Donald Trump’s style delivers as many friends as enemies these days. Trump crashed his way into the GOP presidential derby holding Democrats and Republicans equally responsible for many of the crises currently affecting our country. His views on illegal immigration and trading relationships with Mexico drew both praise from common Americans and scorn from the Left, mainstream media, the political establishment and people of Mexican descent.
Now the GOP donor class, perhaps fearing Trump’s clearly un-political way of speaking, want to bar him from the debates. As it currently stands, Fox News decided it would extend invitations to the Top 10 candidates in the polls. By the end of July, the GOP field will swell to 16 with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Ohio governor John Kasich both set to officially declare their candidacies.
According to a story by the Associated Press, several GOP donors want to influence Trump’s potential impact on their candidates. The donors cited Trump’s comments about immigrants and Mexico as a reason to ban him from the debates.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite among Constitutional Conservatives, recently coined the phrase “Republican-on-Republican violence”. During an appearance on “Meet the Press” Cruz used the phrase to say he would address the immigration situation in a different tone with the hope of achieving similar goals. He refused to take the bait and attack Trump openly. GOP donors pounced on the phrase and wielded it with the hope of curbing the sniping currently taking place among a number of GOP candidates.
The AP obtained a copy of a letter from Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based investor who counts as a Top-20 GOP donor.
According to the AP report:
“Our candidates will benefit if they all submit to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican,'” Friess wrote in a letter sent to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press.
In the dispatch, Friess cites the backing of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts. “Would you join the effort to inspire a more civil way of making their points?” Friess wrote. “If they drift off the ‘civility reservation,’ let’s all immediately communicate that to them.”
While this exchange demonstrates concern for the party image as a whole, it demonstrates the problem we face with elections and politics today while offering key evidence addressing one of Trump’s major appeal points: He’s a self-funded candidate free of donor influence.
The AP report also quoted Republican donor John Jordan suggesting GOP leaders should block Trump’s access to the opening August debate.
“Someone in the party ought to start some sort of petition saying, ‘If Trump’s going to be on the stage, I’m not going to be on there with him,'” (Donor John) Jordan told the AP on Monday. “I’m toying with the idea of it.”
“It’s something I feel strongly about as somebody who not only cares about the Republican Party, but also Latinos,” Jordan said.
Here a significant donor suggests — via indirect on-the-record media comments — how the GOP should manage its primary process. Isn’t there something wrong here? Isn’t this clear evidence of cronyism?
The theory of donating money to a political cause indicates your support for the cause. But does that translate into direct influence?
We are all entitled to our opinions. We are all entitled to donate money to any candidate or Super PAC. But the size of the donation can create, let’s just say, a greater influence on party and candidate policies.
As an American, have you had enough of politicians saying one thing and doing another? The 2014 election resulted in a tidal wave of GOP victories clearly outlining the policies critical to the American people. And yet, the GOP not only failed to deliver on its campaign promises it actually took steps to support several of President Obama’s to-do list items. Additionally, House Speaker John Boehner punished GOP Conservatives who dared to buck the system on critical votes.
Welcome to the new normal of American Politics 2015: Silence criticism, don’t buck the system, don’t reveal or interpret the spin. The donors rule, the politicians can make all the decisions for your life. Just go about your business.
Why is this acceptable?
— Linda Suhler, Ph.D. (@LindaSuhler) July 7, 2015