Can Trump Be Stopped?

Donald Trump
Can Trump Be Stopped?
Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan

USA – -( three months ago, this writer sent out a column entitled, “Could Trump Win?” meaning the Republican nomination.

Today even the Trump deniers concede the possibility.

And the emerging question has become: “Can Trump be stopped? And if so, where, and by whom?”

Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits.

An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent. No other GOP candidate gets double digits.

Trump is leading Carson in Iowa, running first in New Hampshire, crushing the field in Nevada and South Carolina. These are the first four contests. In Florida, Trump's support exceeds that of ex-Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.

If these polls don't turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.

And with Thanksgiving a month off, then the Christmas season, New Year's, college football playoffs and NFL playoffs, the interest of the nation will drift away, again and again, from politics.

Voting begins Feb. 1 in Iowa. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 7. And the New Hampshire primary will likely be on Tuesday, Feb. 9 2016.

We are only three months out, and Trump still holds the high cards.

After months of speeches and TV appearances, he is a far more disciplined campaigner and communicator. In a year when a huge slice of the nation is disgusted with political correctness, wants to dethrone the establishment, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with someone fresh, Trump is in the pole position.

His issues — secure the border, send illegal immigrants back, renegotiate rotten trade deals that shipped our jobs abroad, [hold fast on the Second Amendment] — are more in tune with the national mood than pro-amnesty, Obamatrade or NAFTA.

Wall Street Journal conservatism is in a bear market.

Trump says he will talk to Vladimir Putin, enforce the nuclear deal with Iran, not tear it up on Inauguration Day, and keep U.S. troops out of Syria. And South Korea should pay more of the freight and provide more of the troops for its own defense.

A nationalist, and a reluctant interventionist, if U.S. interests are not imperiled, Trump offers a dramatic contrast to the neocons and Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee. She not only voted for the Iraq war Trump opposed, but she helped launch the Libyan war.

The lights are burning late tonight in the suites of the establishment tonight. For not since Sen. Barry Goldwater won the California primary in 1964 have their prospects appeared so grim.

Can Trump be stopped?

Absent some killer gaffe or explosive revelation, he will have to be stopped in Iowa or New Hampshire. A rival will have to emerge by then, strong enough and resourced enough to beat him by March.

The first hurdle for the establishment in taking down Trump is Carson. In every national poll, he is second. He's sitting on the votes the establishment candidate will need to overtake Trump.

Iowa is the ideal terrain for a religious-social conservative to upset Trump, as Mike Huckabee showed in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But Carson has preempted part of the Evangelical and social conservative vote. Moreover, Sen. Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment man, is working Iowa and has the forensic abilities to rally social conservatives.

Should Trump fall, and his estate go to probate, Cruz's claim would seem superior to that of any establishment favorite.

Indeed, for an establishment-backed candidate — a Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — to win Iowa, he must break out of the single-digit pack soon, fend off Cruz, strip Carson of part of his following, then overtake Trump. A tall order.

Yet, the battle to consolidate establishment support has begun. And despite his name, family associations, size of his Super PAC, Jeb has lost ground to Marco Rubio. Look to Marco to emerge as the establishment's last best hope to take down Trump.

But if Trump wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire.

The Iowa Caucuses then, the first contest, may well be decisive. If not stopped there, Trump may be unstoppable. Yet, as it is a caucus state where voters stick around for hours before voting, organization, intensity and endless labor can pay off big against a front-runner.

Trumps Staying Power
Trumps Staying Power

In Iowa, for example, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H. W. Bush in 1980. Vice President Bush was defeated by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson in 1988. Reagan and Bush I(one) needed and managed comeback victories in New Hampshire. One cannot lose Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thus, today's task for the Republican establishment.

Between now and March, they must settle on a candidate, hope his rivals get out of the race, defeat Trump in one of the first two contests, or effect his defeat by someone like Carson, then pray Trump will collapse like a house of cards.

The improbabilities of accomplishing this grow by the week, and will soon start looking, increasingly, like an impossibility — absent the kind of celestial intervention that marked the career of the late Calvin Coolidge.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 7 thoughts on “Can Trump Be Stopped?

    1. Trump is the the most realistic Candidate and if he comes head to head with Hillary “Commie” Clinton will beat her.She is most dangerous and will take down are country from within.Under Hillary you will all become slaves.

    2. Between Trump and Secretary Clinton, it would have to be Hillary. Those of you supporting Mr. Trump might consider the safety and security of our nation. Donald is such an egomaniac that he will have us shooting at lot’s of countries, or vise versa. If you are a warring sole go for it. The only one worse than Trump or Hillary would be Senator Cruz. I hope and pray that the Repubs get their crap together, otherwise it’s hello Mrs. President.

      1. What you are saying has got to be some of the craziest backward nonsense I’ve heard in the last day or two.

        Trump is on record coming out against intervening in the Syria situation. How does that make him the loose cannon that you warn us about? Clinton supported the war in Iraq, a proven fraudulent military effort. Saddam, it turns out had nothing to do with 9/11. They just wanted an excuse to depose him so they could divide Iraq into 3 regions and give their buddies over in Saudi Arabia a big piece, install Radical Islamists in power to further destabilize the region, and create uber-lucre in defense contracts for all their friends who feed at the Pentagon trough. Clinton was right in the middle of all this, since her family pretty much ran the Democrat Party since her husband left office. What kind of horse manure are you trying to spread over here?

        In addition, Clinton has made it ultra clear in recent days that she thinks Australian-style gun confiscation would be a desirable situation. But Cruz has been endorsed by Gun Owners of America, the most uncompromising pro-gun organization we’ve ever encountered, but you ignore all that and tell us Clinton would be better than Trump. Let me tell you something, pal. You are either a plant from some left-wing enterprise like the Southern Poverty Law Center, or you are possibly just out of your freaking mind. Have a Nice day.

      1. Carson? Are you kidding me? His campaign manager is Armstrong Williams who is gay-er than a purple unicorn. What conservative would use this kind of discernment to pick his own campaign manager, not to mention Williams is on record voting for OBAMA. The tea party supporters would have to be pretty racist to feel pressured into supporting Carson just because he is black, which is a pretty stupid reason to vote for somebody except if you need to prove to the world that you’re not racist. Carson should stick to surgery because he’s a pretty weak-ass candidate. Romney even choked the other day when he was asked by Jake Tapper about how viable Carson would be on the GOP ticket. He said Carson was a very “sweet man.” You want a sweetie as your president, or somebody tough as nails to fight this left wing takeover that we are suffering today? Jesus, you all better start thinking.

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