I know, I know. We’ve been over this already. Yes, but it’s time to go over it again. The stakes have never been higher. We are about to choose our nominee. The two main criteria are these: 1) He must be one of us, and 2) He must have a reasonable chance of winning. Trump is neither. This is why I openly support the effort to free the delegates at the Convention.
Before you accuse me of being biased, let me save you the trouble with this full disclaimer: I am biased. Exceptionally biased. If you only knew how biased!
I’m biased against Trump because it has been my impression from day one that he is playing for the other side. He has supported and funded the very people who have wrecked my country. Not once or twice, but over and over, year after year. I’ve not forgiven him. But, of course, he never asked me to. He’s never claimed to be sorry. Instead, he doubled down and bragged that he funded the scoundrels who crammed Obamacare down our throats. And why? It was good for him personally, he says.
So desperately does Donald’s fragile ego need us to think he’s smart (or rich or great or a winner or whatever) he doesn’t realize how offended decent people are that he would boast of buying off politicians and hurting the country for personal gain. He is on the other side. Should we nominate someone who admits to golfing with Boehner? Someone who parties with the Clintons? Someone who chums with Chuckie Schumer?
Suppose you are on the board of a non-profit that provides services to Jewish children. Your organization is in search of a new executive director. Ronald Flump applies for the job and assures you in his interview that disadvantaged Jewish children have a special place in his heart. Wouldn’t it be natural for you to ask, “Mr. Flump, prior to applying for this position, where have you been involved in serving Jewish children? Have you volunteered at our summer camp? Helped with our fundraising? Marketing? Lobbying? Anything at all?” Nope, nope, nope. But he swears that though he’s never lifted a finger for your cause, he cares deeply and is the perfect person for the job. With the help of Google, you later discover that Mr. Flump is actually a longtime supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. I guess that’s when you shrug and say, “To be expected. He’s a businessman.”
How do people fall for this act? I shall never comprehend it. Do you remember Donald Trump saying much or doing much about illegal immigration or abortion or gun control or crony capitalism prior to June 2015? Did he use his considerable influence to advocate for military readiness or deficit reduction or border security? There’s a very simple explanation: He’s never cared about these things before and he doesn’t care now. I would bet my life savings against your Ulysses S. Grant that Donald Trump doesn’t mean a single thing he says when it comes to the wall, immigration, debt, making America great, Brexit/Scexit, taxes, his friend Hillary, his alter ego John Miller, health care, lobbyists, SCOTUS, the 7/11 tragedy, terrorism, David Duke, Mussolini, his hair, his faith, his commitment to the unborn, Trump University, the Second Amendment, women, minorities, Goldman Sachs. Nothing. Not a word. Not a syllable. Not a comma. He has proven over and over beyond any shadow of a doubt that his words are absolutely meaningless. Combine his lies with his criminal pride and greed and debauchery and we have one of the most despicable candidates ever to run for President. He’s so bad, he should be running as a Democrat. He is certainly not one of us.
Am I biased when I say the delegates need to jettison this con man, Donald Trump? You better believe it.
With that out of the way, I want to offer a case that could be made by any unbiased observer. Trump fails to meet the second criterion: the ability to win.
The RCP average speaks for itself and is a powerful argument against the likelihood of a Trump victory. We all know about Trump’s women problem. He’s dead to them. Latinos favor Hillary 74/16. Fivethirtyeight reported recently that Republicans are likely to lose white college grads for the first time in 60 years. Sure, a late Quinnipiac poll gives Trump a slight edge in Florida and Pennsylvania. That does little toward changing the overall picture. Gallup, as of last week, has Trump’s unfavorables nearly doubling his favorables.
Maybe the most devastating thing for Trump wishers is the fact that Trump seems to be doing nothing to reverse any of this. He doesn’t appear to have a staff. Last I checked, Hillary’s staff was 10 times that of Trump. He’s still AWOL in battleground states. He has no grassroots. His treasury looks like Liberia because people don’t want to dump their money down a hole. And, how can the donor situation be reversed when, if a recent Pew poll is correct, only 38% of the party can envision itself uniting behind Trump? Could that change if he’s nominated? Yes, but not enough and not in time I predict.
What about an event? Could Trump get a shot in the arm from a catastrophic event, namely a terrorist act on the scale of 9/11? Yes, in fact, more than a shot in the arm; it would probably propel him to victory. But, no one is hoping for that, nor should we nominate Trump on the expectation. There’s not a terrorist between here and Mecca who doesn’t want Hillary to become President.
There’s another factor that will likely drive Trump’s polling down even further in the coming months and no one is talking about it: the debates. Whether we want to admit it or not, Hillary is a skilled debater. She will mercilessly expose Trump as the know-nothing he is. And don’t expect a repeat of the circus act performances which allowed Trump to obscure his near total ignorance of all relevant matters outside the subject of his genitals. I’m not saying he won’t try. I’m saying the media and the moderators will not permit it this time around. Yes, they loved the ratings. This time, however, they have a job to do. They will dutifully perform it and ensure Hillary is crowned the queen of Washington next January. Maybe you are thinking he can just skip the debates like he did in the primaries. I doubt that can be done without significant damage to the perception of him as someone ready to take on the challenges of the Commander-in-Chief. And don’t be fooled by those who claim the debates don’t matter. They matter a lot.
I understand the phenomenon of believing what one wants to be true. I wish I could say I’m immune to it myself. None of us are. The fact is that those who insist Trump has a good chance of winning are either ignorant of the data or are intentionally suppressing it. I’m under no illusion that a replacement to Trump won’t face an enormous uphill challenge, and yet I submit to the reader that our only hope, however slight, of averting the national disaster of a Hillary presidency is for Cleveland to locate the eject button and launch Donald J. Trump into the middle of Lake Erie. He almost certainly cannot win in November (and possibly doesn’t even wish to win).
At this point, I won’t bother to say much about the down ballot. I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine what it will mean for voter turnout if we nominate someone who is universally hated for good reasons and bad by blacks, Hispanics, women, college-educated whites, Amish, Zoroastrians, and household pets. I’ll also leave it to the reader to consider how effective it will be for us to oppose Hillary’s radical leftist SCOTUS appointments with a minority in the Senate. A Trump nomination could be the end of our country as we know it. The last thing Hillary wants us to do is the very thing we must do: Dump her longtime friend and donor at the Convention.