Not the Usual GOP Voters
As the Democrats’ sham impeachment process continues apace, some Republican Senators (Mitt Romney and others come to mind) will be grappling with whether to support President Trump, or vote to remove him. It is my opinion that most establishment Republicans still don’t fully understand how beloved President Trump is by the Republican Base. In this article, I will do my best to explain why the Base is so loyal to President Trump. It would be in the best interests of establishment Republicans to vigorously support him against the Democrats’ treacherous impeachment attacks.
By 2016, most establishment Republican politicians had lost touch with their own voters. Caught in the self-reinforcing “Washington Bubble”, they had continued to pursue stale, decades old policies. They were leading the party to stagnation and irrelevance, much to the delight of Democrats. They failed to realize that baseline Republican policies were no longer popular with the electorate, and often directly at odds with the preferences and best interests of their constituents. Most establishment Republicans were surprised and stunned by Donald Trump’s victory in the Presidential election.
What they failed to realize is that Donald Trump had actually saved the Republican party. He was the first Republican politician to give voice to the fact that 30 years of globalist “free trade” policies had devastated the lives and livelihoods of millions of working class Americans. Donald Trump effectively re-positioned the party and re-calibrated its policies to address the needs of these “forgotten Americans.” As a result, Trump was able to bring long forgotten Reagan Democrats back into the Republican fold. These were millions of voters, originally attracted to the party by Ronald Reagan, who had drifted away – the result of 30 years of neglect by the Republican establishment.
“In the most shocking upset American politics has ever seen, Trump tore through the Rust Belt to defeat Hillary Clinton.”The National Review, Nov. 9, 2016
Why the Republican Base Loves Donald Trump
Reasons for the Republican Base’s rock-solid support for President Trump fall into two broad categories.
- They like his Policies, and the positive results these policies are achieving.
- They love his Fighting Spirit.
We have not seen such popular support in recent history for a GOP candidate. Below are important policy changes that President Trump has implemented. Some of them are not popular with establishment Republicans, but all are immensely popular with the voter Base.
Trade and Jobs: Historically, Republicans have been proud supporters of managed Free Trade, and international deals such as NAFTA and the TPP. The reality is that this naive emphasis on “Free Trade” had led to the loss of millions of good paying jobs for working class Americans. Republican politicians had gotten into the habit of chanting “Free Trade” like a mantra, without looking at the actual details of the trade deals. The voters who suffered from this were not amused.
It turns out that a lot of these “free trade” deals were rather one-sided. They allowed our trading partners to impose barriers to American products and in some cases, to impose one-sided tariffs. President Trump correctly changed the focus from Free Trade to Fair Trade. He negotiated a better NAFTA (now called the USMCA). He has also gotten better deals for American producers and workers within Europe, Japan, and South Korea. He is currently in the midst of a massive struggle with China to ensure that our trade with them is more advantageous for American companies and American workers.
Secure Borders and Push-back against Illegal Immigration:
Republican politicians have done a lot of talking about illegal immigration and the need for immigration reform. In reality, they have done almost nothing about it for 30 years. As he promised during his campaign, President Trump is actually building the wall on our southern border. He is also taking a variety of measures to step up enforcement against illegal immigration.
Paying for the Defense of our Allies
For the past seventy years, the American taxpayers have payed for the lion’s share of our common defense with European and Asian allies. With our European allies, this been done primarily through our funding for NATO. We also pay for the bulk of the costs of defense agreements with rich Asian allies like Japan and South Korea.
All of this made perfect sense after World War II when our economy was exceptionally strong and our allies had been devastated by the war. 70 years later, most of our allies are also rich nations. They have been happy to let us continue paying for their defense. President Trump is correctly demanding that our allies step up and pay a fair share for their common defense. Some countries dislike this, others see that it is reasonable now.
Putting the Breaks on Costly Foreign Interventions:
Recently, both Republican and Democrat politicians thought it was a good idea to involve the USA in costly NeoCon interventionist wars, primarily in the Middle East. We have been in Afghanistan for 18 years, and almost as long in Iraq. Our military involvement in Syria is now approaching seven years. Estimates are that we have spent about $6 Trillion on interventions in the Middle East during the past two decades.
While this type of activist foreign policy is popular with the Washington political establishment and the Military Industrial Complex, the American taxpayers have had enough. During his 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump wisely promised to stop involving us in regime-change wars. He has kept his promise not to involve us in any new wars, and is doing his best (despite ferocious opposition) to wind down our involvement in the ones he inherited.
Donald Trump’s Fighting Spirit:
One of the things that the Republican Base loves most about President Trump is his willingness to fight for them. They instinctively understand that he loves America and its people. He frequently talks about putting America first, and they can see and feel his commitment to them in how fiercely he negotiates (fights) on America’s behalf with foreign countries. He even negotiates fiercely with our allies.
Willingness to Take on the Media:
For several decades now, it has been a source of frustration for Republicans that most of the media is liberal, and their coverage of all things political comes with a liberal bias. With President Trump’s arrival on the scene, the amount of anti-Trump and anti-Republican bias has cranked up to unbearable levels. For the Republican Base, the only thing as infuriating as the bias itself is the timid response to it from most Republican politicians. Rank and file Republicans have long waited for a leader who would fearlessly fight back against the media and its biased reporting.
In President Trump, they have finally found that fighter. They love him for it! They love him a bit more each time they hear him call CNN “fake news”. He is not afraid of them, he cares not what spin they give every story, or lies they state as facts. It has become evident with their declining ratings, that most people are not buying them.
Summary and Conclusion:
President Trump truly has rescued the Republican party. He has pragmatically changed some of the party’s baseline policies to be more in line with the needs of middle and working class Americans. On foreign policy, he has made the party less hawkish. He has expanded the party dramatically by bringing back the Reagan Democrats. President Trump has also attracted many new independent voters who are likely to continue to vote Republican if the party fully embraces the wise policy changes that he has launched.
Personally Collected Data
On November 20th, I ran a poll among my Followers (they are primarily Republicans and Independents) on Twitter. It received over 5,000 votes/responses. The question was:
“If you had to choose between President Trump and the Republican party – what would be your choice?”
The Results –
Republican Party: 2%
President Trump: 98%
The love and the loyalty of the Republican Base is with Donald Trump. This is positive, but does entail massive risk for establishment Republicans. If the party’s politicians are viewed as abandoning the President in his hour of need (impeachment), the Base will simply walk away. They may even start a new “Trumplican Party”. It really is Donald Trump’s party now! Republican leaders would be wise to rally around him, support him, and embrace the positive and pragmatic policy changes that he has implemented.