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Understanding Trump's Appeal

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RUSH: I want to read something to you.  I want you to really listen to this.  This was written back in 1996, written by a man named Samuel Francis, who later in life suffered the -- acquired the -- reputation of being a white supremacist. Undeservedly so, but there have been efforts undertaken to destroy his credibility and so forth.  He was an advisor to Pat Buchanan. 

But don't let any of that cloud what I'm gonna read to you yet.  I want to read to you from an essay he wrote called "From Household to Nation."  It was published in Chronicles magazine back in 1996. "[S]ooner or later, as the globalist elites seek to drag the country into conflicts and global commitments, preside over the economic pastoralization of the United States, manage the delegitimization of our own culture, and the dispossession of our people, and disregard or diminish our national interests and national sovereignty, a nationalist reaction is almost inevitable and will probably assume populist form when it arrives."

The theory is that this is Donald Trump.  The theory is that that (written back in 1996) foretold, if you will, or predicted the arrival of Donald Trump. Not by name, but by virtue of somebody realizing what's happening and taking the bull by the horns and reacting to it this way. "Imagine giving this advice to a Republican presidential candidate: What if you stopped calling yourself a conservative and instead just promised to make America great again?" What do you think might happen in the current climate, where the middle class in the country feels totally left out of everything going on? 

They feel like they've been targeted by every liberal Democrat policy that has not been stopped by the Republican Party.  What if you dropped [talking] about the free market," stop all of that, "and promised to fight the elites who were selling out American jobs? What if you just stopped talking about reforming Medicare and Social Security and instead said that the elites were failing to deliver better health care at a reasonable price? What if, instead of vainly talking about restoring the place of religion in society ... you simply promised to restore the Middle American core," and everything it stands for?

You "promise to restore ... the economic and cultural losers of globalization to their rightful place in America? What if you said you would restore them as the chief clients of the American state under your watch, being mindful of their interests when regulating the economy or negotiating trade deals?" What if you decided to go to middle America and tell them you're the guy that's gonna make it right, that you're the guy that's gonna speak up for them, you're the guy that understands how they have been targeted, how their lives have been under the microscope, how the establishment has raised their taxes, made health care unaffordable, has caused cultural rot?

You can't send your kids to school anymore, because it costs so much they end up with debt. And besides, what's being taught in college reeks!  So what if you come along and promise to fix all that but you don't call yourself a conservative? You just say you're gonna make America great again?  This is the advice this man gave Buchanan back in 1996.  He said (paraphrased), "This is what you need to do, Pat."  Buchanan couldn't do it in 1996 because Buchanan was so identified with conservative policies, conservatism as a conservative.

He couldn't abandon it, because that alone would have destroyed his credibility.  Somebody asked Buchanan recently, after watching Trump run around the past few months: Pat, do you get the impression that Trump... I mean, he's talking about same stuff you do it way back when you ran for president 1996, 1992.  Why do you think Trump's being heralded and supported and leading, and you weren't?  Buchanan said because 20 years ago, he was just sounding the warning.  None of this was really happening.  He was warning people it was coming.  Trump doesn't have to do it.  We're living it.  There's a 20-year record now. 

So Trump doesn't have to warn anybody. 

All he's gotta do is let people know he recognizes it.  All of this comes from a column called "From Household to Nation," written by this guy Samuel Francis.  Pat Buchanan was the target back in 1996, and here's the simplification of the theory.  It is that "[t]here are a number of Americans who are losers," economic losers, not sad-sack losers. They just lost out in the enterprise of "economic globalization that enriches a transnational global elite. These Middle Americans see jobs disappearing to Asia and increased competition from" unskilled, uneducated, increasing numbers of immigrants, most of them illegal. 

They are stuck right in the middle of cultural rot brought about by liberalism.  And the key: "But they are also threatened by conservatives who would take away their Medicare, hand their Social Security earnings to fund-managers in Connecticut, and cut off their unemployment too."  Now, that may make you say, "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Why would these middle class voters fear conservatives?"  Well, because this goes back to the whole thing, folks.  There's a lot of conservatives out there; many of you in this audience are. 

But the theory now with Trump coming... Let me just cut to the real chase.  What the end of all this, people think that the arrival of Trump on the scene and the success he's having has blown whatever alignment there was between the so-called conservative movement and the Republican Party, because what is happening here -- what is being exposed, what's being demonstrated -- is that, yeah, there are a lot of people who are conservative, but many will not call themselves that, and they are not conservatives because of conservative policy. 

