(Easily shareable links of this blog are broken into 5 parts below)
From Corporate Billionaire to Blue Collar Hero ?
While the whole of American civilization literally hinges on every word and move of Donald Trump, there’s a question that has yet to be asked by the media, Trump’s rabidly loyal fans and supporters, or even his harshest critics; and maybe they never thought about it or don’t even care. But it’s a question that really should and needs to be asked. Usually when a candidate for elective office changes or “evolves” on an issue or ideology, he or she goes through the scrutiny of explaining what the catalyst was that led to the change. It’s a way to gauge the difference between a sincere change of heart and/or mind and a hasty diversion for political expediency. Like when a pro-abortion politician reveals he is now prolife, we want to know how and when this happened and why. For the majority of conservative voters, it’s kind of important to know these things, and most politicians are pretty forthcoming in sharing their conversion stories.
So in light of all the Trumphoria going on, with masses of supporters from Main Street America crowning Trump their Pied Piper, it begs this question: At what point did a self-absorbed, jet-setting, pampered billionaire from Corporate America morph into Blue Collar Everyman? His admirable charitable giving aside, here we have a man whose primary focus in life has been to amass personal wealth and expand his financial empire here and globally – and flaunt it shamelessly. Recall not 4 years ago during the 2012 Republican primaries Trump was passionately hammering and pounding THE poster boy millionaire Wall Street candidate into the minds of voters with the focus on what was good for big business and entrepreneurs, not the concerns and issues of the little guy struggling in an increasingly hollowed out Middle America. Trump opined near daily from his perch on the curvy couch at Fox News (and via youtube from his desk at Trump Tower) how ignorant and clueless voters were to support the gutsy, blue collar underdog Rick Santorum instead of rallying behind Mitt Romney, and he personally funded and helped raise double digit millions from Wall Street and corporate fat cats to bankroll the Romney campaign carpet-bomb, pound and ground attacks against Santorum, the one candidate who actually was speaking to, for, and about the little guy. Oh, the irony.
So what exactly was it that tripped a switch in Trump’s heart and mind that so moved him this time to take up the cause of Joe Average, busting out of the 2016 starting gate in January at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Summit and on to subsequent speaking venues, spray painting the primary landscape in bold, blue collar hues? His message was a melding of Tea Party fueled anti-Obama sentiment and a new focus on issues not characteristically a part of the Republican message: manufacturing, infrastructure rejuvenation, trade schools, vocational training, and the impact of immigration on jobs and wages of millions of Americans out of work or working multiple low paying jobs – all the stuff that perks the ears of millions of voters who want to hear someone who actually understands and cares about them. It was music to the ears, and boy, did Trump score big. He seasoned this new message with verbal slings against a do nothing Congress and an incompetent and traitorous Obama administration taking us to the brink of economic and societal suicide and pegged himself as “The One” we’ve all been waiting for to rescue us from impending doom. Finally a champion for the little guy: Blue Collar Everyman.
As atypical this message is for Donald Trump, people are eating it up and clamoring for more, and Trump sits high atop the polls virtually untouchable for the foreseeable future (or until he self-destructs.) How on Earth did this happen? Can an uber wealthy real estate and casino mogul who has made his fortune in huge and fabulous big business deals actually be a credible figurehead for everyday working Americans? Is Donald Trump really and truly a blue collar conservative, and what was his blue collar epiphany?
Ok, strap on your seatbelt for a ride to Truthville. Whether you are a diehard Trump believer or skeptic, time for a reality check. This might hurt a bit but it’s what you should know that the media has totally ignored. It sure explains a lot.
Let’s flash back to one year ago, September 25, 2014.
