Discussion: Donald Trump Is Leading A Conservative Movement He Hardly Understands

Discussion for article #244050


This is a real solid analysis of the core issue facing Trump.

I have to chuckle, however, when I read this notion that 2016 offers Republicans some great opportunity to win the White House. With or without Trump, Cruz and the whole lot of establishment misfits, they are behind the demographic eight ball.

They didn’t have much of a chance in 2012, and they have less of a chance in 2016.

Remember how shocked, shocked I tell you, they were when Obama won in 2012? It was as if they never read Sam Wang or Nate Silver who for months prior had pretty much showed a GOP win was hopeless.

It seems like the self-delusion is going to happen all over again.


Really? Do ANY of them think that Trump cares an iota about their (not HIS) party? He sees them as he sees everything in his life…a means to his ends.


Trump just came out of “left field”?

I disagree.

The GOP consists of three primary motivators, racism, religious fundamentalism and greed.
Trump has two of those characteristics in abundance. (I’ll let you guess which two)

Do you honestly think that Trump would be leading the GOP if he didn’t understand conservatism? He understands it PERFECTLY.


@Lew You are cruelly overlooking the rightists’ claims to be a movement led by deep thinkers. Amazingly, the local deep thinkers seem to believe that nothing like the Trump takeover has ever happened before.


‘Conservatism’ ended as a legitimate political philosophy the minute Ronald Reagan was elected. After that any attempt to do serious policy formulation died and it just became smoke and mirrors. All Mr. Trump’s rivals can do now: to steal a line from the movie The Sting, is to “…accuse him of cheating better than ‘them’.”.


When a bully walks into a room , s/he doesn’t care about what’s happening , they just want to highjack the situation .


This was one of those rare instances where Republican narrative manufacturing actually backfired in a highly visual way, and I think one of the first signs that the true believers were fully embedded in the mainstream. Remember when Silver was, according to Republicans, “completely in the tank for Obama” and couldn’t be trusted? And every other reputable pollster showed Obama taking a near-certain victory? They were all biased! So they referred to Dean Chambers - a guy who literally just cooked (errr…ummm “unskewed”) numbers out of whole cloth. Fox News ran with those numbers and nobody got the memo that they were complete bullshit until election night, and Rove almost crapped himself on air when Obama took it.


Well, when they say they have a generational chance to win the White House, what they really mean is that after 2016 they have zero chance for a generation. They know their policies do not stand up to scrutiny, and they know few young people are low information voters in the way that pre-internet voters were. So this is the last-ditch gamble of a party that has nothing to lose as a national party. It is 2016 or bust, and it will get much, much worse as the election heats up.


For all his policy failings Trump has an ace in the hole that assures his success and popularity with the GOP. He’s an unabashed misogynist. Republican men are absolutely smitten with a man that criticizes and debases women. And what of GOP women, will it hurt Trump with them? Hardly, the only group of voters that detest women more than Republican men are Republican women.


Yep, and the Venn diagram of the three overlaps quite a bit so you win over many fundamentalists with racism and/or greed. Trump doesn’t need the fundie vote as much as Cruz needs the racists/greedy vote and Trump knows this.


This. The only thing that separates Trump from everyone else is that he’s brought conservative internet chatter out of the anonymous digital realm and onto the main stage, really. He’s basically just a high profile RedState and FoxNation commenter with an actual microphone and enough of a lack of shame to tie his real name to really shitty opinions. When you consider that the GOP is hardly even the party of Reagan anymore, the rise of Trump starts to make a lot more sense.


Yeah. I guess it would be a real shame if the leader of the conservative movement couldn’t be expected to do as good a job as GW Bush did.


Have you noticed how the old guard GOP McCain,Graham etc. have stopped pandering to the extreme right with their constant Obama bashing and phony conspiracy theories since the rise of Trump. They used to do so many interviews I got sick of seeing their faces, not anymore. Their silence is refreshing.


Perhaps the better question is, “Does Trump NEED to lead a conservative ‘movement?’” The different factions of this alleged “movement” have always been held together in a fragile alliance, where one defers to the other on issues closest to each faction’s heart. Happily Regrettably, it appears that the loudest, stupidest, most obnoxious faction – the so-called “base” – is no longer content to defer to what George Will and his ilk think of as the “grown-ups.” Trump seems to be succeeding by uniting all the factions on the one issue they all agree on – fear and loathing of a dusky-hued Other.


Won’t the results of the primary elections be a better indicator of Trump’s success than polling a month or so from the start of those elections? It might be a good idea to wait at least until he has received a single vote before you declare him the leader of the conservative movement.


I was going to write a similar disagreement with the article, then realized what I think they are trying to point out is that, yes Trump is saying what Republican voters want to hear in plain english, but it will lose them the general election even more so than the last few Republicans have. So either he doesn’t understand that, or he just doesn’t give a shit or he’s plant from the left, i.e. “he has come out of left field” to destroy the Republican strategy of sneaking in a veiled conservative.


The article makes some good points but misses the reason Trump is doing so well: Conservative ideology is total nonsense and the base realizes that their pols just mouth empty words they don’t believe in.

The GOP has many popes whose rings have to be kissed. Grover Norquist demands fealty to his tax pledge and his clients. So every Republican is opposed to the IRS sending out pre-filled tax returns because that would hurt Intuit who pays Norquist a couple of million dollars a year. And its not just him its, Frank Luntz, Norquist, Adelson, the Koch brothers and a long list of others.

The only reason Republicans support Israel is that Sheldon Adelson pays them to. And as soon as he stops, their anti-semitic base will get their way again. The base knows they are being had but they don’t really care half so much about these causes and policies as their position in the party. Trump gives the out party members a chance to become the in crowd.

Trump doesn’t have to change course to win the nomination. But if he wins the nomination there will be a civil war.


Lauren,with that question,today you win the internet,IMO.

“Can Donald Trump Lead A Conservative Movement He Barely Understands?”

Touche !