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Is Trump over Cruz the 2016 version of Clinton over Tsongas

May 4th, 2016 | No Comments

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Paul Tsongas

For many of us conservatives that were once democrats there is a moment when a line was crossed that you just reconcile with truth. My moment came in 1992.

I was a Democrat who has just seen his first business fail, I had lived though the Reagan years and found it was not the disaster that many of my college professors thought it would be, my first son had been born we had just moved into the house where I am typing this post and despite my failure in business my four year old marriage was doing well.

It was the year the junior senator Paul Tsongas from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas was running for President.

There was much to admire about Mr. Tsongas but the thing that struck me the most was his honesty. Tsongas was a straight shooter who wanted to solve problems.  When asked question he gave straight answers and didn’t pretend that things were other than they were.

After recovering from Cancer he faced Bill Clinton in the primaries.  It took very little time for me to size up Mr. Clinton, while he had the gift of gab and knew how to play the press, it was very obvious to me that he was an opportunist and a BS artist to whom the truth was malleable.

I couldn’t for the life of me believe that the party given the choice between Tsongas and Clinton would go for this guy but even as I after voting for him in November out of fear of Perot found myself walking away from the democrats as the Clinton years played out, voting republican for the first time in 1996 and finally deciding that for a believing Catholic who actually followed the teaching of the church there was no place in the Democrat party for me.

Meanwhile the party given the choice between dealing with the reality of the Monica scandal and deluding themselves found themselves standing behind Clinton, literally, rather than admit to themselves the truth, that they had put a dishonest and dishonorable person in the highest office in the land.

That was, in my opinion the moment the Democrat party sold its collective soul.

I would never vote Democrat again.

I eventually joined the GOP and stood with the party until my very public separation a couple of years ago but as the GOP was the party of the conservative movement they still got my vote even if they didn’t have my membership

And that brings us to 2016.

I decided very early that while there were several candidates I liked:  Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz was my guy.  I liked how he had fought in Washington being willing to deal with unpleasant truths that many, including the Republican leadership.  I saw him overrule his own people to grant me a promised interview at the end of a long day and then a few weeks after my endorsement of him in September 2015 saw him when given the chance refuse to pander when given an easy chance.

As for Donald Trump, the first thing that was apparent from the day he announced that he was different.  Instead of appealing to the niche market of those who followed elections he went over their heads to the general public who didn’t usually pay attention.

The second thing that was apparent was that he was willing to speak uncomfortable truths, he talked about illegal immigration bringing up the Katie Steinle murder, he talked about radical Islam and Common Core, railed against political correctness and people listened.

Ironically these were all things that Ted Cruz had talked about repeatedly but while the media could ignore Mr. Cruz when he brought up these subjects Mr. Trump’s high profile made it completely impossible.

Alas it also because clear after time that while Mr. Trump was a master at using the media to his advantage, particularly when using it to destroy Republican establishment types like Jeb Bush it became very clear that not only were his pronouncements concerning social issues like abortion, issues that matter to me, matters of convenience that seemed to change depending on the states that were voting next but he seemed willing to cross lines of propriety and ethics that troubled me greatly, particularly when facing reverses.

Now once could argue that this was strategic in the same way that Senator Cruz hitting Trump on his previous record was but the difference being this.  Cruz was pointing to actual provable facts and questioning Trump’s sincerity, while Trump was throwing around snappy sound bites that the media ate up.

Furthermore there is the contrast between the Trump voter and the Cruz voter.  From my interviews the Cruz voter tends to be the true believer, the person who has followed the issues for a long time.  From my interviews of the much maligned Trump voter, frustrated by pols who have proved themselves dishonest and by a system bent on silencing them a lot of them see Trump as a solution for this.  He appeals to them on a gut level and I suspect that it’s because of that gut instinct they are willing to overlook some things that they might object to if said by someone else.

However in the end as Indiana has demonstrated the decision has been made.  The electorate has gone with its gut but Ted Cruz’s question, the one I asked one month ago remains:

Is Donald Trump St. Paul after the road to Damascus or Simon the Magician converted in the hope of getting the power of the Holy Spirit?

If it is the former then the GOP and the country will be in safe hands if he is elected.  If it is the latter than it will mean disaster on an incredible scale.

I’ve met many Trump supporters, and I think they are fine people, furthermore there are a lot of people that I like who are aboard the Trump Train, from my brother and his daughter, to Scottie Neil Hughes, to NH rep Al Baldasaro and people online like John Nolte.

I further think that anyone who thinks Donald Trump can’t beat Hillary even with the MSM pivot that is coming hasn’t paid attention the last few months.

But I find myself thinking of 1992 tonight and suspect that we have made an incredible mistake.

As for myself I have to think and pray on the matter.  I will not vote for a pro-abortion candidate like Hillary and I won’t vote for any person who will treat Christians like 2nd class citizens but it’s too soon for me to make a decision tonight so I will simply say this:

Mr. Trump it is possible for you to get my vote, but you will have to earn it.


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