Donald Trump – the “New Coke” of Politics?
In the spring of 1985, the Coca-Cola Company, feeling pressure from its lesser rival, Pepsi Cola, introduced a new product which they simply referred to as the “new taste of Coke.” The product was instantly dubbed “New Coke” by media, fans and detractors. The old formulation for Coke was unceremoniously and quietly kicked to the curb. Old Coke, if you had any, immediately quadrupled in value. Loyal fans of Coke felt they had to give up too much. New Coke left a bad taste in their mouth.
For years Pepsi had been slowly gaining market share on Coke. Leadership at Coke decided that to expeditiously combat the loss of market share, they could simply put a Pepsi-like beverage in a Coke can. Rather than doing the hard work of finding a way to appeal to consumers of other products, Coke decided to cram Pepsi down the throats of their loyal Coke-a-Cola fans. It almost led to the total destruction of Coke as a brand. In order to save the company, they had to quickly restart production of the old product under the moniker of “Classic Coke.” This was achieved within three months of the introduction of New Coke which management kept in production being sure consumers would come to embrace the new product. They never did.
We all know the story. Eventually, begrudgingly, the old Coke formula found its way back into the Coke can and the new formulation quietly disappeared, first locally, then internationally. According to a Wiki article on the subject, “New Coke was only on the market in the United States for a short period, but it remains influential as a cautionary tale against tampering too extensively with a well-established and successful brand. It was discontinued internationally in July 2002.”
Fans of the old Republican Party feel they too have to give up too much. Trump leaves a bad taste in their mouth. But really, what would they actually have to give up – civility? Sure, the Donald is crude, even nasty, but civility, although embraced by Republicans, is hardly a foundational or even a core principle of the Party. It’s simply good manners – a throw away in modern society. Democrats abandoned it years ago. Civility’s just a relic. Give it up.
Conservatism? When asked in a debate earlier this year what conservatism meant ( click here ), Donald said, “to conserve one’s wealth.” Most conservative Republicans feel it would have been nice if Trump had at least taken the time to look up a definition of conservatism since it is so deeply ingrained into the Republican Party. Even the most moderate of Republicans can give at least a scholarly definition of the term. After several months of offering tacit support for Trump, Rush Limbaugh, was finally badgered by callers to his nationally syndicated radio show into admitting there was nothing conservative about his old friend and golfing buddy, Donald Trump. There is not a single policy statement from Trump which one could consider to be fundamentally conservative. Most are a nod to big government, executive power and many even plagiarized from Hillary’s policy statements. But the rational has been that at least he would be doing this from a Republican perspective. This would be a first for Donald whose record of funding Democrat policies and politicians is well known and documented if anyone is interested. But heck, Conservatism is not a foundational principle of the Republican Party. It wasn’t even a commonly used political term in the mid 1800’s when the Republican Party came into being. So I guess we can give up conservatism too. Time to get over the whole Reagan thing.
At least we can retain our core principles – or can we? I have never heard Donald even acknowledge individual liberty as THE foundational principle of our Party. With the exception of strong national defense, core principles like limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal restraint and religious liberty are not recognized by Trump as Core Principles of the Republican Party or of the Donald himself. One reason is that I do not believe Donald is comfortable self identifying as a Republican. The vocabulary he uses is that of a person from the left. No conservative, asked about the abortion issue, uses phrases like “women’s health care.” But Donald does regularly. He claims to be a committed Christian, but I have never heard a Christian refer to “Two Corinthians,” but Donald does. Scripturally aware Christians refer to “Second Corinthians” which is written 2 Corinthians. You can see why one who is not familiar with these things would use the term “Two Corinthians.” Apparently, Donald is unfamiliar with these things. This would be unusual for a “committed Christian,” but common for a secular Democrat. You will remember the fiasco at their last convention when the membership voted to remove any mention of God from their platform. So we can give up the foundational principle and the core principles as well. It’s not like we were using them anyway.
