By Sharon Jones
The chances of Donald Trump acquiring enough delegates to claim the Republican nomination keep going up. While in a hard fight with Ted Cruz and taking longer than any front runner of any prior Republican nomination season to get to 50% of the delegates, the odds favor Trump at about 80% likelihood of a win.
The Republican establishment desperately wants to field a candidate that doesn’t have the potential to erupt at any moment and cost them the Senate and quite possibly the House. They see Trump as too unpredictable and able to tear the party apart once he is in the general election as their nominee. The fact that he only marginally reflects their values is another problem entirely.
Currently, 50% of the Republican electorate does not wish to see a Republican National Convention that is undecided or becomes a brokered convention. The Republican establishment is now thrust into a poker game with a pair of 9’s while Trump is throwing in chips like he has pocket aces. Do they keep playing or do they fold?
At this point, it is certain that if Donald Trump doesn’t get his way, he will go the route of a third party run and fracture the Republican Party even more. The only strategy left for the establishment is the lesser of two evils and that is to acquiesce and accept.
All the Party can do once Trump has the needed delegates is throw their weight begrudgingly behind him and present no further impediments to the nomination. Their best hope at this point is that he loses to Hilary Clinton and gives them something to rally around. Sure, they could lose the Senate in the process but there are always the mid-terms. Their voters have short memories and might eventually let the whole Tump debacle pass while worrying about the new taker of guns in the Whitehouse.
It is a tradeoff situation with no good outcomes. Fight him now and fracture the party. Have him win the Whitehouse and destroy the party entirely. Accepting him and hoping for the loss is the best strategy left.
It sounds insane to want your nominee to lose so why is that the strategy they should take?
If Trump were to win, his ego and unpredictability could push moderate Republicans away completely. A disastrous Presidency of destroying international relations and committing war crimes would give the Democrats far more to rally against than a relatively boring Hillary Clinton Presidency gives the Republicans. At a minimum, once Hillary enters the White House, conservative pundits have a new, evil President to construct a communist conspiracy theory around.
A little backroom dealing with Hillary might even get some things done. She knows how to deal and the Republican Party is in desperate need of an image that gets something done. After years of voting 62 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act while doing nothing on immigration or jobs, taking a position of dealing with the President (at least quietly), might be good for their image.
Donald Trump may be running as a Republican, but can anyone imagine him compromising with anyone?
4 years of buffoonery, ego and misogyny would be the end of the Republican Party. That there would be dramatic infighting within the party itself during this period, would tarnish the brand beyond repair. While the establishment might not consider Trump a Republican, that doesn’t matter to the voters that saw him win as one. If it seems like minorities are being alienated by Trump now, 4 years of him as President would ensure they never vote Republican.
Between his promises of a huge wall, deportation of illegals, bombing innocents in Syria, the return of waterboarding and the potential for continued tweets against Megyn Kelly, it would be 4 years of pure disaster. Add in all of the things that Trump was waivered on or is yet to define his position on, and it would certainly be the most unpredictable and disastrous 4 years in the history of the Presidency. Once Melania Trump announces a school nutrition plan that involves caviar and truffles, and the U.S. becomes the laughing stock of the world.
A Republican establishment that is exercising smart strategy (if they can actually do so), will have to realize that the action now is one thing and the reaction later is totally another. That later reaction could sting far worse. Their best hope at this time is to acquiesce, accept and honestly hope he loses.
So Republicans, please go read the Tao te Ching, let go and hope that Hillary wins.
Sharon Jones is a contributor to zenruption and has her degree in political science. She frequently writes for our politics and life sections. Lately, she has been studying sociopathic behavior. We assume a certain Presidential candidate prompted this.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license