Quote of the Day: How Should the RNC Handle Trump?
Quote of the Day: How Should the RNC Handle Trump?
As we get closer to the end of primary season, everyone is questioning what we do now. Donald Trump looks very likely to be the nominee, though the race is far from over. But the what-ifs are flying. What if he sweeps Ohio and Florida? What if Cruz can’t stop him? What if Trump gets the majority of delegates? What do we do then? Everyone has an opinion about whether or not the Republican party should stand behind Trump. According to Ross Douthat, the answer is no.
Trump, though, is cut from a very different cloth. He’s an authoritarian, not an ideologue, and his antecedents aren’t Goldwater or McGovern; they’re figures like George Wallace and Huey Long, with a side of the fictional Buzz Windrip from Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” No modern political party has nominated a candidate like this; no serious political party ever should.
… A man so transparently unfit for office should not be placed before the American people as a candidate for president under any kind of imprimatur save his own. And there is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party.
What Trump has demonstrated is that in our present cultural environment, and in the Republican Party’s present state of bankruptcy, the first lines of defense against a demagogue no longer hold. Because he’s loud and rich and famous, because he’s run his campaign like a reality TV show, because he’s horribly compelling, and, yes, sometimes even right, Trump has come this far without many endorsements or institutional support, without much in the way of a normal organization, clearing hurdle after hurdle where people expected him to fall.
But the party’s convention rules, in all their anachronistic, undemocratic and highly-negotiable intricacy, are also a line of defense, also a hurdle, also a place where a man unfit for office can be turned aside.
So in Cleveland this summer, the men and women of the Republican Party may face a straightforward choice: Betray the large minority of Republicans who cast their votes for Trump, or betray their obligations to their country.
The RNC will have a choice to make in June. And it’s undoubtedly a tough one. But frankly, the answer is obvious: they cannot allow Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for president.
First, we know that if Trump is the nominee, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will win. Every single poll has showed Trump losing a huge, embarrassing loss to either one of them. (Conversely, Rubio and Cruz both poll as beating Clinton and Sanders.) It’s insane that we have two such unlikable candidates on the Democratic side — Clinton and Sanders — that possibly may win the presidential election, solely because a vocal minority of Republicans have lost their minds and decided to stand behind a loud, crude, unprofessional, thin-skinned, narcissistic orange man with stubby fingers and a penchant for admiring dictators. It is hard to believe, because this election should have been a cakewalk for Republicans. Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee, and she would be easy to beat. The dirt on her is a mile long. But then, along came Trump and his band of low-information voters who treat the presidential election like The Apprentice: Oval Office, and everything changed.
The reality of the situation is, the majority of Republicans — the majority of Americans — do not support Donald Trump. He’s the most polarizing and least-liked politician ever. Should the RNC force all of us to accept a Trump nomination (and therefore, a Hillary presidency) because a small group of people have gone temporarily insane? Even if we were to accept that Trump would win the presidency, it’s safe to say that he would cause fundamental harm to the country. Leave aside the fact that no one knows what he actually stands for, so we don’t know who he’ll side with once he’s used his gullible followers to get where he wants to be. Everything in Trump’s history suggests that he’ll stab them in the back and go right back to who he’s always been: pro-abortion, pro-illegal immigration, entrenched with the establishment, abuser of government power, best friends with the Clintons. But even if we ignore all of that, there is so much to be worried about with a Trump presidency. He openly talks about admiring dictators like Vladimir Putin. He threatens our constitutionally protected freedoms like freedom of press and freedom to assemble. He encourages violence towards those who speak out against him. Donald Trump is a narcissist who has always made it very clear that he is out for no one but himself. He will make Obama’s abuses of power look like child’s play. And the most pathetic part is, he’s a coward deep down who can’t even handle being asked tough questions by an American news anchor. He’s a man who allows white supremacists, the KKK, and unabashed racists to not only associate with him, but to have a platform to spew their hatred and evil. At a time when the country is more divided than it ever has been, Donald Trump doesn’t seek to unite us, but to further divide us by feeding into anger and discord.
Given that, how can the RNC give him the nomination? There’s another option at the end of all of this, and that’s for Reince Priebus and the RNC to simply refuse Trump the nomination. Yes, he’ll loudly complain about how unfair it is. Yes, he’ll threaten a third-party run. (Hint: he can’t afford a third-party run.) But hearing Donald Trump and his band of merry idiots caterwaul for a few months is a fair price to pay, considering the alternative. This is the party of Lincoln, with people who fought tooth and nail for civil rights. This is the party that supports our military, that defends life, and rises above the crudeness and insults of liberals. In short, it’s everything that Donald Trump isn’t. If Priebus wants any chance at maintaining what little integrity the Republican party has left, not to mention putting the country back on the right path, then he won’t allow the RNC to name Donald Trump as the nominee in June.