They say the best salespeople can sell ice cubes to Eskimos. In politics, the best salesman is Donald Trump and he’s pulling the ‘bait-and-switch’ on his own supporters. First, he convinced him he was conservative. Now, he’s convincing them that he’s the Establishment and they should ditch conservatism for populism.
Apparently, it’s working if one were to look at the most recent poll numbers.
Trump has been coming in and out of Iowa for months promoting his conservative mindset, particularly on immigration and terrorism. With Ted Cruz coming in and taking some of his and Ben Carson’s most conservative supporters, he felt the need to shift. Today, he’s endorsing an increase in ethanol mandates in order to get the approval of Bob Dole and Governor Terry Branstad. More importantly, he’s sending a message to the Republican Establishment that he’s not as conservative as they feared.
Apparently, this is working as well, not just with his own supporters but also with the power brokers in the Republican Establishment. Over the next week, we will see messages coming from most corners of the GOP moderates claiming that they’d rather have Trump than Cruz. They fear Cruz, of course, almost as much as they fear the Democrats. For some of them, they’d actually rather see a Democrat in the White House than a principled conservative who actually does what he says he’s going to do from the campaign trail to the office itself.
How is this sitting with his core supporters? Anecdotally on Facebook, it would appear that the message is resonating. Many who were promoting Trump as the best conservative a month ago are now claiming to have embraced his populist leanings. If Trump says jump, the ask him which bridge to jump from, even if it’s off the conservative platform into the land of the Republican Establishment.
The silver lining for Cruz supporters is that the more that Trump and his supporters shift, the less likely it is that they’ll be a force at during the Iowa Caucus on February 1.
— Ruth Shields (@anchorwomen) January 25, 2016
Some say we need to make more deals. Those who say that haven’t been watching. For the last 9 years, all we’ve been doing is making deals. Instead, we need a principled conservative to take the helm and reduce government rather than the populist perspective of increased government manipulation over our lives.