The rise of Donald Trump has put the Republican party in a very interesting situation. The GOP is now in the midst of a “civil war” of sorts between these far-right fanatics who the party sold out to after the election of President Obama, versus the “establishment” Republicans who realize they can’t be the anti-everything (except white Christian males) party and have a future nationally.
Sure, that sort of shtick plays well in regional or state elections, especially in “red states,” but not nationally. In fact, it hurts the “branding” of the party in swing states and “purple” regions of the country.
That’s why I believe that somehow, someway the GOP will find a way to keep Trump from potentially becoming our next president.
Yes, I honestly believe that there are more than just a few Republicans who would much rather see Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders win, regroup and take their chances again in 2020, than have Donald Trump represent that Republican party as our nation’e next president over the next four years.
If Trump were to win, it would tear the party apart – and they know it. Furthermore, the long-term damage he would do to the party might be something from which they never fully recover. While Republicans clearly want to win in 2016, I think the sane people running the party (yes, they do exist) are fully aware that no one election is worth potentially ruining the party for decades.
There are many ways they could go about trying to sabotage Trump, but a “brokered convention” or an all-out dark money campaign against him are the likely paths they would take. The brokered convention option where a candidate other than Trump ended up being chosen would almost certainly be the GOP admitting that they were handing the election to Democrats. Especially if there were signs that the RNC might have tried to steer the process toward a brokered convention in order to undermine Trump. While that would be the ultimate conspiracy theory, there are whispers out there that this could be a last-ditch effort to try to prevent Trump from becoming the party’s nominee.
For those who might not know, a brokered convention is where no candidate secures enough delegates to win the nomination outright, so they’re chosen at the party’s convention. This hasn’t happened in either party since 1952.
I think the most realistic option involves aggressive, underhanded attempts by big money Republican donors to try to take Trump out. While these will likely try to be disguised as attempts by these PACs and Super PACs to support another candidate, in reality they’d be an attempt to get someone – anyone – but Trump to represent the GOP.
However, the problem with all of this is that Trump can still very well run as an independent. I have no doubt that if he feels he loses the nomination because he was treated “unfairly,” he’ll mount an independent run if for no other reason than to “stick it” to the GOP.
Unless Trump self-implodes or drops out on his own, Republicans are either going to have to embrace him as their candidate – which obviously many of them do not want to do – or try to sabotage his campaign.
While I disagree with these folks on just about everything, they’re not stupid. Many of the voters to which they pander might be stupid, especially those who support Trump, but they know Trump as president would be a nightmare for Republicans and this country as a whole. I don’t doubt for a minute that many of them would rather spend the next four years preparing for 2020, than spend those years watching Donald Trump destroy the Republican party from within.
No matter what happens, the “rise of Donald Trump” might ultimately lead to the downfall of the Republican party.
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