Charles Krauthammer is a certified conservative and an acclaimed deep-thinker in the realm of government and politics. His column in the May 9-15 issue of Fort Worth Business raises an interesting question: If the anger of Republican voters that led to the rise of Donald Trump in this election season wasn’t caused by the GOP establishment’s failure to combat Barack Obama’s liberal policies, what caused it?
Conservative purists such as Republican primary runner-up Ted Cruz and Fox News stalwart Sean Hannity have long labored under the belief that rank-and-file Republicans yearn to be represented by ever-more rigid practitioners of firebrand conservatism – unyielding advocates of smaller government and warriors against cultural changes that are redefining society in ways that are unfamiliar to many Americans and, to some, unwelcome.
Cruz, particularly, presumed that yearning to be so strong and widespread that he could ride it all the way to the White House. So why, as Krauthammer asks, have Republican voters chosen a presidential candidate who has no interest in government shutdowns and cultural retrenchment?
Here’s a theory. Voters aren’t yearning for their representatives to rail against a changing world or expend precious time and energy taking up rhetorical swords against political windmills such as Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. What they’ve been yearning for is someone to grab a paralyzed political system by the throat and make it work – someone who will use the system to fight for them in a meaningful way instead of filibustering against all attempts to get things done.
Republican primary voters saw that someone in Donald Trump. We’ll soon find out if the rest of the country sees him the same way.