~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Donald Trump’s Success Carries Lessons for Democrats, Too
The Editorial Board, Mark Makela for The New York Times, le 27 Avril 2016
Titre et inter-titres E Gaillot pour €calypse News, le 27 Avril 2016
As primary voters went to the polls in five Northeastern states today, it seems long ago that Mitt Romney went on TV to say, “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”
In that March 3 speech, Mr. Romney advanced a plan to deprive Mr. Trump of the votes he needs to win the Republican presidential nomination without a convention fight in July. Mr. Romney proposed that the candidate in the best position to beat Mr. Trump in each state should run unimpeded by other contenders.
After losing in New York, Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich seemed ready to embrace this idea. Late Sunday they announced that Mr. Cruz would run hard in Indiana’s May 3 primary, and Mr. Kasich, though he was favored in suburbs surrounding Indianapolis, would stand down in that state. Mr. Kasich, in turn, would focus on beating Mr. Trump in New Mexico and Oregon, unimpeded by Mr. Cruz. But within hours, they backed away, as Mr. Cruz’s campaign quietly told supporters not to engage in “tactical voting,” and Mr. Kasich said that although he wouldn’t hold rallies, he’d still attend a fund-raiser and meetings with Republican leaders in Indiana.
So it goes as Republicans contend with the prospect of Mr. Trump, with his hater’s agenda, becoming the party’s standard-bearer. Some of the party leaders are far from uncomfortable with that idea. In fact, a growing swath of the party leadership now seems determined to embrace Mr. Trump. And Mr. Trump calls Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, regularly to chat about the election. Yes, the election that Mr. Trump says is “rigged” by the “establishment” that Mr. Priebus leads.
“I’ve just never seen us so thoroughly screwed up,” says a Republican operative with roots in the Reagan administration. Another party official said, “Maybe we really do need time in the wilderness to figure out what we don’t get about our own voters.”
Democrats would be foolish to gloat about this G.O.P. mess. The Democratic Party has also been caught by surprise by the anger of middle-class voters it thought it could rely on, even while failing to move meaningful legislation on college affordability, gun control, the minimum wage and better care for veterans. The Democratic leadership is also too often captive to its own elites. Though they practically invented the ideal of campaign finance reform, Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton, now at times seem tone-deaf to public anger while they take vast amounts of money from industries with business before the federal government. The Democratic Party has long considered itself the institutional champion of the poor, unemployed and indebted. Now, for many young voters who flock to Bernie Sanders, that is a falsehood.
Yes, the Republican leadership’s oscillation from avoidance to accommodation of Donald Trump is almost funny. But nobody in Washington should be laughing, because his rise carries a grim lesson for all.