Republicans move to dump Trump – and why it won’t work

29 November 2015 9:09 am

In a sign of panic in the Republican party, GOP insiders are now campaigning to get rid of Trump who has been the front runner for getting the Republican nomination.

Support for Trump has dropped 12 per cent in the wake of his comments he made in the aftermath of the Paris attacks on 13 November in which 130 people died and his assertion that he would support a plan requiring all Muslims within the United States to be registered to a special database, which his critics likened to the mandatory registration of Jews in Nazi Germany. But he still leads the pack at 31 per cent. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson trails Trump by more than half, with just 15 per cent of Republicans polled saying they would vote for him in the same 27 November poll.

But a movement inside the GOP to dump Trump has been gathering momentum.

“Trump is a fascist. And that's not a term I use loosely or often. But he's earned it,” said Max Boot military historian and foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, posted on Twitter. Forced federal registration of US citizens, based on religious identity, is fascism. Period. Nothing else to call it, tweeted John Noonan, a national security advisor to former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Republican groups are preparing attack ads against him including a political committee associated with conservative economic group Club for Growth which has accused Trump of "fighting for himself" as opposed to championing "conservative economic principles."

The former online communications director of the Republican National Committee Liz Mair has formed a new group, Trump Card LLC, that will fuel an anti-Trump ad blitz. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump Card is not holding back. “In the absence of our efforts, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to implode or be forced out of the race,” says one of its memos. “The stark reality is that unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich has launched a one-minute web ad on YouTube that links Trump to Nazi Germany. The ad shows US Air Force colonel Tom Moe, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, paraphrasing the words of German pastor Martin Niemoller who spoke out against the Nazi regime. “You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with their government because you’re not one,” Moe says in the clip. “And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one. But think about this: if he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope that there’s someone left to help you.”

Whatever happens, it’s worrying times for the Republican establishment if Trump or Carson, the property developer or the paediatric surgeon, get the nomination. Which means you have to ask whether the Trump-Carson phenomenon is telling us something is going on in the Republican Party.

Writing in the New York Times, conservative columnist Peter Wehner, who served in three Republican administrations, says:
“Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson provide evidence that, for now at least, a large percentage of Republican voters are in a fiercely anti-political mood. As a result, the usual ways voters judge a candidate — experience, governing achievements, mastery of issues — have been devalued. People are looking for candidates not only to give voice to their anger but to amplify it. Reason has given way to demagogy. In a political context, Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson represent the id rather than the superego, not just in what they say but in how they perceive the world around them.”

So negative ads aren’t going to work. Carson and Trump are resonating with Republican voters across the country because they’re anti-government and they have been losing the legislative battles. They just want someone to blow it up.

Sean Illing sums it perfectly in Salon: “Trump and Carson are not just outsiders; they’re candidates without a coherent governing philosophy or even a tacit interest in policy. For that reason, they’re free to say whatever they want, no matter how insane, so long as it speaks to the angst of their core supporters. This is obviously what Republican voters want, and if the establishment thinks they can advertise their way out of this problem, they don’t quite understand what’s happened to their party.”