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After watching the GOP debate last night, I have a million thoughts I could share about Donald Trump. This post is not my endorsement of the Don. I actually like all of the other GOP candidates, each for a different reason. These are just a few thoughts on what Trump has done to shake things up in the election process.
If you need your presidential candidate to be the most politically conservative one running, Trump is not your man. But Ted Cruz might be. Cruz probably has more integrity in his little finger that the rest of the candidates have, collectively. That’s why the GOP leaders hate him. He doesn’t play ball. He stands behind his beliefs and convictions and won’t side with anyone if the issue is one he can’t in good conscience vote for. And he’s not afraid to call leaders out on their shady back-room deals. I love his integrity, but he has the same problem our current president has: He’s so far from center on his views, who is going to work with him?
If you need your president to be a born-again-bible-believing-man-of-god, Trump is not your man. You might vote for Huckabee or one of the other guys who is willing to tell you it’s all about Jesus. I admire these guys. But I’m pretty sure every president we’ve ever had has claimed to be a Christian. Oddly enough, Trump is the only one talking about putting an end to the Christians getting their heads chopped off by Isis. Why aren’t the men of God weighing in on this issue?
If you need your president to be a strict constitutionalist—a man who will defend our civil liberties, Trump is not your man. Get behind Rand Paul. I love this about Rand. He is pound-for-pound the most ardent defender of the constitution and the bill of rights. Trump, not so much. But like Cruz—Rand is so far from center, who is going to work with him?
If you need your presidential candidate to have led a successful political career—you might consider Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or Scott Walker. The GOP has put forward the strongest field of candidates I’ve ever seen. Too bad the majority of voters (right now) prefer someone with no experience in political office. What message does that send to Washington?
If you want your president to be a nice guy, who is smart, polite and has a good sense of humor, you probably need to support Ben Carson. I love Ben. Who doesn’t? He could do brain surgery on me any day of the week. But is he really electable?
If you need your presidential candidate to have a long track record of being a conservative, Trump is the last person you’re likely to support. It’s only been as he’s grown older and run into some life-changing events that he’s come around to embracing conservative values, and he’s still not as conservative as the rest of the pack.
But if you’re one of those people who is fed up with politics as usual in Washington; and if you’re concerned that none of the political experts we’ve elected so far have been able to reverse the trend of increasing debt; (despite their promises) and if you think we need someone who will tell it like it is, instead of someone who tells people what they want to hear to get their support; and if you think we need a president who is a born leader—a man who is bigger than life—Trump just might be your man.
Some folks worry about the fact that Trump has no experience in elected office. I’m not convinced that political experience is a great advantage to a president. Washington DC is full of experienced politicians who would ruin the country if given a chance to sit in the oval office. The office of president wasn’t designed to be a place of honor for professional politicians. After our nation was formed, the early presidents were farmers and craftsmen. Congress only met a couple of times a year. Somehow, we’ve lost sight of the fact that this country was not intended to be run by professional politicians, but ordinary people who worked average jobs and served occasionally in Washington, as needed.
Ronald Reagan was great president not because he was Governor of California first, but because he was a born leader whom people trusted. He had a clear vision of what needed to be done and he made sweeping changes that got people back to work. He did that by recruiting people to back his policies—people from both sides of the political aisle. He turned things around pretty quickly and that is exactly the kind of leader we need right now. Trump isn’t a political leader, but he is definitely a leader. His employees generally love and trust him.
Trump may prove to be only another distraction. When the 2016 election comes, the Don and his antics may only be fleeting memory. But he may very well end up getting the GOP nomination. In poll after poll, he’s pulling away from the rest of the pack. And it’s pretty clear right now that whoever gets the GOP nomination is going to be the next president. There is one thing that is clear about Trump: He has the professional politicians and political pundits absolutely stumped about their next move. With every attack by the media or other candidates against Trump, his popularity only increases. It’s not supposed to work that way, but this is an unusual election.
I believe the American people are sending a message, but it seems the candidates and the media aren’t listening. Here’s what I believe Americans are actually saying by their support of Trump:
“We’re glad someone is finally talking openly and honestly about the issues we care about, without worrying about how their statements will impact support from minorities, women, the elderly and other voter-groups.”
Politicians have for years believed they can’t talk transparently about sensitive issues without risking the loss of support from certain voters. So they avoid talking about those issues in order to keep voter support. That’s why none of the candidates want to talk in detail about immigration reform. Because they’re too worried about losing support from minorities. But Trump made it one of his centerpieces and the American people responded.
Trump has done the politically unthinkable. He’s actually talking about the issues people care about, with blatant disregard to whether he’ll lose the support of voters. Ironically, with each politically incorrect statement he’s made, he’s only gained more support. Trump is saying what a lot people want our political leaders to say. My wife said, “I only wish one of the other candidates would have the guts to say what Trump is saying.”
The message here, is not actually that there’s a groundswell of support for Trump himself, but rather, that people are willing to hear politicians talk openly and transparently about important issues without measured words intended only to maintain support of certain voter-groups. So much so, that they’ll even support someone perceived to be an obnoxious, controlling, politically incorrect billionaire—if he’s the only one willing to tell it like it is.
The people are speaking. Hey Washington, are you listening?
By the way…I’m not pinning my hopes for our future on the people we elect. Believers who learn how to rule and reign as mature sons of God probably have a greater ability to determine our future than any elected official. But Trump is here—for a while at least—and the nation is going to have to decide what to do about him.
Note: Many people wonder if Trump has a plan to make America great again. He does. His plan is detailed in his book Time to Get Tough.