After hearing Rick Santorum on the Joe Piscopo Show one morning defending casino owners in New Jersey as not responsible for recent job losses, Donald Trump contacted the 2012 Republican primary runner up to thank him for his remarks and asked him to come see him at Trump Tower next time he was in New York City. Stunned to receive any contact from Trump, whom he had never before met, and especially out of the blue like that, Santorum went to Trump Tower two weeks later when he had some unrelated business in New York, and when he arrived at Trump’s office he was surprised to see Trump sitting at his desk holding Santorum’s new book Blue Collar Conservatives – Recommitting to An America That Works. “I read your book!” Trump said, much to Santorum’s surprise and disbelief, and Trump again repeated in assurance he, indeed, had read it. Not truly convinced, Santorum even extensively quizzed Trump, and the answers Trump gave confirmed yes, he had read the book. “This is a great book! Everyone should read it,” Trump said, telling Santorum“THIS is the right message.” Trump graciously invited him in for a an hour long conversation wherein he proceeded to pick Santorum’s brain for his thoughts and views on a range of issues he was interested in and concerned about regarding Santorum’s policy prescriptions in the book focused on reaching out to the nearly 6 million disaffected Reagan Democrat type voters struggling in Middle America who didn’t bother to vote in the 2012 general election but were surprisingly showing up to vote for Santorum in the GOP open primaries in critical swing states. According to Santorum, it was a very cordial visit with Trump asking a lot of questions and doing most of the talking, and Trump was a warm and benevolent host to him and his daughter, Sarah Maria, who had accompanied him on the trip to New York.
Santorum tweeted this photo of the September 25 meeting with Trump in his office.
You can listen to Rick Santorum discuss the meeting with radio talk host Joe Piscopo in this audio clip from his show on December 17, 2014 in the youtube clip below:
I have vivid memories of the battering ram treatment Santorum steadily received from Trump during the 2012 primaries and recall after Santorum’s shocking triple win propelled him to the top of the polls and when victory in Michigan and Ohio became a real possibility, Trump even threatened to get in the race if his guy (Romney) went down in flames. So this friendly meeting between the two would seem improbable to say the least; but knowing what a kind and magnanimous soul Rick Santorum is, it’s really not surprising.
Anyone doubting Rick Santorum’s book and conversation he had with Trump had anything to do with Trump’s decision to get in the 2016 race, consider the very next day Trump tweeted out a teaser about running for president.
I wonder if I run for PRESIDENT, will the haters and losers vote for me knowing that I will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? I say they will!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2014
Seems the book and discussion with Santorum set light bulbs off in Trump’s head. Instead of considering backing Santorum this time for a highly likely second run, Trump was plotting his own path to the presidency with this blue collar awakening, requiring a major remaking of his elitist, privileged billionaire image ahead of the race.
Fast forward to January 2015 and Donald Trump purloins Santorum’s blue collar, pro worker, pro-growth message and policy views from his book for pre-campaign talking points, and after studious observation of Santorum’s wildly successful brushfire campaign through the Heartland and Rustbelt of America last election, he bounds on the presidential campaign scene toying and teasing with the idea of actually taking the plunge this time. At first scoffed and laughed at by disbelieving crowds and amused media, Trump soon won people over by dangling the very appealing carrot of Santorum’s blue collar message delivered in flamboyant Trump fashion and demonstrating his mastery of a recently acquired language: Tea Party speak. It connected and resonated with skeptical Tea Partiers as well as with the average voter out there waiting to hear someone talk about them for a change. Just. Wow.
So here we have a policy pirate using a message not of his own making to win over voters who would not ordinarily be drawn to him, much less trust him. The truth is, if not for Rick Santorum, Donald Trump would be running a warmed over version of the Romney campaign focusing on tax cuts and incentives for business owners and Corporate America millionaires and billionaires like himself. Not since Reagan have we heard anyone in the Republican Party show interest in blue collar workers, those Reagan Democrats who neither care to climb the corporate ladder of success nor want a handout from the government. They want policies that allow them the freedom to pursue their own American Dreams. It was Santorum who tapped into that in 2012 in a real and authentic way, and it’s why he wasn’t just the last man standing against Romney. He was actually standing on something and for someone: the everyday American worker. It was his appeal not just to the social and cultural conservatives that largely comprise the Republican base but also his authentic connection with Reagan Democrats that had the Democrat party bosses quaking in their boots as Santorum’s campaign blazed across the Heartland of factory towns and manufacturing hubs in small town and rural America. It was Santorum, not Romney, they feared the most.
