From time to time something so apt comes along the only correct response is to block and copy and bow deeply in the direction of its author, in this case, Rebecca Bynum, who writes for and edits New English Review.
Insurrection in the G.O.P., Or, The Wisdom of the Trump Voter
by Rebecca Bynum (April 2016)
“The Republican electorate is not a bunch of completely ignorant fools. We know who Donald Trump is and we’re going to use Donald Trump to either take over the G.O.P. or blow it up.”
— Steve from Temecula, Calif.
“You’re gonna change or I’m a gonna leave.”
— Hank Williams
Many conservative pundits have weighed in on Donald Trump’s candidacy for President. National Review hates him and his supporters with the white hot heat of a thousand supernovas and vow to fight him to the bitter end. Pat Buchanan is more reflective and, having more experience in the political world, more sanguine at the prospect of a President Trump, as is Newt Gingrich.
Meanwhile, voters are anxiously exhorted by G.O.P. stalwarts to “stand for conservative principles,” and to reject Mr. Trump. But the fact is, those “conservative principles” have covered a multitude of sins and the voters know it. For the G.O.P., the term seems to mean “never having to say you’re sorry.” True, the Bush 43 Presidency was a disaster, especially the second term, including the Light-Unto-the-Muslim Nations democracy project in Iraq and Afghanistan costing trillions of dollars we could ill-afford and thousands of young lives with tens of thousands maimed, coupled with exploding government bureaucracies, the hollowing out of our industrial base, millions of refugees and illegal immigrants straining local governments to the breaking point – and never mind that what Bush ran on and what voters voted for was exactly the opposite – smaller government, rule of law on immigration, no nation building, etc., etc. Now, the Republican Party expects us to forget all that and place the same people who got us into this mess back into power. Really? They’ve been rolling out the same platform since Reagan. The world has moved on.
One of the most interesting aspects of the current election is the fact that the main stream media no longer controls what news we see and hear, so they’ve found themselves in the unenviable position of playing catch-up to try to understand the issues motivating Trump voters, especially after having glossed over the immigration crisis for the last 30 years. And they still seem to think that by disallowing the long-overdue national conversation on Islam, the country can continue importing over 200,000 Muslims a year from every third world country on earth and nothing will happen (except perhaps the occasional terror attack, the prospect of which the public takes much more seriously than the press seems to believe is warranted). Don’t you know you have a better chance of being struck by lightning? And besides, Muslims are part of the American fabric. They’re in our military and police forces. In other words, there is nothing we can do about the ever growing number of Muslims in our country. The US must become just like Europe or risk being seen as impolite and be excluded from all the best international meetings.
Then along came Donald Trump. He kicked open the door of political correctness on several fronts and the country is already breathing a collective sigh of relief. This naturally alarms the media, the Democrats and the Republican establishment, causing them all to attack Trump mercilessly day in and day out for being crude. However, even with violent protesters attempting to stop this candidate from speaking (possibly instigated by the Clinton campaign), a door has been opened that no Republican establishment man can shut. This election is not the end of it.
After the Brussels attacks, Ted Cruz desperately tried to find a stronger policy position on domestic Muslim terror (increased policing of Muslim neighborhoods), but he does not get to the heart of the problem. Just how much policing, surveillance and ever multiplying security measures should be implemented so as to be assured of the great privilege of hosting ever larger and more aggressive Muslim populations? Apparently the sky is the limit, no matter what the cost – both for Republicans and Democrats.
Trump is the only candidate proposing the one obvious solution – limit Muslim immigration. Naturally, he was immediately savaged by, the media, the Democrats, the other Republican presidential candidates and G.O.P. leaders who continue to piously inform us that “we believe in freedom of religion” apparently no matter what that “religion” actually is. Nothing can be done except to turn our nation into an ever more oppressive surveillance state. Don’t bother pointing out that the reason why we still have no strategy to deal with 1) Islamic terrorism, 2) the crisis in the Middle East, 3)the immigration crisis in Europe and 4) growing Islamization in many pockets around the country where Muslims are doing what they always do – impose their norms and requirements on the host population rather than assimilating, our political leaders still refuse to deal with subject of Islam. We’re supposed to believe that regardless of what has happened for over a thousand years wherever large numbers of Muslims migrate, that somehow, America will be exempt from the inevitable chaos to follow.
It has been especially embarrassing to watch American journalists lecturing the Belgians following the recent attack there, implying that the blame should be placed on the native people for the crime of having poor integration policies. Rather, we must understand those Muslim immigrants are simply engaging in that most Islamic of all activities, jihad. Where there are Muslims, there will be jihad, which should be defined as the struggle to advance the cause of Islam, by both violent and non-violent means, until Islam dominates. According to recent polls, 69% of Republicans, 55% of Independents and 39% of Democrats back Trump’s common sense proposal to halt Muslim immigration, at least temporarily. The media simply cannot comprehend this. What Clinton and Sanders call bigotry and hate, the American people view as basic common sense because common sense it is.
The fact is, we are enmeshed in a war waged by civilians upon civilians and potential terrorists are streaming in unimpeded through our southern border in addition to being brought in legally through our refugee and visa programs. Even with a perfect screening process, we can never be guaranteed the children of these immigrants and refugees will not turn to jihad in the future.
