Of late Donald Trump has made a big to-do about how Ted Cruz and John Kasich are establishment Republicans. In a sense he is right: many established Republican voters are supporting Mr. Trump’s two rivals. Governor Kasich has strong establishment ties, and a Kasich administration would be ideologically similar to George W. Bush. In a similar manner, Senator Cruz’s consistent message of fiscal and social conservativism has endeared him to many established Republican activists. Nevertheless, candidate Trump’s rhetoric is misleading – he has prominent establishment friends of his own, the most famous of which is former House Speaker John Boehner.
Mr. Boehner has “has played golf with Donald Trump for years” and “would vote for Trump in the general election.” The former Speaker’s kind-words for Donald Trump should be extremely disquieting to Trump supporters who hope to up-end the established order; John Boehner was pushed from the Speaker’s chair in large part because he was an establishment politician.
Many mothers and fathers have annoyed their teenage offspring with the trite saying “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Of course parents aren’t always correct, one wayward friend does not necessarily alter the course of a teen’s life. However, personal associations can tell us a great deal about people, including politicians.
If Donald Trump captures his party’s nomination he will most likely lose the general election (the electoral college favors the Democrat candidate). But even if Mr. Trump miraculously ekes out a general election victory, his presidency will disappoint many of his supporters. Maybe then a major political realignment will take place.