Trump, for all his flaws, is no fool, and like all the other Republican candidates, first studied what happened in 2012 before jumping into the 2016 race and seized upon the growing dissatisfaction with feckless congressional Republicans doing nothing to stop Barack Obama. He gleaned much from Santorum’s 2012 platform and new book, which by the way appears to be the blueprint for a good number of candidates in BOTH parties now talking blue collar issues and policy, and put together a populace campaign message in a gamble with himself as the very unlikely messenger. Even Marco Rubio and the recently defunct Scott Walker have heavily channeled Santorum’s speeches and plagiarized his book in an attempt to capitalize on the near total media blackout of Santorum. If he’s not being covered, how much easier is it to steal from him and get away with it? Trump has made out like a bandit as the first one commanding attention as a champion of blue collar America via his celebrity status and the media megaphone that comes with it. One thing Trump does exceptionally well is know how to play the media, and he plays them like a fine tuned fiddle.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Trump’s signature focus has been on immigration and how it has hurt American jobs and wages and that economic policies here have sent American manufacturers packing to Mexico and China. He’s called for an aggressive approach to illegal, and to a lesser degree, legal immigration, and is roundly credited for being the first and only one in this race to address the problem of immigration in this light and vows to bring manufacturing back to American shores like no other. It’s going to be like, legendary HUGE. He’s going to make America great again by having America make things again. And it’s all Trump’s own ideas and policies that will accomplish this. He was the FIRST one to talk like this. At least that’s what the media, ALL media, tell us. Hmmm. I. Don’t. Think. So.
Let’s step back again in time to the Summer of 2014, way pre-Trump, when Rick Santorum first pointed out that immigration was having a devastating impact on American jobs and wages due to illegal immigration and the masses of people coming into this country legally as well. At The Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in August 2014, Santorum threw down the gauntlet on immigration policy, delivering a poignant and passionate boatrocker message how out of touch the GOP had become over the years for singularly focusing immigration policy on achieving some form of amnesty to meet the demands of big business owners seeking cheap foreign labor to bump up their profits and how Democrats push for amnesty to reclaim power via a guaranteed voter base.
(Watch this clip below. Santorum, alone, stood out in the large field of potential presidential contenders with a unique, muscular, totally realistic and doable Americans First immigration policy that made total sense and didn’t require flaming, offensive rhetoric or insulting an entire ethnicity of people. )
His message was a follow up to his Tour de Force at CPAC months earlier, shaking up a stale and tone deaf Republican Party and chastising them to refocus message and policies on the 90% of Americans who aren’t business owners and work for others for a living. It was a total departure from the boilerplate fare routinely served up at conservative political venues like this, a truly bold move by Santorum to blaze a new trail forward to not only unite the Republican Party but actually make a connection to voters who have divorced themselves from an abusive and negligent Democrat Party.
From Breitbart News March 7, 2014:
Rick Santorum Goes Populist at CPAC: ‘Do We Really Accept There Are Classes in America?’
