US Republican Trump drops 12 percentage points in poll: Reuters/Ipsos

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump suffers his largest drop in polls after week of controversy.

Donald Trump’s support among Republicans has dropped 12 points in less than a week, marking the presidential hopeful’s biggest decline since he started leading the field in July, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Not since Joe McCarthy, the demagogue and bully who rose to political prominence in the early 1950s by blatantly distorting the truth, has there been a public figure like Donald Trump, the Republican front runner with a penchant for telling “the big lie” about anything from President Obama’s birthplace to Mexican immigrants’ putative criminality, and from how African Americans are responsible for most white homicides to how “thousands and thousands” of Arabs in New Jersey City cheered as the Twin Towers were attacked on 9/11 — along with a host of other fantastical tales in between.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Political pros in this state are not foolish enough to pick a winner this far out from the caucuses (I am: It will be Ted Cruz, whose mix of frank religiosity and anti-establishment zeal is a good fit for the Iowa Republican electorate, and practically no other) but they do love their typologies.Fears of terrorism are at an all-time high and debate continues to rage over whether it’s right for the United States to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees. Trump is still in the lead, with 31% of people surveyed naming him as their preferred candidate in a rolling poll over five days that ended on 27 November. — Donald Trump’s wife campaigned with him for the first time in South Carolina on Tuesday, telling voters she loved them and saying her husband would be “the best president, ever.” “Isn’t he the best?” Melania Trump asked the crowd of thousands in Myrtle Beach, flanked by her parents and three of the businessman’s children. “We love you.” Unlike come of his rivals’ spouses, Trump’s wife has until this point chosen to stay largely behind-the-scenes, though Trump mentions her often at events.

They’re everywhere on cable news, often explaining to cameras why nothing The Donald says – no matter how outrageous or divergent from established facts – will change their view that he’s the guy needed to shake up Washington’s political culture. A new Reuters/Ipsos study revealed more than 50 percent of Americans “don’t identify with what America has become” and feel like strangers in their own land. Now here’s the kicker: Despite McCarthy’s inconsistencies and his refusal to produce evidence to support his claims, his charges seemed to hit a chord with a large number of Americans. Trump’s family left the stage before the Republican presidential hopeful launched into more than an hour of criticism of both his GOP rivals and the Obama administration. And that, dear reader, is what Donald Trump is on a campaign to accomplish, except the communist enemy is now supplanted by the Arab immigrant and the Syrian refugee.

Calling President Barack Obama a “divider” who has done nothing to unite the country, Trump also again called out Hillary Rodham Clinton as lacking the “strength or the stamina” to lead the country. Marco Rubio, he said, is “weak on immigration, really weak.” A few minutes into his remarks, Trump also called up on stage an impersonator he spotted in the crowd. By most accounts, the Republican candidates are competing for control of three “lanes”: Hard-Core Evangelicals (HCE), who think the GOP’s main problem is a lack of fighting spirit; Practically Minded Evangelicals (PME), who are socially conservative but value electability; and Terry Branstad Republicans (TBR), who, following in the footsteps of a popular and effective governor, want the largest tent possible consistent with their convictions (and feel the HCEs are going off the deep end). Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has seen his poll numbers drift downward and now trails Trump by more than half, with just 15% of Republicans polled saying they would vote for him in the same 27 November poll. According to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major surveys, he’s currently the choice of 27.7 percent of Republican voters – almost eight percentage points up on second-place Ben Carson.

The Daily Beast’s executive editor, upon concluding that Trump is fascist, called for a massive boycott against the mogul’s businesses in order to take a stand against the authoritarian menace. Jeb Bush campaigned about 160 miles away in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he collected endorsements from local elected officials and dismantled Trump’s immigration plan. Conservatives have also joined the chorus, with several figures worrying the billionaire’s over-the-top rhetoric is starting to resemble the words of a certain twentieth century German demagogue. Talk of a wall and “making Mexico pay for it,” while deporting 11 million people, Bush said, appeals to voters’ frustrations but does little else. “It might make you sound good,” Bush said. “It might make you look like the strong guy. … It’s not going to happen.

Scott Walker, it is generally believed, flamed out because (among other reasons) he did not “own his lane.” Based on polling and anecdote, HCEs are breaking toward Cruz. John Kasich’s campaign released an ad cementing that comparison by implying that if Trump is elected, his policies will eerily follow the dictates of Adolf Hitler. Let’s get real with this and have a solution that’s reality based.” At an earlier stop about an hour’s drive west in Spartanburg, Bush expressed disappointment that a black protester was physically assaulted at a recent Trump rally in Alabama. Trump later said Mercutio Southall Jr. “maybe … should have been roughed up.” “Look, you don’t see that happening at my (events),” Bush said. “I’m trying to inspire people that life can get better for them. And TBRs — a shrinking proportion of Iowa’s GOP electorate — are still divided among a few candidates (many politicos close to Branstad, including his son, are in the Chris Christie camp).

Fascism — for those who might be unaware of its definition outside of a synonym for dictatorial jerk — is typified by extreme nationalism, belligerent militarism, authoritarian government and, depending on the national version, some form of racism. The media’s attempts to debate his policy proposals with him as if they were serious or to challenge him on the facts of his ludicrous claims have consistently made no dent in his momentum. I’m not trying to play on their fears.” “Seventy percent of those people back there are absolutely total scum,” Trump said Tuesday, gesturing to the press area at the back of the arena, getting a roar and applause from the crowd. While a popular ideology in Europe during the turbulent interwar years of the 1920s and ’30s, it has not been a serious political force since the fall of the Third Reich. They say Trump is a fascist due to his call for more surveillance on the Muslim community, his desire to deport millions of illegal immigrants, his authoritarian persona and for the few scuffles that have broken out at his rallies.

