Donald Trump and Ted Cruz appear to have lit a fire under the grassroots of the Republican Party. After yawning through the campaigns of Mitt Romney in 2012, John McCain in 2008 and even George W. Bush in 2000, GOP voters have gone to the polls in much greater numbers for Trump and Cruz so far in the 2016 primary season.
WND compared the raw vote totals, state-by-state, of Trump in 2016, Cruz in 2016, Romney in 2012, McCain in 2008 and Bush in 2000. Out of 26 states that have held contests thus far and for which complete data are available, 20 states voted for either Trump or Cruz in greater numbers than any of the other three. Trump’s vote totals were especially impressive, as he bested Cruz in 14 of those 20 states.
Legendary conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, a WND columnist, is not surprised Trump is bringing so many primary voters out of the woodwork. Bush, McCain and Romney were all the top choices of what Schlafly terms the “kingmakers,” or GOP establishment. Trump, however, is not a “kingmaker” favorite.
“Trump has got the energy to punch the kingmakers in the nose and take the selection of our nominees away from these losers who have been picking them every time,” Schlafly told WND in an interview.
Schlafly, author of “Who Killed the American Family?” has played a leading role in the conservative war against the GOP “kingmakers” since the 1960s. The “kingmakers” have almost always been able to nominate the presidential candidate they wanted, but Schlafly senses things are different this time around – and she loves it.
“The grassroots are speaking out now; they’ve got a candidate,” the longtime activist said. “The kingmakers don’t know what to do. In fact, the most enjoyment I’ve had on television in years was watching the dismay of the kingmakers who are simply frustrated. They’ve tried everything, and they’ve convinced themselves Trump is going to self-destruct, and he didn’t. And it’s just amazing.”
Schlafly recalled being at the 1952 Republican National Convention and hearing Sen. Everett Dirksen thunder at Thomas Dewey, the establishment GOP presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948: “We’ve followed you before and you led us down the road to defeat!”
That is precisely her message to today’s “kingmakers.”
It’s not just that Trump is frustrating the establishment; Schlafly noted the Donald has attracted much evangelical Christian support despite his many impieties.
“Plenty of [evangelicals] have never voted before,” she said. “The amazing thing is, Cruz based his campaign on courting the evangelicals, and the evangelicals voted for Trump!”
Cheryl Chumley, an award-winning journalist, WND writer and author of the new book “The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country from the Beast in Washington,” said Trump’s popularity among evangelicals is really not surprising to those who understand Christianity.
“Leftists, progressives, Democrats, atheists and others who seek to rid the nation of all public mention of God, and all public displays of Christianity, have for decades been trying to shove Christians in a box, painting us as simple-minded voters who care mostly about abortion – and of late, gay marriage – or worse: that we don’t want to get too involved in political matters because of biblical principles that teach about obedience to leaders,” Chumley said in an interview.
“Well, guess what: Christians care about borders, too. And about taxes and the economy – and ISIS and terrorism, and the Iranian nuclear deal, and the public education system and Common Core, and the fact that this president and this White House seem to cast America as the bad guy in most all matters on the international stage.”
Christians may have stayed home for McCain and Romney, Chumley advised, but this time they have two candidates they can really get excited about.
“We have some real candidates to choose from this campaign season, and evangelicals are flocking to both Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz because they’re everything Obama and establishment Republican politicians are not: They’re strong-minded leaders with decided views on how to bring America back into the limelight of greatness, both unafraid to buck the powers-who-be who keep promising, but never delivering,” Chumley said.
She said if people want to understand why evangelicals are flocking to both Trump and Cruz, they just need to remember Leviticus 19:11: “Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.”
“Consider the many times those in power have promised reform, have promised to stand fast in the face of Obama’s socialistic agenda, have promised to overturn the unconstitutional and bring back the Founding Fathers’ principles,” Chumley said.
“It’s not really hard to discern: Christians, same as non-Christians, don’t like their elected leaders to lie to them. And give us a real candidate, we’re right there, at the forefront of voting, determined to fight for what we believe in and want for our children’s future.”
Schlafly, for her part, attributes Trump’s massive success to one core issue.
“Trump put his finger on the biggest problem, which is immigration,” she said. “We can’t cope with all these immigrants coming in who don’t believe in America, and we can’t deal with them. We have a right as sovereign people to decide who comes and who stays out. And so Trump has spoken to the heart of America.”
Schlafly likes Trump’s chances in a hypothetical general election matchup with Hillary Clinton because the Donald reminds her of another great Republican nominee of the past.
“I think Trump’s going to win, because he has the oomph and he has the pizzazz to do it,” she said. “A lot of people said Ronald Reagan wasn’t a real conservative in 1980, but we got him, and he became the greatest president of the 20th century. He had the qualities of a leader, and he wanted to make America great again. And he did.”