At this time, plenty of people out in the Online Right have placed their faces firmly in their palms and have not stopped shaking their heads. The reason? The primary system, which has started well over a year away from the actual 2016 election has paved the way for Donald Trump to gain and maintain a quarter of the vote in virtually every poll in recent weeks. It makes many, including me, incredibly sad to see normally high-functioning conservative voices in the media praise and support Trump in all but endorsement.
However, Donald Trump is not a flaw in the primary system. He is exactly why we need it. Do I think The Donald will be the nominee? Absolutely not. Have I been just as critical of Trump as some of the folks out? Absolutely. And, while I confess to have lost my temper over the idiocy surrounding some of his supporters (the white nationalists, nativists, and outright racists supporting his campaign), and while they are, at times, some of the loudest you can hear, I have to hold myself in check in remembering that it is August 31, 2015, which means there are still about fifteen months until the actual election.
Until we actually have a nominee sometime in the summer of next year (if not sooner), there are five simple reasons to trust that the system is going to work and that it will give us a candidate who can and will beat the Democrats in 2016.
1) It Is Still Too Early For Anything To Be Final
I get the paranoia behind both Donald Trump’s success and the feeling of inevitability toward Jeb Bush. In both instances, I feel the same dread. However, the atmosphere surrounding the Republican Party this go-round is different from any other. Just because someone is up now doesn’t mean it will hold for the remainder of the primaries (ask 2008 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton). There is a lot of excitement out there (both good and bad) surrounding the candidates. Keep in mind that if you think that it’s bad that Donald Trump has 25% of the vote, that means that he doesn’t have 75% of the vote, and Jeb Bush very decidedly does not have that 75% of the vote. That leaves 15 other candidates who can split that support and still make their way to the top of the pile this primary season.
2) The 17 Republicans Bring A Lot More To The Table Than A Handful of Democrats
There is a deep, deep Republican bench. We’ve talked about it at RedState before. Everyone brings something to the table that cannot be ignored. [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] is the standard-bearer for hard-line conservatism, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] brings a down-to-earth intelligence, [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] brings civil liberty, [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ] brings military experience, several governors bring executive experience and successes, Ben Carson brings an outsider’s point of view, Carly Fiorina brings charisma, and Donald Trump brings attention overall to the race. We have one candidate who is a woman, who one is black, two of Hispanic descent, and one of Indian descent. We have several who have actively fought for their political beliefs, and several who are not of Washington or have yet to be corrupted by it. Many have a youthful disposition and a positive mentality about the state of the United States. They believe it can be saved. What do the Democrats have?
A bunch of old, white people, who have to appeal to the victim mentality of the Left because there is no substantive policy they can endorse that will have any effect. Bernie Sanders is getting a lot of support because a) he talks a lot about taking money from the rich b) he is Not Hillary c) his hair. Hillary’s negatives vastly outweigh any positives she has picked up over the years. The word association game that Quinnipiac played with voters is particularly telling: there were almost no positives mentioned at all. Martin O’Malley’s tenure in Baltimore and Maryland led to some of the policies that have made the #BlackLivesMatter movement so powerful today. Joe Biden is gaffe-prone and risks splitting the White House over who to endorse, leaving Obama’s influence (whatever it may be at this point) out of the equation for a little while longer. The bench is not deep, and it is not filled with ideas.
3) Money, Money, Money, Money. MOOOOOOOOOONAAAAAAAAAAAAY.
We are still more than a year out, and there are two financial issues we saw come to light. This weekend, Donald Trump held a fundraiser. As well, POLITICO ran a report about some top fundraisers leaving Jeb’s campaign. In fact, in Jeb’s case, the problem is fairly big, as money is being halted as he falters in the polls. With such a big campaign machine, that means he is spending a lot more than he is taking in. Both stories tell us something: money is going to be an issue in this race. We’ve heard reports of money troubles in Rick Perry’s campaign, too. There have been a few instances where money and political machines haven’t been the deciding factor in elections (notably, two presidential candidates in [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] won their Senate seats through grassroots networks over the traditional political apparatus). With so many candidates, money is going to be spread thin, which means we won’t necessarily see any big spending sprees on ads right now. We’re going to see ideas being put forward.
4) The Donald is not The End
Both Erick Erickson and Ross Douthat have predicted the end of the GOP if the Establishment vows to destroy Trump without changing themselves. I agree with them because I know that history has, time and again, made fools out of the people who refuse to change. And those who refuse to change and adapt to the present situation will be trapped in the past, unable to compete in the modern era. However, because it might mean the end of the GOP, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the fight. There are plenty of people out their who would be able to take the reins and begin the supplanting process. Many of them are in the current field of presidential candidates for the GOP. Donald Trump doesn’t mean the end of the fight against the Democrats and their failed policies, but it could mean the end of the power brokers in Washington D.C.
5) The Legacy of Barack Obama
Erick touched on it this morning with his post on Mt. McKinley. Barack Obama is building his legacy at this point in the game. He is not concerned with legislation, he is not concerned with making anything better for anyone. If he was, he would have pushed out another gun control bill through his cohorts in Congress and tried to capitalize on the votes against it from the GOP. Instead, he has talked and done nothing – another legislative loss will look bad on his legacy. He is in talks regarding the construction of his presidential library in Chicago. He wants to change Mt. McKinley to its original name. He is not paying attention to governing anymore. His executive actions are his ways of creating a series of policy changes without suffering legislative loss in Congress. This is the same reason he went about the new Iran Deal like he did. Because of his actions, he is slowly losing support, and his own party is not wanting much to do with him. He could be one of biggest reasons the Democrats lose in 2016 if he continues on his path.