There was a time, early in the Republican presidential primaries, when Donald Trump could have established himself as the leader the United States is much in need of if it is to find its way out of decades of political misdirection and corruption.
A Trump presidency looked at one time as a preferable alternative to the continuation of the same misguided set of politics that has prevailed since the days of Bush the Elder.
Donald Trump came into the Republican primaries unleashing a devastating critique of all that’s gone wrong in American domestic and foreign policy of the last several decades:
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, accurately described by Trump as the “worst catastrophe” in American history.
- Mismanagement of U.S. intervention in Syria and Libya — in which Hilary Clinton played a major role.
- The Great Recession of 2008 — brought on by a pairing of government and financial industry strategies understood only too well by Donald Trump, making him perhaps the one man who could clean up the financial chicanery of Wall Street.
On a number of the most critical issues now facing the United States, Donald Trump showed a clarity of understanding, if not a mastery of potential solutions.
He indicated — and still holds to — a gun policy considerably more nuanced than the National Rifle Association. He has correctly identified the magnitude of the illegal immigration that the U.S. has tolerated for many years. And he’s cleverly tapped into the anger of mostly older, mostly white, mostly male Americans who have been hardest hit by globalization and the export of jobs to low wage countries..
So if Donald Trump has been able to identify America’s major problems, and establish empathy with the white middle class that has lost jobs and security, why must he now be written off as a possible solution to what ails America?
One need only scan his latest outbursts to see the political ignorance, blatant racism, gender prejudice and colossal arrogance that lies deep in the heart and mind of Donald Trump.
The fact that 70 per cent of Americans now hold an unfavorable view of the man tells us the American public is not buying in to the idea of building a wall on the Mexico border or banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
The public opinion polls will shift between now and November. But the mid-June reading — a 12 point edge for Hilary Clinton, 49 per cent to 37 — is probably about where the voters will line up on election day.
Trump can fire his campaign manager, shake up his strategy team, and pretend to court hold outs in the Republic establishment. None of it will do any good.
Knowing the White House is lost, Republican leaders have only one choice: to try to save their majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate.