by Bob Bennett
Donald Trump has charmed millions of Republicans desperate for someone who would crack heads together in Congress, and actually address rankling issues like illegal immigration and our government’s disturbing romance with Islamists. They fervently believe they’ve found their champion in Trump, but several things make his electability in the general election a high-stakes gamble.
Poll numbers do not favor a general election Trump win
First, the numbers tell a disheartening story in spite of Trump’s surprising string of primary victories. It was reported in Wednesday’s WSJ that “Two-thirds of registered voters said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Trump.” That’s a recipe for defeat in the general election, though 56% said they couldn’t vote for Hillary either, a new WSJ/NBC News poll says.
The cited poll shows 30% of registered Republicans who will vote in the primary will vote for Trump; 53% of corresponding Democrats will vote for Clinton. A head-to-head matchup shows Clinton beating Trump 51% to 38%. Trump’s rivals all beat Clinton in the polls.
Crude and un-presidential demeanor
We have to ask ourselves just why two-thirds of registered voters feel that way about Mr. Trump. Surely they didn’t research his positions and decide they disagree with him. It’s unquestionable their feeling is the result of his un-presidential behavior at debates – insults, interrupting, calling his opponents “lying’ Ted,” “Little Marco” or “basket case”; encouraging foul language at rallies.
The ugliest utterances so far: March 3rd: “I could’ve said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees,’ and he would’ve dropped to his knees”; at a debate that evening on national TV, responding to earlier Rubio jibes: “He referred to my hands – ‘If they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
His supporters put his crude manners up to “telling it like it is,” but in the general election, independents and Democrats, whose votes he’ll need, will be treated to a medley of Trump’s Greatest Hits endlessly replayed in a barrage of commercials, including the above remarks, his tantrum with the water bottle, and his comment at a rally that he’d like to punch a protester in the face. Americans want to be proud of their president, not to bar their children from watching debates for fear Trump may bring up the size of his body parts.
More’s the pity that Mr. Trump’s so marred his campaign after taming the Media, and smashing political correctness by correctly targeting, in June, a real threat to America: uncontrolled illegal immigration. In August, he doubled down with a truly excellent immigration plan secured from the team of America’s leading illegal immigration foe, Senator Jeff Sessions.
But: Will the two-thirds of voters go to Trump’s website and say “Hey: that’s a great immigration plan; I’ll ignore all the things I dislike about him and vote for him”? Not hardly.
Loose lips sink campaigns
Though President Obama is often mocked for his ubiquitous teleprompter, Donald Trump is one man who should never speak without one, for almost anything might tumble out of his mouth at a speech. The Las Vegas Sun described a tone-deaf Trump speech on December 3, 2015 before the Republican Jewish Coalition, in which he criticized Obama several times and repeatedly stated that Israel had given a great deal to achieve peace. But the off-the-cuff speech also contained remarks that could easily be cherry-picked by an opponent seeking to portray him as anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic:
“The party’s 2016 frontrunner openly questioned Israel’s commitment to the Mideast peace process in his remarks before the Republican Jewish Coalition…. ‘I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it, and I don’t know the other side has the commitment to make it,’” Trump is quoted as saying. “This drew murmurs of disapproval. He drew loud boos after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the nation’s undivided capital.”
Vox.com quoted him delivering these remarks to the RJC, which could be presented by Democrats or the leftist media as examples of “ancient stereotypes of ‘money-grubbing Jews,’” as Vox put it, or even anti-Semitism:
“I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” and “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
He also told one man who had booed him:
“Do me a favor, just relax,” adding, “And you wonder why you get yourself in trouble.”
Vox called it “an utterly baffling address to give to a group of Republican Jews. It suggests that Trump isn’t just “politically incorrect… but rather that he actually can’t help himself from engaging in nasty stereotypes.” The site also said he was incapable of coming up with “the right talking points to use when speaking to a pro-Israel crowd, a deeply important constituency in the Republican Party.”
The risk of losing to Hillary
The Democrats have nothing to do but think of underhanded ways to win an election. Even when they don’t have the race card to work with, they can simply ridicule an opponent until he or she has no future in politics. And the GOP itself is tainted in the process. Hillary Clinton is already doing this. Don’t make the mistake of thinking she’s stupid. Evil, yes, but not stupid.
Remember what the Left and the leftist media did to Sarah Palin. And she did nothing that lent itself to ridicule. But Donald Trump has. He’s unaware that he has a responsibility to his supporters to do his best to get elected – not to let his temper get the better of him and his methods of criticizing opponents damage his own electability and the Party’s.
This is especially grievous because it’s totally unnecessary. Surely Trump’s advisor and supporter Roger Stone has told him what a candidate should be doing to be a credible candidate; yet Trump has decided to do the opposite of everything established in politics since the founding of America. Some of that is good: destroying political correctness and attacking the issue of illegal immigration were good moves, that other candidates didn’t have the courage or the ideology to make.
Loose lipped clowning around in public forums is demeaning to the office he’s seeking – the media will portray it that way, and it’ll ring true to many voters.
Donald’s style, as he puts it in his book, The Art of the Deal, is to play it very loose. That’s fine if there’s only a business or some money at stake; it’s his business and his money. But this is our country, and we are a nation clearly on the brink.
Mr. Trump is obviously enjoying himself, but the entire nation will pay the price if he’s the nominee and he loses in November. Hillary has already promised her amnesties would outdo Obama’s. Her work to secure UN adoption of Resolution 16/18 shows that she has set her sights on our First Amendment and instituting blasphemy laws; her choice for the Supreme Court will surely agree with her on that, and on a host of other devastating changes to America, including revisiting Heller, the landmark 2nd Amendment case affirming the personal right to bear arms, the case won for us by “lying’ Ted.”