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HomeIllinois PoliticsBiga: Maybe the misguided anti-Trump hashtag should be #NeverRight

Biga: Maybe the misguided anti-Trump hashtag should be #NeverRight

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By Frank J Biga III - 

The contortions that many conservatives have gone through trying to theorize on how to stop the Trump Train is now really starting to get humorous. Let’s start with a little history….

Way back in the early fall after the first few debates, the Trumpophobes just knew that once the voters became serious that Trump would say something so out of bounds that his candidacy was bound to implode. This, alas, did not happen.

Then when Trump seemed to have a solid base of support, there was all this talk about how he had a “low ceiling” of support and wouldn’t be able win once the candidate field got winnowed down. Fourteen candidates have since withdrawn from the race and that has not happened either. His “ceiling” has been rising this whole time too.

Now this is my personal favorite misprognostication. There was talk in the fall about how Trump would be so mad once he realized that he actually needed to get on the ballot here in Illinois and that he would have to collect signatures and even do so with slates of delegates and get signatures by district! Surely he wouldn’t have the organization or knowledge for that! Some of these conservatives had not actually seen for themselves any of Trump’s petitions being circulated. So they came to the obvious, yet egocentric, conclusion that he must not be circulating them at all. You know, only political insiders have this specialized knowledge. How could someone as boorish as Trump know all this inside baseball?!

Then, of course, Trump and his campaign filed a full slate of delegates and alternate delegates in all 18 districts on the first day for filing while some of his opponents did not come close to this feat. There was silence for a few days. Then the new argument that was formulated was that Trump would not actually be able to win any primaries or caucuses. He didn’t have the organization in all of those key states!

Admittedly Trump lost Iowa by a small margin in a state tailor-made for Ted Cruz. But Trump did have more than enough of a movement to win big in NH. I saw it for myself when I was there back before the primary. His office was full of volunteers phone-banking and there were many teams of canvassers knocking on doors in the snow.

Then South Carolina was the newest salient the true blue conservatives would rally behind. Surely the Southern evangelicals would see right through Trump. Yet Trump won there decisively despite the best counter-efforts of Governor Haley and Senators Scott and Graham. On Super Tuesday a few weeks later when Trump won seven states these conservatives all looked about as stunned as the French must have been at Dienbienphu.

Then after what must have been the political equivalent of a hangover they rallied. They’d derail the Trump Train in Florida and Ohio! Surely Rubio would rally the troops in the Sunshine State. It was winner take all you know! And Trump’s efforts would be all for naught if he fell short in both states. And Jeb! dropping out had to help Rubio for sure!

Epic Fail! Trump stumbled in Ohio but blew out Rubio in Florida and then won most of Illinois’ delegates as well as North Carolina and Missouri. Arizona fell decisively in to the Trump column a week later.

These desperate conservatives are now hanging on to the prospect of a Trump loss in Wisconsin. One has to hand it to them for their sheer relentlessness. Because this is a slim reed indeed.

Because even if Trump loses Wisconsin and even if Trump comes up short of the 1237 delegates for a first ballot nomination, it’s not as if he is without cards to play. It’s not as if Trump will just be outmaneuvered by party insiders without using tactical ploys of his own. He’ll have advisors to match anything the establishment can throw at him. Trump will also almost certainly have the most delegates and this, in a democracy, counts for a great deal. And let’s not discount the intensity factor which is clearly on Trump’s side.

What is most interesting though is that these #NeverTrump conservatives have, as shown, been so spectacularly and consistently wrong this election cycle yet this doesn’t seem to cause any reassessment by them of their position. They just keep coming. I forget what term psychiatrists have for this type of behavior … the term just eludes me.

Maybe we should call them the #NeverRight movement instead.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Trump’s success up to now is indeed remarkable, and is evidence of his ability to exploit the mass media’s appetite for sensation; also of the profound discontent felt by a substantial fraction of the American people.
    But it seems fairly clear at this point that he may have reached his limits. So far, he’s drawn 38% of the Republican primary vote: not even half. In fact he’s gotten fewer primary votes than Mrs. Clinton. He started by drawing 35%-40%, but he hasn’t broken out of that zone, which suggests that he is not generating a growing wave of popularity. Now that the non-Trump vote is concentrating, he’s very likely to start losing; so much for his inevitability and “momentum”.
    He may yet force a first-ballot victory, but if he doesn’t, it will be interesting to see how many of his “bound” delegates stick with him on later ballots.
    And it’s now clear that the mass media are through carrying him (aside from his crony at the National Enquirer). They made him; now they’ll break him.

  2. Count me as a terrified “Trumpophobe.” The emperer has no clothes. He is a moron who will not rule out the use of nuclear weapons breaking 70 years of bi-partisan foreign policy. His ignorance is combined with his arrogance. Way back in 1984 when Reagan was president, Trump told the Washington Post that he should be the arms negotiator because “I can learn all I need to learn about missiles in an hour and a half.” Putting someone that stupid and that arrogant in charge of nuclear launch codes is beyond lunacy.

  3. Eisenhower did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons – the strategy was called Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). JFK did not rule it out either but he wanted conventional choices as well. This was called Flexible Response. Nixon and Carter signed SALT I and SALT II which essentially limited our missiles while the USSR cheated. This led to Reagan who put Intermediate missiles in Europe and this led to fears of a nuclear armageddon and spawned movies like “The Day After”. I’m not sure what bipartisan foreign policy you’re talking about. It seems as if our various Presidents tried different strategies and one of them (JFK) brought us pretty close to nuclear war over Cuba.