By George Hewes
The Republican Party should be firing on all cylinders right now. With much of the electorate suffering from Obama fatigue, Hillary Clinton can’t stop tripping over herself with scandals and looks increasingly like a fatally flawed candidate. Despite all these advantages, the GOP establishment is in panic mode because Donald Trump is breaking all the conventional rules of campaigning and getting the headlines. The party elders shouldn’t be too mad at Trump, since they are largely responsible for the success of his campaign in the first place.
For the last seven years, the Obama administration has waged a scorched-earth campaign against the Constitution, the Tea Party, and freedom-loving people everywhere. With every outrage, the temperature of the conservative base’s blood went up another degree. Those people looked to the Republican Party to counter the offensive, to represent them in Washington. “Give us the House,” the party told their voters in 2010, and we will fight the Obama agenda. The voters delivered, but the Republicans did not. “Give us the Senate,” they cried in 2014. The voters gave them that, too, but they’re still waiting for their representatives to get in the fight. Instead we get John Boehner and Mitch McConnell telling us all the reasons why they can’t challenge Obama on the issues that matter. The base should be forgiven for being skeptical that putting another establishment Republican in the White House is going to change anything, either.
Into this void steps Donald Trump, whacking sacred cows and confronting issues that most of his competitors won’t touch. Is it eloquent? Statesman-like? Of course not, but it’s a level of straightforwardness and aggressiveness that the base has been deprived of for too long. If the GOP had been listening to its supporters and doing the things that voters sent them to Washington to do, there would be no need for a Trump campaign. The Donald may indeed flame out before a Republican nominee is coronated, but his surge should be a warning to the Republican establishment that business as usual will no longer be tolerated.