“The speech was a surprising one. It served to distinguish Santorum from the rest of the amorphous pack of Republicans who may or may not resurface in 2016. Santorum might not be holding public office right now or showing up strongly in polls, but he remains the runner-up to Mitt Romney in 2012, and that position always carries weight in the Republican Party. He is also offering voters something no Republican is offering: a sensibility for the proletariat, a soft spot for the poor, and a desire to engage in the economic debate that other Republicans deem “class warfare.” Santorum might be calling for the abandonment of a “leftist” language, but he is speaking Democrat in economics, and doing so in a way that makes him unique in the field. “
Despite a national media blackout, Santorum’s pro-worker America First message and policy prescriptions caught the attention of two major American worker focused immigration organizations, NumbersUSA and VDare, both who lauded him for raising the bar on the immigration debate with his unique pro-worker, pro-growth immigration policy putting Americans, not immigrants first. For over a year leading up to and in the midst of the primaries, Rick Santorum had the lone “A” grade on the NumbersUSA immigration scorecard for presidential candidates with the next closest grade a “C” by Scott Walker who did a hasty 180 on his pro amnesty plan to mimic Santorum’s policies and succeeded in bumping up his grade to a “B” and then an “A-” with Trump later following suit. Currently, Ted Cruz is under fire for his own immigration on steroids policy, exposed on the campaign trail by Santorum, and he likely will do a major flip flop to bump up his own immigration score to mirror Santorum’s. Clearly a cut and dried case of political Follow the Leader here. The national media, conservative talk hosts, and bloggers have only covered Walker and Trump and as they received praises for bumping up their initially dismal grades on the immigration scorecard. Conveniently omitted was any mention of Santorum and his rock solid steady “A.” Watch for Cruz to receive major praise when he no doubt undergoes his extreme makeover on this hot button issue now driving this election. It’s coming, folks. You just know it is.
Most of you likely heard nary a word about Rick Santorum on this because he’s the main target of the Republican establishment effort to blackball him for the 2016 presidential race. (More about this in an upcoming blog.) He is routinely the only speaker left out of media coverage of CPAC and other major political speaking venues, so it was low hanging fruit for Trump to swoop in and make off with Santorum’s message and policies as his own. Imagine Santorum’s surprise to hear HIS message, issues, and policies delivered, at times near verbatim, by Trump and Walker at the Iowa Freedom Summit this past January, the first official candidate forum of the 2016 race. Santorum’s own speech, centered around the premise of his book, was a serious and mature conversation with the audience, substantive in the depth and breadth of major issues this election needs to be framed around if we are to win in 2016 and actually unite and restore our fragile and fragmented Republic. No pie-in-the-sky promises or rhetoric, just a meaty, realistic assessment of the political landscape focused through a new lens. In contrast, Trump and Walker hit the stage using much of Santorum’s blue collar message as hollow talking points in aggressive pre-campaign stump speeches chumming the audience for cheers and those coveted standing O’s for good PR purposes. Along with Trump’s long established tabloidish celebrity came all the obligatory cameras and media, and it was he who succeeded in suctioning all the attention and shortly thereafter was crowned a blue collar champion the likes we’ve not seen since Reagan. Walker rode this new blue collar message to soaring heights for a time as well but it took the media megaphone of Rush Limbaugh to get him there. Trump being Trump, however, was carried to the top by a gold-plated, media drawn carriage.
With bombastic flare and bloody em up verbal jabs at his GOP rivals, Trump has muscled his way to record poll numbers and continues to hold his grip on the hopes and imaginations of supporters who want a browbeater in charge. Donald Trump is the Biff Tannen of the 2016 election. Remember the bully in Back to the Future? He’s that guy, only he’s smarter because he has some big, albeit stolen, ideas and people actually seem to like him, or should I say like what he says and how he says it.
