by Patrick J. Buchanan, Lew Rockwell:
“The two living Republican past presidents, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, have no plans to endorse Trump, according to their spokesmen.” So said the lead story in The Washington Post.
Graceless, yes, but not unexpected. The Bushes have many fine qualities. Losing well, however, is not one of them.
And they have to know, whether they concede it or not, that Trump’s triumph is a sweeping repudiation of Bush Republicanism by the same party that nominated them four times for the presidency.
Not only was son and brother, Jeb, humiliated and chased out of the race early, but Trump won his nomination by denouncing as rotten to the core the primary fruits of signature Bush policies.
Twelve million aliens are here illegally, said Trump, because the Bushes failed to secure America’s borders.
America has run up $12 trillion in trade deficits and been displaced as the world’s first manufacturing power by China, said Trump, because of the lousy trade deals backed by Bush Republicans.
The greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, said Trump, was the Bush II decision to invade Iraq to disarm it of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.
The war Bush began, says Trump, produced 5,000 American dead, scores of thousands wounded, trillions of dollars wasted, and a the Middle East sunk in civil-sectarian war, chaos and fanaticism.
That is a savage indictment of the Bush legacy. And a Republican electorate, in the largest turnout in primary history, nodded, “Amen to that, brother!”
No matter who wins in November, there is no going back for the GOP.
Can anyone think the Republican Party can return to open borders or new free-trade agreements like NAFTA?
Can anyone believe another U.S. Army, like the ones Bush I and Bush II sent into Afghanistan and Iraq, will be mounted up and march to remake another Middle East country in America’s image?
Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom are history.
What the Trump campaign revealed, as Republicans and even Democrats moved toward him on trade, immigration, and foreign policy, is that Bush Republicanism and neoconservatism not only suffered a decisive defeat, they had a sword run right through them.
They are as dead as emperor-worship in Japan.
Trump won the nomination, he won the argument, and he won the debate. The party is now with Trump — on the issues. For GOP elites, there can be no going back to what the grassroots rejected.
What does this suggest for Trump himself?
While he ought to keep an open door to those he defeated, the greatest mistake he could make would be to seek the support of the establishment he crushed by compromising on the issues that brought out his crowds and brought him his victories and nomination.
Given Trump’s negatives, the Beltway punditocracy is writing him off, warning that Trump either comes to terms with the establishment on the issues, or he is gone for good.
History teaches otherwise.
Hubert Humphrey closed a 15-point gap in the Gallup poll on Oct. 1 to reach a 43-43 photo finish with Richard Nixon in 1968.
President Gerald Ford was down 33 points to Jimmy Carter in mid-July 1976 but lost by only 2 points on Election Day.
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