Not everybody who feels fed up with the politics of this country is supporting Donald Trump. Ted Cruz, in particular, seems to be appealing to this sentiment as well. Actually, if you’re not fed up with Washington D.C. and damn near everybody in it you’re really not paying attention. Trump and Cruz are winning the Anger Primary. I’m sure a lot of people backing Carson and Fiorina and Paul and Walker and Rubio are pissed off as well.
One of the reasons we’re all pissed off is the Republican Party’s failure to stand up to Obama’s unconstitutionalism. Another reason is the performance of the Republican Congress from 2003 to 2007. They had the House, the Senate, the Presidency and a majority of the Supreme Court. Time to cut spending, right? Time to cut down the size and scope of the federal government, right? Time to enact meaningful entitlement reform, right? So what did President George W. Bush, Speaker Denny Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist give us? Almost half a trillion in deficits — and that’s it.
I’ve known a whole lot of Republican politicians very well over the course of my life. A few of them were corrupt, and a lot of them were dimwits, but most wanted to do the right thing. One, former Alaska Governor Jay Hammond, was a great man and a great political leader. I saw what one man, of conviction and courage, can accomplish in politics.
I think Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Scott Walker and John Kasich and Marco Rubio are all men of conviction and courage. And I think every one of them is pissed off like the rest of us. Ronald Reagan was pissed off when he ran against Jimmy Carter in 1980, but you couldn’t tell. He was not an angry candidate, the way Trump, and to a lesser extent, Cruz are.
Here’s the bottom line: women don’t like angry men. It makes them uncomfortable. And women decide elections. Barack Obama was more appealing to women than either John McCain or Mitt Romney, and that’s why he beat them both.
Not that there isn’t a time and a place for anger. It’s just rare. Michael Dukakis displayed no anger when asked about the hypothetical rape and murder of his wife. That’s when anger is called for.
Great politicians, like the Gipper, use anger to their advantage. When Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” he didn’t have his happy face on.
But that was highly unusual. A savvy politician very rarely shows anger.
So when you do it, you want to make it count.