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August 21st, 2017

Insight

Time for GOP Establishment (and Trump Supporters) to Unite Behind Ted Cruz

David Limbaugh

By David Limbaugh

Published March 4, 2016

I'm writing this on the day of Super Tuesday, the day when a dozen states hold their nominating contests, the largest number of states to do so on one day. It is far too early to know final results of those primaries, but all polling seems to indicate that the majority of GOP voters will cast their lot with Donald Trump. By the time you are reading this, you know who won what where, but I'm going to assume that Trump once again is the big winner, which all but assures him the Republican nomination.

Coarse, vulgar, nasty, sneaky, racist, bully; pick the adjective of your choice to describe him and you'll be right. Trump is all those things and more. He is a self-promoting egomaniac who, if elected, will no doubt run this country any damn way that helps him to gain even more wealth and power. His past actions and statements prove that in spite of his stump speech rhetoric, he really does not intend to help the "little guy." He couldn't care less, actually.

I've said all this before, but it bears repeating. If you liked the way Obama ran things, ignoring the Constitution, avoiding Congress and making up his own rules, then you're going to love President Trump. Trump uses threats on those who oppose him, such as tweeting out "I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide." The message is clear enough, if you oppose me, I will destroy you.

The biggest joke and fallacy is that Trump is an "outsider," that he's the guy that will "stick it to the man." But as Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel has so keenly pointed out, Trump IS the man! He was born rich and connected, living a life in the company of the wealthy and powerful and built a fortune by using his connections and sticking it to the little guy. Trump is the biggest insider of them all, hanging and dealing with celebrities, movie moguls, big shot hotel and casino magnates, and others with privileged access to Washington brokers.

He has spent his whole life wheeling and dealing with the elites and special interest groups. He has been concerned with only himself and in doing whatever it took to keep himself rich and powerful. So all of a sudden is Trump in it to make America great and help the average American? Doubt it.

Strassel brings out the fact that in Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," he lays out the way he has made use of back-scratching and backroom agreements. "In explaining his $100,000 contribution to the Clinton Foundation, Mr. Trump Bragged: "When they call, I give. And you know what, when I need something from them, I call them. They are there for me."

Trump is what Trump is. I don't like him, but I understand him. What I don't fully understand are my fellow Americans, all the supporters who don't see the man for what he is. I'm as frustrated and angry as anyone about the sorry state of our country; Big Brother government, political correct nonsense, American culture in decline and all the rest. I get how people are looking for the strong tough guy who will stand up for American values and principles; I'm looking for that guy too, but it isn't Donald Trump. Not by a long shot.

It scares me that so many people are willing to overlook the lies, con and crudeness of a man like Trump. Or is it that they so want to believe in someone so badly that they just can't see him for what he is? Whichever way it is, it is a frightening thing. History tells us that really bad people have been elected as leaders of countries because of their populist appeal to people who are desperate for some kind of change. They do get a change, but never the change they expected, and usually not for the better. I fear this for my country now.

How else does it make sense that even valid, troubling criticisms of Trump seem to help him more than hurt him?

I think it's because this disaffected class of voters wants someone unorthodox enough to break the rules, someone brash enough not to be deterred by the niceties that have prevented establishment Republicans from distinguishing themselves from Obama in bold colors rather than pale pastels. They're seem not only not offended but invigorated by someone who'll hurl profanities and refuse to apologize even when he owes an apology, because they think it's going to take someone like that to resist pressure to betray them once he's elected.

And though the establishment has finally awakened to the intensity of the discontentment among the party rank and file, it still doesn't believe the angst is legitimate. The establishment is still in bitter denial and wouldn't support a person advocating many of Trump's ideas even if he were a paragon of moral rectitude.

If establishment Republicans were the least bit repentant about their betrayals, truly believed in the conservative principles embodied in their party's platform and were realistic about stopping Trump, they'd quit posturing and unite behind Ted Cruz.

For the way to defeat Donald Trump is not to deny him a majority and steal the nomination from him at the convention; that really would be the end of the party. It is to embrace the closest thing to a Reagan conservative since Ronald Reagan, before it's too late. But truth be told, they probably hate Cruz worse than they hate Trump.

I wish Trump supporters would consider this when they wrongly lump Cruz in with the establishment, and I wish they'd simmer down long enough to recognize that Cruz represents the answer to their complaints far more than Trump — and with none of the baggage.

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David Limbaugh is a columnist, author and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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