Monday, June 20, 2016

We’re Stuck With Him

David Atkins has some bad news for us: Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee.

The reality remains that the GOP primary election proved that there is very little constituency left for a more subtly bigoted GOP that serves up supply-side ideology on behalf of the wealthy while expecting middle- and working-class Americans to suffer their own economic exploitation with pride on behalf of Burkeian principles. There are very few who want or believe in that version of the Republican Party anymore. Removing Trump as the nominee would guarantee him leading his flock to sabotage the GOP up and down the ballot with utterly disastrous consequences. Nor does the GOP have much hope of of mitigating Trump’s influence on women and minorities: the genie is already out of the bottle, and in Trump’s wake dozens more candidates like him will use his more openly xenophobic, economic populist approach to win GOP primaries all across the country.

As for Trump making a convenient exit himself? Unlikely. While the Donald does hate to lose, he can always go all the way into November, get a thumping from Clinton, and claim that the GOP establishment stabbed him in the back and denied him a chance at victory. He can then spend the rest of his life as a kingpin of sorts, conning his devoted Alt Right flock in any number of schemes to increase his wealth and influence. If he exits now, on the other hand, he’ll fade into a lesser version of Sarah Palin.

Mr. Trump is a creation of the Republican Party based on the constituency that they created out of the wreckage of the Reagan/Bush era: vengeful, recalcitrant, petulant, and fully incapable of allowing anyone else to share power or governance in any capacity other than their own kind.  They created him, and we have to live with him and the consequences, at least for now.

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