With Donald Trump the heir apparent for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio out of the running after a defeat in his home state, and the statistical impossibility of John Kasich, who remains in the race for no better reason than to siphon votes away from Trump, we are likely witnessing the death throes of the Republican Party, as we know it. The GOP hasn’t been this badly shaken since Ronald Reagan took command of the mighty elephant.
There was a time when there was such an animal as a pro-abortion Republican. They occupied the same political space as John McCain, reaching across the aisle and begging to make friends with Democrats. So much so, that it was often difficult to tell one party from the other. Ronnie put his foot down and declared a basic tenant of Republicanism, among others, as being anti-abortion, much the same way abolitionism was a founding principle in 1854.
Ronald Reagan booted out the soft-cheese Republicans, and now, Donald Trump is doing the same thing.
Well, maybe not booting them out, so much as redefining the GOP.
Donald Trump is far from a perfect candidate. He probably won’t make a terribly good president, but he possesses the one thing of which the United States is sorely in need.
Despite portrayals in the media to the contrary, America still has a very substantial percentage of rough men who drink domestic beer, habitually carry a knife, and dip tobacco. This isn’t to say they are cruel, stupid, or violent. Quite the contrary. These men with the hardest of hands often have the softest of hearts. And there are huge swathes of women who stand beside these men and cheer them on.
They are people who would rather live their lives spending time with family than marching on behalf of dead criminals or picketing WalMart for having the temerity to make their lives better by offering consumer goods at low prices.
If it weren’t for WalMart and China, I wouldn’t be able to afford half the things in my house.
These men and women are the silenced majority that has been beaten down by buffoons with overpriced educations and over-sized senses of entitlement day after day after day for most of their lives.
And now, a champion arrives. A man, who despite being a Yankee and therefore suspect, speaks their language. A man who is neither afraid to curse nor insult an enemy. Finally, a candidate who doesn’t cower and immediately apologize when the opposition yells at him.
Oddly enough, the same “spit in your eye” attitude Trump supporters love about The Donald is what attracts Bernie Sanders’ supporters to him. Their worldview is completely backward and their understanding of economics is non-existent, but I’m talking about the “why,” as opposed to the “how.”
Despite Bernie squeaking out a surprise victory in Michigan this week, I get the sense that Hillary won’t take it laying down. The Clinton machine is simply too big, too well connected, and owed too many favors to not come out on top in the Democrat primary. Whether it is by a straightforward win at the ballot box or shenanigans at the convention, Hillary will be the Democrats’ horse in November.
If Bernie had any brains, he’d keep fighting up to the convention and cut a deal where he is picked as VP.
Sanders would be able to bring all those young girls the femi-hags are lamenting the loss of. He would also drag along their pussy whipped boyfriends. With the main event between Hillary and Bernie, who else is there for a Democrat to vote for in a primary?
But, nobody ever accused Bernie of being smart.
Trump is a little trickier. Short of garnering a vote percentage akin to a banana republic dictator, there will likely be wheeling and dealing in Cleveland. I doubt The Donald will allow himself to be cut out easily, but the possibility exists Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, and all the Republicans who have something to lose, which is all of them, will manage to broker the convention.
Fellow Republicans, desperate at the prospect of the hoi polloi actually having a say in how they are governed, will be hectoring Trump and involved in chicanery the moment the convention beings, but Donald is accustomed to playing by big boy rules and knows he has the high ground.
Despite their pledges to support the eventual nominee, nobody ever said anything about stacking the convention deck, so that Trump isn’t nominated.
Trump recently made the same pledge, too. However, he made that pledge from a position of strength. I suspect that not being the Republican nominee will be ample evidence to Trump that he was the victim of a conspiracy.
The only way that feeling would be inaccurate is that conspiracies are covert by nature.
When the two guys nearest you in the race begin flinging ad hominem attacks and behave like the pearl-clutching Liberals that Republicans are supposed to oppose by shouting accusations of “racist,” “bigot,” “homophobe,” etc., it’s proof positive that The Donald has them on the ropes.
You know you’re winning when your opponents not only join forces against you, but the best counter-arguments they can come up with is that you’re an asshole.
The “Republicans who won’t vote for Trump, even if he is the nominee” crowd is fairly vocal, but I wonder exactly what their plans are when Trump is put up as the GOP pick? Do they vote Democrat out of spite? Do they write in their pick?
They could try to convince Rubio or Cruz to break from the mother ship and run as a third-party. However, in addition to ruining his chances of ever being elected to anything again, both men know how splitting a part works out. It guarantees the other side wins. The “anybody but Trump” Republicans will have to swallow their pride and vote for The Donald or face another four years under a Democrat.
But the nuclear option would be viable for Donald Trump, if he is aced out of the nomination.
Jettisoning from the Republican Party and running for president as an Independent is only part of the Trump Nuclear Option, and he is uniquely placed to do it. The second part seems counter-intuitive, at first.
Draft Bernie Sanders to be vice-president.
Bernie Sanders may not understand how a checkbook works, but being a politician, he understands winning. Politicians campaign for office with the intent of winning. To say otherwise, in inane. A politician who says he doesn’t care whether he wins or loses is lying, as politicians tend to do.
That would be like buying a lottery ticket expecting that the money is squandered. Of course, the goal is to hit the jackpot. That’s the entire point and the expectation of playing in the first place. Saying anything else is sour grapes.
Bernie supporters are no smarter than the man they idolize, and would follow him like sheep.
Why should they be expected to do anything they haven’t been doing all along?
As much as the idea of a Trump-Sanders ticket might cause supporters of both to throw up a little into their mouths, remember that it is not unheard of for a presidential candidate to team up with a seeming ideological opponent for the sake of garnering a demographic he lacks.
Both Lincoln and Kennedy picked their respective Johnsons to bring them the Southern Vote.
Trump haters can take solace in hope of a continued pattern in the ultimate fate of the nominee in such a political marriage, but I believe it has more to do with the name “Johnson.”
Thinking more broadly, many a presidential nominee was not exactly the best of buddies with his running mate. Reagan comes to mind. Rumor has it, he and Bush Forty-One weren’t in the same room more than a handful of times over the eight years Reagan occupied the White House.
Deep down, I suspect Bernie knows he isn’t cut out to weather the storm of presidency lashed to the mast, and would be much happier in the all-smoke-but-no-fire life of a vice-president. Bernie could maintain his fawning fan base, while presenting Trump as the foil. Not to mention that even campaigning, Sanders looks like he is continually on the verge of a stroke. I doubt he would survive four years suffering the slings and arrows of national leadership.
Socialism always works better when it has an incumbent to rail against because it fails so abysmally in practice.
I’m sure that over the years Trump has gotten into far stranger beds with more cantankerous business partners than Bernie Sanders.
Trump recognizes a win-win solution when he sees one. Under circumstances of neither he nor Sanders being anointed as nominee for his party, this arguably last-ditch effort is a reasonable strategy for two men whose goal is victory.
Trump wants to be President. Sanders wants to change America, but he sure can’t do it sitting in his Senate seat. A far more significant benefit for the nation, assuming Trump can lure Bernie into a partnership, is showing the political establishment on both sides of the aisle that their grip on power is tenuous and they will be punished for ignoring too many of their constituents.
At the very least, such a union would reshape the fundamental nature of the Republican Party and align it more closely to how everyday conservatives in flyover country believe. Which is what the current crop of second place finishers claim to represent. And if it ultimately destroys one or both of the parties, that’s fine, too. Both lost touch with reality a long time ago.
Sometimes, you just have to let Rome burn. Nero did the right thing.
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