Without Santorum’s issues and policies as the framework of his campaign, Trump would just be a big mouth bully grasping wildly for some issue that might just stick with the same moderates he appealed to on behalf of Romney in 2012 or trying to commandeer the angry Tea Party title away from Ted Cruz and others running on anti-government issues. He’d likely be jostling for a place somewhere in the debates with much the same message as Jeb Bush or he might actually be backing Bush instead. It was Santorum’s blue collar message and policy prescriptions Trump latched on to that spurred him to throw his hat in the presidential primary ring. If you’ve seen the original text of Trump’s planned announcement speech it reads like a combination of the Table of Contents from Santorum’s book and his speeches minus the moral fiber of faith and family. Make no mistake, Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again” is NOT a family values campaign although Trump has recently taken to buttering up Christian voters with a now routine show and tell of his grandmother’s Bible and boasting about the quantity of Bibles he has in his home. Trump opted to ditch reading the original speech, and sans a disciplined outline, he detoured in a good deal of confusing albeit entertaining squirrel chasing throughout his tortuous near hour long diatribe against the Republican Party and Obama, peppered here and there with the same braggadocio we’ve all come to expect from Trump any and every time he’s in the media spotlight.
I’ve spoken to a number of people who like what Trump says but don’t really like or trust him. I hear it frequently on talk radio and elsewhere in the media too. His history of supporting liberals, his character flaws and personal and professional failings, and his arrogance that eclipses even Obama’s all send up red flags for many who support him or are willing to support him because he says what they want to hear. Most are also a bit concerned that Trump doesn’t give details about his newfound policy prescriptions and how he will actually achieve them.
Maybe they don’t care where or from whom Trump got his campaign mojo, just that the message is out there now and he successfully recast himself the red baseball capped messenger. I’ve heard this from people I’ve enlightened about Trump’s hijacking of Santorum’s message. Reality is, it’s actually Santorum’s message and policies they like, not Trump’s. But the more Trump detracts from and embellishes the original talking points he pilfered from Santorum with some of his own fantastical ideas and hints of imperial ambition, the further away he gets from reality and credibility of offering serious and doable solutions to the critical problems we face with our nation on the brink of collapse. This I do know; if Santorum had even a fraction of the media attention Trump has gotten so he can share his policies in depth, I am confident we’d have a very different race going on right now. Santorum does not have the personal baggage and trust deficit that are problematic for Trump, and his successful record and credibility on the issues of this election are indisputable. On rare occasions, Santorum is tossed media table scrap three minute bits of airtime which in no way affords him the opportunity to communicate his message with viewers who see and hear the other candidates, namely Trump, on a weekly if not daily basis on those same shows. So much for fair and balanced.
The Great Pretender?
Personally, I’ve had serious doubts that Trump really wants to be president. I have a hard time believing he is willing to give up his luxurious, jet-setting, I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me lifestyle. I don’t think he’s willing to trade his freedom to do what he wants at will for the constraints the office of the presidency will assuredly place on him for 4 years. He has repeatedly said this is not something he really wanted to do but felt he had to do, and I have detected no evidence whatsoever that his wife is eager to assume the duties of a First Lady. It’s just not there.
So why is Trump doing all this if the end goal of this political tsunami he’s fomented is not for him to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? What if Trump might actually be snagging up voters he plans to bestow upon another via an endorsement when the time comes for him to announce that he’s found someone he can actually support? Trump donated $5,000 to a pro-Cruz PAC in 2014 and has had meetings with him before and after both announced their candidacies this year. Reports are that the two keep in touch via phone and you never see them criticize one another, not even on policy differences. They even held a joint rally on the Capitol lawn to protest the Iran nuke deal. My, how cozy. Rather peculiar behavior for 2 people who are vying for the same office wouldn’t you say?
Trump is still steaming mad at Karl Rove for conning him to pour millions of his dollars and time into what was a guaranteed winner in the 2012 Rominee. He even bragged on Sean Hannity’s radio show that it was his efforts that guaranteed Romney clinched the title, but now he frequently rakes Rove over the coals for backing a candidate who failed miserably to deliver. Obviously Trump developed a friendship with Rick Santorum since 2012 and had the revelation that Santorum’s message and policies actually do hit the bullseye with American voters and now fully understands why so many voters didn’t come out to vote for either Obama or Romney, so why not just endorse him? I refer you back to Trump’s relentless efforts to put Santorum away last election. How would he keep face by now supporting the man he repeatedly labeled a “loser”? Trump is good at making pretzel twisting excuses for himself, but he does not apologize. Endorsing Santorum would not be an option.
He sees Ted Cruz as the rock star maverick Rove truly despises and who also already has a sizeable warchest to boot with appeal to Tea Party libertarian voters as well as evangelicals. Cruz’s glaring deficit in experience and legislative accomplishments is overshadowed by his angry young Senator persona, and Trump finds this most appealing. Could a bit of revenge politics be at play here? Trump hypes and stumps on much of the same hot and angry Tea Party rhetoric that fuels the Cruz campaign, and this is a guaranteed magnet for that faction of the GOP voting base. Problem is Cruz’s cut, slash, and burn rhetoric and policies are a total turn off to those 6 million or more blue collar voters who see him as the face of the government shutdown that resulted in many of them losing their jobs temporarily or permanently. Cruz’s guaranteed applause inducing one-liners he whips out at every single speaking venue fall flat with those outside of his conservative bubble, and he needs this voter base to turn out for him in droves. Oh, what to do? You can’t pull off a win in the general election unless you can turn out these disaffected voters in Middle America. These talking points don’t resonate with largely apolitical blue collar voters out there.
What if Trump hatched the plan to submarine a repeat of Santorum in 2016 by hijacking his blue collar message as his own in an attempt to dragnet as many of these voters from Middle America as possible, winning over unbreachable support and blind devotion from them which he will then confer upon Cruz by way of endorsement or just stepping aside? It will be sensational and huge don’t ya know. Despite the fact that neither Trump nor Cruz have any degree of authenticity or credibility relating to blue collar Reagan Democrats and addressing their issues and concerns, Trump will transfer his undeserved title of Blue Collar Everyman to Cruz, thus empowering him with the invincibility to lock up this election in a landslide not seen since Reagan. At least this appears to be the plan. If not, then what we have is Cruz hitching his star to the Trump bandwagon in hopes he’s in the good graces of Trump supporters enough to be their number two if and when Trump happens to implode.
Why conservative talk hosts heart Trump
Have you not wondered why so many national conservative talk hosts who are enamored of Cruz are displaying such benevolence toward the historically anti-conservative Trump? As voraciously as they tore into the milquetoast moderate Romney and his progressive tendencies and history, they have given Trump puffball treatment and hail him as the new figurehead of the Tea Party despite the fact he is just as steeped in progressivism as Romney. Many conservative talk hosts nearly cracked a rib laughing when Romney passionately proclaimed he was “severely conservative” but when Trump says much the same, they accept it and swallow it down with a spoonful of sugar. Many like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin devote the majority of each show to and for Trump. Turn on your radio any time of the day and it’s Trumpalooza. Wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage of, for, and about Donald Trump. This can only make sense in the context that these talk hosts are in on the plan as well, and to discredit Trump in any way, shape, or fashion would throw a serious monkey wrench in this plan to pass on the crown to Cruz when the time comes. Rush Limbaugh nearly let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago when he said the only way for Trump to fade is for another to come out saying the same things he is saying, that this mantle will be passed on to another at the right time. He caught himself and admitted he almost said too much but that the “natural order of things” would just happen. At present, Cruz comes a close second to Trump in coverage and mentions on conservative talk radio, so just connect the dots. We are being falsely led to believe that the natural beneficiary of a Trump exit, and the millions of these everyday working American voters along with it, is Ted Cruz.
I believe that a good number of conservative talk hosts and prominent bloggers agreed months ago to come together to thwart another Bush in the White House, and they decided Cruz would be the one they all will promote and collectively endorse after Trump does his thing. After all it is they who are largely responsible for launching his political star into orbit and assisting his premature presidential aspirations with blanket coverage rivaled only by Trump. It’s become more about backing a well-funded conservative candidate this time than getting the right person in the White House who is comprehensively qualified, prepared, battle tested, and ready for the job day one. Despite his good points, Ted Cruz isn’t that guy. Not by a long stretch. And this explains why Cruz is the man who will not be vetted on critical issues that should alarm conservatives looking for a bonafide political kindred spirit on all the major issues driving this election. For example, despite the numerous warts that have recently been exposed on Cruz’s immigration policies, talk hosts smitten with Cruz have circled the wagons around him and doubled down on their support, one by one coming forth to endorse or nearly endorse him now.
