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The American Mind

The Republican eliteís worst nightmare - Trump

William Hillman

(3/2016) Back in August of last year, I predicted that Donald Trump would not make it past the first primary. This is why Iím not a gambling man - I could never make any money at it. At the time I said that, all the polls had him at 35%. The Donaldís "disapproval" numbers were around 55%. Not much has changed since. As I write this, he has just won the South Carolina primary, with 32% followed by Rubio and Cruz each with 22%. But Trumpís disapproval has dropped to 43%. (Interestingly, Bushís disapproval rate is 45%). Trump is still very much in this race and there is a possibility that he could end up as the Republican nominee this summer. But Iím still not ready to place any bets.

We are still at the beginning of the process and itís a wide-open field. In the last few weeks we have seen Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Scout Walker all drop out of the race. As the pack continues to thin, the question is, where do the votes go? Jeb Bush, who received 8% of the vote in South Carolina has also withdrawn. Kasich, cannot be far behind Bush in withdrawing. If the establishment votes shift to Rubio, the entire dynamic of the race changes and Trump will have a difficult time come supper on Tuesday. Again, I think it is way too early to predict a winner.

Here is my breakdown:

Bush and Kasich establishment voters move to Rubio, bringing him to 40%. When Carson drops out, his support will lean heaver to Cruz than Trump. Let Trump move to 35% and Cruz to 26%. By this scenario there is a path to Rubio winning. This little mind exercise does not take into account delegate distribution among the states, &c, &c., which I cannot delve into when the stingy editor of this publication restricts me to 1,000 words.

The Republican establishment hates Trump. He threatens their power; he is not controlled by the Wall Street bankers who hold the purse strings of the party. He is not one of them and they hate outsiders. One thing I will bet on is the Republican establishment will do everything possible to prevent Trump from being their nominee.

There is very quiet talk and engineering going on in the background of the Republican party to lay the ground work for a brokered convention, should Trump win the most delegates. In Pennsylvania (where the delegates are not bound to the popular vote but have never bucked it) the party elite are attempting to place delegates on the ballot who will be pawns of the power brokers and ignore the will of the voters. If the Republican power brokers appear to go against the will of their base, I think it will mark the beginning of the end, of the end of the Republican party. (Yes, that is not a typo, the beginning of the end of the end. The end of the party started 12 years ago.)

The Republicans made the bed they now find themselves in. The Republican establishment is too deep and too long in bed with corporate interests. They have turned their noses up at their base voters who, since Nixon, have been blue-collar, middle class. Trump is both energizing and exciting these discarded Republicans. The Republicans lost the last two presidential races because they have ignored the middle class. This year, these people are excited about Trump because he is speaking to them and not at them.

Last week, Cardone Industries in Philadelphia, which produces auto parts, announced that they were shutting down and moving the last of their manufacturing facilities in the U.S. to Mexico and laying off 1,300 workers. This is the last of the large manufacturer plants left in the city of Philadelphia. A few days before, Carrier announced that it was closing plants and moving 2,100 jobs to Mexico as well. Of all the candidates running for President, Trump was the only voice heard yelling and screaming that this was unacceptable. Trump is the only candidate who presents himself as an unapologetic supporter of the American worker. This is why people are registering to vote. (Whether Trump is in fact a supporter of the American work is a point that can be debated, but Iím talking about perceptions.)

There are a lot of arguments against Trump. And you have to wonder if he really believes what he says or is it all just lip service. Did he really have a midnight conversion and become pro-life and pro-2nd amendment? Certainly not.

I donít think his supporters care about all that. Politicians making empty promises is something we have become numb to. Itís just more background noise.

What is important is jobs and hope. Every time a factory closes and crosses the border, or H1B Visa workers displace American workers, the "Great American Dream" starts fading into the distance for more Americans. All the economists, especially that shill Robert Reich, can drone on and on about how the economy is strong and unemployment is down, but the truth is, every worker knows that, for the first time in history, he has little chance to do better than his parents. Average household income will continue to fall. The trade and immigration policies that both political parties have backed have done nothing but increase the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Letís talk about walls. The ruling class moralize over Trumpís idea of building a wall along the border. "Walls are immoral." "He is a racist for even suggesting it." This all comes from people who live in gated communities. Somehow walls are acceptable when they protect the ruling classí world but are bad for everyone else.

While Iím on the subject of walls, this week Pope Francis made his comment that people who want to build walls are un-Christian. I couldnít help but think that when I went to see him in Philadelphia this past summer, all I saw were walls. They walled off almost every street. And if you wanted to get beyond the walls, closer to the Pope, you could, if you had enough money for the Church.

Back to the topic of Trump and the Republican party.

I truly believe as the election year rolls on, the ruling elite of the Republican party will do everything and anything to deny Trump the nomination. I do not believe they will allow an outsider like Trump, who they canít control, to win.

Read other articles by Bill Hillman