When Donald Trump first announced that he was running for president, many political pundits, myself included, wrote his campaign off as a joke. While it may have been a publicity stunt to begin with, it is becoming more and more apparent that Trump intends to become the GOP nominee and face off against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
Conventional wisdom was that Jeb Bush would represent the establishment GOP in the primaries, and that Ted Cruz would be the Tea Party insurgent candidate. Just a few months ago, many writers lamented the “dynasty” of the Bush and Clinton families in politics – claiming that this was proof that both parties were the same.
Ted Cruz began to surge in recent weeks, bolstered by the fading campaign of Ben Carson, his supporters defecting to Ted Cruz en masse. Cruz has picked up conservative celebrity endorsements like the Duck Dynasty clan, but despite all of that, it still looks like Donald Trump could win it all.
For all of his extremism, Ted Cruz simply cannot match the unbridled hatred and xenophobia Donald Trump has tapped into. Cruz may say incredibly hateful and bigoted things, but he is still a highly educated lawyer who has spent many years in politics. His views are far to the right, but Trump has an almost complete monopoly on the angry white vote in America.
The Bush recession is slowly fading into our rear view mirrors here in America and the economy has rebounded nicely, at least for Wall Street and the 1%. Conservative voters are still furious about marriage equality, an issue Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee continue to harp on. However, they’re more concerned about terrorism and immigration, issues Trump has managed to outflank Cruz on when it comes to rhetoric.
Trump’s attacks on Ted Cruz aren’t completely popular with the conservative base, as evidenced by the feedback he got in South Carolina.
Kathy Hughes, a 68-year-old retired teacher from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, said she was “so excited” to see Trump until he trained his fire on Cruz, and now she’s sitting his speech out.
“He has degraded himself now to me,” she said.
Hughes said she felt like Trump had done away with his commitment to telling it like it is in part because he took Cruz’s attacks on New York personally.
“I was pleased that he has put issues forward that many of the candidates did not want to talk about and they’ve been forced to talk about. He has kicked political correctness to the curb — until Ted said something about New Yorkers — and then suddenly Mr. Trump became very sensitive,” she said. (Source)
Ultimately, this won’t hurt Trump with conservatives, because they’re so entrenched in their hatred for the left that the much of the GOP would vote for the reanimated corpse of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the general election rather than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are the only two candidates who stand a chance in the primaries at this point, and Trump looks likely to win. This is the movie “Idiocracy” coming to life, and this is the GOP in 2016. Heaven help us all.
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