country, these people are pretty sure of what they will get out of any one of them… except one. There is one wild card. They don’t know what he will do, but he looks like a chance, an opportunity, a possibility to break up the monotony that has threatened the way of life that we have known for so long. He isn’t their get rich quick scheme like BHO was for his party. He is just a chance at getting the country out of this mess we are in.
Yes, this Trump joker is wild and there is no telling what he will do, but he is drawing some good people to his team and to his voter base. The Republicans are going to play the wrong card and lose the momentum that is going on as a result of his being in this race if they continue to treat his supporters as if they are some sort of derelicts or outcasts.
The leadership at the head of the party will never listen to us, but I urge my fellow Republicans in the trenches to stop isolating those that support him. Without those people that are voting for him, there is no Republican party. If you think you were frustrated when people sat out on Romney, their exodus will surpass that like nothing you can imagine. When they bail, it will be a long time before they come back.
There is an air of intellectual superiority that is touted by some in the party, particularly from Cruz voters. Those who do not support him do no want to be told that they are less intelligent, less Christian, less Republican or less American because they support Trump (or any other candidate for that matter.) Doing so only furthers the divide.
I strongly suggest that we find a way to build a bridge between Trump’s base and that of Ted Cruz in order to come out ahead of the current leadership. If we really want change, we must have both of these camps in order to effect that which we say we want to see. If we will not do that, then the problem isn’t in the cards, it is in the hands of the dealers (the citizens) who are not putting their civic duties in front of their egos and pride. The joker is still a valid part of the deck.
Those people you are ridiculing see Trump as America’s Wild Card, not a savior, not our last hope, but our current best bet, whether we agree with them or not.