Alarm bells should be going off within the GOP establishment-class. A recently released poll of Iowa GOP voters showing Donald Trump in the lead with 22% support and Dr. Ben Carson in second place with 14% is a stinging rebuke to the political class. In analyzing this poll I came to the nearly irrefutable conclusion that Americans are looking for a dramatically different type of leadership, because the one trait these two candidates have in common is their lack of a political resume. Voters are beyond fed up with the “managed decline” attitude emanating from political insiders.
I saw this phenomenon up close and personal during my campaign for congress and thought it had reached a crescendo, but I may have miscalculated the anger of the electorate. With this in mind I would like to cover the race for the GOP presidential nomination from an issues-based perspective rather than a candidate-based perspective. There are a number of well-done analyses on Conservative Review covering the gamut of candidate characteristics and voting records, but in this piece I want to cover what issues are winning and losing. For example, extrapolating from the results of the aforementioned Iowa GOP poll, it’s clear that long political resumes are no longer an asset. Therefore, term limits may be a “winner.”
Here are some other issues that are “winning” over the GOP electorate thus far, and some that are “losing:”
Hillary Clinton’s tanking poll numbers with regard to her “trustworthiness” are an ominous sign for the Democratic frontrunner, but they demonstrate that increased accountability is a winner in the eyes of the American people. After the Clinton email scandal, the IRS scandal, the terror attacks in Benghazi, the VA scandal, the GAO scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, the AP / Fox News phone records scandal, the awful Iran “deal”, the Kate Steinle murder, and the Obama amnesty scandal, Americans of all political stripes are fed up with elected officials and government bureaucrats living by a separate set of “rules,” which would get the average American fined, arrested, and publicly humiliated.
WINNER: Conservative Immigration Reform
The establishment wing of the GOP, and some of their crony capitalist backers, have GROSSLY underestimated the importance GOP voters place on border security and a legal, and orderly, immigration process. Voter outrage is especially enflamed in the wake of President Obama’s lawless executive actions going undefeated in Congress. After watching the first GOP debate, and observing the GOP polling trends, I cannot see any GOP candidate who supports amnesty winning the GOP nomination.
WINNER: Tax Reform
A number of the GOP candidates on the debate stage, and in their campaign platforms, have eloquently spoken about a number of bold, serious, pro-growth-oriented tax reforms which would jumpstart job and wage growth, including the fair tax, a flat tax, a marginal income tax rate cut, and the elimination of economically-distorting, insider tax-deductions. With the recent release of another series of disappointing job numbers and stagnant wage growth, the GOP is again positioned to frame itself as the party of broad-based prosperity if we can relay our message clearly and concisely.
LOSER: Common Core
There are few issues which engender the degree of bipartisan revulsion the way that Common Core does. There are a couple of things you just don’t mess with and the education of our children is one of them. Jeb Bush’s weak defense of Common Core actually served to make the case for dumping Common Core in favor of local education standards, which suit the students of the local school districts, not the interests of power-hungry Washington D.C. bureaucrats.
LOSER: Planned Parenthood and Abortion-on-Demand
After being caught red-handed on videotape, harvesting and trafficking the organs of aborted children, this sick organization may be single-handedly responsible for creating a new generation of pro-life young Americans. The organ trafficking scandal put the issue on the center stage of the national political debate and forced America to confront the horror of abortion without the flowery talking points the far-left has used for years to disguise the genuine horror of what is happening. Also, the laws of political gravity are beginning to reestablish their preeminence with the Trump campaign after his puzzling response to a question about the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Supporting, in any fashion, a policy which forces the taxpayers to fund this horrible organization is a complete and total loser among GOP voters.
LOSER: Political Correctness
Whether you support or revile Donald Trump, you cannot ignore him. His attack on our increasingly politically correct culture generated thunderous applause from the audience during the GOP debate. It generated applause because Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, and moderate Democrats are seething with frustration and disappointment at the far-left’s determination to generate false outrage and divide up America using PC word policing. These self-appointed authorities randomly declare people “racist,” “sexist,” and worse, for speaking out against bad policies. The circle of what the far-left declares to be “acceptable conversation” has been shrinking for years as they fascistically categorize a growing number of words as off-limits, and a growing number of Americans as racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and worse. As this “acceptable” circle shrinks, and the number of people allowed inside lessens, those on the outside, designated extremists by the media-progressive alliance, will viciously fight back in support of forces willing to take on this alliance.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review.