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Starkehaus: Some fresh advice for Donald Trump




By Irene F. Starkehaus - 

Warning – pervasively mixed metaphors up ahead. Proceed with caution. Look, I get it. Watching your candidate fumble through what should have been a scenic promenade into the end zone really stinks. I know what you're going through because I've been right where you are many, many times myself.

No, I mean – not for this particular election, of course. This election is turning out to be quite the opposite for me. I finally get to stretch my political legs for the first time in like 16 years because for the first time in 16 years, I don't have to defend a horse's back end as a tradeoff for keeping the barbarians at bay.

That's because there's no way to defend from the barbarians this time around. From my vantage point, that pretty pony has already jumped the fence and is half way down the road.

The horde is at the gate. Everyone who is left to run for office is looking to slash it, light it up and take no prisoners. It's really quite freeing to know that disaster is coming so far in advance. It's got that surreal "bubble bath before your slaughter" vibe to it.

"Is the party really too broken to fix?" you may ask. You know, I'm not a soothsayer. I just play one in my kitchen as I try to visualize where child one's math assignment may have been placed. While I dislike the word "never," I just don't see how one comes back from a decision to reject the party's candidate after this kind of rift.

To me, Trump is as fetid a candidate as ever there was, and his nomination – I think – is a troubling reflection of the party's soul. It's like catching a glimpse of Dorian Gray's portrait and wishing you hadn't. Once it's seen, there's no unseeing it. And if you can't unsee it then you have to get away from it or become part of it.

As readers know, the free agency of many conservatives began when Trump disemboweled his teammates, stomped on their entrails and left them for dead while he spiked the ball at the 50-yard line. Because you know how that goes. If he had waited and pushed to the end zone before celebrating the touchdown, he wouldn't have had time for his victory dance over what remains of the Republican Party. Where's the fun in that?

I suppose that other #NeverTrumpsters might be able to shift back and if they do, more power to them, I say. I recognize that some opponents don't see Trump as being depraved as much they believe he's unrefined.

It's also hard to come up against conservative mainstays like Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Matt Drudge and Sean Hannity when these are the guys who gave voice to the generational frustrations of conservatives for over two decades. They're so hell-bent on hard selling the Trump candidacy that it's a little unnerving to many.

"What am I missing?" I kept thinking. But I'm not. I'm spot on. Our conservative media is either running scared or uncharacteristically brainwashed this year, but they are not practicing what they've been preaching for the last 25 or so years.

Meanwhile, Trump insists that he won't need any of the Republicans that he trampled, and as an objective observer who can't see the difference between Trump and Hillary, I'm thinking he's not quite on point there. You can alienate all the RINOs and maybe still win. You can tick off the Reagan conservatives and perhaps win. You can't cut off both of your wings and expect to fly.

The Trump camp may not want the #NeverTrump vote, but they'd better come up with a plan for earning it anyway. And it'll need to go beyond the Grand Puba's assertion that he's a great businessman who can make the country great again because he's great and that's great – which is all the rice cakes and popcorn I can stand for one election. Thank you.

Never you mind. Trump needn't bother filling the growing vacancies of his nearly bankrupt campaign in search of strategy. I'll advise him free of charge.

Ready? Free of charge.

Get your Trumpeteers locked down and on message. Their pervasive condescension is toxic. Their entitlement? Revolting. Phantasmal is their desertion of civility and principle. I promise you. There is nothing in this world that is less likely to win over the #NeverTrump brigade than, "He won. Get over it. Now shut up and vote the way we tell you."

Who exactly died and promoted Trump supporters to the position of voting booth gods to tell me who I "need" to vote for or else. Richard J. Daley? What are they gonna do? Tear gas me if I don't? And as alluring as the directive, "Stop your whining, grab your ankles and vote" has been thus far, the answer from #NeverTrump remains unchanged, only now the heels are firmly digging in. In the words of the great Polly Holliday:

"Kiss my grits."

Also, as entertaining as these pithy, Trumpian euphemisms for ugly people, female people, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, mentally challenged people, the physically challenged, uneducated people, Mexican people, and the entire State of Iowa have been, Trump should consider never opening his mouth without a teleprompter ever again. Not just for the election. I mean ever.

I would think that with all that money the great and mighty Trump supposedly has, he could maybe hire a guy to follow him on a mo-ped to auto correct him or dislodge the foot from his mouth in real time or something.

He should try that. What's the point of having money if you won't use it to improve your life? That it would also improve the lives of everyone else is ancillary.

