In case of Trump nomination, break glass

Condensed from http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/04/28/case-trump-nomination-break-glass/83659112/

George F. Will 3:13 p.m. EDT April 28, 2016

Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislings will multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction. For example, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s ignominious straddle during his state’s primary — agnosticism about Trump’s serial absurdities and indecencies — perhaps served his re-election prospects but certainly made his former conservative admirers consider his continuance in office unimportant.

Ted Cruz’s announcement of his preferred running mate has enhanced the nomination process by giving voters pertinent information. [Voters] already know the only important thing about Trump’s choice: His running mate will be unqualified for high office because he or she will think Trump is qualified.

* * *

Republican voters, particularly in Indiana and California, can, by supporting Cruz, make the Republican convention a deliberative body rather than one that merely ratifies decisions made elsewhere, some of them six months earlier. Republicans should understand that Trump would be the most unpopular nominee ever, unable to even come close to matching Mitt Romney’s support among women, minorities and young people. In losing disastrously, Trump might create down-ballot carnage sufficient to end even Republican control of the House: Ticket splitting is becoming rare in polarized America: In 2012, only 5.7 percent of voters supported a presidential candidate and a congressional candidate of opposite parties.

At least half a dozen Republican senators seeking re-election and Senate aspirants can hope to win if the person at top of the Republican ticket loses their state by, say, only four points, but not if he loses by 10. A Democratic Senate probably would guarantee a Supreme Court with a liberal cast for a generation. If Clinton is inaugurated next Jan. 20, Merrick Garland probably will already be on the court — confirmed in a lame duck Senate session — and justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer will be 83, 80 and 78, respectively.

The minority of people who pay close attention to politics includes those who define an ideal political outcome and pursue it, and those who focus on the worst possible outcome and strive to avoid it. The former experience the excitements of utopianism, the latter settle for prudence’s mild pleasure of avoiding disappointed dreams. Both sensibilities have their uses, but this is a time for prudence, which demands the prevention of a Trump presidency.

Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One is to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow a saving remnant of senators, representatives, governors and state legislators.

* * *

If Trump is nominated, Republicans working to purge him and his manner from public life will reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of their 162-year-old party while working to see that they forgo only four years of the enjoyment of executive power. Six times since 1945 a party has tried, and five times failed, to secure a third consecutive presidential term. The one success — the Republicans’ 1988 election of George H.W. Bush — produced a one-term president. If Clinton gives her party its first 12 consecutive White House years, Republicans can help Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, or someone else who has honorably recoiled from Trump, confine her to a single term.

Advertisements
Published in: on April 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://douglassbartley.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/in-case-of-trump-nomination-break-glass/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: