Revolt of the masses and Republican elite shock
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Republican elites and their billionaire donors are in a funk. They don’t know where to turn, who to support or what to do with their money. Fearing Trump and Carson, they crave an establishment candidate—though the ones available are flat tires.

One complaint is that Trump and Carson lack the temperament and the experience to be president. This is an argument of weakness that belies elite befuddlement.


The argument says nothing about policy—what elites want and why they don’t want what large numbers of Republicans want. Instead, they talk desperately about getting a candidate who might showcase a hefty resume to voters. Hence the new talk of a Romney draft.

This has never been an attraction to voters, though it’s been used as an argument off and on for years.

An Nov. 22 Washington Post article, citing a new Post-ABC poll, showed only 11 percent of Republican voters think experience is a primary factor, while 52 percent of them said change in Washington was most important.

The truth is, no new president has enough experience for the job. They all undergo a tough learning curve because the job is that big and unique.

In fact, the most successful position to hold while running for president has been that of governor, which is no real qualification. Running a state is to running the U.S. what piloting a rowboat is to piloting an aircraft carrier. There’s simply no comparison.

A related argument is that Trump and Carson are weak on policy and lack an adequate knowledge fund.  But this is the usual story of candidates.

Did Jeb Bush become an expert on foreign policy as governor of Florida? Did Carly Fiorina independently determine that we need 36 marine divisions and 300-350 naval vessels or did someone on her payroll whisper that into her ear? Where and when did Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioLawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE acquire a deep skill set? For a very long time now presidential candidates have hired people to teach them foreign policy 101 and economics 101.

Remember how Republican elites and wealthy donors in 2000 were happy to get behind George W Bush—and W wasn’t known for his intellect.

It’s never been much of an issue with elites before. So why now?

It’s really about policy. The desire to stop Trump and Carson is really about preventing the political desires of large numbers of Republican voters from being realized. It’s what elites really fear.

Take immigration, for example. Trump’s stance on this, which has found vast support among voters, is directly contrary to the cheap labor regime that has defined immigration policy for ions and which both parties support. Economic elites want cheap labor and our politicians know who butters their bread. As such, politicians pay lip service to the job loss and other economic distortions that come from this policy, while couching the policy in moralistic/ideological language and poor economic arguments. Trump threatens to unseat this policy regime and it has elites rattled.

What about trade agreements? Critics say Trump hasn’t got the knowledge base here, but he has been railing about bad trade deals for quite a long time. Our trade deficit, which has been around for decades and reflects those deals, makes a net negative contribution to our economic growth, while contributing to unemployment and lower wages. Many are listening.

In the past, such policy complaints were drowned out by the dominant rhetoric of establishment candidates, but things are different today. The Post-ABC poll mentioned above also showed about 60 percent of Republican voters support the three candidates with no political experience, with Trump getting the bulk of it. This is a vote of no confidence in Republican elites.

Trump was close to being right when he said in an Nov. 22 AP article “They can't understand, you know, how come an outsider can be doing so well within the party.” Elites understand it all right, they just don’t know what to do about it.

While the Koch brothers wring their hands on the sidelines, and operatives fantasize about a Romney draft, large numbers of Republicans are in revolt.

The question now before us is how far the revolt will go. Will voters go all the way and put a guy like Trump in the drivers’ seat or will their resolve dissipate once elites finally unleash all that pent up money to finance low-road attacks on Trump and Carson?

Gerace is a lawyer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Before becoming an attorney he taught political science and economics for 17 years.