By Raynard Jackson
The political story of the year by far is the sudden resignation of House Speaker, John Boehner. His announcement last Friday sent tectonic shock waves throughout the body politic.
Boehner’s resignation was a direct result of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy; not Trump the person, but rather what Trump represents.
In many ways, as a candidate, Trump is very flawed; but what he represents is very much real.
Trump’s unconventional approach to campaigning and his theatrics are wearing very thin on the voters. He must now begin to address the American people with substantive policy initiatives. We know he is very wealthy, we know he loves Mexicans and they love him too, and we know his hair is real, etc.
But now Trump has to convince the electorate that he has a plan to deal with ISIS, that he has a plan to reduce government spending, and that he has a plan to create jobs in this anemic economy, etc.
That’s Trump the candidate. Trump the symbol is totally different.
Trump is the vessel the Republican base has chosen to represent their anger and disillusionment with the party. The party establishment refused to listen to the base when they quietly voiced their dissatisfaction. They were simply told to write a check, vote for them, and just shut the hell up.
Many in the party no longer know what we stand for as Republicans; other than Trump (illegal immigration), can you name the signature issue of any other candidates for president? The world is falling apart right in front of us, both domestically and internationally and Republicans are not putting forth any solutions; just caving in to Obama at every chance.
I think it is extremely condescending for some to attempt to chide the base of the party for having “unrealistic” expectations from the Republican Congress. Well, if this be true, the fault clearly falls on these same people for raising the expectations thusly.
The base was told last year that if they voted for Republicans, they would stop Obama’s amnesty; repeal Obamacare, and cut spending. Congress has not done nor attempted to do any of these things.
The base doesn’t need lecturing and condescension; they are fully aware that Obama has the power of the veto. The base doesn’t mind losing a vote, but they at least want to see Congress put up a fight for the principles that they claim to believe in. Make Obama veto a border bill or make Obama veto a spending bill.
The base will respect and support loses when the leadership stands by their (and our) principles.
The unwillingness of our leaders to fight for our values has led to the creation of Donald Trump. Trump would have no raison d’etre for his candidacy if Republicans had fought against Obama’s liberal agenda.
So, replacing Boehner with someone who is going to continue the status quo is not the solution. Republicans should pick up to three issues that they are going to focus on like a laser beam for the rest of the year. I would choose national security, a border bill, and decreasing spending as the three priorities for the rest of this year. Force Obama to come our way on these issues or use the power of the purse to force his hand and use the nuclear option in the senate.
Even if the party’s establishment is successful at getting rid of Trump, who will address the issues that he represents? The American people don’t want amnesty, yet it seems the Republican Party’s leadership is hell-bent on giving it to those in the country illegally.
The American people want us to take a tougher stand on China’s hacking and espionage; but instead they get a state dinner.
Again, Trump is not the problem, so take him down if you must; but then what? To be very candid, several of our guys running in the presidential primary could legitimately be running in the Democratic primary based on where they stand on the issues.
We know we can’t count on the mainstream media to fairly portray the Republican message. But there are over two hundred Black newspapers begging the Republican leadership to engage with them. There are many Black reporters who can’t get Republican leaders or their staffs to return their calls.
The Black media is not hostile to Republicans; they don’t know Republicans. How many Republican presidential candidates have engaged with the Black media? When has the House/Senate leadership ever engaged with the Black media?
When oil companies have depleted the oil from their known reserves; they begin to engage in “exploratory” drilling to find that new source of reserves.
To my Republican Party, the Black community is that new source of oil. You have thoroughly depleted your proven reserves (the White, male vote). When will you start drilling for “Black gold” (pun intended)?
If you don’t want to engage with the Black community because it’s the smart thing to do; at least do it for political survival. Please, don’t get trumped again by your ego.
Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC. Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has coined the phrase “straticist.” As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations. Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.