Sunday, September 06, 2015
Republicans did not learn from 1992
Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal last week: “If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling.”
Stephens is the deputy editorial page editor of the greatest newspaper in the world. He should know better. He -- and the rest if the Republican Party leadership learned nothing from 1992, when they mocked not only Reform Party nominee, billionaire H. Ross Perot, but his voters as well.
Here is a useful tidbit: If you want to win in politics, do not mock the voters.
His surprisingly childish taunt at Trump voters shows he has no argument. None. Vermont Royster has to be shaking his head.
Perot was rich, crazy, and right. He collected 15% of the vote by advocating a balanced federal budget, a simple idea that the first Bush rejected as irresponsible, naive, and impractical. Oh sure, Bush had just raised taxes and sent us into a recession in the name of balancing the budget, but he had no intention of balancing the budget. It had not been balanced in 20 years.
Many Republicans mocked Perot's supporters that year, which was an odd way of wooing their votes. If anything, the mocking made them more determined to vote and to vote for Perot.
Two years later, Newt Gingrich tapped into those Perot voters, and Republicans won the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Within five years, the budget was balanced.
Trump supporters deserve better -- and frankly, readers of the Wall Street Journal deserve better. You can disagree without being disagreeable.