Holding a negative view of President Donald Trump seems not to be too common among conservatives. I’m not a ‘never Trumper’ Republican such as Mitt Romney, happy to throw away Trumps values and collude with the Democrats just to thwart him. Yet I believe we have to face up to some home truths about the President’s words and actions, and how they are fundamentally hurting the chances of future electoral success for conservatives.
The President’s policies have many positives. Controlling the border (or at least attempting to); lowering taxes and the amount of regulation; reducing the size of government; supporting veterans. All these have done nothing but help America on a social and economic level.
The tax cuts lead social democratic hacks to scratching their heads when they realise that freeing up money in the economy for investment and higher wages is actually a good thing, instead of hiking up taxes which only damages the economy, without necessarily upping the Federal government’s tax revenue (as seen by Ronald Reagan taking in more tax revenue with lower taxes).
However the economic track record of President Trump isn’t enough to scrub away the constant negative rhetoric against Democrats on his Twitter or the insulting way in which he conducts any kind of political discourse.
Calling out Democrats for clear misgivings – such as their refusal to move on migratory loopholes or certain bonkers socialist policies – would be completely above aboard and, I’d argue, necessary for exposing their lies. That being said, angering the Democrat base and doing the same with Democrats in Congress is totally running counter to everything he’s trying to achieve.
He lost the House of Representatives. The mid-terms cannot be classed as a ‘Blue Wave’, yet Democrats turned out in large numbers, won the House by a large margin and even posed challenges in safe Republican Senate seats. Trump cannot afford to twist the arm of Democrats in the House and Senate because he relies on their votes to get anything past.
The nature of the American Constitution requires compromise, something the President needs to realise.
If he comes into 2020 without having delivered upon some of his major promises because Congress wouldn’t get on board, then this will not look good for him. The vital swing voters that decide future elections are being fed constant negative pieces about the President in the media. When they see this, along with his lacklustre record of getting things done, they may be more willing to cast their vote for Joe Biden or another Democrat who has the Progressive credentials to turn out voters in big numbers.
Once they hold the reigns of power, they’ll start undoing everything the President has worked for. They’ll abolish ICE (the federal agency for immigration and customs enforcement), introduce universal healthcare and legalise what is supposed to be illegal migration. This will come at a huge cost to the American taxpayer and a lot of this will be put down to the President and the way he riles up his opponents, solidifying their positions and alienating the voters Republicans need to win.
Young people, African Americans, Latinos and swing voters are finding themselves leaning liberal, especially in urban areas, and they are the growing demographic. This makes Trump and his Republican Party a place of declining voter numbers, shown in full display in the midterm elections.
2016 was arguably a lucky run for Republicans because Hillary Clinton didn’t turn out Progressives and arguably underestimated her opponent, a mistake Democrats won’t make again.
It’s time the conservatives out there face up to the reality of President Trump and understand that he is not an indestructible force who’s delivering on every promise.
In fact it’s quite the opposite. Either Trump and the Republicans tone down the partisan insults and get their acts together to actually win elections (preferably by selling conservatism positively to a new generation) or the more modern and effective campaigners on the Democratic side win over the new generation of voters, making the 2020 map more vicarious for conservatives than ever.
Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr.