Since Barack Obama took office, anyone disagreeing with him on anything is immediately branded a racist. The President’s former Attorney General Eric Holder charged “racial animus” was responsible for Obama criticism, and in his recent book on politics, Obama advisor David Axelrod noted Administration opposition was rooted in race. Professional race-baiter Al Sharpton once called Republicans racists five times in one paragraph in describing Obama critics.
We conservatives loathe this disingenuous, juvenile and insulting rhetoric. None of us voted against Obama or oppose his policies because because of his skin color. Tired of being branded “haters” and having every critique of his feckless policies met with “you’re a racist,” these designations cause conservative blood to boil at their mere mention. “We are better than this,” say conservatives, “we argue policy, not personal attacks.”
So why are so many Trump supporters now viciously branding non-Trump supporters “haters?”
Recognizing neither the irony, hypocrisy nor unhelpfulness of this approach with primary voters not supporting The Donald, many of his supporters are populating social media with attacks on those who favor other candidates. “Trump hater” memes and images have become an Internet cottage industry.
Within my own microcosm of social media, one Facebook “friend” posted a question asking who supports whom in the Republican primary Tapas. “Let’s see who all the Trump haters plan on voting for,” he remarked.
Another colleague, a female political consultant and frequent cable news guest, received a vitriolic, expletive laden Facebook diatribe on her not Trump position that I wouldn’t even use ***’s to describe. The kindest words were “stupid” and “retarded” in telling her, “TRUMP WILL WIN AS A REPUBLICAN. ..AND YOU BASTARDS WILL HAVE TO DEAL!!!!! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU????
This GOP ankle biting has got to stop, and based on simple math, it must, soon. The most recent Real Clear Politics poll average for GOP presidential hopefuls has Donald Trump at 22.5 percent, with Bush next at 11.8 percent. As the mainstream media gleefully notes Trump is the only candidate above 20 percent and fifteen other candidates are in single-digits, it completely ignores an important statistical fact.
If 22 percent of those polled support Trump, then 78 percent do not. He pulls less than one-quarter of voters in a field of seventeen candidates.
At some point, candidates will start dropping. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign is already in financial trouble – where will his supporters go? Likely to mainstream border security hawk Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
If one of the notable social conservatives such as Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz bolt the race, faith-based voters are unlikely to move to Trump. In other words, Trump’s margin will fall with every candidate who drops out.
As candidate Carly Fiorina and many others have observed, Trump is tapping into an deep seated anger permeating the country. We are mad. Mad that job growth is depressed; mad that national security is falling apart; mad that our culture is under attack. It seems that the angrier a person is, the more likely they are to support a Trump candidacy, and of course, it is the angry who lash out most.
Most of the anger is with Obama for his spate of imperious and poor policy choices, and for GOP House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill, particularly Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who are often (rightfully) accused of weakness in pushing common sense conservative reforms.
None of these people is running for president.
It is perfectly acceptable, and American, to support Donald Trump for president. It is also reasonable to support one of the other candidates, and there is no evidence of the 78 percent of non-Trump supporters hurling “Bush hater!” or “Walker hater!” at Team Trump.
By all accounts, it was the GOP/Libertarian stay-home, non-voters who ushered in Obama’s second term. Trump supporters would be well-advised to keep the GOP team together even in a split among potential nominees – there is no need to be counterproductively hateful in a large field of men and woman of good character where many agree there are several candidates they could support.
The Obama Administration and its minions taught the country to be political “haters” rather than just “disagreers.” Republican and conservative voters should not take this toxic and tainted bait.