by Brian Fahy & Garrett Fahy
The impossible is becoming increasingly probable. In spite of his Twitter tirades, boorish behavior and propensity for prevarication, Donald Trump is, according to CBS News and Quinnipiac University polling, almost even with Hillary Clinton both nationally and in the must-win states of Florida, Colorado and North Carolina. How is this possible?
His polling rebound comes on the heels of his strong rhetorical takedown of Hillary Clinton and President Obama after the Orlando massacre and his support for the Brexit campaign, which sent an anti-establishment, anti-immigration message, a “Britain First” message, which stunned the British political establishment. Outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, the first Brexit casualty, suggested this week that the Brexit referendum was fueled in large part by British frustrations over unrestrained immigration. Sounds familiar.
On this side of the Atlantic, Trump has been pushing his “America First” theme, which, like the Brexit movement, disdains the political establishment and unchecked immigration of unscreened migrants from failed states. Whether the fervor that fueled the Brexit campaign will cross the pond is anyone’s guess, but events here are fueling Trump’s surging, anti-establishment campaign.
First, gun control. In the wake of the Orlando massacre, Democrats made themselves look foolish – and Trump look presidential – by staging a failed sit-in on the House floor and demanding a vote on proposals that even the ACLU opposed, whereby those on the secret no-fly list and terror watch list would be denied, without any due process, the constitutional right to own a gun. In contrast, Trump said he would be meeting with the NRA to “discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.”
Next, the Supreme Court. In the last week of its term, the Supreme Court deadlocked on President Obama’s unlawful attempt to rewrite our immigration laws, ensuring the president’s amnesty program is (thankfully) dead for now. Immigration will remain a campaign issue, and a winning issue for Trump, after Hillary promised similarly unlawful executive actions should she capture the White House. The Court also overturned Texas’ commonsense laws regulating abortion providers, reminding voters that the Supreme Court is out of control and in need of a president to appoint a conservative justice to stem the tide of liberal arrogance. Anyone on Trump’s announced short list will do.
Third, while Trump’s paltry fundraising has given political professionals heartburn, this hasn’t prevented Trump from getting his messages out. Even though he has raised less than most congressional candidates, his ability to get free media coverage is propelling his candidacy and ensuring that he leads every news cycle. Trump is doing now what President Reagan did so well 30 years ago: speaking directly to the American public and bypassing the New York/D.C. media machine.
Compounding his good luck, Hillary Clinton, the woman who amassed a fortune giving secret speeches to Wall Street executives and taking donations from foreign governments with deplorable human rights records, is giving ultra-liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – the fake Native American – a test drive as a potential vice presidential nominee. Trump rejoices as two shrill, Northeastern liberals with credibility problems peddle an agenda more liberal than President Obama’s, and more than 60 percent of America believes the nation is on the wrong track.
Lastly, the Democratic National Committee last week doubled down on its war against blue-collar jobs (and voters) by voting to endorse the Stalinesque investigation by Democratic attorneys general of energy companies and think tanks who dared to question the reality of global warming or climate change. The party that squandered billions on failed green energy schemes (e.g. Solyndra) is now targeting some of America’s largest and most influential employers on an issue that always ranks dead last on voters’ priority lists, a sure way to forfeit votes and campaign contributions.
Does all of this mean Trump will win come November? Not at all. But it does mean that the Trump train chugs on, building momentum and making it increasingly unlikely that the GOP establishment or Hillary Clinton will derail a movement no serious person believed could succeed – just like the Brexit referendum.
Brian Fahy & Garrett Fahy are practicing litigators in Southern California and talk show hosts.
[Note: A version of this article first appeared in the Orange County Register.]