There is a tendency among some of the more timid conservatives in our Party to back burner social issues. However, following a logical sequence and calling on the wisdom of the Founders (an exclusively Republican activity), the principle of individual liberty is the first of our God-given rights and is fundamental to the Republican dedication to the sanctity of life. Donald Trump explained his amazingly recent change of heart on this issue to a personal experience of an unnamed woman he knew (Donald often relies on the testimony of the unnamed to underscore his arguments) who was contemplating an abortion, but changed her mind, “and the kid turned out to be wonderful.” Conservative light weights like Sean Hannity accept this on faith. I, on the other hand ask, if another woman he knows has a child who turns out to be a serial killer, would he not have to change his mind again? Where is the principled thought process where the winds of personal experience determine your rather fluid set of convictions? Perhaps Trump will become a real Christian when he meets Christ in the flesh. In a fairly recent town-hall event in Milwaukee ( click here ), Trump claimed that “women seeking an abortion should receive some sort of punishment.” Jonah Goldberg (author of “Liberal Fascism”) wisely observed that “Donald does not speak like a conservative, but like a leftist saying things he thinks a conservative might say.” There is profound wisdom in this statement worthy of consideration by all who are concerned about the direction of our nation. Of course, like every policy statement Trump makes, he spent the next week distancing himself from it. Trump declared he would “build a wall and deport all the illegals.” The next day he claimed he would bring them all back. What, I might ask, is the point of the deportations? It does, however, sound like a typically wasteful government program. Way to get up to speed, Donald! Then he said unequivocally, he would “ban entry by all Muslims.” The next day he added “temporarily.” One day “who would vote for that face” becomes “she’s a beautiful woman” the next. Trump is incapable of standing for anything he says for more than 12 hours. So give up consistency too. What the heck, we’re cleaning house – right?
Since the term fascism has been introduced into this article, I would ask the reader to research the meaning of the term. Few seem to understand this in either a scholarly way or in its historical context. Fascism has been accurately referred to as “socialism with a capitalist veneer” ( click here ). It is the integration of industry and government which immediately corrupts both – what politicians love to call a public/private partnership. Mr. Trump is steeped in the practice of buying favors from politicians. Now, he plans to move from being a purchasing agent to head of sales. I do not know if this is a promotion – time will tell. Recently when asked about jobs going overseas Trump pledged, “We will not let them leave.” I decry the loss of American jobs as much as anyone, but is the solution to imprison the CEOs of the fortune 500? I thought only leftist countries built walls to keep people in. Perhaps we should just give up any distinction between left and right. Democrat and Republican can just be some sort of club – a loose association of dissimilar people who join together for the sole purpose of increasing their personal power. Trump may not be a professional politician, but I think he could teach a class.
I have been counseled by a number of Republicans that “not to vote for Trump is half a vote for Hillary.” Even if the math is a little funny, the point is well made. In it is an assumption that Hillary would be worse than Trump. Personally, I am not sure there is any basis for this assumption. Some “never Trumpsters” have made the claim that Trump and Hillary are two sides of the same coin. I would go a little further stating that Trump and Hillary are the same side of the same coin. The only apparent difference, and this too is an assumption, is that they have different plumbing – the woman card vs. the Trump card.
Whether a Republican chooses to vote for Trump or not will come down to this calculation: would Trump be better than Hillary? Most Republicans at least see this as a close call. This is our shame – a failure to draw a clear distinction between radical leftists and a national Republican candidate. But apparently this is the choice we will have. It seems we have to give up hope of any distinction as well.
The executives at Coke realized their error almost immediately when complaint line calls quadrupled. Although they could never bring themselves to admit their mistake, they fixed the problem in three months. We have been at this for about a year now. Except for some feckless grumbling, apparently the only arrow in the Republican quiver, I have seen no move towards a course correction. I think we can all agree it is a little too late for that now. We can give up hope too.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, I immediately declared he would be a wrecking-ball in the Republican Party. Others used terms like “Party crasher” and “a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.” You can make a good case for all of these; all are accurate. I am sticking with wrecking-ball. The reputations of Republicans past and present have all been sullied by his presence. I am tired of being lectured by Donald Trump that Reagan was once a Democrat. Unlike Trump, Reagan got over it and never lied about it. Party principles have all been shredded to accommodate the Donald and the rules have been summarily dismissed. It looks like a wrecking-ball to me.
