Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Spencer Roane once wrote that, “Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.”
That day has arrived within the Republican party.
Recalling the events that unfolded following the first GOP debate, the distinction has never been clearer between those who represent the establishment and those who are prepared to fight it. No matter your view of Donald Trump, his rise in popularity is a “symptom of an increasingly isolated and tyrannical elite”, writes Glenn Reynolds of USA Today. Reynolds continues noting that Trump’s rise is “a sign that a large number of voters don’t feel represented by more mainstream politicians.”
In other words, the establishment has been corrupted from the gangrene of a lust for power that has prevailed within the Republican party. This gangrene consumed the democratic party decades ago, but within the past seven years of the Obama adminstration it has all but infected the entire Republican party as well.
So what is this establishment then that the people hold such resentment towards? The establishment is the elite, the career politicians within both parties backed by big government interests and lobbyist groups who are against the individual and are for their own self-interest. The establishment has circumvented the constitution and destroyed the notion of a government for the people to a government for the elite. The establishment has been allowed to avoid any and all accountability out of fear on behalf of the citizens who dare question it. This allows it to put itself above the rule of law and demonize those who oppose it or those who are not of it.
This is the resentment that Donald Trump has captured and the fact that he’s still leading in the Republican polls after Thursday’s “hit job” by Fox News is reflective of this. It isn’t so much about Trump as it is about the elites in Washington and how they treat his supporters and moreover the base of their own party.
It is why grassroots conservatives like the Tea Party were first formed and since 2009 have been under regular attack by the very people they elected to run their party – the establishment leadership of the GOP. What most Americans were not aware of these past few years is that establishment Republicans are in no way, shape, or form the Republican party. Republicans in name only such as John McCain, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, Reince Priebus, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush represent all that is wrong within the Republican party.
Rather than standing on conservative principles by fighting the president and the democrats, they capitulate and sever whatever ties they may have had with the people who elected them. In joining democrats to expand the power of the federal government by eroding the constitution, they become the establishment as they work tirelessly to dilute the power of grassroots conservatives and put more power in the hands of the “inside-the-beltway” Washington elite.
When Jeb Bush ripped Tea Party conservative Ted Cruz for his 21-hour filibuster to fund the government but not Obamacare back in October of 2013, Bush spoke for the establishment. For example, Bush stated that Cruz and other Tea Party members of Congress needed to “show a little self-restraint” with their political strategizing, arguing that the government shutdown had badly damaged Republican policymaking priorities as well as America’s reputation abroad. Cruz was thus ridiculed and slammed by the establishment for daring to use the most significant check that Congress possesses in the power of the purse to fund everything in the government except Obamacare.
Instead of going along with what Cruz, House Republicans, and the American people wanted, Mitch McConnell and the GOP leadership in the Senate decided to publicly, directly, and aggressively lead the fight against Republicans and in favor of Obamacare.
As Jennifer Burke of The Politistick elaborates of that the effort by Cruz “led to a partial government shutdown, 82% of the government was still operational, that was sold to an American people as a disastrous full government shutdown. The Campaign of Pain that Barack Obama waged against the American people during that time helped perpetuate that narrative and belief that the entire government was shut down completely.” Unfortunately, Carly Fiorina a current 2016 GOP presidential candidate, joined in on slamming Ted Cruz’s filibuster by demonizing Cruz as a “flamethrower.”
Fiorina stated the following; “I actually feel badly for John Boehner. Ted Cruz’s tactics were wrong. There’s no honor in charging a hill that you know you can’t take, only casualties, although Ted Cruz maybe got name recognition and money along the way…President Obama has done everything possible to disempower the reasonable people that he’s trying to negotiate with…he’s been on campaign style speeches the last three months saying over and over again, ‘I will not negotiate. I will not negotiate. I will not negotiate.’
“When you say that, you empower the flamethrowers,” Fiorina contended. “She didn’t just stop at Ted Cruz with her intense criticism”, writes Burke. In speaking about the caucus, likely those who backed Ted Cruz’s filibuster, she said that there are “elements of his caucus that are much more extreme than other elements of his caucus.” This was a very telling moment for Fiorina as Burke rightfully questions, “was Fiorina saying she doesn’t think that standing on principle and fighting against something you believe to be wrong, that is Constitutionally incorrect, is not worth it?”
When you look at Trump’s response to defunding Obamacare you can begin to see why his stance on fighting the establishment has garnered such support. In an interview with Hugh Hewitt last week, Trump stated that he would have defunded Obamacare, noting that “if the Republicans [had] stuck together you could have done it with Obamacare but the Republicans decided not to stick together and they left a few people out there like Ted Cruz,” he said. “You know, they left a lot of the people that really went in and wanted to do the job and you know what? If they had stuck together they would have won that battle.”
While this is just in regards to Obamacare, its this kind of stance that has captured America’s attention in their support for Donald Trump as well as Ted Cruz. The people want someone to believe in again who isn’t willing to toe the party line and do the bidding of the establishment. In short, the people will not turn out to vote for another establishment candidate like Jeb Bush in the 2016 election, nor will they continue to support the GOP if the party and all their pundits slam Trump’s followers as idiots, morons, etc. When you see those on the right slamming those who support Trump take notice because those very same people slammed Cruz for standing up for the constitution in fighting Obamacare.
While these pundits of the GOP worry about Trump running third party and thus giving the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton, they neglect to mention that an establishment candidate like Jeb Bush will result in the same outcome. If the Republican party cannot tap into the zeitgeist that has attracted Trump’s followers and use that energy in supporting a platform that accepts whomever the base decides to support, whether that be Cruz or Trump, then the Republican party itself will not survive past the 2016 election.