Party unity and the marriage of right and left

Republicans have finally achieved that elusive dream of party unity.  Under the #NeverTrump banner, they have managed to align themselves with anti-Trump organizations like MoveOn.org to the point where Big Tent politics has taken on a whole new meaning.

Who would have thought back in 2008 or even 2012 that a future Republican Party would resemble the left in Alinsky tactics against its own?  "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it" has begun to take its toll on Donald Trump and his millions of supporters on the right.

This is not to say Trump has succumbed to the assault; he has remained standing despite unprecedented ambushes from both the left and the right.  But it has to leave a sour taste in the mouths of conservatives who have joined the chorus to dump Trump that they find themselves in agreement with Democrats and leftist groups.

How myopic and self-defeating is it that Republican leader Reince Priebus says, "If you don't like the party, then sit down.  I mean, the party is choosing a nominee"?  How can he go along with the media, special interest groups, and political donors on the right and not see that coming together with conservatives of all types would be the only way to defeat the Democrat nominee in November?

Say what you want about the Democrats, but they know how to unify in order to win.  They don't trash each other, and they don't retreat; they double down and dig in deeper against their ideological opponents.

Here's an excerpt from a recent call to action newsletter from MoveOn:

Dear MoveOn member,

Breaking news: MoveOn members just voted 71% to 29% to launch a major campaign to show that our country rejects Donald Trump's hate-baiting, racism, misogyny, and violence. [snip]

Your donation will allow us to take our campaign to the next level, including:

  • Reaching and mobilizing new voters with state-of-the-art voter outreach and get-out-the-vote strategies;
  • Supporting Muslim Americans, immigrants, women, and others who have been targeted by Trump-inspired violence, including teaming up with local leaders for nonviolent and creative demonstrations carrying the message that "Love trumps hate";
  • Working with artists and public figures to loudly rebuke Trump's hateful stances through shareable digital content, creative ads, and other public expression;
  • Holding accountable corporations, politicians, media figures, and anyone who legitimizes Trump's hate-mongering, violence, racism, and misogyny.

You have to wonder: with enemies like MoveOn doing all the heavy lifting, why are Republicans wasting their hard-earned fund-raised money on strategies to take out Trump?

Media outlets such as National Review ("Conservatives Against Trump," 2/15/16) and conservative super-PACs have put bloggers and money behind the #NeverTrump campaign – to what avail?  Smearing the frontrunner and all his supporters 24/7 for the past ten months has not only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but has divided the Republican Party.  Now the RNC declares that the people who make up the party don't matter.  Only those in leadership and on board with the plan to make sure Trump never sees the nomination have a right to speak.

Michael Medved said, "Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans," including "selfish, greedy, materialistic, bullying, misogynistic, angry, and intolerant."

Erick Erickson, former editor of RedState, wrote, "A lot of Trump voters have failed at life and blame others for their own poor decisions. They're using Trump as a vehicle for revenge."

And who anointed talk radio personalities the moral conscience of the people?  In Wisconsin, where Ted Cruz won the primary, Trump was trounced by several hosts who called him all kinds of names for months leading up to voting day.  Using the airwaves to tear down a person running for office looks suspiciously biased.

There's Mark Belling of WISN, who said, "I think it's just that we're not as stupid as some of the people that are falling for Trump's crap."  And Jerry Bader at WTAQ said, "I believe I have a moral responsibility to do whatever small part I can in stopping Donald Trump.  It's beyond politics for me. I think he's dangerous."

Much to the dismay of the Republican ruling class, the once longed for notion of having a diverse population of Republicans under a big tent has actually become a reality under Trump.  Never before have so many different categories of Americans united to support a candidate.  He has moved the hearts and minds of Middle America to show up to vote in typically low-turnout primaries.

But powerful conservative voices that cannot abide a man like Trump have set up their own tent and are vowing never to enter the working-class billionaire's arena.  A house divided cannot stand.  

Ann Kane is former state editor for Watchdog Wire NC.  She also blogs at ExZoom.net.