In other words, they're not wonks.

They don't understand all the ins and outs of classic conservatism.  They're just who they are.  Therefore, it's not conservatism that is the glue that has this group of people in this coalition held together.  It's quite a number of other things, and right now the glue is an absolute opposition to the Democrat Party, to the American left, to the worldwide left, and everything they have done and want to continue doing.  As I said yesterday, if somebody comes along and convinces them that they're serious about stopping this and reversing it, they don't care if it's somebody from Mars!

It doesn't have to be a classical conservative promising this.  It can be anybody who makes them trust him, anybody with credibility.  So the fear is, when you get inside the Beltway, that all of the conservative institutions -- in media and in think tanks, you name it. All the various components are being exposed as really unnecessary and irrelevant, and really haven't done anything for people.  One illustration of that is the reaction to Sarah Palin from the Republican establishment. 

She shows up... Not the selection, but Palin showing up to endorse Trump.  Everybody said, "Why in the world would she do that?" Let me ask you a simple question.  "If you're Sarah Palin, what has the Republican establishment done for you -- other than try to destroy you?" The Republican establishment, they assigned people to shepherd her through the McCain campaign who ended up telling the media, "My God, this woman is so stupid, I can't vote for McCain! The thought this woman might become president? Oh, my God, I can't!"

HBO made a movie out of it.  So if you're Sarah Palin, you might ask, you're asking me why I'm endorsing Trump?  Why don't you ask me what has the so-called conservative Republican Party done for me.  Tea Party's a different thing, obviously.  So the Trump triumph, the Trump coalition is exposing the fact that it isn't conservative orthodoxy, or conservatism, or any of the hard work of the conservative elite in persuading people and educating them and informing them that is causing people to be conservative. 

No, it's something really basic and simple.  They are fed up with the modern-day Democrat Party.  They're fed up with Obama and all of these people who have set out to transform, which means destroy, this country and rebuild it in ways it was never founded to be or intended to be.  They want it stopped.  They've shown up at the polls twice, 2010, 2014, to get them to stop. 

The Republican Party establishment does not understand this.  They do not know who their conservative voters are.  They've overestimated their conservatism, and by that is meant they think they're dyed-in-the-wool conservative theoreticians absorbed in such things as the free market and all these other bells and whistles, and they're not.  They're not liberal.  They're not Democrat.  Many of them do not want to be thought of as conservatives, for a host of reasons.  So somebody who comes along and is able to convey that he or she understands why they're angry and, furthermore, is gonna do everything they can to fix it, is gonna own them. 

So what's happening here, nationalism, dirty word, ooh, people hate it, populism, even dirtier word.  Nationalism and populism have overtaken conservatism in terms of appeal.  And when this has happened, when it exposes -- what people in Washington are afraid of --  and that that is, you know, all this money we've asked people to send us and all these donations people have made, this movement, promote that movement, where is conservatism in Washington, they're asking.  Where is it?  The Republican Party isn't conservative.  Where are all these conservative people that are contributing to policy being implemented in Congress or in the Senate.  They don't see it.  

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RUSH:  By the way, folks, Angelo Codevilla in that original piece he did on the ruling class versus the country class, he predicted this as well.  It's not just this guy back in 1996 whose name was Samuel Francis.  What's interesting about the 1996 piece is how right on it is in foretelling Trump and the way he's campaigning and what he's saying.  This is a guy back in 1996 urging Buchanan to just go all-in.  Forget conservatism, Pat, you're gonna turn too many people off, some people who are conservative but they don't want anybody to know it. They don't want anybody to think it. They're embarrassed of it for whatever reason. Don't even go to conservative.  Don't even mention the word, Pat, just go pro-America, just go nationalism, populism, whatever, and you'll rake 'em in.  You don't need those people, Pat. 

This is the summation of his advice.  They'll drag you down.  All they'll want to get in is on your campaign, be your policy expert.  You don't need 'em, Pat.  They're not gonna help you.  But he couldn't.  Buchanan couldn't abandon conservatism; he was too identified as one.  But Trump, nobody's ever thought of him as a conservative.  Doesn't have to abandon anything.  Codevilla predicted this as well more recently.  Codevilla said it was only a matter of time, the country class would figure out that the ruling class is not only not listening to them, but is actively suppressing them, and there would be a price to pay for this. 

At some point the country class, which considers itself the group of people that actually make the country work, would simply revolt and abandon the conventional arrangements that have always existed, the parties, party loyalty shmoilty.  It would come down to who is going to fix the problems that everybody agrees are taking place that we face and are being pushed by people in Washington.  

