Latest polls show that Donald Trump is trusted more to deal with international terrorism than the squatters who refuse to leave Republican Party leadership posts. This is shocking to their narrow thinking. Their talking points tell them that voters are supposed to flock to a President with “experience” when the world gets dangerous. They have the talking points right there in front of them on their desk. Yet the voters aren’t following the script. What gives? Didn’t the grassroots read their talking points?
Tone deaf, GOP officials keep pushing the stale old Christmas fruit cake with the texture of a brick that nobody wants. They can’t get it through their heads that voters don’t care how long their curriculum vitae is. The people care about whether they are restoring and protecting our country and looking out for us. Those who have spent their lives studying the status quo love the status quo too much to be the people’s choice.
The trouble with experts in Washington, D.C. is how little they know. To borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan, the problem is not that Republican elites are ignorant, but they ‘know’ so many things that simply are not so. They repeat vapid clichés to each other and memorize false assumptions. Such indoctrination is what they call experience.
The reality is that “experience” is mostly the self-congratulatory clique giving awards to each other (including job titles). The paper credentials that these candidates wave around are just nepotism. Given the results since the Republicans took the House of Representatives in 1994, what good is all their experience?
By contrast, Trump claims to be a proven leader with a special kind of experience overlooked in Washington: getting results. But that doesn’t sit well with those whose expertise is limited to leading faculty lounge policy seminars.
The irony is strong—the voters are shouting: “YOU’RE FIRED!” Yes, that’s the catch phrase made famous by Trump himself. The elites just can’t understand that this is all about them. The question on the table is not who would make the best President. The topic at hand is who can physically drag the insiders outside the city limits and dump them at the bus station with a ticket home.
Consider winning or losing the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln appointed a General with great experience on paper to lead the Union army: General George McClellan. But he failed in the real-world on the battlefield … because he lacked grit and determination.
So Abe Lincoln replaced McClellan with gruff and rough-around-the-edges Ulysses S. Grant. And Grant got things done. President Lincoln, when informed that General Grant drank whiskey while leading his troops answered:
Find out what brand of whisky Grant drinks so I can send a case of it to all my generals.
Real-world results trump paper credentials. Grant’s drinking was considered uncouth and ungentlemanly in the time. Officers were refined gentlemen. Yet Lincoln would rather have all his generals be like Grant, because Grant actually won battles, even with whisky on his breath.
The voters are flocking to a quality that is sorely lacking: there is a personality type that simply refuses to accept defeat. That often means getting back up again no matter how many times one gets knocked down. The voters realize that the policy wonkery in your head doesn’t count if you can’t use it to win.
Just as Hollywood created a romantic dream of glamour, perfection, and idealism through public relations and story-telling, the myth of Washington similarly grew up through fairy tales and carefully stage-managed public relations. The cult of Washington is a mirage cultivated by Hollywood and the news media. And in that idealized PR image, the occupants of the halls of power loom larger than life.
Of course, policy analysts, like me, do have valuable things to contribute. Just as a brave soldier in the field needs someone back home manufacturing the hand grenades, mortar shells, and bullets to win, it’s very hard to “get things done” without analysts figuring out the best plans for action. But insiders devalue experience like Trump’s because they don’t value real results.
Consider: you wake up after spending 20 years on the couch watching ESPN and ignoring the deterioration of your country around you, only to discover that a nest of raccoons has invaded your roof. So you call pest control.
But the raccoons announce that they can stay embedded in your roof … because one of the town’s exterminators was born in Canada. The raccoons get to stay because the other exterminator is brash and rough around the edges, says controversial things, and defies conventional wisdom. Another pest control professional is new, just changed careers, and used to be a doctor. So the raccoons get to stay, because the exterminators are not satisfactory.
No. the homeowners want the pests gone. They don’t care if Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, or Ted Cruz are perfect. They want the current occupants evicted. The voters don’t care if the lawyer evicting hold-over tenants is a saint or a perfect gentleman. They just want their house back. They want the current occupants evicted. They don’t care who does it.
I got kicked out of a discussion group in 2012 because I tried to explain that Republican leaders must look in the mirror, figure out how they lost the trust of the grassroots, and make serious, heart-felt changes. I warned that Republicans will stay home and not vote. The defenders of the establishment describe why it would be unfortunate for conservatives not to vote.
But it is going to happen, whether you like it or not, whether you agree or disagree. Unless the GOP leadership undergoes a deep, heartfelt, gut-check change, millions of voters will skip the election, and the GOP will keep losing. But insiders argue that should not happen, therefore it won’t. Their refusal to change will doom the GOP.