The GOP’s Contempt for Its Own Voters
Rod Dreher points to Patrick Ruffini’s tweets on Trump from yesterday, and says this:
Which, I suppose, means a brokered Republican convention. Mayhem. If Trump is denied the nomination, it’s hard to see his people accepting that. It’s hard to see him accepting it.
What struck me about Ruffini’s comments was the absolute contempt he had for both Trump and for his supporters. In a matter of minutes, Ruffini referred to Trump’s supporters as a “cancer” that had to be contained, and said that it “wouldn’t be a stretch” to compare Trump’s tactics to those of jihadists. If you think that at least a third of your own party represents a “cancer” that needs to be kept in check, you won’t have the first clue how to respond to it. Trump serves as the vehicle to return the contempt that party elites and strategists have had for his supporters for decades. So naturally the “answer” that one these same clever strategists has is to heap more contempt on them.
There was a telling quote in this story on Trump’s supporters in South Carolina, who weren’t put off by anything Trump said at the debate last week:
At a rally Tuesday in North Augusta, S.C., across the Savannah River from Georgia, Mr. Trump called to the stage a man from the audience who had quieted a protester in the crowd.
“I did two tours in Iraq,” the man said, as the crowd erupted in cheers and chants. “If it weren’t for Mr. Trump right here, I don’t think any of us would have the voice that we have.
There may be other reasons why they back him, but I suspect this is the main reason why Trump’s supporters typically don’t abandon him. As they see it, he is the only one who is even trying to represent them, and they already know that none of the conventional candidates will. A party can neglect a large percentage of its own constituents for only so long before it comes back to bite them, and the GOP is now paying the price for ignoring and dismissing the interests and concerns of at least a third of its voters. My guess is that there are still many more Republican voters that are tired of being so badly led and poorly served by the people they send to Washington, and attempts to “contain” them aren’t going to be successful this year.