The great Republican dilemma … Trump

Published 6:00 am Sunday, May 1, 2016

By Steve Vassallo

The good ole boys and Republican insiders are scurrying nationwide in a last-ditch effort to try to stop the Trump Train.

Their biggest problem is refusing to comprehend that the American people are “fed up” with the establishment in both parties. In an era when 47 percent of the adult population cannot raise $400 in two days, business as usual no longer suffices. The GOP has truly lost its way.

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The great dichotomy between the Trump supporters and the establishment politicos is the fact Trump is relating to the voters whereas the insiders just don’t get it. With 26 states now won plus the Northern Mariana Islands (Trump only got 73 percent there), the writing is on the wall. And that is any chance of a Republican victory in November rests with the Donald, not another Mitt Romney type.

In 1980 one of the greatest comedies, “Caddyshack,” made its debut. Rodney Dangerfield, who played the role of Al Czervik, totally shook up the establishment at Bushwood Country Club with his adjacent development and compelling personality. In many ways Donald J. Trump is experiencing the same cold shoulder from those insiders who want to keep things as they are and continue the controlling chokehold over the electorate. I hate to inform them, this year that dog won’t hunt or even chase gophers.

Attending the Lafayette County Republican “caucus” on April 23 brought me to tears of laughter when the meeting started off by making a plea to extend and expand the GOP base in the county. Shortly thereafter, the Trump supporters in the room might as well have been wearing Hillary masks as to the hospitality that was afforded. Keeping in mind that Trump carried Lafayette County on March 8 made no difference whatsoever in the ultimate selection of delegates. This same narrative played out statewide as well as is nationally.

When Trump states the system is “rigged,” that’s the understatement of understatements. One would think that the winner of the state’s GOP primary with 47 percent of the vote would be more warmly received … not so! If the establishment continues to reject Trump and his millions of followers, the GOP can soon change its acronym to RIP. The end will be approaching ever so quickly with the Grand Old Party joining the ash heap of the Whigs and other political parties that disconnected with the American voter.

Trump has already carried two of the four largest states (New York with over 60 percent of the vote and a solid victory in Florida) and has a huge lead in California. And he placed a respectable second in Cruz’ home state of Texas. He is as strong in northern New York as he is in southern Mississippi. The last Republican with this range of appeal was Ronald Reagan. The common denominator of both Trump and Reagan is their significant background in television with both gentlemen reaching celebrity status. For more than a decade Reagan hosted the “GE Theater” whereas Trump reached stardom from “The Apprentice.” The American people relate to movie stars and TV personalities far greater than politicians.

It’s hard to say if the Republican establishment will wake up in time or not to save the party. When Scranton, Rockefeller and Romney Sr. ran from Barry Goldwater in 1964, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did just the opposite. The end result … Nixon and Reagan won four terms to the presidency, the other three never won one. Should Trump reach the magic number of 1,237 and then the establishment take a November stroll thereby not supporting the nominee of the party, the future of the GOP will be very similar to Bushwood CC in the aforementioned classic film.

Not even Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight) will be able to save it.

A new day has dawned. The electorate gets it, unfortunately those with the most to lose clearly do not.

Steve Vassallo is a contributing columnist and Oxford resident. He can be reached at