|HISPANIC TAG-TEAM -3/10/16||| Print ||
ON TARGET COMMENTARY
3/10/16 by Dave Gunn
The Trump Train continues to roll on nearly unabated. This last Tuesday Donald Trump won three of four state contests while Ted Cruz took only one – Idaho. Trump sealed his sweep of the south by adding Mississippi to his list of conquests, a state one would have expected Cruz to win just a couple of months ago.
How is it that Donald Trump can win state after state in states known for their conservatism and large evangelical voting blocs? How is it that Trump, who is not an evangelical, can win the evangelical vote from a self-identified evangelical, Ted Cruz?
Let’s face it, Donald Trump is not a conservative. Okay, at best, he is a moderate conservative, assuming we can believe what he says.
Trump’s support of Planned Parenthood, a liberal application of immanent domain, and use of tariffs to punish businesses that wish to move off-shore to countries with less burdensome taxation and regulations would normally be enough to turn off conservatives to his candidacy. His brash bragging, immoral lifestyle and foul mouth in public would normally turn off evangelicals. How is he so successful?
The answer lied in his tactics. Trump has taken a page from the Republican establishment playbook. Every four years several solid conservatives run for the Republican nomination, while the establishment lines up behind one candidate. The conservatives split their majority vote and the moderate gets the nomination.
As things now stand, the conservative vote is split between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Rubio stands to lose his own state of Florida unless he gets out of the race to save himself the embarrassment. As for Cruz, the most conservative candidate in the race, he might not, by himself, have enough strength at this point to overcome Trump’s lead.
And forget the idea of an establishment-picked candidate emerging from a brokered convention. That would only lead to chaos and give the election to that harpy, Hilary.
The best chance that conservatives have to deny Trump the nomination and give it to a Reagan conservative is for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to form an alliance. Cruz for president and Rubio for vice-president. That would galvanize the pro-life, evangelical conservatives, bring in the Hispanic vote, and deliver the important state of Florida to the Republican team.
The big question is this: Is Marco Rubio able to swallow his pride and take a secondary role to Cruz? If he stays in the race, he will likely experience the embarrassment of losing his home state to Trump. Even if Rubio wins Florida that will be all he wins of any consequence, and he will see Donald Trump take the nomination. Time is running out.
[Dave Gunn is the nom de plume of Dr. David E. Gonnella, pastor of the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama. The opinions expressed are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the church or its membership.]