Shutting down the government always results in massive controversy – there’s no doubt about it. But over the right issue, could it be beneficial? I think so. Illegal immigration is the issue that would play strong enough politically with Republican voters to allow President Donald Trump to come out on top.
Whether or not President Trump and Republicans could win a government shut down is now front-and-center. Trump sparked the debate when he made numerous statements about the possibility of shutting down the government if he was not able to secure funding for a border wall. Both Conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh and Fox News host Sean Hannity have weighed in on the issue encouraging the president to shut the government down before the midterms if he doesn’t get the proper funding for the wall.
So could Trump actually benefit from a government shutdown? Yes, and here’s why.
A major issue, if not the issue, that got Trump elected in 2016 was immigration. Trump famously promised that he will build the wall and have Mexico pay for it. Chants of “build the wall” frequently broke out during his campaign rallies. His supporters have now come to expect that he’s actually going to build the wall.
Trump has taken over the Republican party.
Polls show Republican support for Trump between 85 percent on the low end to 92 percent on the high end. Trump is now the de-facto leader of the Republican party. In fact, Trump endorsed 2018 primary candidates have won and won big.
Republican voters support Trump and his stances on the issues. His Republican base will support him if he decides to shut down the government over border security. He promised to build a wall and that’s what he’s trying to achieve with a shutdown.
What’s the worst case scenario here for Trump? Republican voters disagree with his decision to shut down the government but at the same time appreciate his effort to fulfill a campaign promise?
Republicans wanted a doer and a fighter. They wanted someone who would stand up and fight to accomplish what they promised during their campaigns. Immigration was a top issue for Trump voters in 2016. With that in mind, Trump can successfully sell to his voters why shutting down the government for such a high priority issue was the right thing to do.
Take a look back to 2013 when Republicans led Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) shut the government down over disagreements on the Affordable Care Act. To this day what you will hear from politicians, mostly Democrats but not all, say how stupid that move was, how dumb it was and how bad it was for Republicans. But was it really that bad for Republicans? Republicans held the House and ended up taking back the Senate from Democrats for the first time in nearly a decade during the 2014 midterm elections.
Further, people often times forget that during Ronald Reagan’s presidency the government shut down eight times. Yes, many of these were over a weekend and not considered an extremely serious government shut down by any means. However, Reagan as president understood the need to take a stand and fight for what he believed in even if that meant shutting down the government.
The question I ask is this, can a president win a government shutdown on the right issue? I think yes. What do you think?Wake up Right! Subscribe to our Morning Briefing and get the news delivered to your inbox before breakfast!