People follow Donald Trump when no one else leads

Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters during a campaign appearance at Georgia Tech, Dec. 8. (AJC Photo / Ben Gray)

Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters during a campaign appearance at Georgia Tech, Dec. 8. (AJC Photo / Ben Gray)

Carly Fiorina came to Atlanta on Tuesday and, as day follows night, had an outrageous statement by Donald Trump to address.

The two may be the only business executives in the presidential race, but their similarities stop there. So it was not surprising to hear Fiorina dismiss Trump’s Monday call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” which she likened to saying, “I don’t have a plan (to defeat ISIS) so let me talking about violating the Constitution here somehow.”

But Trump’s proposal is as opportunistic as it is wrong-headed. Trump is seizing on the fears of a nation told repeatedly, and against all evidence, by its president that the current strategy against radical Islamists is working. It’s the same playbook the billionaire has used on immigration, trade and any other issue he can demagogue thanks to the failures of Republicans and Democrats alike.

So what I really wanted to hear from Fiorina, and from the other GOP candidates before and during their next debate on Tuesday, is how she perceives this fear and would address it. Here’s what I heard:

“I think Americans — I know I feel this way; that’s why I’m running for president — feel as though we’re losing something important, and we’re missing something.

“I think what people feel like we’re losing is the sense of limitless possibility that’s always defined this nation. We always knew that if something were important to do … we would get it together and do it. And we also knew that if something were hard to do, even better: We would figure out how to do it. Because we’re the most entrepreneurial and innovative and smartest and hardest-working nation in the world. And we just knew that the possibilities for our children and our grandchildren were even greater than the possibilities for ourselves. And yet we don’t know that anymore.

“And I think when the world seems like it’s going crazy, and when it feels like we’re losing something and missing something, what does it feel like we’re missing? Leadership. Common sense. Good judgment. Plain talk.”

I’d give Fiorina a solid “B” for that answer. There’s a good bit of platitude and cliche in there — and don’t judge it by its lack of specific actions, because those came later in the speech — but there are also a couple of very important truths.

It’s been a while since our elected leaders have gotten it together and done what needed to be done. The hallmark law of this president’s tenure, Obamacare, is slowly falling apart. The void we left behind in Iraq threatens to swallow up the Middle East, drag us back into conflict and spark homegrown terrorism in our own communities. Reforming our immigration and tax laws are campaign staples because no one is willing to lead on the issues between campaigns.

Forget the “vision thing” we once sought in a president; what this country needs after the last 15-plus years are leaders with character, decency and basic competence. Until someone with those traits steps forward, we’ll continue to see far too many people settle for someone ready to spin their fears into anger.

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94 comments
Robert1959
Robert1959

A smug, uncaring, ideologically rigid national Republican Party is turning off the majority of American voters, with stale policies that have changed little in 30 years and an image that alienates women, minorities and the young, according to an internal GOP study. That blunt assessment on the state of Republicanism at the national level comes from a major new report that will likely shake up an already battered party. It was commissioned by the head of the Republican National Committee in the wake of Mitt Romney’s defeat - 2012. I think the American People would prefer Mitt Romney over all the other GOP presidential candidates 2016 (Carson, Trump, Bush, Cruz, Rubio, etc.). Hopefully The GOP will draft Mitt Romney and "apologize" to the American People for their unethical conduct (hatred, fear and bigotry) over the past 7 years during the GOP convention. No Apology - No GOP. 
 
Without offering detailed policy prescriptions, the 98-page report calls on the party to “smartly change course,” modernize itself and develop “a more welcoming brand of conservatism that invites and inspires new people to visit us.” There are extensive lists of proposals, many of them technological and procedural, designed to help the GOP better engage voters, especially women, minorities and the young, and reverse a losing pattern in five of the last six popular votes for president. “Unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future,” the report concludes.  
 
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in remarks in Washington on the release of the study by the party’s “Growth and Opportunity Project,” is unsparing in his analysis of the 2012 election setback. Will somebody please send a copy of the report to all the GOP presidential candidates 2016 - Carson, Trump, Bush, Cruz, Rubio, etc. 
 