So in reality, all this hoopla might not really be about Donald Trump. What if it’s about doing everything possible to insulate, construct, and complete a very green, inexperienced, and unprepared Ted Cruz as an unbeatable candidate against Jeb Bush? Possible? I honestly don’t think so because our real battle is the general election where Cruz would fast learn that he and his campaign are uniquely unsuited to take on what likely will be the socialist candy man extraordinaire, Bernie Sanders, if not nominee-eight-years-in-the-waiting Hillary Clinton. I believe he stands about the same chance of beating Sanders (or Clinton) as Bush does, and that’s not saying much.
Sanders, or whoever the Democrat nominee will be, will have full control and direction of the issues of this election, and the media will make sure of that. Cruz isn’t running on or addressing the very same issues the Democrats are espousing, and that is a fatal flaw for our side if Cruz is the nominee. Cut, slash, and burn and liberty, liberty, liberty might rile up your base, but those millions of blue collar voters Trump aims to draw in that Cruz plans to inherit just might not buy what Cruz is selling. Many of them are also attracted to Bernie Sanders because at least he is talking about them. Cruz has recently taken to referencing these blue collar workers, those Reagan Democrats, but it’s awkward pandering to voters who won’t buy his newly adopted blue collar schtick.
Instead of seeing Cruz as Blue Collar Everyman they might conclude he’s the Sham Wow guy in a blue collar suit as far as their issues and concerns. Sure they fell for Trump’s act for a time, but Cruz is another story. He promotes the Republican Party and Tea Party message focusing heavily on business owners and entrepreneurs and the policies that benefit them the most. This is something the Left has and will exploit in their class warfare and income inequality propaganda. And Cruz just might be a really tough sell in the end to average apolitical voters because they see some of his policies actually do as much harm to people struggling in Middle America as Democrat polices do. This is an automatic turn off. At present 94 million Americans are out of a job and Cruz wants open the spigot from a steady stream to a flood of immigrants into this country. He introduced amendments to the Gang of 8 bill that call for increasing H1-B visas by 500%, DOUBLING all legal immigration, removing all caps on immigration from Mexico, India, and China, and allowing all 11 million illegals here to obtain work permits to stay and work here indefinitely. That’s called amnesty any way you slice it. His immigration amendments putting the interests of millions of both legal and illegal immigrants over those of the everyday working American strip him of any credibility to pose as a champion of blue collar America. His largest PAC donors have pumped double digit millions into his coffers and he obliges them by introducing and voting for policies that fulfill their demands for a steady wave of cheap foreign labor. Yes, Ted Cruz has lots of strings attached despite the mantra that he is his own man. Go ahead and get angry, but it’s true. Follow the PAC money and you’ll understand why Cruz was so determined to support the TPA before he voted against it in the final hour after his base supporters threatened to bolt from his campaign. The TPA would have brought in a flood of immigrants to compete for jobs and replace American workers. Blue collar hero? Methinks not. Wrong guy for the wrong time.
