Given the outcome of primaries in New York and the rest of the Northeast, a vote for either Cruz or Kasich is a vote for defeat in November. With neither one able to capture the popular vote, and with a clear majority supporting Trump going into the convention, any effort to keep Trump from the nomination will cause a mass exodus from the party of its new heart and soul, the millions of previously disaffected voters who are drawn by Trump’s anti-establishment message. It is now time for sober realism: If Trump is not the Republican nominee, it is highly unlikely that a Republican will be elected President. The effort to stop Trump is worse than futile, it is self-destructive.
Unable to win a majority of their own party, Cruz and Kasich cannot hope to create that party unity necessary to assure victory in the Fall. Instead of investing in an effort to derail the popular favorite through some sort of authoritarian ouster at the convention, party leaders should mend fences with Trump and provide assurance that they will support him as the popular favorite. Doing so will pay dividends, as they will have a greater chance of achieving party unity needed to win in the general election and a more receptive audience in a Trump white house.
Gone are the days preceding the early Twentieth Century when backroom deals could upset popular will at the nominating conventions and those responsible not be made to account. Instantaneous news brings with it immediate information on the machinations underway and will provide convincing evidence that the Republican Party has betrayed its electorate if Trump is not chosen. That would be a major mistake with lasting consequences for the GOP.
The differences party leaders have with Trump are in truth not based on policy. These same leaders have embraced liberal positions by past Republican standard bearers without uttering a peep of dissent. Richard Nixon advocated wage and price controls, a draconian measure offensive to everyone who favors a free market. George Bush advocated Medicare Part D, one of the largest expansions of Medicare in the nation’s history. Mitt Romney authored the precursor to Obamacare in Massachusetts. Despite all of those gross deviations from conservative ideology, none suffered rebuke from party leaders. Indeed, all were embraced. The key difference with Trump is that he cannot be controlled and is averse to the exercise of influence at the expense of free enterprise and the American people.
That means Trump will not be persuaded to pressure the bureaucracy and Congress to maintain or adopt new anti-competitive measures beneficial from one industry over another. The inside line many depend upon, that justifies the employment of so many K Street lobbyists, is not available with Trump. Indeed, he has condemned that inside line and has no interest in being anyone’s patsy. He cannot be bought. It is that, rather than a supposed lack of ideological purity, that is ultimately behind all efforts to thwart democracy and engineer a convention coup to take from Trump the mantle he has earned in popular votes.
If instead of working feverishly and devoting millions of dollars to accomplish the undoing of Trump and thereby make Republican defeat in November a sure thing (a quest that is worse than futile, a quest that is self-destructive), party leaders should swallow their pride, make amends with Trump, and offer all the help they can to support his candidacy and defeat his opponent.
Sadly, certain Republican leaders aligned against Trump may actually prefer Clinton over him, precisely because Clinton has a long history of fraternization with industry and a strong desire to line her political pockets with money from special interests, facts exploited to his advantage by Bernie Sanders. Despite her far left rhetoric, Clinton does indeed have an affinity for politically concocted financial deals, deals that benefit her, her family, and those who lobby her. But betting on Hillary is a very risky option even for those who embrace greed at the expense of principle and the nation. Hillary will likely be indicted before the November elections, leaving open the prospect for another, perhaps Sanders, perhaps Biden, perhaps someone else.
Lest they forget, while Trump will not sell out the country for the sake of one pol or another, he will forge open new markets and protect America’s financial interests around the world. Although those who have depended on easy wealth from barriers to competition may dislike the new, pro-competitive approach, it promises to help stem the movement toward national insolvency, unfetter free enterprise, and rebuild an opportunity economy. That will lift all boats.
While regulatory barriers to competition, heavy taxation, and redistribution of wealth bring down what is above; breaking down barriers to competition, lowering taxation, and allowing greater wealth accumulation raise up what is below, as history teaches.
On balance, therefore, rather than commit political suicide, or form a pact with the devil in the form of Hillary Clinton, Republican leaders should accept the will of the majority, embrace Trump as the standard bearer, and get to work uniting the party behind him and electing him president.
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