Donald Trump has been the Republican front-runner since August. He has maintained his lead despite blistering criticism from Democrats, fellow Republicans, and cable news pundits on a daily basis. One of the few famous individuals who has a firm grasp of Trump’s appeal is Rush Limbaugh. On Thursday he offered one of the clearest, most concise and plain-spoken explanations of the “Trump Coalition” to date.
The Tea Party was not the result of some strategic plan launched by somebody out of nowhere. It was a spontaneous eruption of mostly people that had never been professionally, formally involved in politics before. It dates to the Obama stimulus deal in 2009 but really began to coalesce with Obamacare. Those two things sent the big message to the Tea Party people, what would become known as the Tea Party people. That is, there was no longer any concern for what this government was spending. There was no longer any concern for the danger that that was going to cause. …
The Tea Party had a lot of Democrats in it. The Tea Party had a lot of minorities. The Tea Party had a bunch of people from a cross section, a demographic cross section. But you don’t know that because you were told it was nothing but a malcontent conservatives and disaffected Republicans and what have you, because it was easier to criticize ’em that way. …
There’s so many missed opportunities for the Republican Party here. It’s actually frightening to make a list of ’em all. The Republican Party could be owning the show. …
I know the Republican Party mocked the Tea Party. They worked with the Democrats and the media to smear them, just like is happening now with the Trump coalition. The key point here is who they are. As I have been trying to say, the majority of Trump’s support base are not Republican conservatives. There are a lot of them, but it’s not the majority.
I was at the original tea party rallies in Washington, D.C., and Rush is 100 percent correct. I worked at a conservative nonprofit organization and got to meet the waves of people who were entering the political realm for the first time. They seemed to innately know that America was at a dangerous crossroads.
The tea party had many people just like me — individuals whose conservatism is shaped by an understanding of free-market economics, documents like The Federalist Papers, and a fidelity to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
However, the tea party also had plenty of people who have no time to be academics because they have two jobs to hold down, kids to get to soccer practice, and any number of other responsibilities. All they know is that powerful groups are trying to fundamentally transform America into something at odds with its founding.
Elitists in the nation’s capital scoffed at those they no-doubt viewed as “rabble.” I know because my job within Washington often brought me into contact with said elitists. One of my favorite stories involves getting into an argument with one well-connected Washington insider who said to me, “Do you know who I am?! I’m the maître d of the conservative movement!”
Ask yourself this question: How well has “the maître d of the conservative movement” and his friends done their job? I’d say, not too well.
The “Trump Coalition” is an odious group to Democrats and Republicans in Washington, which is ironic because they are responsible for its creation.
The “Trump Coalition” sees President Obama on the left saying things like the Islamic State group has nothing to do with Islam, and on the right they see Republican “leaders” who are really good at mumbling about the Constitution, but really bad at limiting the size of the federal government.
I wrote on Donald Trump in 2011 while people like “the maître d of the conservative movement” was heading panels at black tie events, which were little more than exercises in self-congratulation. It is now 2016, I left much of that world behind, and now sit with my popcorn as “the maître d” and his friends stew over the “Trump Coalition” they helped create.