Over the last eight months, Donald Trump’s rising popularity has had moderate Republicans feeling disenfranchised.
The billionaire-turned-presidential candidate has gained popularity largely due to his unorthodox campaign strategy of not apologizing for being politically incorrect and wanting to force Mexico to pay for a fence on the southern border.
This strategy has involved doubling down on controversial statements that include, but are not limited to, calling most Mexicans rapists, dismissing a female news host’s tough questions as “blood coming out of her whatever,” and claiming that he could shoot someone and still retain voters.
Up until the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1, that last statement seemed to be true.
Trump has gathered a support base from the Republican Party that has moderate Republicans worried. Does the base of the party actually agree with what he stands for? And if that is the case, does that mean the “base” is pushing out moderate conservatives to where they have no party? They won’t become Democrats.
Moderate Republicans are not “on the fence” with many issues. Broadly speaking, they believe in limited government, states rights and investing in the military. Democrats, on the other hand, are generally more progressive on social issues and favor a strong central government to regulate markets.
It is up to moderate conservatives to vote for sane candidates that are willing to work with Democrats on important issues. The likelihood of Trump or Ted Cruz working with a potential Democratic Congress is slim. We would have the same gridlock that we have had for nearly six years.
Thankfully, Feb. 1 was the first sign of weakness in the armor of the Trump campaign. He was the biggest loser of the night, coming in second, with Marco Rubio less than a percentage point away from pushing Trump to third place.
Moderate conservatives need to speak up and be willing to voice their opinions and bring civility back to Congress.