Henry Olsen: Never Trump, Joe Walsh Still Don’t Understand Why Trump Is President

Joe Walsh and Donald Trump
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File/AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

“Mainstream media,” “the Republican establishment,” and “fringe people like Joe Walsh” do not understand “why Donald Trump is president,” said Henry Olsen, Washington Post columnist and author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism, during a Tuesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Joe Walsh, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives from Illinois. announced a primary challenge against President Donald Trump on Sunday in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Walsh later framed himself as a man of principle engaging in a selfless personal sacrifice to defend America from a “clear and present danger” manifested by Trump, offering his remarks on CNN and MSNBC.

“How did we get to this moment with the Bill Kristol crowd and the Never Trump movement, and what is their logic, possibly, in having this guy be the one to try to take out Trump?” asked Marlow.

Olsen replied, “They hate the president so much that they’ll overlook the clear and present flaws of any alternative. They also, I think, have a massive misunderstanding of why Donald Trump became the nominee.”

“I think they really do believe that the president is racist, and that his voters are,” continued Olsen. “So consequently, they looked at someone like Walsh — who has used racial slurs on the radio, and said that President Obama was a Muslim, engaged in birther conspiracy talk — and they say, ‘Well, here’s a man who has all the appeal that Donald Trump had. He can swing the voters,’ and I think they’re just nuts.”

“They are people who fundamentally misunderstand why Donald Trump is president,” said Olsen of Trump’s political opponent, including several Democrat presidential candidates. “So consequently, when they are in political trouble, they try to emulate what they think made Trump president. The fact that all of those people failed dramatically — Beto O’Rourke is not moving up in the polls, despite ever-growing hysteria — just shows how wrong their diagnosis is.”

Trump’s base of support is rooted in policies and actions, not style, explained Olsen.

“The reason Donald Trump is president is because touched on a number of strongly felt beliefs that no one else was talking about, and he was credible about them,” Olsen stated. “In the White House, he has largely delivered on trying to ameliorate those problems. That’s the core of his appeal, not his style.”

“Among many people, their America is being left behind, [they believe] they are under siege, and that their views are going to be exiled in the new America,” Olsen explained. “Blue-collar switch voters that voted for Obama, Kerry, and Gore, these are who believed that they were being unfairly deprived of their jobs by unfair competition from foreigners [and] through immigration and trade.”

Olsen went on: “They’ve had these beliefs for a decade, or more, and Trump’s the only person who came out with conviction and said, ‘You’re right, I’m going to fight back.'”

“Religious conservatives… feel that they’re one step away from being exiled from the public square,” continued Olsen. “Donald Trump said, ‘You know what? You’re right, and I’m going to fight back,’ and the mainstream media and people like Joe Walsh continue to not understand that this is why Donald Trump is president, and so consequently, they actually — though their crazy attacks — help strengthen rather than weaken him.”

“The Republican establishment… still refuses to understand why Donald Trump is president,” concluded Olsen. “Fringe people like Joe Walsh don’t understand that it’s the issues, not the style, that made President Trump president.”

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