Mitt Romney didn’t mix it with Barrack Obama in 2012. He didn’t have the fortitude to skewer to him on the Benghazi attack and murder of a US ambassador mere weeks before Americans went to the polls. It was an electoral gift to the challenger, courtesy of a dead diplomat and three other slain Americans left to die without help and commemorated with a pack of lies about an irrelevant video. Yet Romney let Obama off the hook.
Where was the Commander in Chief throughout the night and early morning, when those who he had sworn to lead were fighting for their lives and when he was the only one with the authority to order in nearby airpower. Bizarrely, we still don’t know. We can conjecture. He was likely asleep, preparing for a fund-raising event while the killings went on.
What we know with certainty, no conjecture required, is that Romney was too polite (too craven?) to ask tough questions. He was unequivocally a weak reed when it counted and consequently lost an election that was eminently winnable.
The election lost and more than three disastrous years later, a strong candidate, unafraid to ask tough questions, is leading the Republican race. Hello! Here comes Mitt back from oblivion; spineless then, full of spite and spittle now. Apparently he’s afraid his grandchildren will ask him ‘What did you do, grandpa, to stop Trump?’ A more pertinent question to ask of him is what he did to stop Obama. And why he effectively threw in the towel?
It comes to this. The Republican establishment can’t stand someone outside of the political class gaining power. That is why Romney and some other elites have said that they will not vote for Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee. There is them, the political class, right or left. And then there are the outsiders. Part of the outsiders is the great unwashed, otherwise called blue-collar workers. I will come back to them.
Trump makes coarse and crass remarks, of that there is no doubt. Does this provide an unflattering insight into his character? I don’t know but I would certainly prefer that he refrain from commenting on Rubio’s big ears and the like. Though he does have big ears (strike that last remark!).
A psychological profile is required (but if of Trump then most definitely of Hillary too). But my intuitive view is that genuine bastards keep their worst features well hidden. I think we’ve seen the worst of Trump and it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things. Is he a phony, a fraud and a con man, as Rubio and Romney suggest in (rehearsed) unison? From across the Pacific, he is “self-evidently” a “buffoon and xenophobe,” as described by Tom Switzer when interviewed by Leigh Sales on 2 March?
Leaving aside the unprintable, which is how the political elite on the left think of him, if these ad hominem attacks from conservatives have substance the Republican frontrunner is obviously disqualified. But what has he done to earn this opprobrium? It is not his policies. Simply, he has had the temerity to challenge the in-crowd and create a mass movement that may well see many of them marginalised.
Sure, Trump is not always polished, but neither were some political giants of the past — have a look at what Thomas Jefferson said about John Adams. Trump wants to build a wall to help control illegal immigration coming through Mexico. And, by the way, his suggestion that Mexico will pay for it would require, for example, only a small charge on remittances sent back to Mexico. He wants to rebuild America’s military and take better care of veterans. He wants to (temporarily) stop Muslim immigration to figure out how to foil the importation of Islamic extremism. He wants to negotiate better trade deals to bring jobs back to America. He wants to lower taxes and regulations to grow jobs. He doesn’t believe you can use kid gloves when dealing with barbarians.
His policies appeal to blue-collar voters, with their despised “traditional values”, as shown by the numbers turning out for his public events. It’s not hard to see why. When environmental regulations close down industries, guess who loses their jobs? When cheap labour comes in illegally, guess who loses their jobs? When those with backward social values pour in, guess where they live?. When American sailors are put on their knee and John Kerry thanks the Iranians for their generosity, guess which segment of the voting population is the most outraged and wants to ‘make America great again’.
The fetid Washington political environment, Republican and Democrat swamps alike, has produced massive debt, foreign policy disasters and a weakened America. The fact that the elite which has presided over this mess don’t want Trump is one good reason to want Trump. Love him or hate him, he is probably the only candidate with any chance of winning against the Democratic machine in November.