While it is clear that a Muslim registry was an idea dreamed up by a reporter, it’s not too radically different from the anti-terror protections pursued by Presidents George W. Cruz is currently benefiting from a common but specious conservative argument — that recent GOP presidential candidates have lost because they weren’t conservative enough.

Trump may yet recover from this knockdown, but it’s still a long way to the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, when the party nomination process starts in earnest—let alone to the White House. We do have a terror watch list that includes an estimated one million individuals, many of whom are placed on there simply for being a known adherent of Islamic fundamentalism. It’s easy to just dismiss a malicious liar and a bigot like that as a buffoon and applaud what the Huffington Post has done recently: Relegate news about him to its entertainment section, not in the coverage of politics. Given the perceived political vulnerability of Hillary Clinton, might it be possible to choose and elect a “real” conservative this time around, defined as the rejection of compromise at the highest decibel level?

Ignoring the hyperventilation over registries, Trump’s proposal of keeping an extra eye on mosques and individuals associated with radical Islam builds off current security procedures. Cruz has the decibel part mastered, and has moved right on immigration in an attempt to sew up conservative support. “He goes where he needs to go,” one Republican strategist told me. Joe McCarty’s personal power collapsed in 1954 when, during televised hearings, he accused the Army of “coddling communists” — to which he got the now famous retort from a witness, “Have you no sense of decency, Sir? When it comes to The Donald’s plan for dealing with illegal immigrants, it truly is a plan that merely requests that our government enforces its own immigration laws. Trump’s idea bases itself on an operation that was initiated by President Dwight Eisenhower which successfully deported nearly two million illegal Mexican migrants in the 1950s.

Americans, sooner or later, will soon see through his big lie — or simply just tire of his infantile and narcissistic tactics — and he too, in like manner, will burn out. Rubio is gaining steam in Iowa, on the strength of a perception that his next-generation conservatism matches up well against Clinton’s old-time liberalism. Which is the third and final point here: Something huuuggge would have to change in this calculation for Trump to sit in the Oval Office in an official capacity. Believing that a President Trump can get his way entirely evinces a strong disbelief in America’s system of checks-and-balances that has kept us dictatorship-free for three centuries. Unless you believe our history is a tale of creeping totalitarianism, a strongman president doesn’t present much of a threat to the U.S.’s well-entrenched political culture.

During recent visits, he has emphasized his role as a conservative revolutionary — which is not easy for anyone once part of the immigration-reform “Gang of Eight.” And since then he has also moved rightward on immigration, demonstrating how Trump’s nativism has pulled many in the GOP toward restrictionism. The scattered instances of small-scale violence at Trump events — which includes a disruptive Black Lives Matter protester getting taken down during a speech given in Alabama — is being taken as a sign that paramilitary aggression is going hand-in-hand with The Donald’s candidacy. Perhaps more important, neoconservative foreign-policy hawks, general establishment Republicans, and current GOP lawmakers might be inclined to sit on their hands. And the calculations of all the candidates appealing to evangelicals are complicated by Carson — whose autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” is sometimes used as a textbook by homeschoolers. But in some ways, it appears far more comfortable — and certainly more politically correct — to worry about a long-dead ideology than the enemy before us.

It’s similar to how the 2002 Tom Clancy film “The Sum Of All Fears” changed the terrorists from Muslim extremists to anachronistic neo-fascists — that didn’t upset anyone and conformed to a left-wing worldview. But will people who have probably never participated in a caucus trudge on a cold night to a high school cafeteria to support a candidate who isn’t part of any ideological movement, other than the Trump-should-run-everything movement? Additionally, it’s rich that the same leftists wringing their hands over phantom Trumptroopers taking all our freedom away have created a culture that’s infringing on the rights of Americans to voice their opinions. As our present campus insanity and the stunning poll that shows 40 percent of millennials supporting free speech suppression demonstrate, there is a legitimate threat to liberty in our country. What many of these liberals need to realize about Trump is how he appeals to a large portion of Americans who believe they no longer have a place in this country, as evidenced by the previously mentioned Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The poll makers dubbed this phenomenon “neo-nativism” and attributed the unease to rapid cultural and economic change that has left large swaths of citizens with dim economic prospects and on the proverbial “wrong side of history.” Reuters and Ipsos also argued that the findings show why Trump has such staying power in spite of the universal condemnation he receives from the press and numerous political figures. As shown by President Obama’s comments on this constituency opposing his refugee policies, our leaders prefer to dismiss these people as bigots and, according to Oprah Winfrey, hope they die out soon. (RELATED: Obama Takes Harsher Tone With Republicans Than ISIS At G20) While some of our elites might like to reassure themselves that they can defeat Trump with ludicrous accusations of fascism, his populist-nationalist message is resonating with many people who feel that our leaders have abandoned them. If these scared pundits would like to defuse The Donald’s appeal, it’d be more wise to address the anxieties of the “silent majority” than to affirm Godwin’s law of every Internet discussion eventually leading to Hitler.

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