VAL 2016 | Vad är skillnaden mellan Donald Trump och Ted Cruz? En sak som sticker ut är deras förhållande till religion.
Trump framstår inte bara som ointresserad av religion utan också direkt obekväm i religiösa situationer.
I The New Yorker ger Ryan Lizza ett exempel när Trump hänvisade till ett avsnitt från ”Two Corinthians” snarare än från ”Second Corinthians”
Cruz däremot kan inte få nog av religion. Han framhäver ständigt religionens betydelse för hans kampanj.
En cyniker skulle säga att detta bara beror på att han är ute efter de väljare som brukar kallas socialkonservativa (d.v.s. troende, konservativa och med ett intresse för sociala frågor).
Men detta ger inte hela bilden av olikheterna mellan de två.
Lizza konstaterar att många av dessa socialkonservativa även verkar tilltalas av Trumps budskap. Och ofta av samma anledning som andra republikaner med mindre intresse för trosfrågor.
De anser ofta att Trump är en person som vågar säga obekväma sanningar.
Han är inte rädd att gå emot partihöjdarnas taktiserande och önskan att alla presidentkandidater bör följa partietablissemangets definition av vad som anses lämpligt för att vinna ett presidentval. Många av de frågor som republikanska politiker brukar driva har inte alltid gynnat deras väljarbas.
Trumps ekonomiska oberoende gör att han dessutom framstår som betydligt hederligare eftersom han inte är beroende av inflytelserika lobbyisters donationer.
Lizza skriver om hur Trump och Cruz förhåller sig till de fyra väljargrupper som utgör Republikanska partiets väljarbas enligt Dante J. Scala och Henry Olsens ”The Four Faces of the Republican Party”.
In “The Party Decides,” published in 2008, the political scientist Hans Noel and three co-authors showed that, since 1980, the best predictor of the Democratic and Republican nominee has been endorsements by elected officials.
Trump—a media-created populist who has no such endorsements and is despised by Party insiders—defies that theory. “If Trump wins, he’d be forcing himself on the Party,” Noel told me. Cruz, too, represents the kind of hostile takeover that Polsby warned about. He is the consummate political insider—a U.S. Senator from Texas with a long history of activism in the G.O.P.—but he is hated by Republican élites, and none of his Senate colleagues are backing him. The two candidates offer visions for the future of the Republican Party that are starkly different from one another and from what the Party seems to envisage for itself.
Pundits have taken to endlessly discussing the different “lanes” the candidates occupy, an idea best articulated in a new book, “The Four Faces of the Republican Party,” by Dante J. Scala and Henry Olsen. They describe a Republican primary electorate that, since the nineteen-eighties, has been divided into four well-defined groups: moderate and liberal voters, who make up twenty-five to thirty per cent of the electorate; somewhat conservative voters (thirty-five to forty per cent); very conservative evangelical voters (about twenty per cent); and very conservative secular voters (five to ten per cent). A successful candidate starts off by appealing to one of the lanes and then absorbs voters from one or more of the others as opponents drop out and their supporters look for someone else. Cruz is assiduously following this road map by presenting himself as the champion of the two “very conservative” voting blocs. He obeys every traffic sign and rarely veers left, hoping that later in the primary season he can expand into the other lanes.
Trump, though, has effectively ignored the conventional wisdom about Republican lanes. He’s like a snowplow barrelling across the highway. State and national polls consistently show that he draws strongly from all four ideological segments of the party. His strongest supporters are less educated and less well off; his fiercest opponents are Republicans with advanced degrees and high incomes. Trump has turned what is traditionally an ideological fight into a class war.
“The biggest thing to understand about Trump is that he is effectively redefining the G.O.P. by asking a different question than the one the Party has been answering for fifty years,” Henry Olsen told me. Since at least the Goldwater nomination of 1964, he said, every nomination battle has aimed to answer the question “To what extent should the G.O.P. be the vehicle for the conservative movement?” In addressing it, the Republican primary electorate has always sorted along a spectrum based on ideology: moderates and liberals oppose the idea; very conservative voters, the kind that Cruz is courting, champion it; and somewhat conservative ones split the difference. Trump draws from all four factions because he’s uninterested in how conservative the G.O.P. should or shouldn’t be. “He is not trying to answer this question at all,” Olsen said. “Instead, he is posing a new question: to what extent should the G.O.P. be the advocates for those struggling in the modern economy?”
In the unlikely event that Cruz wins the nomination, he will find it difficult to gain the loyalty of other elected officials and Party leaders, and he will make a poor opponent for Hillary Clinton. His nomination will be akin to Barry Goldwater’s victory in 1964, or, on the Democratic side, McGovern’s victory in 1972. Both Senators were too far outside the mainstream to win in a general election. Cruz would likely lose, but he wouldn’t necessarily destroy the G.O.P. in the process. However much his colleagues dislike him, he’s still one of them.
Trump is not. Some prominent Republicans fear that a Trump nomination would fundamentally alter the identity of the Republican Party, even if he goes on to lose the general election, which seems likely. The Party would become more downscale, a potential asset if it meant drawing in disaffected Democrats, but also more alienating to non-whites, who represent the largest source of potential growth in the electorate. It would be defined by ethno-nationalism at home and an anti-interventionist retreat from America’s obligations abroad. The last major figure in Republican politics who came close to Trump’s brand of nationalism was Pat Buchanan, the former Nixon aide who ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996. Buchanan was driven from the Republican Party by mainstream conservatives, who called him an isolationist and an anti-Semite; in 2000, he captured the nomination of the Reform Party. If Trump wins the nomination, it will be his opponents who are driven from the Party.
Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 1 februari 2016.