While waiting for my yoga class to start (no Oms yet) a political argument broke out. No, it wasn’t the Clintonites trikonasana’ing the Bernie backers. Rather it was the lone Trump supporter in the room refuting every objection thrown her way.
I know that is a lot to process there, not the least of which may be visualizing me in a yoga class, let alone enough Republicans to carry on both sides of an argument. But we are there, and I was surprised too – about the Trump supporter, not about the Republicans.
My friend is a regular Xena the Warrior Princess, but more buff. A hard core conservative who delights in shocking me each week with some new right wing home made bumper sticker. She is just as likely to post on Facebook a picture of her blown away paper target from the gun range as she is a picture of her kids doing something silly. And she’s a Trump supporter.
No matter what position of Trump’s I shared with her, she knocked it to the ground like me coming out of a chakrasana pose – quickly and without much grace. His support for universal health care, the Wall Street bailout, higher taxes, even Hillary Clinton – didn’t matter. The chief selling point for her is that he is not a politician. When I kept harping on the flip-flops, she pointed out he is no worse than any other elected politician. Bottom line for her, the politicians – no matter if they are a Governor or a Senator – have had their chance and have failed us. “We need someone who doesn’t answer to anyone.”
“Xena” isn’t the only one who has had it with the professional political class. Recently I was at a fundraiser for Senator Grassley and Congressman Blum. Grassley spoke first, and Blum followed, which was maybe for the best. The room erupted with applause when Blum celebrated Speaker Boehner’s decision to step down; but the crowd really went wild when Blum called for term limits on members of congress. I couldn’t help but think these folks have been contributing to, and electing Chuck Grassley since 1975 but here they are wanting to limit his tenure. That is an interesting dichotomy in thinking.
I’ve been to quite a number of campaign events this year, and I’ve seen the frustration with Washington, and felt the ire of conservatives who feel let down by the Republicans they’ve elected to carry through on their promises. These two episodes crystalized for me the complete lack of faith the base has in anyone who currently holds office to actually disrupt the “business as usual” of the federal government. As my friend “Xena” told me, “We need someone to turn this whole system upside down!” No peaceful warrior pose there.
No wonder the three Republicans to never hold elected office are crushing it in the polls. Our cousins in New Hampshire favor Trump, followed by Carly Fiorina then Ben Carson. Here in Iowa it’s Trump, Carson, and then Fiorina.
Governors’ Perry and Walker, not exactly creatures of Washington, found out the hard way they are still viewed as part of the political class. Governor John Kasich, who got off to a hot start in New Hampshire but has seen his numbers cool off, may have made a mistake by repeatedly reminded viewers in the last debate he spent 18 years in Congress.
It is no surprise conservatives have lost faith in the current crop of electeds – they haven’t shown much in the way of accomplishments. It seems as though every issue being discussed now comes up year after year without being addressed. Immigration? Right, like people started crossing the border sometime after the 2012 election. A pubic debt that will crush our children’s future wasn’t piled up over night – it took years. Years in which Republicans controlled the power of the purse. Controlling spending is supposed to be an issue that unites Republicans, yet we see no end in sight. The bureaucracy keeps getting bigger every year no matter who has been in charge.
Voters like my friend “Xena” don’t have time for the “traditions of the Senate” or who holds which leadership position in the House. She is a small businessperson, of whom results are not just expected; they are demanded. There are no excuses, or justifications. She either produces, or she disappears. She is not “too big to fail” and she’s doesn’t live her life in two year increments from election to election. It is voters like her that are propelling the Outsider Candidates of this election.