How Did We Get a Republican Trump Ascendancy?

Donald Trump (Photo credit: Marc Nozell)

Donald Trump (Photo credit: Marc Nozell)

Phil Jensen


Donald Trump has been on television and in the headlines going back at least as far as the 1980s.  The first time I recall hearing about him was when I was overseas (of all places), keeping abreast of developments back home by watching CNN International.  During those times in the late 1980s, it seemed almost every day Trump was on TV as the talking heads discussed his real estate ventures and other forays such as the Trump Shuttle airline. Trump has also been a media personality, having had his own radio talk show, having appeared in numerous movies and TV shows like Home Alone 2, The Nanny, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the long-running “reality” show The Apprentice.

Given this pop culture exposure for at least three decades, it’s no wonder Donald Trump’s name recognition is so high.  And as sad as it is, name recognition goes a looooong way toward political popularity. Our shallow culture tends to gravitate toward the name it knows, without much regard for the substance or reliability of that name.

While Donald Trump’s celebrity status has no doubt played a major factor in his prominence in this political season, I am primarily concerned with the political reasons for his ascendancy.

Rick Kriebel 2016


It’s really rather easy to identify the group that’s politically responsible for the campaign ascendancy of Donald Trump. Republicans made the rise of Donald Trump possible through two monumental blunders.

The first, of course, was the complete, total, and utter fecklessness and betrayal of documented Republican values by the GOP establishment. The Republican Party leadership behaved like Democrats during the Bush years (spending like drunken sailors and behaving immorally), and despite all that was on the line in the war on terrorism, the public could stomach it no more and tossed Republicans out of control of congress in 2006.  The GOP leadership still didn’t learn their lesson, nominating a gutless RINO in 2008, and that brought us the most anti-American Leftist president in American history.  Due to the rise of the Tea Party movement, the American people gave Republicans back control of the House and diminished the Democrat majority in the Senate. STILL not getting a clue, the GOP again tried to ram a gutless RINO down our throats in the 2012 presidential race, and the anti-American Marxist got another four years in the White House.  The American people finally got desperate enough in 2014 to give Republicans control of both the House and Senate, based on the fervent oaths of Republicans to stop the Obama agenda…only to watch Republicans fall all over themselves to surrender to Obama before the ink was dry on the election results.

Now, we can safely surmise that a great deal of the reason behind Donald Trump’s popularity goes back to what many of us originally realized when the popularity of his campaign first caught fire: Americans were finally hearing a national-level Republican sound like he had some [insert courage-signifying anatomical reference of your choice here].  Due to the sadly predictable myopia of the American public, it didn’t matter that Trump’s record reveals that he’s at least as big a RINO as John Boehner or Mitch McConnell; at least he sounded like he might actually fight the Left, and he was heartily berating the spineless squishes we had already watched stab us in the back over and over and over.  So the Trump movement has revealed itself to be the “middle finger” revenge campaign against the gutless RINO establishment for it’s repeated betrayals. Indeed, though I have known for years what a liberal Trump is, even I found it amusing and pleasurable to watch the corrupt RINO establishment pee its pants over Trump’s exposure of their fecklessness.

Woodrow Wilcox


But while anger at injustice and wrong can be a good thing, it must be coherent. It must be logical. It must be based on fact and truth, and it must be directed in the right direction and against the right enemies.

The other Republican blunder responsible for Trump’s ascendency has been because the Republican Party has been stupid enough in several states to allow their primary process to be infiltrated by liberals.  There is a move here in South Dakota to change our closed primary system to a “nonpartisan” one, which would allow Democrats and “independents” to vote in Republican primaries.

Notice that in the nation’s first primary in Iowa, a closed system, the candidate who most reliably reflects Republican values, Ted Cruz, won. Then came the New Hampshire primary in liberal New England, with a “mixed” primary system that, while not completely an “open” primary, plays fast and loose enough that liberal “independents” could easily influence Republican results. And predictably, we ended up with liberal Donald Trump winning in New Hampshire.

Then came the open primary in South Carolina.  Yes, one might have expected a conservative like Ted Cruz to do very well in what is traditionally considered an evangelical conservative stronghold.  But again, even ignoring for a moment the monumental Biblical illiteracy and moral befuddlement of most “Christians” today, we’re dealing with an open primary where liberal “independents” and even Democrats can influence the outcome of the Republican choice.

