Ted Cruz and the Definition of Insanity
Ted Cruz is closing in on Donald Trump in Iowa, leading in some polls. His rise in Iowa may bring cheers from his supporters, but it strikes fear in my heart.
Don't get me wrong – I love Cruz. He's my second choice for the nomination. If anything happens to Trump's lead, Cruz is my guy. No, the point of this article is that for conservatives, there is no second choice in this election.
Only one guy has taken on the GOP establishment and entire media conglomerate and won. Trump has changed the race, pushed the opposition aside, stampeded the media, and brought the people back into the process. How is he able to do this?
How Trump beats back the establishment
The establishment has a paved road to victory. Their big money has shaped races on both sides of the aisle, and they're used to winning. And they fully intend to brandish their influence yet again in the 2016 race. Their money lets them reach the masses with campaign ads, to commission push polls and focus groups to find out how we commoners think and use that against us.
Republican special-interest donors are not going to surrender, no matter what the political landscape currently looks like. It's why Bush, Christie, Rubio, and Kasich stay in the race. Whichever candidate the donor class can push over the finish line will be the "moderate" lane's candidate. And these donors are still confident they can win and retain power.
But for now, Trump stands between big money and an establishment win. Trump's self-funded, calling out the cash corruption that has destroyed our government. The people hear him and relate. We've known about the corrupt government for ages. Trump's biggest asset in this race is his financial independence. He doesn't need billionaires to support his campaign; he is a billionaire. This self-sufficiency enables Trump to promise the people he will work for them, not for the inside-the-Beltway money changers.
How Trump bypasses establishment's media
From his announcement forward, Trump has projected an air of incumbency, more a sitting president seeking a second term than a political neophyte. He's an über-successful businessman, author, and entertainer. His celebrity persona comes with a few perks of its own: (1) a working mic the left can't turn off; (2) a direct line to the people, aka his fans; and (3) an established social media presence with over 10 million combined followers.
Using his personal media access, Trump has created an off-line audience of passionate, enthusiastic supporters who ignore the mainstream media with their aging talking heads. This audience strains past traditional press to hear from the candidate himself, Donald Trump, in his own words.
How Trump survives opposition research and personal attacks
The GOPe and media love to take out a candidate by rattling those nasty skeletons tucked deep in the closet. Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich are just a couple of examples. Trump's get-out-of-jail-free card is that his skeletons are already in plain view, sitting right in the middle of the Trump Tower lobby. Donald Trump has been famous his entire adult life, so his every move makes tabloid headlines. No secrets there. He readily admits he was a Democrat, that he's held liberal positions, and that he was one of the evil donor types before he ran for office. He makes no secret of his politically incorrect attitude – in fact, he flaunts it (see first debate: "Only Rosie O'Donnell"). There will be no "surprises" unveiled in the Trump campaign.
These are some of the reasons the people have fallen in love with this guy. We're excited – we finally have a candidate who not only defends himself against politicians and reporters, but who returns fire and turns the tables.
This brings me to Ted Cruz. Cruz is great, a real conservative, a man of character, brilliant, and not afraid to fight for conservatism. If anything ever does bring Trump down, it will be Cruz I want in the wings. Sadly, it won't matter if Cruz is in the wings, because if Trump's gone, the revolution is over.
If we split the conservative vote yet again, the establishment wins yet again, guaranteed. The GOPe and media have pulverized the Republican base for years. They've insulted us, ignored us, ruled against us, and dragged our reputation through the mud. They've lied and cheated to keep control, manipulated our votes to defeat us.
Now some conservatives are willing to go down this road again. They don't think Trump's their best choice, or they don't "like" Trump, think he's too brash, and want someone less aggressive. These people will ignore history and support a different candidate and split the conservative vote. They're sure this time they'll win, that the media's cowed and the establishment knows it has to include the base.
Then these people, who thought this was just another election, will wake up on the floor, bleeding, barely conscious, looking up through swollen eyes at a Bush nominee. They'll realize too late they were wrong about a defeated media, about the establishment seeing the error of their ways. These same voters will cry into the night, swear they will never let this happen again.
Until next time.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Conservative Republicans might be the craziest bunch on the planet, because we play into the ruling establishment's hands every single time. That's who we are: people of character who won't compromise our values. We'll cast our vote for who we think is the absolute best candidate and to hell with strategy – forget uniting behind a single candidate, even if that person is our second choice. We're better than that. The best or nothing.
It's what conservatives do: break up the vote every time, lose our election every time, look to the next race every time, the definition of insanity.