And why shouldn’t I? Everyone else is! I mean, Republicans to my left and right are outraged over a candidate who, by many measures, never should have happened. No, I don’t hate Trump. But he’s an awful debater, his undeveloped views lack consistency, and he angers large groups for no reason. If he somehow fails to get nominated, it won't break my heart.
But constantly I hear, “How could so many stupid people in our Party choose this man? Haven’t they read the Constitution? Don’t they see his faults? What’s wrong with them???”
This is where I get angry, but not at Trump supporters. Not even at Trump. Today, I’m calling out two groups doing most of the griping. Today, my gripe is about the Establishment and Liberty Movement.
I believe Trump is their fault. I really do.
No, I don’t mean everyone in these groups—mostly just elite voices—but for simplicity, I’ll refer to them as a whole. If my concerns don’t apply to you, then consider yourself excused. But hear me out.
For a moment, I want you to imagine the Republican base. Not activists or pompous leaders, but millions of hardworking Republicans who can’t spend endless hours fixating on ideology and politics. They’re exhausted, folks. Sure, they love liberty; they just don’t obsess over every definition of it. Weighed down by life, these good people simply want a President who won’t say terrorists aren’t terrorists, illegals aren’t illegal, and not all lives matter the same. They only want someone in power who talks normally to them—right where they are, not where they need to be to fit in.
And Trump does precisely that.
Are they stupid? Not at all! They’re just busy! Real world busy! But in terms of ideology and political chess games, most in the base are—don’t get angry here—kids.
Again, don’t blow up. I’m not being condescending. Understand, regarding what’s under the hood of my car, I’m a kid (an infant, actually). Talk football with me and I’m a genius, but ask me to go golfing, and I’m lost. I’ll just chuck my clubs in the nearest pond, clapping my hands and laughing at the splash I made. Many are the areas where I am naïve, gullible, and instantly trusting of anyone who just talks to me and feigns knowledge. My expertise is politics and messaging, but hire me to fix an appliance and I’ll burn your house to the ground.
So again, I want you to imagine the great mass of Republicans as relative kids in this political family. And who are the parents? They are the Establishment leaders and Liberty Movement; those movers and shakers dominating TV screens. And let me tell you, their lousy parenting produced Donald Trump.
Think about two kinds of parents. The first type hardly listens to you, saying they know best and you should just shut up and support the family. So, are you persuaded? Do they inspire you, helping you learn and grow? Of course not! Furious at their arrogance, you instead take advice from any friends who actually listen—even those having zero wisdom and no stake in your future.
Well, I just described Establishment “parents.” Dressed in pricey outfits, they go off to work (Washington), leave us kids with nannies, then insist we can’t live without them. And to think, Mitt wonders why his anti-Trump speech was a disaster. The kids couldn’t run to Donald fast enough.
Now imagine a second parent—the disloyal parent. These either walk out on the family or endlessly threaten to do so, coming around only when they want something. Sure, they show up for major events like Christmas or birthdays—or Caucus—but otherwise they’re off with their buddies. Maybe they’ve even left altogether. But when it comes time for your big life decisions, like marriage or college—or a candidate—they suddenly want to “weigh in.” Tell me, do you care what they say? Not a chance.
These are the Liberty “parents.” As you did with Establishment parents, you’ll ignore them, this time bristling from their disloyalty. You know they’re not committed, and it angers you even more when they claim their highest commitment is “principle.” Gee, thanks.
Memo to both aloof and disloyal Republican leaders: You’ve lost the flock. You’re rotten parents. People--real people—don’t like hearing they must “get in line” behind Big Establishment, or how Big Liberty is just too “principled” to stick around. The more you do what you’re doing, the more you cause all the dissatisfaction and lowered standards that propelled Trump to victory.
The base had no real parents. So the base ran to a cool guy. It’s that simple.
And here’s the worst part: You two aren’t even united. You’re divorced, shouting at each other and then pulling us aside, telling us how our other parent is the big problem. Yeah, that’s really helping.
With all your speeches and big groups, we in the base only receive one message: You don’t care about us. You care about your success. You care about your meetings. You care about the size of your following, power, agenda, titles—and we kids are just nuisances you want along for the ride.
Well newsflash, people: We’re getting out of the car. I never wanted Trump, but hearing Liberty and Establishment hacks scream at each other and then tell me I shouldn’t listen to Trump…makes me like him more. And believe me, that’s quite a trick. Watching the debates, I was dumbfounded at Trump’s aimless answers. When someone would say, “He just contradicted himself!”, I would respond, “How can you tell?”
I’m a Republican. Yes, I’m a political messaging nerd, but more than anything, I’m just a loyal member of the base. I always listen. I’m not leaving. Neither aloof nor disloyal, I get it when fellow Republicans respond to “Make America Great Again.” It just feels good, while everything in our broken household feels bad. Really bad.
This is what happens when we have crappy parents. Principles and wisdom go out the window, since those tasked with teaching them don’t care about us. They just want to beat each other. We just want to feel good. And the more our neglectful parents yell, “How could so many stupid people in our Party choose this man!” the more the base digs in. And all these crappy geniuses look so surprised.
I’ve often said, “Trump isn’t the problem; he’s a symptom.” The real problem is divided, selfish, neglectful parents for a Party of hardworking kids. As Mom and Dad point fingers and cast blame for “what is to come” this November, we stupid kids are doing something novel; something different.
We’re actually trying to win. Sorry if that offends you.
And with that, I’m done griping. Thanks for listening. I'm off to pout.