Donald Trump could help himself with GOP voters by taking a pledge to do whatever it takes to defeat Hillary Clinton
If Republican insiders have their way, they will stick the GOP with another “electable” and bland candidate along the lines of Mitt Romney or Bob Dole or John McCain—all candidates that were more connected with Republican leadership than with the electorate.
We all know how those nominees turned out.
We all remember how they were on the hustings.
Donald Trump has plenty of liabilities. There are legitimate questions to ask, and there are legitimate arguments against him being the Republican nominee. However, all the worry about Donald Trump comes off as weakness.
Weakness and a failure to trust voters.
The attempt to foist a GOP-style political correctness also indicates something else.
All this rushing to protect a “lady” against Donald Trump’s scornful remarks is nutty. First, Megyn Kelly can take care of herself as she ably demonstrated during the GOP debate. Second, it comes off as the political methods better suited to Democrats with their identity politics. While effective, it highlights a growing rift between mass and elite in the GOP.
Are Republican leaders and activists convinced that GOP voters are all nativist, misogynists and racists who can’t be trusted to make the right decision in their respective primaries or caucus? That seems to be their operative thesis at this moment. Why else are they calling Trump such names and trying to ban him from events and debates? You either trust your fellow Republicans or you don’t.
If you trust them, then it is best to follow Thomas Jefferson’s advice about competing ideas, “Let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”
If you don’t trust Republican primary voters, then maybe you better find another party.
There is a significant portion of Republican voters who view Trump as a way to disrupt the political process that has through Democratic and Republican presidencies pushed the country further down the path of debt and decay.
These voters are looking for plain talk about today’s problems, and a chance to reclaim the country’s leadership from a culture of drift. These voters are most concerned with getting things accomplished to stem the series of failures that have contributed to the drift in economic matters, culture and foreign policy.
Maybe this is exactly what the GOP opinion leaders need a lesson that even the Tea Party failed to deliver.
One area where Fox News landed a significant blow to Trump is in the realm of a Third Party run.
Such a run would likely weaken or eliminate the GOP’s chances of winning the general election. Trump answered the Fox News question in his usual way. However, maybe there is a better solution for Trump.
Trump could inoculate himself against such criticism while keeping open his “leverage” against the GOP. Trump should pledge to do whatever it takes to keep Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency.
Such a pledge would allow him significant wiggle room in keeping the pledge, while silencing most of the criticism—criticism that right now is mostly coming from Republican opinion leaders, but could filter down to primary voters the longer Trump allows this concern to linger.
Whatever happens, this is already the most interesting GOP nomination fight since Ronald Reagan earned the nomination to stand in the 1980 election.