The American People….  
(elderly, disabled, young people, women, minorities, LGBT, Christians, Muslims & Jews, etc.)

lvg
lvg

@Robert1959 Somebody pleasde tell Rinse Peanuts he is part of the problem

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Robert1959

If Mittens hadn't had to tack so far right in 2012, I think he could have won.  I also think that if Mittens had the courage to be who he really is (ie, a pragmatic, solutions-oriented centrist), he would probably make a pretty good president.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Eye wonder @Robert1959

Well duh.  Smart, accomplished people like Romney couldn't help but do a better job than a community organizer with zero experience in anything other than unproductive no-show jobs and government (oops, same thing).

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 Yes, there's a divide based on party. There's a divide based on party on virtually every question asked.



Absolutely. Thanks for making my point. The divide in question here is pretty clear. If you are a Republican you a far more likely to support Trumps ban on Muslims. 


That isn't Obama's fault. Its Trump taping into what was already the sentiment among many Republicans. Obama or no Obama.

lvg
lvg

@Hedley_Lammar Obama and Hilary  have made it worse by refusing to acknowledge that there is a problem with radical Muslim terrorists. I do do not get their logic in not using that term. Just like every president refuses to acknowledge the threat from Wabism in Saudi Arabia. Trump was very clever in saying he only supports the ban "until we can figure this out". 

I don't see this as a Republican issue only.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@lvg @Hedley_Lammar  Obama and Hilary  have made it worse by refusing to acknowledge that there is a problem with radical Muslim terrorists.


I doubt OBL or all the people killed by drone strikes would agree. Semantics are meaningless and are not the issue here.


He was not very clever. In fact that made it worse. Its open ended and could therefore go on forever. Until we can figure this out can be a long time. 

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

"The hallmark law of this president’s tenure . . ." 


Kyle, you obviously have your differences with President Obama and his politics, and I don't quibble with that, although I very rarely agree with any of your positions.  I cannot help commenting, however, that your use of the term "this president" rather than "the president" subtly reveals a level of contempt often found on the Republican side.  You could at least acknowledge that since Obama is President of the country of your citizenship, he is "the President," even if you didn't vote for him.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Remember the last time we tried to build a wall


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006


 This bill called for Homeland Security to construct an additional 700 miles of two layered, 14 foot high fencing along the southwest border.


Umm the border with Mexico is 2,100 miles long. Wanna know what a 700 mile long wall is along a 2,100 mile long border ? A 700 mile long wall with a 1,400 mile wide gate.


trump and folks like Rafe's idea of America might be a barbed wire fence. With signs saying Keep Out. Ala North Korea


My idea of America is the Statue of Liberty. And the mature knowledge that immigration is what has made us great.


Spare me the assimilation crapola as well. All immigrants assimilate fully within 3 generations. Whether they be Italians 200 years ago or Syrians today.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar Do you leave your doors open at night, so that needy folks can come in a get out of the cold? 


We have a right to decide who comes into the country and for what purpose.  The law establishing the wall to be built is still on the books, we just need a President who will execute it.  


If walls do not work why does the one that Hungary built to stop the refugees work, or the Israel fence, the sections we have built, and why do they have one around the WH and the Vatican?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Hedley_Lammar Do you leave your doors open at night, so that needy folks can come in a get out of the cold? 


Sure. Its the Christian thing to do. are you not you brothers keeper ?


Walls do not work. There are so many tunnels between Tijuana and San Diego that they say it looks like Swiss Cheese. They will just go under it. A huge waste of money just to make rubes like you feel good. 

gapeach101
gapeach101

@MarkVV @RafeHollister @Hedley_Lammar

All 87 miles of the Berlin wall?  And the armed guards?  Are we going to have armed guards along the entire 2,100 miles?  There's an employment act for you.  Might as well charge Mexico for that too.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

As Peggy Noonan pointed out yesterday, the establishment is in a pickle, they don't think they can win with Trump, but they can't win without Trump supporters, so they can't make them angry so they stay home.


This article looks at that issue and points out that Cruz may emerge as the "compromise"  candidate, the only one that Trump, and the Trump supporters will accept.  That should make the establishment and the proggies day!


http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/12/trumps_lesson_for_the_gop_.html






Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@goblue86 It will mean that the three warmest years since records began in 1880 – 2015, 2014 and 2010 – happened in the past five years, and nine out of the 10 warmest years have all occurred in the 21st century.


