We have now reached the pinnacle of Donald Trump’s primary campaign. He is the only candidate left standing who can mathematically become the nominee on the first ballot of the Republican convention in July.
So why is it still so hard for so many Republicans to support him? Why does it feel downright dirty to even entertain the possibility of slapping a Trump bumper sticker on your car?
Going through the list of reasons why can be like banging your head against the wall.
He’s willing to raise taxes. He thinks he can order military men and women to engage in ISIS-like torture methods. He is utterly unable to defend the pro-life cause. He supports ethanol subsidies. He has given money to Planned Parenthood and Obamacare-supporting Democrats. He wants to change free speech laws to make it harder for people to criticize him. He supported both the bank and auto bailouts. The list goes on and on.
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Then, there are the character issues. “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted.” The steady stream of lawsuits he threatens. The false accusations of bribery. Sanctioning of violence at his rallies. The insults to women. The way his half-witted campaign goons run around like aspiring mob bosses.
Bang, bang, bang.
Someone put me out of my misery already.
And, maybe that’s the point.
There’s only one conclusion to draw from his behavior. (After I’m done wiping the blood off the wall from my own self-inflicted injuries, that is.) He doesn’t want help from committed conservatives. He’s making no effort to court them probably because he doesn’t want them. Why else would he skip CPAC? Or so many of the other activist-driven state party conventions where delegates are selected?
To him, the conservative organizations that have thrown their heart and soul behind elected Tea Party insurgents are just as bad as the Bush boys. The Club for Growth and the Republican National Committee are interchangeable. To him, they’re all part of the establishment and he’s ready to throw them all the hell out. Just forget them all.
Because it appears that Trump is attempting something much bigger than we ever imagined: to not only become the GOP’s presidential candidate, but to remake the party in his own image. A campaign devoid of policy is wholly driven by personality. The cult of Trump.
Trump’s Party will be just that: a gaudy and swanky affair populated by men in pinstripe suits and women in sequin gowns and fur stoles. You already know the type. They are the ones who always take special care to refer to him as “Mister Trump.”
No, President Trump won’t be much like Ronald Reagan; he would probably be a lot more like Lyndon Johnson.
Trump already displays base elements of what was known as the “Johnson treatment,” once described by a newspaper columnist as “an incredible, potent mixture of persuasion, badgering, flattery, threats, reminders of past favors and future advantages.”
There’s no room in the Trump Party for the conservative activists who believe in the quaint principles of liberty with those silly tri-corner hats. It’s all about Trump’s ego and the deals he makes. Trump’s surrogates are openly telling Ted Cruz and his grassroots supporters to pack it up and go home. Get out.
So, if Trump wins the nomination, he can go right ahead and have his party. Live it up this summer, Trumpers.
By all predictive measures, it will be the farewell tour for the GOP. A last big luxurious hurrah before we lose the White House for another four years.
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
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