Trump- One With the GOP Base, Not One With the GOP


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Donald Trump’s campaign for President is nothing short of a freak show. He has insulted women, Asians, Mexicans, and everyone else he has remembered to talk about during his run. This has helped him out to a lead in the polls for the Republican nomination, because that’s what the GOP base wants to hear. Their voters biggest issue is cultural change in America, not the small government stuff that the DC Republican establishment cares about. In fact, in truth, many of them disagree with their party on that, and would have been Democrats before the Civil Rights movement. Trump is talking about all the “take back America” stuff they want to hear about, and saying he’d change our economy to be more favorable to downscale white voters.

The establishment hates hearing that:

But it’s no surprise that the Club for Growth is taking the lead. For months now, Trump and the club — which is mainly funded by wealthy investors and financiers — have been at each other’s throats, publicly feuding on Twitter. On the surface, the dispute is about what happened around a meeting months ago, after which the club’s president asked Trump for a $1 million donation.

In reality, though, the feud gets to the heart of why the billionaire’s candidacy is so dangerous to the conservative electoral coalition. The club’s mission has long been to push the GOP far to the right on economic issues — slashing taxes and spending as much as possible. But Trump has pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare spending, and says the wealthy should be taxed more.

That makes his candidacy incredibly dangerous to both the club and the current orthodoxy on tax and spending issues that exists across the GOP — an orthodoxy that the club helped bring about, and tries to enforce.

And so they are going to spend $1 million in Iowa to knock Trump down. Why?

And — worse yet for the club — there’s some evidence that his views are quite popular among Republican voters. A 2014 Gallup poll found that 45 percent of Republicans thought the wealthy pay too little in taxes, compared with just 21 percent who thought they pay too much. Similarly, more Republicans want to raise spending on Social Security and Medicare than cut it. And when Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson interviewed Tea Party supporters for a political science study, the people they talked to “were very anxious that Social Security and Medicare be maintained.”

The wealthy elite GOP donor class that funds campaigns — and the think tanks that help mold conservative ideology, and the advocacy groups that enforce ideological discipline — have, so far, succeeded in preventing Republican politicians from adopting these views, even though they seem rather popular.

And so, we have a fight in the GOP. Can’t say I’m feeling sad for them.

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