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RUSH: Kevin in St. Louis.  Great to have you, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, thanks for taking my call.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  You know, I think the best way to explain to people why Trump is so popular is to kind of, you know, mirror what you did when you first started.  You know, you started telling people who you were -- and people started hearing you, and your popularity just grew.  You know, you sort of set the foundation for what you believed in and kind of built on that.

RUSH:  Well, you're not the first person to tell me that they remember that when I started it, it seemed like a lot what Trump is doing now.  I've had some people tell me that.  Here's the thing, though.  I mean, I don't know the answer to this.  I can give you the theory. I just have...  I mean, here we have... Well, let's go through it very briefly, just very quickly, to get to the question I have about Trump.  See, I think it makes total sense why Trump has support.  I'm not confused by it at all, and I'm not angry.  I think we have two political parties, but we don't.

The Republican Party, for whatever reason, refuses to be an opposition party.  The Republican Party refuses to stand up and even make the pretense of trying to stop Barack Obama.  Out in the real world, Barack Obama and the Democrat Party are seen as destroying this country.  And not just domestically; they're destroying the military; they're destroying foreign policy.  They are nuking up Iran.  They are behaving in ways that befriending our enemies and alienating our friends and allies -- and people are at their wits' end. 

They have voted, in large numbers, expecting there to be some opposition and push-back to this.  That's the standard, normal procedure in politics.  Politics is at least two competing organizations, and the winning organization always faces opposition by the losing organization 'cause it wants to get back in power.  Well, the people that vote for Republicans are not seeing any opposition.  They're not seeing any push-back.  In fact, it's even worse than that.  They're seeing the Republican Party agree with the Democrats on something as key as open borders.

If there's one thing that people in this country think is responsible for the direct hit on the economy and their future and their kids' future, it's illegal immigration and the willing importation of unskilled, uneducated, totally dependent people who are gonna be automatic voters for the Democrats, which means this never ends.  So they're expecting the Republican Party to stand up and say, "No!"  They're expecting the Republican Party to stand up and try to stop it.  They're not seeing it.  They're at their wits' end. 

They have voted. 

They've donated. 

They've given money when they could afford it. 

They have campaigned.  They've gotten out the vote.  They have shown up as the Tea Party.  They've gone to town meetings.  They have gone neighborhood door-to-door.  They've manned the phone banks.  They've done all of that.  They've got nothing to show for it except maybe they lose their job, maybe they're cut back to 30 hours, maybe their neighborhood Walmart's closing down.  Everything's caving in on them! They're the ones playing by the rules.  They're not cultural perverts.  They're not people breaking the law. 

They're doing everything they can to play by the rules, and they don't think anybody is standing up for 'em or representing them. 

They feel powerless. 

They feel like they're being targeted. 

They think they're being blamed for whatever's gone wrong in this country that Obama and the Democrats don't like.  And they're not to blame.  They represent what's great about this country, and they're being winnowed out.  Well, it only stands to reason that when somebody comes along and lets them know that he agrees with that -- and these days are over and we're gonna make this country great again and you're gonna help me do it -- and we're together gonna make this country great, I guarantee you that is a magnet that no Republican, conservative, expert, think tank, whatever, can stop. 

It's not hard to understand this at all.  Except the Republican Party I don't think understands what is animating and motivating their base supporters.  They're not worried about the Republican Party future.  They're not worried about the image of the Republican Party, not worried about the media liking them.  They're not worried about money being donated.  They're worried about their country.  They oppose, stridently, the modern-day Democrat Party.  They oppose the policies of Barack Hussein O.  It isn't personal. 

They just don't like what's happening.  They don't like the out-of-control spending.  They don't like $4.5 trillion printed and given to Wall Street, and here's Wall Street squandering it now!  They don't like any of this.  Somebody comes along and says, "I don't either.  You know what?  We're gonna work together, and we're gonna make this country great again.  We got stupid people running it."  Well, Trump's not criticizing Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives.  He's criticizing stupid people.

He's gonna be smarter.  He gonna make great deals. He's gonna make the country great again.  People want to believe that.  This is not hard to understand at all, if you ask me. Now, my question is -- and it really is not all that important. Does Trump know he's doing this or did he just... Is it just who he is and he just happened to arrive on the scene at the moment? Is this some sort of grand strategy that he's working out, or did he just fall into this?  I mean right person, right time, or is it strategic?  

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