The other day I described Donald Trump as skin cancer. At first he was just a little bump, nothing anyone within the Republican party took too seriously. They assumed that after a while he would fade away and they wouldn’t have to worry about him anymore. After a while, he grew; still, party leaders dismissed him as nothing but a mole or a wart that wasn’t cause for concern. After all, someone like Trump couldn’t really be a threat – it’s Donald freaking Trump for Christ’s sake. But next thing you know, someone points out to you that the spot you’ve dismissed as nothing looks dangerous and you should really do something about it. Even with those warnings, Republicans seemingly dismissed Trump as nothing but a benign blemish – they’d be fine.
Then Super Tuesday came. That was the night Trump cemented his place as the overwhelming frontrunner for the presidential nomination. Suddenly that “bump” became a huge concern the GOP needed to address.
The problem is, by that point, they had waited too long. That blemish which had been dismissed for months was, in fact, a very dangerous cancer that’s now threatening to kill the entire party.
After Trump’s huge wins on Tuesday (4 out of 5 states), there’s really no denying the fact that, at the very least, this nomination process is going all the way to the convention in Cleveland. At that point, Republicans would either have to nominate Trump at the convention or effectively “steal” it away from him
There’s no “bright side” to any of this for the Republican party. Because it’s not just Trump that’s currently screwing the party – it’s the fact that someone even worse than “The Donald,” Sen. Ted Cruz, is firmly in second place.
As it stands now, two men who are absolutely despised by the party are the two leading Republican presidential candidates.
So, if this thing goes all the way to the convention, and party leaders decide to go with someone other than Trump or Cruz (which is likely what they would do), then you would ultimately tick off two groups of supporters – one of which has proven to be fanatical and violent. To say nothing about the fact that Trump could respond by running as an independent, which would almost certainly lead to a huge number of supporters voting for him in the general election.
Then we can’t forget about how many of those who support Trump (and even Cruz) already feel that the GOP has “sold them out.” So, if the party leadership bypassed both leading candidates who’ve been running on a platform of “being an anti-establishment outsider” – it’s very likely that we would see a full-on revolt among conservatives in this country. I really wouldn’t be shocked to see extremely violent protests and riots. These are conservative voters, after all. These folks have a history of being very angry, very hostile and extremely paranoid.
But even if Trump wins the nomination outright and the party embraces his nomination, he’s still going to rip apart the party. Once Trump has the nomination, the gloves are coming off. You think he’s been bombastic and vile now? Just wait until he’s locked in to the GOP nomination where the party can’t really do anything to stop him. Right now, technically, they still have some leverage. Believe it or not, I do think he’s being more tame than he will if he becomes the nominee.
At this point, the GOP really only has about three options, and none of them are good:
- Embrace Donald Trump as the nominee.
- Force the nomination to the convention and “steal” it from him.
- Run a third-party candidate in the general election hoping to sabotage his chances of winning in an effort to keep him from representing your party for four years.
Because it’s clear now, Trump’s not going anywhere. While they’ve most definitely stepped up the attacks over the last few weeks, they waited too long. Donald Trump became too popular, built up too big of a following and seemingly no matter what people say about him – it only serves to galvanize his supporters.
The establishment GOP tried Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – two men who both were crushed by Trump. Their only real “hope” left is John Kasich, someone who, at this point, has been mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright. For him to become the nominee would require the process to go all the way to the convention.
While I’m extremely curious to see how this all plays out (even though that likely means months and months of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz being on television), I don’t see any possible way this ends well for the Republican party. I really do think we’re witnessing the end of the GOP as we all know it.
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