Saturday, March 5, 2016

When to stop Trump

The rise and rise of Donald Trump has clearly unnerved the Republican Party's leadership. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose stars have clearly set but who holds some sway nonetheless, took out a blistering attack on him, while the GOP's brightest star, Speaker Paul Ryan, has given enough indication that he considers Trump unfit for the nomination. Ads are now coming out against him, and Ted Cruz seems to be stealing his thunder (CBS has projected that he will win the Kansas caucus). Some would say that this was well overdue, and that people like Paul LePage and Chris Christie have made grave mistakes in endorsing him, while others would advocate more sober means.

Either way, one thing is clear: the Trump juggernaut is going to be very hard to stop, and the party leadership is going to have to dig deep, and dig fast. Because if there is one thing that will guarantee a Democratic victory in November, it is a so-called brokered convention, which is a nice way of saying that registered Republicans' views would be ignored and that the party would have its way. There is some talk of this already in GOP circles, and it is dangerous. Trump might be crazy (according to the liberal media), but he represents a strong discontent against the Washington cabal, and if that group manages to take over the convention and force their candidate through, the Republicans can kiss the White House and the Supreme Court goodbye for a long time. The stakes are very high.

Which is why the leadership must act now, and act fast. If Trump reaches the half-way mark, there is no turning back for the party - he will have to be the nominee. If he has a plurality as well, it will be difficult to engineer his loss at the convention. Therefore, the only way to stop him is to prop up one of the candidates and hope they can win all the contests left, especially the big ones (California, Illinois, New York, etc.). Ted Cruz, who already won Texas, seems to be the best bet, but we'll have to wait for Florida to confirm that. If the party cannot stop Trump now, it will be unable to in the future, and then it will have to rally around him and hope that he can win the White House. That is a pretty big thing to hope for. 

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