[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.]
Let’s start here: regular politicians aren’t addressing the issues ordinary Americans are concerned about. Trump is simply saying what a lot of average Americans think; they have had enough of the politically correct advisors telling them what they should and should not think. The level of discontent seems to be bad enough that most Americans are now paying attention before they go to the voting booth and pull the lever.
Donald Trump says it like it is; he doesn't really worry about what the mainstream media says – for that matter, it doesn't really make a difference what the leadership of either the Democratic or the Republican Party says. For this he is castigated: using freedom of speech to express an opinion that is contrary to the stagnant, self-serving, destructive messages of the so-called professional politicians who are trying to get into or stay in power. Can you imagine? Is it any wonder that our country is being destroyed from within when you have so-called “news organizations” saying that they are going to cover Mr. Trump’s run for the presidency in the Entertainment Section instead of the Political Section?
What is happening with Donald Trump is nothing short of miraculous: he is causing a paradigm shift in the electorate. Most true Republicans are dissatisfied, and they are in a “silent majority” revolt. The conservative part of the Republican Party is tired of being lied to; it seems to be happening with increasing frequency. The Republicans have control of the House of Representatives and the Senate; what promises have they fulfilled since the electorate gave them control? Now, with the presidential season upon us, with an unprecedented number of candidates running for the Office of President, why should we, the electorate, believe any of it? It is the “same old – same old” because the majority of the candidates are calcified bureaucrats being managed by RINOs and consultants who espouse non-winning strategies. Establishment favorites of the politically connected seem to be terrified that they will lose their influence in the decision-making process – and rightly so.
Don't get me wrong; I think that everybody involved in this process is a loyal American who loves God and country. And a large share of the blame belongs to the current two party system which normally would not allow anybody but the favorite of either party to rise to the point that they are the one nominated. Would Mr. Trump run as a third-party, independent? He has threatened to. Could this possibly be a replay of Ross Perot’s run for the Presidency? If that did happen, would the outcome be the same? Maybe the Republicans would get lucky and he would siphon more votes from the marginally satisfied Democrats to allow the Republican nomination to win (wishful thinking, I know, especially if the true conservative part of the Republican Party stays at home and decides not to vote at all)!
Let's go back to the paradigm shift for a little more discussion. One manifestation of this election season is that regardless of what happens to Mr. Trump, he has definitely caused a change in the direction and tone of conversations, interviews, and stump speeches concerning many topics which are of interest to most Americans (not so much politicians – except as it relates to their electability). The message that Mr. Trump brings to the game is resonating with the electorate. Perhaps they see in him somebody who is not a professional politician! Whether you like him or not, he is a winner. He says what he means, and he means what he says. For most of us, this is a refreshing message. I believe that people are tired of candidates that stand before us and bloviate about all of the things that we want to hear – regardless of whether they're true or not. And, because he speaks to issues that are important in his mind, he has indirectly changed the course of many issues that perhaps the other candidates wish to discuss – but in a politically correct manner. In doing this he has changed the course of the election discussion; this also might help explain why the other candidates are attacking him. Of course, being ahead in most of the polls makes him a moving target; but the interesting thing to note is that he is controlling the conversation – and it is resonating with the electorate!
I personally believe that the current debate format should only allow for the top five contenders. Even reducing the number from 16 to 10 will not allow for an intelligent discussion to occur; there are just too many people, too many issues, and not enough time to allow each candidate to really present themselves to the American electorate. And this is a problem because the image of the Republican Party needs to be vastly improved. Further, it would be highly desirable for the Republican “powers to be” to encourage the marginal candidates to withdraw from the race. There is nothing more distressing to me than to see former President Ronald Reagan's eleventh commandment violated: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” By allowing these other losers to continually attack those who might have a chance at winning the nomination – and even the election – only provides rhetorical ammunition to the opponents of the Republican candidate.
I am hopeful that the power structure of the Republican Party will recognize that there has been a paradigm shift, and they take that knowledge with them when they do their planning on how to win a national election. If they do nominate a moderate, establishment candidate, I hope that they at least give him a toolbox with Mr. Trump's candor and leadership dynamics. Perhaps they can capitalize on this phenomenon, “The birth of the electorate paradigm shift.”
Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.