Remember Reagan Democrats? They crossed party lines to help sweep Ronald Reagan into the Presidency by massive landslides in 1980 and 1984? We’re seeing history repeat itself with Trump.
It is a well-known fact that Republicans cannot win a national election on their ranks alone. It’s simple math. The Democratic Party is larger, and Independents / No Party Affiliation are larger still. A Republican slate that wants to win the Presidency and Vice Presidency must, therefore, appeal to some number of Democrats and no party voters.
Over the years since Reagan left office, Republicans have paid much lip service to what they call the “big tent” or cross-over voter appeal. The whole Republican In Name Only or RINO wing of the party was born out of the fanciful notion that “out-Democrat-ing” the Democrats or being “Democrat Lite” would build the fabled “Big Tent.”
Reagan, however, railed against this approach 41 years ago in his famed Bold Colors speech. A former Democrat, Reagan became a Republican not because the parties were the same but precisely because they were different.
To build the big tent, a Republican candidate must be likeable across large swaths of the electorate and have a message that resonates. This is precisely why Ted Cruz’s campaign failed miserably. He was not likeable and his message did not resonate. Outside of his small but vociferous, cult-like following, the larger electorate saw him as the stereotypical right-wing nut, as reflected in his showing at the ballot box.
Trump’s optimistic, America 1st vision – Americanism not Globalism – hearkens back to Reagan. Trump rose to success during the Reagan years and was invited to the 1988 RNC.
Trump won over 14 million primary votes – the most of any Republican candidate in the party’s history. He did exceptionally well in open primaries – where Democrats and Independents were able to vote across party lines. This was the precursor and bellwether to what we see today.
A new word was coined for today’s Trump Democrats: TrumpoCrats.
A Human Events article describes Trump as the Great Unifier.
A former Democrat stronghold in Maryland is supporting Trump.
While “true conservatives” bash Trump as a “Manhattan liberal,” the Republican Party has adopted the most conservative platform in modern history all while swelling its ranks by millions. Trump’s actual positions are very conservative and are rooted in those held by the Gipper.
Trump is building the Big Tent in ways 16 other candidates and every hopeful over the past 26 years could only dream of.
History is repeating itself with today’s TrumpoCrats.