Young: Being like Trump is no formula for victory this fall

Let’s acknowledge that Sen. Ted Cruz got something right once upon a time.

It happened in 2016 — when he called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump a “pathological liar” and a “sniveling coward.”

Now? Cruz will hug him tightly to his chest in a few weeks when Trump comes to Texas in a bid to save Cruz’s Senate seat.

This should be fun. The sniveling. The lying. The heebie-jeebies in static shockwaves between two who give each other the creeps.

The thing is, after that rally, after Ted bathes himself in hand sanitizer after embracing a man who called him “lying Ted” and alleged that his father helped kill JFK, Cruz is going to find out it didn’t help him at all.

Young: Four reasons why Ted Cruz should worry about Beto O’Rourke

Donald Trump is not a winning proposition in 2018. Even if one assumes he is going to inspire his “base” to vote, those hard-core voters were going to do it, anyway. What Trump is not going to do is inspire independent voters to drink his red Kool-Aid again or elect people who act like he does and who support his policies.

And yet, in race after race, Republicans have nominated candidates who are the Trump-iest in the field. We get it. The “base” wants more of that belligerent, divisive, truth-be-damned style.

They don’t understand: “Like Trump” is no formula for victory this fall. Just the opposite.

It’s stunning to see a major party glom frantically onto an individual who, according to the latest Washington Post poll, 60 percent of Americans view unfavorably.

That tracks other polls. At this writing, the cumulative polling by shows Trump’s unfavorable rating at 54.5 percent compared to 40.3 percent approving — the grimmest indicator in months for the tweeter-in-chief.

Young: Trump can do no wrong inside the GOP Rationalization Chamber

For many weeks the two lines on Fivethirtyeight’s graph remained relatively stable and just about 10 points apart. That was plenty enough. What changed? It appears the president’s unfavorable rating shot up just about when Sen. John McCain died, and Trump acted like an ogre.

At the first of the memorial services for McCain, an emotional Joe Biden used words one knew would get Trump’s goat. Of McCain, he used the word “decency” four times and “dignity” six times.

Talk about affronting Trump’s loyalists, who proclaim: “We don’t need no stinking decency. We need ruthlessness, coarseness and petty personal attacks in the wee hours.”

Biden might offer Americans a different flavor in 2020.

Next came the service at the National Cathedral with a bipartisan throng that applauded Meghan McCain’s memorable “America was already great,” preceded by her reference to “cheap rhetoric” aimed at her POW father by an individual for whom sacrifice meant having to shed shoes for the podiatrist.

The New York Times reported it, and no one could deny it: “For years Mr. Trump mocked and condemned the Arizona senator. In death, Mr. McCain found the way to have the last word.”

I know. Fake news.

Now, Arizona has buried him, and Arizonans consider who will represent them in the Senate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Viewpoints tweets the latest insights and analyses on politics

Arizona Republicans just chose from three candidates who, as in so many GOP primaries, pulled an acrobatic Cirque du Soleil act to prove which was the Trump-iest. Is this really an asset in the general election for the GOP nominee, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally? Hardly – especially since she is facing a strong, serious, seasoned Democrat in U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Could a Democrat taking that Senate seat in revulsion against Trump be the last word?

I’m thinking not. That very well could come in 2020. Imagine: Centrists and independents join Democrats in Arizona to award that state’s 11 electoral votes to a Democrat, and with it Trump’s removal.

Then again, with Trump’s low regard among increasingly exasperated voters, this presidency will be over long before Arizona’s time zone reports.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Young: Trump’s deregulatory fury will threaten American lives
Young: Trump’s deregulatory fury will threaten American lives

The killers were silent, but the sensors at my feet were screaming out their names. I was in a plane flying over the Houston Ship Channel to see air pollution. A Baylor University scientist had invited me. The cramped single-engine had barely room for me and the sensors coughing out data on the nitrogen dioxide, particulates and hydrocarbons being...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 26, 2018
Letters to the editor: Sept. 26, 2018

On immigration, Cruz is on the wrong side I am what Sen. Cruz called a “good legal immigrant” at the senatorial debate. Coming from Denmark I went through all the Kafkaesque bureaucracy and became a citizen. Yet, unlike Cruz, my newfound citizenship is no less valuable to me should the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrant Americans...
Opinion: University corruption

I’m thankful that increasing attention is being paid to the dire state of higher education in our country. Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has just published “The Diversity Delusion.” Its subtitle captures much of the book’s content: “How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2018
Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2018

Query: What are the Republican senators and Chuck Grassley afraid of? What is President Donald Trump afraid of? They all do not want an FBI investigation into the events leading to the accusation of sexual assault, attempted rape of Dr. Ford, by then-high school student Brett Kavanaugh. Why? Many years ago, during another Supreme Court Justice Senate...
Commentary: Fathers need to remember that their sons are watching

CHICAGO — What’s it like to be a boy these days? It’s a frequent thought for me as I navigate my son’s 17th year of life in a world where the scourge of toxic masculinity shares the public consciousness with admiration of spectacularly muscled sports stars and big-screen superheroes whose worth is predicated on their physical...
More Stories