Republicans have finally achieved that elusive dream of party unity.  Under the #NeverTrump banner, they have managed to align themselves with anti-Trump organizations like MoveOn.org to the point where Big Tent politics has taken on a whole new meaning.

Who would have thought back in 2008 or even 2012 that a future Republican Party would resemble the left in Alinsky tactics against its own?  "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it" has begun to take its toll on Donald Trump and his millions of supporters on the right.

This is not to say Trump has succumbed to the assault; he has remained standing despite unprecedented ambushes from both the left and the right.  But it has to leave a sour taste in the mouths of conservatives who have joined the chorus to dump Trump that they find themselves in agreement with Democrats and leftist groups.

How myopic and self-defeating is it that Republican leader Reince Priebus says, "If you don't like the party, then sit down.  I mean, the party is choosing a nominee"?  How can he go along with the media, special interest groups, and political donors on the right and not see that coming together with conservatives of all types would be the only way to defeat the Democrat nominee in November?

Say what you want about the Democrats, but they know how to unify in order to win.  They don't trash each other, and they don't retreat; they double down and dig in deeper against their ideological opponents.

Here's an excerpt from a recent call to action newsletter from MoveOn:

Dear MoveOn member,

Breaking news: MoveOn members just voted 71% to 29% to launch a major campaign to show that our country rejects Donald Trump's hate-baiting, racism, misogyny, and violence. [snip]

Your donation will allow us to take our campaign to the next level, including:

  • Reaching and mobilizing new voters with state-of-the-art voter outreach and get-out-the-vote strategies;
  • Supporting Muslim Americans, immigrants, women, and others who have been targeted by Trump-inspired violence, including teaming up with local leaders for nonviolent and creative demonstrations carrying the message that "Love trumps hate";
  • Working with artists and public figures to loudly rebuke Trump's hateful stances through shareable digital content, creative ads, and other public expression;
  • Holding accountable corporations, politicians, media figures, and anyone who legitimizes Trump's hate-mongering, violence, racism, and misogyny.

You have to wonder: with enemies like MoveOn doing all the heavy lifting, why are Republicans wasting their hard-earned fund-raised money on strategies to take out Trump?

Media outlets such as National Review ("Conservatives Against Trump," 2/15/16) and conservative super-PACs have put bloggers and money behind the #NeverTrump campaign – to what avail?  Smearing the frontrunner and all his supporters 24/7 for the past ten months has not only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but has divided the Republican Party.  Now the RNC declares that the people who make up the party don't matter.  Only those in leadership and on board with the plan to make sure Trump never sees the nomination have a right to speak.

Michael Medved said, "Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans," including "selfish, greedy, materialistic, bullying, misogynistic, angry, and intolerant."

Erick Erickson, former editor of RedState, wrote, "A lot of Trump voters have failed at life and blame others for their own poor decisions. They're using Trump as a vehicle for revenge."

And who anointed talk radio personalities the moral conscience of the people?  In Wisconsin, where Ted Cruz won the primary, Trump was trounced by several hosts who called him all kinds of names for months leading up to voting day.  Using the airwaves to tear down a person running for office looks suspiciously biased.

There's Mark Belling of WISN, who said, "I think it's just that we're not as stupid as some of the people that are falling for Trump's crap."  And Jerry Bader at WTAQ said, "I believe I have a moral responsibility to do whatever small part I can in stopping Donald Trump.  It's beyond politics for me. I think he's dangerous."

Much to the dismay of the Republican ruling class, the once longed for notion of having a diverse population of Republicans under a big tent has actually become a reality under Trump.  Never before have so many different categories of Americans united to support a candidate.  He has moved the hearts and minds of Middle America to show up to vote in typically low-turnout primaries.

But powerful conservative voices that cannot abide a man like Trump have set up their own tent and are vowing never to enter the working-class billionaire's arena.  A house divided cannot stand.  

Ann Kane is former state editor for Watchdog Wire NC.  She also blogs at ExZoom.net.