And here we go again; another tale of the effects caused by the Republican party’s relentless internal warfare.
Donald Trump has been rising to the Republican nomination, bypassing all conceivable barriers the establishment, the media, and voices from the other side have set in front him. But his ascendency is derived more from a state of desperation to get this country on the right track. As conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly said back in December: Trump is the “last hope for America”, the person who could repair the “worst kind of betrayal” caused by the Republican party.
Consider. The GOP has been in the Legislative driver’s seat since 2014. They have had a year and a half’s worth of chances to distinguish themselves as the party that “got things done”, by way by passing loads of bills and slapping them on Barack Obama’s desk. The Republicans would have both looked like the good guys trying to do their job while also exposing the real root of Washington gridlock: ideology-based Obama obstructionism.
Yet they chose to not even turn on the ignition. Both the voters’ single-digit disapproval of Congress and well over half of them feeling betrayed by their own party are continuously evidenced in the latest of blowout Trump victories.
Not to mention this primary season’s debates featured some of the usual inter-candidate attacks, but more noticeably united attacks on Trump (interesting how when the GOP unites, it’s usually out of negativity or being against a cause). The ganging up is less out of disapproval for Trump’s policies but it is more the GOP establishment saving face without publically admitting failure. Republicans know deep down that they could have done way better, but now feel the need to make up for said failure by appealing harder to the mainstream, which only weakens the already divided party’s stance on issues.
And we must not forget Trump’s complete mow down of a whopping 16 candidates, which just adds insult to injury. With each primary election more and more campaigns were shut down, rejection of the establishment intensified, and the voice grew louder that Trump is the people’s guy whether the party likes it or not.
All of this is amidst a record number of votes being brought out by no one other than Trump himself. Who of those 16 other candidates, or frankly any other Republican, would have had a remote shot at winning states in the general election like Pennsylvania?
And yet, the GOP stops at nothing to prevent that from happening either. Albeit Trump is not the way they wanted to bring out the vote, these millions of new followers are ticking the boxes with the letter “R” regardless. Trump comes bearing bountiful gifts and the GOP slams the door in his face?
How inconceivable. What we have in Trump is the GOP’s saving grace: someone who is turning the dissatisfaction around, stands strongly for principles, can win states that the establishment would have previously thought unimaginable to secure, and millions of new voters. Trump’s reward? He gets labeled as a “phony” and a”fraud”.
The cherry on top of all this is that just a short while ago, a contested convention in Cleveland was to be guaranteed. Look at the Democrats’ side: their establishment (Clinton) is also failing to completely put away an insurgent socialist (Sanders), making that contested convention more likely to occur in Philadelphia now. The setup for the GOP just got a lot sweeter. Which party is truly divided at this stage?
The best analogy to illustrate the GOP is a Minnesota professional sports team. When they come close to winning, they blow it. Especially when a playoff run is on the line, they take extra steps to make sure they blow it. The Republicans had every opportunity to distinguish themselves as a pinnacle of anti-Obama hope in Washington and they chose to instead implode on each other’s varying ideologies.
Now when they are presented with the candidate who voters are uniting around (minus those pesky party bosses), putting up record numbers of votes, and campaigns with way less liabilities than both the Clintons have on their plates right now, the GOP does anything but embrace the lead they have after the 3rd quarter.
The general election is just around the corner, and so is the 4th quarter of the game. Let’s not blow the lead this time around.