Lastly, as entertaining as "When Hillary wins and she packs the court with more fascists, it will be all your fault" has been, it's not a compelling argument for the #NeverTrumpsters of Illinois. Trumpeteers should stop auditioning your scapegoats for the coming carnage and pay attention to your electoral map because vexed rants from #NeverTrump – even if they persuaded every member of the GOP in the entire Land of Lincoln – will not impact the general election.

Any state that would reelect Mike Madigan for four decades and then double down by electing his daughter as the AG is not going to be needing my vote to push Trump over the top. I promise you that. To write in Mickey Mouse or to vote for Trump, it makes little difference in Illinois other than to my conscience. In this state, even on the rare occasion that a Republican wins, I'm like that dude from the "Interjection" video.

"Hurray, I'm for the other team."

With or without the #NeverTrump brigade, Trump won't win Illinois. That's a prediction that I'd be willing to surf to the bank. I'm not your problem.

Utah is your problem. Virginia is your problem. Florida is your problem. Wisconsin is your problem. Texas is your problem.

Texas. I mean, talk about your interjections. Trump totally clued into why you don't bludgeon the fellow Republicans who reside in big delegate states… and just about a month too late, wasn't it? Cruz is a tiny speck in the rear view now, and Trump is finally cautioning his prelates that we're not calling him Lyin' Ted anymore. No. We like Ted now.

So after Trump thrashed the character of Cruz. And his wife. And Cruz's running mate. And his father. After he whipped his devotees into a frothy frenzy, so that you could literally hear the whiplash from supporters trying to maneuver through this week's "goodthink?" Now we like Ted Cruz? Boy, it's good to be the king.

But we're still scratching our heads and examining where the #NeverTrump movement is coming from? If you haven't figured it out yet, then give it up because you #NeverWill.

Darn!  That's the end.


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  1. Ms. Starkehaus,
    Get a clue as to where Trump came from. He came because most of the base is tired of the sell outs like Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, McCain, Flake, Graham etc. And Romney, whom I never could quite get a handle on, disappeared in the last six weeks of the election and was unwilling to take on Obama at all times.
    The Republican elites never really go after Obama and the Democrats with intelligence, thought, and vigor. They do a little tap dance but in the end they run and hide. And on Comprehensive Amnesty, they are, in the final outcome, on the same page. SICKENING!
    Yes, I too have many reservations about Trump but it is now time to support him.
    I wish Cruz (my choice) had been more effective in the campaign process but he wasn’t.
    NOW do YOU GET IT!

  2. I’m surprised you could have defended the cultist venture capitalist Romney and Ryan (R-Chamber of Commerce), the divorced RINO McCain, the alcoholic Bush and his crony capitalist Cheney. Good for you for trying, though. The more sane of us were gone a long time before you.

  3. Hey Irene –
    Ignore these Bozos. You are writing for the millions like me that Trump has not won over. I’m embarrassed that he’s the GOP’s best to offer. I’m embarrassed that evangelicals helped him get where he is. I’m embarrassed that so many country lovers honestly believe that Trump can make America Great Again.
    The thought of bearing through four years of his arrogance and hatefulness makes me angry. We had 16 other choices. And we chose this one. It’s very sad.
    You’re swimming against the flow, but I’m right alongside. Me and millions of others.

  4. I’m not a feminist per se, but I have to laugh at the mysogynist Trump following. The fact is that persons like Lake Co Conserv dismiss women’s opinions. They think that the 77 percent of women that have negatives views of Trump don’t matter. They like how Trump throws out those who have differing opinions and ask hard questions.
    Be complimented, Irene – you are in the camps of Megyn Kelly – who the Trump creeps hate.
    I really was hoping for relief after 8 years of Obama. Now it appears we’re in for either baby-haters or women-haters in the White House. That’s very sad.

  5. Most polls have always showed Trump unable to beat Clinton but it didn’t matter to his supporters. And to spike the ball at the half way mark is logical for many of them because their goal was not to beat Clinton, it was to beat the GOP establishment. However, now that same GOP is expected to support it’s captor or take the blame for a Clinton victory.

  6. As to my choice for November, let’s see – here in Illinois, I have at the top of the ticket Donald Trump followed by Mark Kirk.
    My only reason for going to the polls this fall would be the Supreme Court. I will take a chance and trust Trump will heed names from the Heritage Foundation or the Federalist Society. That’s the only reason right now that I would go to the polls.
    I absolutely have no other reason to vote for Trump – but I’m right on the edge of not voting at all. I’m not the type of woman that gets turned on by abuse from a male chauvanist like Trump OR his pathetic followers.