I have two basic problems with a Donald Trump candidacy. First of all, it represents a fundamental problem with the Republican Party. They require adherence to a series of positions rather than an overall belief system. Early on, when Trump talked tough on immigration, candidates who tried to follow suit (Walker) were threatened with losing their campaign donations by big business. While Trump works cheap, he has spent a lot of money saying things no one else in the party can safely say.
I also have a problem with Donald Trump himself. He has no loyalty to the Republican Party. Even worse, he has no legislative history, or any significant history, in fighting for social (or even some economic) ideals that the Republican Party represents. Frankly, he’s kind of a throwback. I’ll get into that more later.
Since Ronald Reagan, there has been an experiment that conservatives have wanted to perform in ideal conditions. They believe that two candidates, one unashamedly conservative and one unashamedly liberal would lead to the total devastation of the liberal by the conservative. The closest example of this is the 1984 election, where Ronald Reagan got 60% of the vote and won all but a single state.
In some ways, Ronald Reagan was an accidental presidential candidate. Barry Goldwater may have been the most conservative presidential candidate, but he was beaten by a better and more brutal campaign from the other side. For his part, Reagan was a former governor of California, a former actor and a Democrat, back when Democrats were more conservative than Republicans.
One can argue that Republican losses were due to Democrats (Clinton and Obama) who straight-up lied about their liberal policy goals. McCain and Romney were generally more straightforward. McCain pretty much lays his cards on the table. Romney even stood by his Romneycare system in Massachusetts. They were both conservative, but they were weak in some areas, especially immigration.
Now we come back to Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign has been a series of platitudes like “Make America Great Again” along with a muddled series of policy stances. He’s either for punishing women getting abortions or making exceptions for rape, ensuring that every woman who doesn’t feel like a baby girl will suddenly be a rape victim. Sometimes he wants to kick Arab ass, other times he blames Bush for trying to fight terrorism. He doesn’t like Obamacare, but he’s cool with the concept of socialized medicine. He has been clear on one thing. Foreigners suck.
For at least the last decade, the GOP has been looking at the browning of America. More than just Mexicans having children, more Americans are mixed race. The United States is barely majority White now, heading for simply plurality White. I another 100 years, White European may be a minority around the world except for parts of Eastern Europe. Pat Buchanan referred to it as the death of the West. Donald Trump seems to use it as his campaign playbook.
I find Donald Trump both lacking in economic and social conservative credentials. I think he is at best a moderate jingoistic Democrat who’s for lower taxes. To win, I think he has to whip up a frenzy among the people who blame foreigners for everything and don’t like Hillary Clinton. I suspect it will not be a good plan for the future of the Republican Party. Then again, neither was most of what the GOP has done for the last 6 years.