According to Marco Rubio “Ultimately the Republican Party will reach out to all voters based on who our nominee is”. He was speaking in Orford, N.H. in front of an autobody shop to a small group, but he was thinking big and added that “Americans have every reason to be optimistic about the future.” Two things that stand out in Rubio’s measured response to Trump, compared to the head-on bashing that Rand Paul – who is even lower in the polls than Rubio – has engaged in when trying to take on Trump and shine a little light on himself. While optimism has always been a part of America, current anger over what is seen as an erosion of the values that gave birth to America and her deep seated faith and hope in the future, needs a conversation on how to ensure that those values are not lost rather than sunny generalities. That conversation can include disagreements but it has to deal with the issues that spark conservative anger. This anger does not ignore optimism; it is a warning cry that the grounds for that optimism are being squandered.

And more importantly perhaps, is the phrase ” the Republican Party will reach out to all voters based on who are nominee is”. As if the GOP were a charity that dispenses it’s generosity on a wide range of pleading voters who are begging the party to please, please include me in your rhetoric. The reality is voters will decide whether to support the GOP candidate based on who that candidate is. And to suggest, as Rubio does, that you better have a candidate with a broad appeal who will bring in a diverse sample of voters on election night, is to ignore the fact that voters always have the option to just stay home. Especially when the nominee does not speak to their concerns. And as the polls show, GOP voters overwhelmingly feel Trump is the one speaking to their concerns. You can try to acknowledge the fact while disparaging them as “inchoate” as W. James Antle III recently did in the Washington Examiner. And no, most people have not read Hayek, but they don’t need a PDF of one of the Austrian economist’s articles to know that the debt is unsustainable and that people’s economic decisions and prices of goods and services are perverted by government incentives and subsidies. In other words, whether slightly snobby like Antle, even as he interprets conservative voters for the benefit of other wonks, or embracingly condescending like Rubio, they ultimately treat conservative voters with scant respect, all the while worrying about them. The only one who does respect their views – whatever his hair, whatever his past mistakes or former policy proposals – is Donald Trump, who in fact really does seem to share as well as broadcast their concerns. Until that perception changes, the polls will likely continue to show Donald Trump in the lead.