After you get a few of these open primaries where the results are illegitimately distorted liberal, it starts to create a perception which favors a liberal candidate.  That perception involves words like “inevitability” and “proven winner” and so forth.  Since most people couldn’t think for themselves it you put a gun to their head, and most people are drawn to what is perceived to be the “winner,” the effect from these Left-leaning open primaries tends to snowball in favor of a more liberal candidate and makes it tougher even in the closed-primary states for a genuine Republican to win.

I believe we saw this effect in the closed Nevada primary, where RINO Trump again won. There was virtually no discussion in the “mainstream” media and pop culture that (a) New Hampshire had a mixed primary and is from a Left-leaning region of the country, or (b) that South Carolina had an open primary where liberal “independents” and even Democrats could influence the Republican selection.  In the absence of the public acknowledgement of these important factors, the perception has already been created that “Donald Trump is the guy who can win,” meaning the mindless herd that is most of the American public tends to gravitate toward the perceived winner, and momentum was already on his side by the time of the Nevada primary.

You’ve heard the saying that “perception is everything”, or that “perception is reality”? This is doubly so in elections.  The herd instinct is incredibly powerful, and incredibly difficult to overcome.

It may already be too late to avert the herd going over the cliff on “Super Tuesday” March 1, but it definitely will be after that, and the prospects for March 1 are not too great for a genuine Republican in this climate. Of the 13 states holding their primaries on March 1, nine (62%) have open or mixed primaries, which means liberal “independents” and probably even some Democrats will be participating in the decision of who the Republican nominee will be. Who do you think a liberal “independent” or Democrat is going to vote for: the more more liberal candidate, or the candidate who more closely reflects Republican values?

So between the RINO establishment refusing to defend their documented values in the political arena, and state Republican parties failing to defend the integrity of their primaries, you can lay the blame for the rise of a non-establishment RINO who has donated huge amounts of money to Democrats…solidly at the feet of feckless Republicans.

So who’s to blame for the rise of a narcissistic “Republican” version of the cult of personality that surrounds Barack Obama?  Gutless Republicans who won’t defend their own turf.

It remains to be seen whether there are enough thinking and rational Republicans left remaining this political season to reject Trump and seize the best (and perhaps last) chance we’ve had in a long time to put this nation back on the path of health and greatness.  Good people can only try to help expose the facts, then hope and pray.

If it was just the GOP establishment that was paying the price for their cowardice, I’d happily say “Let ’em burn.”  They have shown such determined contempt for not only their own party’s documented values but common sense itself, I have not an ounce of pity left in me for that bunch of jackals.

But if this “Republican” narcissist ends up representing the GOP in the 2016 presidential race, America is going to pay the price for the “Republican” establishment’s refusal to stand on principle and defend what belongs to them.  The American republic will pay the price, along with every American living today, and our children and grandchildren in the years to come.

Trump Voters: Revenge Against Corrupt GOP Establishment

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • DCM7

    So open and mixed primaries are actually *allowed* in some places? In the presence of actual human beings with at least half a brain each?

    Good heavens. We truly have entered the Stupid Zone.

    • Oh yeah:

      And some are pushing for open primaries here in my state. The main push is coming from Democrats (who are in outer darkness-at least by official affiliation-in this state), but it’s garnering some support among conservatives who have given up on the Republican Party and gone independent. They’d like a say in the primaries. That’s fine…but in doing so, it ushers the wolf of Democrats and liberal “independents” into the henhouse of GOP voting, which would make things even worse.

      Definitely the Stupid Zone.

  • xepcoh

    It amazes me how many people are kidding themselves, no, lying to themselves about why Trump won. South Carolina was supposed to be Cruz’s kind of state, but Trump won in every category. He won every single demographic. It wasn’t the open primary that let Trump win, it is the fact that more people believe he will do what he says than the others.
    Winning every single demographic matters just like winning no demographic matters.
    Are open primaries great? No, but that didn’t get Trump all 50 delegates in SC.

    • That’s what an open primary gets you: lots of votes from liberal “independents” and Democrats. Incidentally, the kind of people the poll numbers indicate are the core of Trumps support.

      It’s an extremely sad day in America when liberals and stupid people (pardon the redundancy) pick the GOP nominee.