**UPDATE 01/16/16 Looks like the Trump/Cruz bromance has ended and both have devolved into the nastiest of verbal fisticuffs as we head ever closer to the Iowa Caucus. With Trump and Cruz neck and neck in the pop polls and Cruz’s boasting some weeks ago that Trump’s supporters will eagerly fall into his lap, whatever coziness the two shared has gone POOF! and now even the conservative talk hosts who have been crowing and glowing about Trump incessantly for months have turned on him now that it’s clear Trump has no intention of standing down and endorsing Cruz as I believe they believed would happen. Perhaps this was Trump’s original intention, but the tsunami of attention and adulation he’s captured has gone to his head and his huge ego expanded exponentially. Maybe, or he gave that impression to keep the attack dogs at bay as long as possible because if these conservative stalwarts of the airwaves were truly all about vetting candidates, they would have taken him to the political woodshed the second he tossed his red cap into the ring. Trump has enjoyed a free ride to the top for nearly a year via millions in free airtime on Limbaugh, Levin, and Fox News. They created and fed the beast that is Donald Trump and have now issued orders to put him out because he turned on the one they all actually supported all along. It’s going to be really ugly from here on out.
Authenticity wins in the end
If Donald Trump’s true ambition is to actually be in this for real and were he to succeed in getting the Republican nomination, it would be as big a gift to the Democrats as Romney was in 2012, another mega wealthy out of touch businessman who this time will try harder to convince those in lower and middle income America that he truly does care about them. In an election made to order around income inequality and class warfare, how credible a candidate is a billionaire who essentially owns Board Walk? Think about that one long and hard. Is there any wonder even the liberal media is going gaga over Trump? You don’t give this constant and generous coverage to a Republican candidate who is a real threat to the Democrat nominee. They are licking their chops at the thought of taking on Trump in the general election. Can Donald Trump convince millions of voters struggling in the dismal job market that he cares about them, relates to them and feels their pain? As long as he’s the lone candidate in the national spotlight with a blue collar focused message, he might be able to get away with it.
I’m just eager to see what happens when the true Blue Collar Conservative, Rick Santorum, gets on that main debate stage with the policy pirates who have scavenged his message and policies for their own political brownie points. If there is anyone who can actually neutralize Trump and win over everyday working Americans regardless of party affiliation, it’s Santorum, hands down. It’s past time for the emergence of the real grown up in this room of juveniles still playing dress up. No red ball cap or sweater vest necessary, Santorum is the real deal having grown up in a steel town in Veteran’s Administration housing, surrounded by the mills and factory towns scattered throughout western Pennsylvania. His coal miner grandfather and the dads in his neighborhood who worked at the mills instilled in him an understanding and deep appreciation for those who labor hard every day to provide for themselves and their families and have knit together the strong community bonds necessary for a good, decent, and self-reliant America.
Santorum took these values and concerns with him to DC when he was elected to Congress at the tender age of 32 and for 16 years represented his constituency of blue collar working families well. You don’t win 4 straight elections as a conservative in a blue state largely comprised of blue collar Reagan Democrats if you aren’t seen authentically as one of them and/or fully understand and can represent them on their issues and concerns.
It’s Rick Santorum, not Donald Trump, not Ted Cruz, not anyone else in this field of cookie cutter candidates, who truly has his finger on the pulse of America, those workers in factory towns and service jobs, on farms and in manufacturing facilities, who want a hand up, not a hand out, for the opportunity to rise. Read his book Blue Collar Conservatives for yourself and see why it’s now the blueprint for nearly every candidate in this presidential race. He’s the real leader in this field of followers. The pro-amnesty, pro-Corporate America RNC bosses and donors don’t want you to see and hear him and have employed dirty political tricks to keep him out of the news and subsequently down in the polls so they can eliminate him from the next big debate, hoping to bury him for good. And you wonder why you never see or hear him or about him.
Why vote for an imposter or a policy pirate when we have the REAL DEAL?
The masquerade is over and it’s time to dump Trump, the RNC, and the corrupt and agenda driven media that aided and abetted Trump’s policy thievery. Get behind someone who doesn’t have to pretend who he is and what he believes and proved in 2012 that he does have what it takes win. I’m truly thankful Ronald Reagan gave it another shot in 1980 after coming so close in 1976. It’s past time to put another true man of the people in the White House and that guy is Rick Santorum.