Tag Archives: peggy noonan

Donald Trump and the ‘No Fear’ Factor Makes a Big Impression on the New GOP Base.

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Political writer Peggy Noonan recently took stock of the Donald Trump phenomenon and declared, “America is so in play.” Her buddies in the GOP glitteratti noticed. 

Image Credit: Donald Trump For President
Image Credit: Donald Trump For President

Noonan cited the latest polls, an old friend from Ross Perot’s ’92 presidential campaign, a democrat-turned-GOP/Trump fan girl and the guy at the local deli from the Dominican Republic to conclude the New York businessman embodies the kind of gruff gravitas voters crave.

Trump’s campaign appears to be, as he is himself, a political stem cell, morphing into whatever seems to jibe with what’s in the news and the latest intelligence of the day. He speaks fearlessly, sometimes foolishly. Like a ‘Trump the Insult Dog,’ Trump has no filter. 

He’s learning to campaign as he goes. He’s getting good at it.

GOP elites and Jeb Bush backers, but I repeat myself, counter with Trump’s leftist positions on Planned Parenthood funding, taxes, single payer health care — hoping that will tamp down his support with the base and make their own moderate positions on the same seem conservative by comparison. Ordinarily that would persuade many, but instead, Trump’s poll numbers are increasing!

Press coverage is following:

Noonan believes, after talking with the deli guy from the DR, that the base isn’t what it used to be:

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Noonan opines the little people (that’s us) believe the game is rigged against them. But she claims we have company:

“…[D]eep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around.”

Peggy’s old boss, Ronald Reagan, famously said,

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Here’s what ‘the base’ sees after they gave the GOP elites victories in 2010 and 2012:

  • Failed to repeal, replace or defund ObamaCare out of fear of being blamed for a government shut down or media reaction.
  • Failed to call out Hillary Clinton’s Suzie Homemaker server when they discovered it out of fear Democrat and media backlash. 
  • Forfeited their constitutional job of advising and consenting on treaties which led to Iran deal for fear of not looking bipartisan.
  • Failed to lead on border security and the “broken” immigration system for legal immigrants for fear of being portrayed as bigots. 
  • Failed to demand action against sanctuary cities for fear of looking anti immigrant.
  • Failed to stand for the rule of law against President Obama’s illegal executive orders for fear of being depicted as quixotic.
  • Failed to call out bad cops and stand up for good ones for fear of being called bigoted.
  • Failed to call for independent investigations with subpoena power— not just hearings —-on Benghazi and IRS spying scandal, a scandal so cynical and tyrannical it goes to the very core of democracy for fear of media backlash or pushback from Main Justice.

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Instead of flooding the zone with legislative leadership, media messaging and “getting in peoples’ faces,” as candidate Obama once advised, the GOP has been playing hide and seek behind the velvet curtains in their offices and considering us suspiciously through the cut crystal lens of their Calleija brandy snifters. Instead of leading, they shiver in the dark with vain hopes the media will say nice things about them. Instead of fighting, they’ve provided nothing but excuses or mocked or shouted down members who did try to fight back. 

The former (you’re welcome GOP elites) Senate leader Harry Reid once disdainfully said of the Americans who tour the Capitol: 

“I can smell the tourists.”

Since giving them the gavel and the big chair in the House and Senate, the GOP reaction to the people who put them in leadership has been akin to finding something sticky on the bottom of their Santoni wingtips.

The people Noonan says experience “odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around,” missed the Tea Party, apparently. The people in whom they have no faith —the liberty-loving black, Hispanic, white, gay, straight, Christian, atheists of the Tea Party— were at first embraced and then dismissed by the GOP elites out of fear of looking too scary. But these are some of the same people who have put the country “so in play.”

Here’s what I believe people find refreshing about Trump and what distinguishes him from the GOP elite. It’s not only that he’s not afraid to tell his opponents he thinks they’re wrong. No. It’s that he’s not afraid at all.