2015 is set to shatter all records


Meanwhile we do nothing. Except wet the bed over a few thousand radical muslims running around in the desert. Yes that keeps us up at night. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar @RafeHollister @goblue86 Conflicts with what I've read.  They use surface data for temperature, as they think they can justify "adjusting" it and prior records are based on surface temperature.  They have fiddled with prior recorded temperatures as well, since they know more than the people who recorded those temps.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Hedley_Lammar @goblue86 Actually. Its much more profitable to be on the other side.


Decidedly so.


Much like Big Tobacco did in the 60'ss The energy companies have bought off a few scientists. This allows them to kick the can down the road. Big Tobacco did it for 40 years.


They know they cant deny climate change forever. They know its real just like tobacco knew their product killed. But with a few well paid "scientists" on your side to muddy the waters you can keep on doing it for quite some time. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@MarkVV @RafeHollister @Hedley_Lammar @goblue86 Yes


Or they will dig up someone who says the Science isn't settled etc. When everyone knows it pretty much is.


But hey i'm betting some people in the 70's would tell you cigarettes did not cause cancer. That it was all a hoax etc. It takes some people longer. 



FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Carly focuses on what's positive about America AND Americans. I like that about her. She doesn't see the need to tear us down to build us up.

Jamie Dupree has an article up indicating it's Indies who make up the bulk of Trump's supporters.

Monkey wrenches, otherwise known as gas grippers they be. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

For those so appalled that Trump is exploiting fear to win voters I give you this.  I am sure there are many more examples but how about


1)  They want to put y'all back in chains

2)  If the GOP is elected, black churches will burn

3)  They want your children to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water

4)  Paul Ryan is going to push Granny off the cliff.  


MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister

You must be kidding, comparing those with the statements of a presidential candidate of a major political party.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

As Reagan said, the people like bold distinctions instead of pale or subtle differences.  Trump offers bold distinctions with the failed strategies and indifference of Obama.  Many of the other GOP  candidates struggle to say anything significant without use of a bunch of weasel words.


I was really impressed with the GOP field out of the gate, but they have been pretty disappointing in their inability to take on Trump and call him on his excesses.  Limbaugh has made a good point that all those other candidates keep saying that Trump will lose easily to Hillary.  Limbaugh says if he is so easy to beat then why hasn't one of those other guys done it.


As long as the folks see Obama off in fantasy land tilting at the windmills of climate change, gun control, and more worried about the feelings of Muslims, than he is about protecting America, Trump will continue to be the loud blowhard pushing the agenda.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@RafeHollister "Limbaugh says if he is so easy to beat then why hasn't one of those other guys done it."

For starters, 30% of the primary vote goes a lot further in the primaries than it goes in the general. I did the math the other day, and off the top of my head: 30% of the votes cast in the 2012 GOP primaries and caucuses equaled about 5% of the votes cast that November. Trump's numbers look big in primary polls, but he has to have the whole party behind him to make even a decent showing in the general election. Not to mention that it would be just him vs. Hillary, whereas currently the other 70% of the primary vote is divided among a dozen (or so) candidates. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Kyle_Wingfield @RafeHollister I get all that but can someone polling at 2-4% really criticize someone at 35% as being un-electable?  If they can't excite more than 3% of the GOP base how successful will they be in the general?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister 

“Trump offers bold distinctions with the failed strategies and indifference of Obama.”

Trump offers some strategies? Can you name one?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister 

“..fantasy land tilting at the windmills of climate change”

With over 190 countries represented at the Paris climate change conference, the fantasy appears to be rather widespread. And with three last years hottest in the recorded history (anybody still talking about “leveling?”), the deniers look more foolish than ever before.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@RafeHollister The folks polling at 2-4% need to be choosing whom they're going to get behind instead of Trump.

bu2
bu2

@RafeHollister @Kyle_Wingfield Well Trump can't get the independent vote.  Rubio, Cruz, Carson and Bush consistently do better vs. Hillary than Trump does in the polls.  Think some of the others did as well, but they quit polling about them.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @RafeHollister Yes, it is much more strategic in solving the illegal immigration problem than whatever it is that Obama plans to do to defeat ISIS.  Please enlighten us on Obama's strategy to defeat ISIS, as what he is doing now is a failure, according to the SECDEF and the Commander of the Joint Chiefs.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister @MarkVV That is such a stupid claim that it does not deserve a serious response. It is also a lie, as far as the claim of "failure" is concerned. And it still confirms that you  do not understand what "strategy" means.