There are over 100 delegates up for grabs today, as voting in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii begins. And, as is his way, Trump has been adamant the only state that matters is Michigan (plot twist: he’s polling far ahead in that state). Of course, this is nothing more than his preference for used-car-salesman tactics. “Everyone knows that the hottest, best-selling, sexiest car on the road — the one that’ll have all the ladies begging for a ride — is the Mitsubishi Lancer*. Cruz and Rubio don’t know that and are trying to sell you a Mercedes or an Audi. Losers. They should drop out.”
And people are showing up to the lot and driving away in the Lancer. No one could have predicted the voting public’s desire for a not-terribly-attractive, less-than-reliable new car that looks a lot like a 70s model and probably runs like it, too.
And yet, as the pundits have been (sometimes gleefully) reporting (job security and all that), the GOP race, if Rubio and Cruz (I don’t like to talk about Kasich) stay in the race and keep racking up delegates, could go to a brokered convention. And all those Lancer drivers are going to be SO MAD the GOP will fracture and split and the fabric of the party will never survive the tear.
In short, the pundits are sure there’s a civil war coming within the ranks of the GOP. And, frankly, there may well be. I say: let it come. But let me tell you why…
Donald J. Trump — very likely a charlatan doing nothing but shifting the Republican party to the left while claiming he’s moving it to the right — is actually not that popular. He’s merely an opportunist that took advantage of an anger. We’ve all read how the Republican base elected all these new guys to the House and Senate and yet NOTHING HAS CHANGED. And so, we all deserve Trump.
Well you know what? You can keep that nonsense, angry voting base. I know, I know…we’re not supposed to point this out because that would be very establishmenty** and obviously against the will of the people. But you can walk out in a tantrum if we go to a brokered convention and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces of your self-righteous explosion. It’s what we do anyway. And, because that’s what we do, and we remain conservative in our voting and we don’t fall for a used car salesman throwing a lemon in our face while stoking the envy anger flames, we don’t deserve Trump.
But you do.
You want the Vengeance Platform? You got it. But you own it. Donald Trump is yours. And, should he become the nominee and immediately hop into bed with all those elite special interests you hate (because he’s been sleeping in that bed his entire life and is still there), the rage you feel will be your own. No more blaming “the establishment”. Trump is your outsider candidate. And you must take responsibility for him.
As for the rest of us, we will sleep okay — if a little more worried about the future — knowing we didn’t support someone who lies and manipulates and snickers and makes fun and generally acts like a toddler in a tiara.
Moments earlier, Trump’s famulus, Chris Christie, made a similar claim: “He’s bringing the country together.”
The irony is deep. Christie’s campaign slogan was “telling it like it is.” He lost largely because Donald Trump has overwhelmingly won the support of voters who want a candidate to “tell it like it is.” And both men took to the stage on the biggest night of the primary season and tried to trick voters into believing something that isn’t true.
In this case, it’s not just that what they’re saying isn’t true. It’s aggressively, spectacularly false. Arguably, the single biggest story of the 2016 presidential contest has been how Trump’s candidacy has divided the Republican party. Exit polls from several states that held contests earlier that day added to the constellation of datapoints: In Tennessee, 42 percent of respondents said they’d be dissatisfied if Trump were the nominee; in Georgia, it was 45 percent; in Arkansas, 50 percent; and in Virginia, 53 percent.
Because while you think Mr. Trump is working for your best interests, you may actually be — wait for it — WRONG.
First, when Trump claims a popular mandate from Republicans, his opponents may be able to make a convincing case that it’s Democrats and independents who make up a large share of his vote, leaving his accumulation of Republican support looking less impressive. When and if it comes to an open convention, it might be that other candidates have a stronger mandate from specifically Republican voters.
Second, if Trump is the nominee, will those cross-over primary voters stick with Trump? The ones who voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) may go right back to the Democrats. And even the ones who voted for Trump because of his anti-trade message or sense he is on their side may find Hillary Clinton far more compelling.
Enjoy your Lancer.
*with apologies to Mitsubishi. The Lancer just doesn’t grade very well so I used it as a metaphor.
**I just had an idea for a breath mint called “EstablishMints”. Marketing line: “Their flavor makes you complacent!”