The current frontrunner in the GOP presidential race is Donald Trump. Let that sink in for a moment. A man who thinks that Syrian refugees and ISIS are the same thing. A man who has bankrupted multiple businesses. A reality TV show star.
How the hell did we get here?
I’m not a republican or a conservative, but as I’ve stated in the past, that doesn’t mean some conservative principles or ideas don’t have merit. But the current GOP field is a complete mess. But why? Why is the ticket so abysmal?
Well, in short, it’s because to the republican base, experience is a bad thing.
There’s a huge anti-establishment push in this country right now. Anyone seen as a “Washington insider” is unfit to elect. Indeed, a complete lack of political experience is what is considered desirable by the republican base currently. If government is the problem, then the solution is to send someone who isn’t part of the system in to fix it.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the current people in the front of the GOP pack. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump have zero political experience. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio are all freshmen congressmen. In other words, all of these people have either zero or very little experience in the system.
And the people who actually do have executive experience–John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie–continue to languish at the bottom of the polls. I actually kinda like John Kasich, as far as their candidates go. He’s a little too religious for my taste, but his track record makes me think he’s actually a pretty moderate man. If I had to vote for a republican in this race it would be him. But he’s not going to get the nomination.
Because, again, of the GOP base. People who think that the problem in Washington is politicians aren’t going to nominate a career one, no matter how sane his or her track record. It’s Jon Huntsman all over again.
Remember Jon Huntsman?
He ran for president in 2012 on the republican ticket. He was a former governor of Utah who was also ambassador to China, and who also happened to believe in climate change. Naturally, he languished in the polls and dropped out of the race.
Because really, what conservative wants to elect a candidate with executive experience who’s beloved in his home state, actually understands science, and who has experience dealing with China? That’s just crazy talk, right there.
And it’s an example of what the problem in the GOP is. Kasich and Huntsman both would have had massive appeal to independent voters, and those are the voters who decide elections. 32% of voters are democrats. 29% are republicans. 39% are independents. That last number is the one both parties target. Yet, time and time again, the GOP base has all but assured that the candidate that gets the nomination is the one that only appeals to that 29% of the party.
It’s the republican voters who are killing the party. “The call is coming from inside the house!”