By Matthew Rosen
I have been a conservative Republican for as long as I can remember. I supported Trump from the very beginning when there were still 16 candidates in the 2016 Republican Primary. It pains me to say that during the week of September 10th, President Trump alienated the Trump loyalists in his base and will pay the political price. The Trump loyalists are led by people such as Ann Coulter, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Ingraham, Steve Bannon, and many others who voted for President Trump on his “America First” policy. Unfortunately, President Trump let these people down by going against the policies we elected him for.
The first and the biggest mistake made this week was the unilateral decision to cut a deal with the Democrats on the debt ceiling hike. Basically, the issue is that the Federal Government is running out of money, and it is time to service out debt. If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the executive branch loses its ability to borrow money, essentially causing a government shutdown. Whenever it is time for a debt ceiling hike, the party opposing the President will use the situation to gain leverage and push through policies that the President would not usually sign. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell understand this, and suggested a debt ceiling increase that would last us 18 months, past the next election cycle.
President Trump, who is a self proclaimed master negotiator, walked in and overruled Congressional Republicans as well as his own cabinet, including Steve Mnuchin, his Secretary of the Treasury. He agreed to sign a deal that only raised the debt ceiling for three months. According to Politico, President Trump “[cut] Mnuchin off mid-sentence as he argued against the merits of a short-term debt increase. The room went silent. Everyone was stunned.” What this does is effectively preserve the Democrats’ leverage until December, giving them the ability to negotiate for larger policies that they favor when it comes to raising the debt ceiling again in December. Long story short, historically, the President wins the debt ceiling debate most of the time as the governing party can more easily raise the debt ceiling and use it as a tool to get policy through. Instead, President Trump caved to the Democrats and gave them leverage in the upcoming December debates on the debt ceiling. Republicans are saying, “the President of the United States just handed a loaded gun to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.” President Trump is signaling to Democrats and Republicans that he is willing to work with them and give them what they want, rather than negotiating in order to keep the promises to his base.
While that was the most important mistake President Trump made, the most well-known is probably his move on DACA. DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive order made during the Obama administration giving amnesty and working papers to certain children brought into the country illegally. At first it seemed like President Trump would keep his promise to his supporters when he struck down DACA. However, now President Trump is supporting the move to enshrine it in law under the DREAM Act. Working closely with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, he is supporting amnesty for children brought here illegally. This strongly goes against his initial promises.
As a candidate, Trump campaigned on immigration reform and law and order. He had the strongest anti-illegal immigration stance we have seen. Despite the fact that much of his base elected him on this platform, it seems that he flip-flopped on this one in particular. What makes this even worse is that he gave up his leverage when he refused to demand the border wall in return for the DREAM Act (the border wall being another one of Trump’s major campaign promise). In her tweets, Ann Coulter, one of Trump’s biggest supporters, is calling this a betrayal and a broken promise, calling for a President Pence instead.
So why has President Trump taken a turn? Unfortunately, President Trump actually isn’t running the show in the White House anymore. President Trump was surrounded by establishment, globalist Democrats from the beginning. President Trump is being cut off from his base by people in the White House who oppose his policy. Loyalists like Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Reince Priebus, Katie Walsh, Mike Flynn, and many other “Trumpians” are all being swallowed by the globalists and ousted. H.R. McMaster, Gary Cohn, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and even General John Kelly all seem to have the President’s ear now, calling for more Democratic and Globalist policies. This drastic change is also due to President Trump’s desire to please the left.
Although I hope to write more about actual policy in the future, I felt the need to identify the true problem for a successful President Trump. He already has his hands full with the Republican split in Congress, the insanely biased media, and a Democratic Party willing to do anything to crush him. The last thing he needs is to alienate the people that vote for him. Allen West and The Daily Caller, two true conservative outlets, recently wrote articles on Pollster John McLaughlin who is “warning Republicans, based on a latest omnibus poll, that unless they start keeping campaign promises to Trump voters, the president’s base may not turn out to vote for them in the 2018 midterm elections.”
Since the election, I find a lot of what President Trump has done great. Unfortunately this pollster is correct. If the promises that were made to us aren’t fulfilled, the Republican majority will soon vanish. President Trump is now considering “fixing” Obamacare, staying in the Paris Climate Accords, and not cutting taxes on the rich– three more promises he would break if these turn out to be reality. The Bannon-Coulter-Watson-Ingraham base may not show up in 2018 or 2020. I personally believe that despite this, President Trump is overall doing a great job (outside of this horrific week) and that he can bounce back. I hope that in the future I can write more about President Trump’s good policies and why I believe he is doing good for the country. However, I do believe it is important to remind conservatives how important it is to keep President Trump on the right track, the one that got him elected.
GIF from here