Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at the I-X Center Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

A Very Simple Question For Trump Supporters

I put a lot of thought into whom I give political support and my vote. I feel that I owe it to my city, county, state and country that I base my vote on more than baby kissing and slick marketing, or that Bubba down the street likes a guy who’s running.

When I decided to back Ted Cruz, I put a lot of thought into it. Probably more thought than many others do, but I’m a political junkie and blogger. Not that writing about politics makes me any more informed than the rest of the blog-reading or cable-news-watching public, but it means I try to support my decisions with some kind of facts and logic.

In Cruz’s case, I looked at his policies and history, and determined that I agree with his prescriptions and plans for America. I looked at his electability and determined that he has a great shot at becoming president. I compared him to other candidates, and while it was a close choice between Cruz and Marco Rubio for me, I landed on Cruz. I reserved the right to switch to Rubio if Cruz left the race–regardless of what Rubio or his supporters said or did in regard to politics or Cruz. Politics is a contact sport, and we should be capable of moving on after the play is over.

I have this very simple question for Trump supporters:

How will Donald Trump win the general election?

You see, Ted Cruz beats Hillary Clinton in head to head matchups, pretty consistently. Cruz scores pretty well in the favorable/unfavorable polls, pretty consistently.

Cruz has good name recognition, with only 5 percent checking the “never heard of” box, and 12 percent have “no opinion” of him, meaning he could move up in the favorable ratings with a positive message.

Clinton, the presumptive Democrat nominee, is in a similar box to Trump: Everyone’s heard of her, and most don’t like her, with only 3 percent with no opinion. Except she’s got a lower unfavorable rating than Trump, who is just 2 percent with no opinion and a stunning 60 percent unfavorable rating. If every single person who has no opinion decided they liked Trump, that would move to 58 percent, still hated more than Clinton’s 55 percent.


The wisdom here seems to be that Trump will somehow make Clinton more hated than she already is. But the people who like Clinton like her despite her despicable qualities: The lying, the above-the-fray detachment, the cackling. How are you going to make those people convert to Trump, who has a worse problem?

How can Trump make himself more favorable while still qualifying for your vote? What if he changed his position on immigration, or foreign trade, or ISIS, or the Iran deal to appeal more to left-leaning voters–you know, make a deal to bring more people into the GOP fold and take voters from Hillary? Would you still want to vote for him?

Or are you claiming the poll numbers are lying?

The same polling organization (CNN/ORC) that predicted Florida’s race pretty accurately has Clinton beating Trump in Florida 50 to 43 percent.

So the same group of people taking the same poll, if they’re Republicans voting in Florida’s primary, are believable because they like Trump, but if they’re picking a general election favorite, they’re lying?

Is that what you’re claiming?

Because that makes no sense whatsoever.

Or are you saying that somehow these Clinton voters will realize the inevitability of “getting on the Trump train?”

That kind of logic might work in a primary election, when you’re fighting for the “unity of the party,” etcetera. But in a general election, there’s no argument for unity, only for a winner. There’s no argument of inevitability and blame in a general election. (Can you imagine telling a Democrat “it’s your fault Trump lost because you voted for Hillary!”?)

Will threats somehow convert Democrats over to Trump? “Vote for Trump or else…” seems to be a dubious way to gain supporters. It hasn’t worked too well with the GOP #NeverTrump crowd, so I expect it won’t have the desired effect with Hillary supporters either.

So, what specific thing will Trump say or do to woo people to his side? What deal will he make? I’m willing to concede that he can make Hillary look foolish, because that’s not hard to do. Ted Cruz will make Hillary look foolish too. John Kasich could make Hillary look foolish for that matter.

I’m willing to concede Trump can make Hillary look old, infirm, confused, and indictable. Why? Because she already is all of those things, and her supporters still like her.

In fact, the only way they will abandon Hillary is if she is actually in jail. Is that the plan? Because I don’t think President Obama is going to let that happen.

If the election is between Trump and Clinton, the fact is there won’t be a lot of daylight for undecided voters. Most voters will be stuck trying to decide who’s the lesser evil (a terrible choice). Many will simply stay home. But in poll after poll, it’s obvious that less Clinton voters will stay home than Trump voters, because Trump will have twisted his party’s arm so far behind its back to win the nomination that the voting arm will literally (in the “literal” sense of a body of voters having their arms twisted) have a dislocated shoulder.

In November, the White House will go to Hillary and it will be the fault of every voter who decided to align with Trump, with absolutely no idea how their idol will get to November and win. The only way Trump can even try is to veer left. If Trump veers left and you find yourself voting for him, you deserve everything you get.

There’s only one way to describe someone who buys a horse without first hitching it to a wagon or saddling it: A sucker.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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