So it comes down to this simple calculation: is Trump better than Hillary? I have held my nose before and voted for Bob Dole. I’m not even sure Bob Dole did this. I even voted for John McCain, and Richard Nixon. But in each of these races it was clear that, as unfortunate as their candidacies were, they were better than the alternative presented by the Democrat party. Knowing everything that I know today about these candidates and their opposition, I would gladly step into the “Wayback machine” and vote for them again. I do not get this sense regarding Trump.
Some have suggested it all comes down to Supreme Court nominees. Why would we believe the same Donald Trump who can’t say enough good things about Planned Parenthood would nominate a conservative to the Supreme Court? If you were paying any attention to this article, it should be clear that the Donald has no idea what conservative even means. Trump has mentioned the possibility of nominating his Sister (no nepotism here), a third circuit appellate court judge, to the highest court of the land. She, like Donald himself, considers herself to be “strongly” pro-abortion. Nor have I heard any statements from the Donald that indicate he has any understanding of, or appreciation for the Constitution. Such statements are common from Republican candidates – even those who are not particularly conservative. I cannot point to a single thing which makes me believe a Trump appointment to the Supreme Court would be any more conservative than a Hillary appointment.
It is easy to blame Trump’s nomination on our failed education system. It is unquestionably a factor. I have been warning of the perils of our failed public education for decades. This happens when you nationalize local issues. It could also be and almost surely is a result of open primaries. Again I have been ringing this bell too, but few listen. The sad truth is, Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2016.
It is a fact that, as recently as 2015, Trump self identified as a Democrat, but who can believe anything thing Trump says. The more believable report comes from the Daily Caller dated 1-22-16 ( click here ) which reported that a search by the Daily Mail, which went back 25 years, found that Donald Trump has never voted in a Republican presidential primary. To me, this is significant. Trump has a public record, spanning decades, of supporting the leftmost of Democrat candidates and policies. There is nothing in Trump’s campaign that convinces me it is anything but a deception. What is apparent to me is that both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party are running Democrat candidates in this Presidential election. I understand but respectfully disagree with the calculation which states Trump is a better candidate than Hillary. I think, at best, it is a draw. Which means the next presidency will be no better than what we have now. If this is correct, the only thing to be determined is who gets the blame.
If Hillary wins, the Democrat Party is responsible for all the destruction of the Obama/Clinton era – error if you prefer. Republicans can maintain the fantasy of how much better a Trump presidency would have been. Fortunately, you can never prove or disprove these assertions. However, if Donald Trump were to win, the Republican Party will forever be saddled with his predictably miserable presidential record. Forever blurred would be the now obvious distinctions between constitutional conservatism and the left’s Marxist agenda. The Republican Party would never again be able to present itself as a reasonable refuge to voters seeking to free themselves of the yoke of an oppressively large government. I am unwilling to lend my name to this farce. In a contest between “Crooked Hillary” and “Donald the Deceiver,” there is no “better,” no lesser of two weasels.
Some believe we are in the end-times. Others find this idea mildly amusing. But I believe a good case can be made for this idea using the signs referred to in the Bible and comparing these with events currently (over the last century) in the news. This is Biblical prophecy made current. More and more end-time set-pieces are being moved into position and the pace is accelerating. Usually included in this belief is the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama is Divine punishment for our wickedness, of which a casual attitude toward abortion is but the most obvious example. You will draw your own conclusion, but Obama seems like a punishment to me. For those holding this belief, it is a requirement to ask yourself, given these facts, how am I to react in these circumstances? In the end times, it will rain on the just and the unjust alike. There will be no human victory. So in this case, does the Almighty expect us to just give up, to just go along with whatever foolishness the masses happen to embrace? Or will we be judged on what stands we take in the face of overwhelming adversity in the end-times? I believe it is obviously the later. I refer you to 2 Thessalonians 2:11 & 12. For secularists like Trump this is “Second Thessalonians 2:11 & 12.”
We did this to ourselves. In a year which was meticulously constructed for a certain Republican victory, we wheeled the Trojan horse into the Party ourselves. We welcomed this deceiver into our midst. We turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to wise conservatives with extensive honorable histories for a promise of hope and change. It seems a little too familiar to me. Coke reacted quickly enough to save their brand from self imposed annihilation. We have not. The only thing which will save us is Divine Providence and a face saving loss at the polls in 2016.