5 Things The Republican Party Can Learn About Politics From Donald Trump

5 Things The Republican Party Can Learn About Politics From Donald Trump

When you are talking about Donald Trump, you’re talking about a billionaire playboy whose name has been synonymous with wealth and success in America since the eighties, a motivational book author, a reality TV star, and the world’s most prominent tweeter. In other words, he is a unique figure and if Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul tried to copy everything Trump is doing, they would fail miserably because they’re not Trump and they can’t do what he does and get away with it.

Yet and still, Trump will be leaving office one day and when that day comes, there will be a number of questions that the GOP will have to wrestle with. It’s a little hard to predict how some of the ideological differences between the Trump era and the years that came before it will play out at this early juncture, but there are definitely some political lessons that the entire Republican Party can learn from Trump’s presidency. For example…

1) Gaffes are only gaffes if you care: My friend Ben Howe suggested that one and it’s a lesson liberals learned long ago. It’s how Ted Kennedy survived leaving a woman to drown to death in his car, how Bill Clinton gets a pass from feminists, how people can say with a straight face that the Obama administration had “no scandals,” and how Ralph Northam (among a number of other liberals) got a pass for his blackface pictures. Trump rather famously doesn’t do apologies and goes on the offensive when he’s attacked, which is a wonderful change from the usual Republican strategy of apologizing, fretting about what the media will say, and then looking for any excuse to throw whoever is involved under the bus. If Trump had taken that approach, he would have been destroyed a 100 times over by now, so maybe other Republicans in Congress should stop reflexively eating their own every time the Washington Post or New York Times takes something out of context.

2) The elite of the party have swung too far to the establishment side: The Republican Party is a mix of country club/establishment types and grassroots, populist-friendly conservatives that loved the Tea Party. For a candidate to reach their full potential, they need to appeal to BOTH sides.

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One of the big problems with candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney is that they centered their campaigns around pleasing the establishment wing of the Party while doing little to appeal to the grassroots. Consequently, all of them lost. On the other hand, even though Trump is talked about as the most diehard populist in the White House since Andrew Jackson, he has still been a business-friendly president who pushed through a large tax cut. In other words, he has done more to cater to the establishment than Bob McRomney ever did to cater to the base. Future Republican Party presidential candidates need to work much harder to please and activate the grassroots. They may not be the ones with the biggest bank accounts, but they’re the ones that being the most votes, put signs up in their yards, and create excitement about candidates.

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