By Sal Bommarito
The Republican primaries controversy is becoming more bizarre every day. The New York Times has an article today that actually considers which candidate, Trump or Cruz, would do more damage to the party. My question is why would Republicans select either of these men as their standard bearer if they were so dangerous?
Some still question whether Trump really wants to be president. The notoriety of running for the most important office in the world, coupled with the challenge of beating elitist politicians at their own game may be what is driving the Donald. His own worst nightmare may be winning the White House.
Trump is unabashed about criticizing anyone who attacks him or stands in his way. It’s how he has done business for years. Crush your opponents.
Trump doesn’t give a damn about Republican ideology. For instance, decreasing the deficit is the only sensible business decision for Trump. Too much debt is perilous in his mind. Reduction of frivolous spending is an easy concept for him to grasp. Real politicians worry about how many votes will be lost if a government program is eliminated; Trump won’t. He will challenge all expenditures regardless of their impact on congressional districts. In a way, he’s pure and innocent, unburdened by political processes.
Similarly, Trump has made up his mind that certain nations and their leaders are not true friends. He will do everything in his power to disenfranchise them before they do harm to America. The immigration controversy is a perfect example. Trump is going to build a wall to stop the inflow of illegals from Mexico because he has concluded that Mexico is shipping undesirables to the U.S. He points out that these people are creating economic, political and social problems for the country.
The same is true about Trump’s edict that he will halt immigration of Muslims from certain Arab states. Rightly so, Trump believes that insurgents are attempting to enter the U.S. and create havoc. He feels justified because his actions will prevent terrorist activity. So, he could care less about political correctness or profiling taboos.
Ted Cruz is another story all together although he would focus on many of the same issues as Trump. Cruz is religious about his desire to make America stronger and safer. But, he’s driven by his own ideology.
Cruz is committed to a type of conservatism that isn’t widely accepted by Republicans. He wants to educate outliers about the dangers of large and intrusive government. Cruz is intent on driving more decisions and expenditures down to the state level thereby giving them more autonomy.
In a way, Cruz is an old time Republican who eschews everyone who doesn’t perceive the value of his conservative principles. This attitude has made him unpopular in Washington with the opposition and with many in his own party. He calls out his colleagues in public forums if they have a different view of an issue than he has. Saying your allies are hypocrites and cowards is not a recipe for political success.
Many Republicans believe Cruz is going in the wrong direction. Rather than trying to expand the Republican tent, he’s alienating many with his radical conservative perspectives. Effectively, this makes Cruz unelectable as president, in the eyes of many.
For months, the Republican Party has struggled with the bellicose group known as the Tea Party. Cruz personifies the extreme views of this group. Traditional Republicans are concerned that the party has become too ideological and less mainstream, which may sow the seeds of its demise.
If the Republican Party is debating which candidate will do the least damage, as opposed to the most good, maybe it doesn’t have the right person to lead the party.
I like many of Trump’s ideas. He’s a great salesman, but can he run a government? Cruz is off the grid. He represents a great danger, but we need not worry because he’s unelectable.