Winning a Presidential election normally requires a strong face of unity from the party and its voters. The all-important Independent vote is often swayed by the level of consolidated and consistent support from the Republican or Democratic bases. The candidate backed by the strongest unified front will be the one that gets more Independents as well as crossovers from the other party.
This year is different. For both candidates, the opposition is at unprecedented levels of strength and numbers; they’re the two least popular candidates in modern history. This presents a dangerous scenario for both parties because it allows for the “general election pivot” to be more pronounced. They don’t have to stick to their guns. They simply have to pander to as many undecided voters as possible. That means that they must eliminate hardcore stances that would normally preclude Independents from voting for them. For example, Hillary has barely discussed her disastrous $15 minimum wage proposal for months. Her voters know she’s doing it and she doesn’t need to highlight it now that she has the nomination.
For Trump, one precluding issue is illegal immigration. He is very aware that it’s the one issue for which he’s been considered far-right from the beginning. He’s also aware that a slight majority of Americans, including moderate Republicans, are in favor of some form of legalization or amnesty. This is why he’s cracking the door open ever so slightly on the possibility of softening his stance. It’s why he’s gone from “we’re going to build the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it” to being “almost 100%” on building it at all. It’s also why he’s insinuating to Hispanic leaders that there may be a better way than the “harsh” deportations he’s proposed in the past.
In reality, this isn’t the flip-flop that mainstream media is painting it to be. He’s said that he’s trying to “come up with something fair” but he hasn’t quite flipped or flopped. Until he offers a proposal that says he’ll look at legalization options for illegal immigrants or that he won’t deport millions of people who have broken our laws, we have to go with the idea that he’ll take a strong stance on the issue as President. However, we cannot give him a sliver of a doubt about our position on the issue. The question has been asked, “Should Trump supporters call him out?” The answer is absolutely yes.
In any other recent Presidential election, the unified voice of a candidate’s supporters should avoid saying anything harsh. They should support the candidate on issues they agree with and avoid the others. This year is the exception. If Trump is allowed to backtrack on his initial position, the position that earned him the instant support of millions of Americans and that has grown his base for over a year, then he will continue to crack the door open further. Once he does that, there’s no going back, even for Trump. It would be a huge mistake to open discussions on legalization or amnesty and then to go back to his initial promotion of a “deportation force.”
His campaign believes that he needs to pull in a larger percentage of Hispanic voters. They believe that the only way to do this is to soften on illegal immigration. That cannot be allowed to happen. It’s the responsibility of every Trump supporter to make it known through email, Twitter, or whatever method you choose that we want a wall, we want illegal immigrants deported, and we want the rule of law to be re-established in this country after eight years of lawlessness. This isn’t negotiable. There’s no room for softness on this issue because once a little weakness is shown, that sliver of a doubt will become a giant fissure that will result in no wall, limited deportations, and a continuation of lawlessness.
Instead of pivoting to the current populist view, he should stand by his marquee policy proposal and give everyone a reasoned argument about why it’s necessary. He should appeal to the Hispanic population, the majority of which are here legally, and demonstrate to them why illegal immigration hurts them directly. In this one issue, Trump has the truth squarely on his side. There’s no need to bend on it.
Now is the time for his supporters to let him know. currently, he hasn’t officially softened his position. It’s the perfect moment for him to come out and say unequivocally that he will do what he said he was going to do from the beginning. If we don’t let him know that we disapprove of a position shift, there will be plenty of people whispering in his ear that he needs to back it down a few notches.
If the Republican Party is to unify behind Trump, he cannot back off on his most conservative policy perspective. For many, it’s all we have left. He’s abandoned free trade. He’s promoted affirmative action. He’s suggested a $10 minimum wage. He’s offered to go after portions of the 1st Amendment. With all this, he’s remained conservative on immigration. Don’t let him take that away from us as well.
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore.
A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed JD Rucker’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Mr. Rucker’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it, don’t forget to mention Mr. Rucker’s post is the reason you did so. If you missed his previous pieces they are: The one word to associate with Hillary that would doom her camapign and Trump is Exactly Where He Wants to Be Despite GOP ‘Chaos’
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