The Season of Trump has offered America an unforgivable look at just how awful the Republican Establishment is. This segment I’ve labeled #GOPSmartSet reminds me so much of their degenerate brethren in the mainstream media, inasmuch as you can’t tell if they are really as dumb as they appear or just playing dumb to push an agenda. They also think you and I are dumb — that as they scream about Trump’s conservative purity we will forget their unblinking support for Mitt “RomneyCare” Romney.
Other than the fact that Trump is not the fool their snobbery assured them he was, something else #GOPSmartSet doesn’t want to come to terms with is that Trump is already running a general election campaign. What Our GOP Betters describe this as conservative impurity, in reality Trump is making a serious play to expand the Republican base in a way that will assure him The Ultimate Prize.
The media tells us Trump is throwing red meat at the Republican base.
But he’s not.
The Establishment tells us Trump avoids policy.
But he doesn’t.
Everyone tells us Trump is alienating too many people to win a general election.
But he’s not.
By nature and training, Trump is a gambler, a speculator, and anyone who closely watched his speech Monday night before 20,000 highly charged Texas conservatives should be able to see what he is up to. If you watched his speech with your snobby #SmartSet glasses on, of course you missed it. If you’re in the media, and you watched the speech with your Gotcha! glasses on, of course you missed it.
Those of us outside a provincial bubble saw the following…
Trump got 20,000 Texas conservatives to applaud at the idea of taxing the rich.
Trump got 20,000 Texas conservatives to applaud at the idea of President Trump muscling a CEO not to move his company overseas — an Obama-esque abuse of executive power.
Trump got 20,000 Texas conservatives to applaud at the idea of rethinking free trade.
Trump got 20,000 Texas conservatives to applaud when he said he would not shred Obama’s Iran deal on day one but would instead try to make it work with stronger inspections.
So what’s happening here?
It is painfully obvious that Trump is already laying the policy groundwork for a general election campaign. He’s not looking past the nomination, but he is also not boxing himself in with policy proposals he won’t be able to wriggle out of should he win the nomination.
Basically, he’s telling Republican voters the unvarnished truth about where he disagrees with us on a number of bedrock conservative issues, and he’s gambling that enough will stick him because they trust him more than the 15 others on existential issues such as immigration, border enforcement, lowering middle class taxes, simplifying the tax code, killing terrorists, and giving as good as he gets from the corrupt media.
He is also counting on the fact that The Base hates #GOPSmartSet enough that we are willing to go with a more moderate candidate if it means bringing down the corrupt, feckless, insulting, useless GOP Establishment.
If he can do this, if Trump can win the nomination by being less than pure on a few key conservative issues, he will enter the general election in a position to expand the Republican base by attracting millions of voters across the Midwest and Rustbelt who for the last 25 years have been ignored and discarded by both Republicans and Democrats.
I’m talking about the working class in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — huge swaths of voters brutalized for generations by stagnant wages and factory closing; men who have lost good paying jobs to illegal immigrants exploited by members-in-good-standing within the predatory Chamber of Commerce.
These are Democrats — Reagan Democrats. This is where Trump believes he can expand our base. Note that many of those states are vital swing states,
On the other side we have the Republican Establishment who have bought the media’s propaganda about Hispanics hook, line, and sinker. Although the numbers prove Romney could have won 75% of the Hispanic vote and still lost in 2012, these Republicans geniuses believe that appeasing illegals (who will never vote for us) at the expense of alienating the working class is the only way to grow the Party.
Like I said, dumb. Also liars. Out of one side of their tight little mouths #GOPSmartSet claims to love Reagan’s concept of a Big Tent, while out the other they scream about purity and nativism if you dare try to attract The Wrong Kind of People.
In other words, #GOPSmartSet doesn’t want to expand the tent with working class Democrats decimated by The New Economy for doing nothing more than playing by the rules.
Illegal aliens, however, they are all for.
Trump also understands that his stand on immigration can attract black voters — another population decimated in part by cheap illegal labor. The black youth unemployment rate is more than 30%, and that only counts those who have not given up looking for work. How many black youths are losing crucially important starter jobs on urban construction sites and elsewhere to cheap illegal labor.
Nope, Trump is not dumb. And until his opponents and their supporters come to terms with that by getting over their wounded pride and snobbery, they will continue be the Coyote to his Roadrunner.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC