There have been arguments being made lately that Donald Trump needs Republicans to support him even if they don’t like him for the sake of party unity. The theory is that if he loses the nomination through delegate “tricks” at the convention, that the party will split and completely implode.
It’s a semi-logical argument; if the guy with the most votes gets bypassed, millions of Republicans will be angry. Many will not vote at all or even (God forbid) vote for Hillary Clinton over Ted Cruz out of spite. This is true. What Trump has done is generate a tremendous fan base that believes he is their political savior. It won’t be a complete fissure as Trump supporters have threatened, but it will make Cruz’s path to the White House more difficult.
If Trump loses the nomination, he isn’t going to go away as he claims. The end game from the beginning was that he would build up enough popularity to be a true political power broker in a similar fashion that Sarah Palin rose to prominence after losing in 2008. The difference is that Trump’s influence would be exponentially higher.
Many have speculated that he never wanted to be President but wanted to go out as a winner beaten by a corrupt system so his power base would increase. I don’t subscribe to this completely. To me, he wanted to be President, but his juicy consolation prize was wielding the power over millions of supporters who took his queues. Politicians who wanted to win would have to kiss his ring and make backroom promises before he’d point his minions in their direction.
With that understood, let’s look at the four possible scenarios:
Scenario 1: Cruz Wins a Contested Convention and Loses to Clinton
This is what Trump will try to make happen if he loses the nomination. A good number of his supporters, many of whom had Cruz as their second choice before Trump went to war with him, will still vote for Cruz over Clinton.
In this scenario, the party will be splintered after the convention, but it won’t last long enough to hurt the 2020 challenger. Trump won’t run, but he’ll likely be able to hand-pick the nominee. Ivanka?
The silver lining to this scenario is that there’s a much better chance of retaining control of the Senate and almost certainly the House.
Scenario 2: Trump Wins the Nomination Outright and Loses to Clinton
It’s what many Republicans consider to be the worst case scenario. It’s not, but it’s pretty bad. Not only would we be replacing one of the worst Presidents in history with someone who would be even more dangerous, but we’d also be giving her control of the Senate for certain and possibly even the House.
That party unity that some Republicans are touting… gone. The finger pointing will be riotous. Today, the spin in the media favors Trump over Cruz, but if Trump wins the nomination, the news bias will reverse. To fight it, Trump will “evolve” on many of the issues to try to work his polling numbers up. This shift to the left (which is already happening) will be pronounced and pundits who support him today will be urging him to keep his faux-conservative principles up. He won’t.
Scenario 3: Cruz Wins a Contested Convention and Beats Clinton
This is the best case scenario, of course. Trump will still have his power base formed, but it will be weakened and he’ll likely get bored. Again, we keep the House and possibly the Senate.
Life would be good in America again.
Scenario 4: Trump Wins the Nomination Outright and Beats Clinton
Remember when I said that Trump losing to Clinton wouldn’t be the worst case scenario? This is the worst case scenario. I’ll explain.
The benefit of having a “Republican” in the White House will be completely wiped out by his incompetence. Even if we dismiss his liberal tendencies and progressive policy proposals, it will be his unfitness to be President that could represent the short-term downfall of America.
The Republican party will require a very long time to recover. Voters will always remember the debacle that was created the last time a Republican was in the White House. All of this can be fixed, but there’s something worse.
Because of the passion that he’s been able to generate for his candidacy, a victory will lead to one thing: disillusionment among his supporters. When they see the demigod they worshiped being completely ineffective at delivering on his promises, they’ll grow discouraged. When they feel the effects of the economy that he creates with the policies he’s able to muscle through, they’ll be lost. It will be a generational loss; children of those supporters betrayed by Trump will be much easier to indoctrinate into the progressive way of thinking because their conservative parents were so wrong to support Trump.
This isn’t just the ranting of a Cruz supporter. There is history to support the notion. Every time Trump has ventured into a realm outside of real estate and entertainment, he has utterly failed. Many believed in him with Trump Air, Trump Mortgage, Trump University, Trump Network, the USFL, and literally dozens of other ventures. The damage he’s left in his wake after delivering masterful sales pitches has hurt thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people. Now, the stakes are in the millions.
If his ideas and leadership failed so badly before, why do people believe that running the United States of America will somehow be easier? If he wasn’t born into a real estate empire, would he have been able to work his way up to this level based upon his sales skills alone?
Donald Trump represents more than a defeat in November. He is an existential threat to both the party and the country itself. None of this will penetrate through the spell that has been cast on his supporters, but to those who have yet to decide, it’s time to examine the entire situation before making a poor decision.