The last stand of the Republican establishment behind Ted Cruz turned out to be futile. Ted Cruz’s small c conservative platform has not normally recommended itself to many in the Republican establishment. Their belated endorsement of Mr Cruz looked like a reluctant wish to salvage the pride of established politicians against the insurgent outsider. The rank and file Republicans turned out in numbers in Indiana to tell Mr Cruz not to bother.
If you compare the policy platform offered by Mr Cruz with Mr Trump’s it makes an interesting contrast. Mr Cruz highlighted the need to keep “under God” in the oath of allegiance, and made “restoring the constitution” his number one issue. Second choice was defending the right to carry arms and third was a Trump lite policy of building a “wall that works” to improve border security. Jobs, opportunity and tax were all lumped together as his eighth area of interest, after religion, defence, standing up for Israel, and abortion. Mr Cruz was trying to put together a Republican coalition of the gun lobby and the Christian lobby. There were simply not enough of these conservative Republicans interested in these rather narrow issues to give their “unity” candidate enough votes to win.
Mr Trump’s slogans of “Make America great again” and we’ll be winning again were designed to lift spirits, to appeal to the many, and allow people to place their own ambitions and expectations on them. The policy platform behind the slogans concentrates on major tax cuts for all income levels, uniting rich and poor in wanting a Trump Presidency to leave them more of their own money to spend.
Now Hillary tries to take the full mantle of the establishment, and tries to win over Republicans who do not like Mr Trump. Fashion and the commentariat will assume she will win. She has to watch out in case Mr Trump’s positive messages and tax cutting promises start to take her working voters away. They too might find the Trump enthusiasm and optimism infectious, and may buy the idea that a non politician could be a breath of fresh air.
I do not of course have a view on who I want to win, as that is a mater entirely for US voters to decide.