If George W. Bush had had the intelligence to understand his first and most basic responsibility to the American people, he would have begun restricting Muslim immigration immediately after 9/11, secured the southern border and stepped up FBI surveillance of mosques (far fewer then than now). We couldn’t afford and did not need another bloated and redundant bureaucracy such as the Department of Homeland Security. Bush could have simply expanded the FBI and increased communication between it and the CIA. Period.
Donald Trump also sees civilizational jihad as a huge part of the problem and he is the only candidate to do so. I also believe he would understand the wisdom of allowing the sectarian and ethnic divisions in Muslim lands to fight it out on their own terms. There are some things we did not cause and cannot control, but if we must go in, we must get out quickly. Those of us who supported the Afghanistan and Iraq wars certainly beleived there would be a quick withdrawal. No one signed up for 15 years of nation building – no one. Yet the G.O.P. doesn’t want to allow dissent on this most crucial issue. Lindsay Graham and John McCain would have involved us in endless conflict in the Middle East if they had the power to do so. Hillary Clinton is not far behind in her enthusiasm for “regime change” overseas (including replacing Mubarak with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt), heedless of the chaos to follow as Muslim nations inevitably devolve into their constituent tribes along sectarian lines – see Libya, Yemen and Syria.
After spending trillions of dollars on two fruitless conflicts, Trump proposes going in only when necessary, bombing our enemies, smashing their infrastructure, killing their fighters, but then leaving them to their own devises and equally important, not arming them to the hilt on the way out. General Powell’s Pottery Barn metaphor (if you break it, you buy it), requiring us to stay and rebuild these countries’ infrastructure (even using the military to pick up their trash), just doesn’t wash with the American public. Muslim societies don’t belong to us and we don’t owe them a thing. The Bush Administration, that is, the establishment G.O.P. who want their old jobs back, never understood this, but the voters and Donald Trump understand this just fine. Take the oil? Hell yes! This is war!
Trump also understands immigration is a jobs issue – especially for African Americans. Trump has proposed a pause on legal immigration and a complete end to illegal immigration. His supporters believe he will keep his word and “build that wall” along our southern border. In this, voters see the G.O.P. and their ill-fated plan to court Hispanic voters (with Marco Rubio as the future of the party) as completely out of touch with reality.
In addition, as Trump correctly points out, the Clinton-Bush-Obama era trade deals have decimated the industrial heart of the country. Yet, apparently G.O.P. voters are supposed to smile and cheerfully support “free trade” knowing their candidates are in the pocket of a group of big donors who always get what they want and what they want is cheap labor whatever the costs to the country. The fact that Americans now have plentiful cheap electronics, doesn’t actually make up for the fact that we have no jobs left to pay for them. Donald Trump understands this. He knows the value of good paying jobs for the stability of families and the self-respect and confidence of the entire nation, but until his campaign began, this vital subject has been off the table for Republicans.
In this, the businessman from Queens understands the American working people better than Harvard man from Texas or the mailman’s son from Ohio. He speaks in plain English to describe the incompetence, and yes, the stupidity of those currently in power, who could not have harmed our country any more if they had had outright malicious intent. Voters know that if things don’t change soon, we may not have much of a country left to bequeath to our children.
It’s not just trade deals which require re-negotiation, but defense agreements also. What we have today are mainly the extensions of agreements reached after WWII, made when we were at the very height of our power and stature as a nation. Unfortunately, we are not that country anymore. Contrary to the assertions of Mrs. Clinton, NATO is not a sacred cow. The Cold War is over and we need new alliances to deal with the current threat – we cannot do it alone. Clinton wants us to feel comfortable in the same old ruts, but renegotiation of these agreements as Trump has proposed would free up resources and place us in a better position to defend America from the threats we face today.
Mr. Trump has operated on the highest levels in business and society for many years. Those who know him personally assure us of his level-headed, charming manner in that setting. So who do Americans want to enter these critical negotiations on their behalf – the inflexible, moralizing schoolmaster (Cruz), Mr. Rogers (Kasich), or master negotiator, Donald J. Trump? Gee that’s easy.
The American people are astounded by the sheepish behavior of the Europeans in response to the threat of terror. Those candlelight vigils look more like funerals for their nations, as if they realize they are already beaten. The Muslim threat has grown and grown in the heart of their ancient capitals due to the abject failure of their clueless political leaders. Few rise up to demand the radical change necessary; rather, hobbled by political correctness, the majority seems to limp toward doom. By backing Donald Trump, Americans are demonstrating to the world we are not defeated and that Europe can do the same – throw the bums out!
One of the latest G.O.P. tactics to defeat Trump comes in the form of criticism of his rhetoric, as if American women were all Miss Pittypat reaching for the smelling salts whenever a slightly off-color remark leaves his lips. On the contrary, American women voters choose Trump because they want someone who will protect their children by whatever means necessary. And the populace applauds him for sticking by his campaign manager after he was charged with battery (battery!) for pulling a female reporter away from the candidate. The right to abortion is settled law and a actually more or less a non-issue.
Donald Trump may not be perfect, but at least he will clean house and a Trump administration won’t be a repeat of the feckless Bush 43. The country need fresh, realistic thinking and that is what Donald Trump promises.
Rebecca Bynum’s latest book is The Real Nature of Religion, published by New English Review Press.