Today voters in four states vote in their respective Presidential contests. If polls are right Republican front runner Donald Trump is expected to win Michigan, the largest state in play today. This to to the ongoing horror of establishment Republicans, and decent human beings everywhere. Trump has run a campaign of lies and bigotry which has only seen his vitriol matched by his success.
Should that success continue and Trump wins the Republican nomination, it may be the best thing to happen to the party since talk radio. Donald Trump may save the Republican Party.
Let me be clear, I do not think Trump deserves to win the nomination. If God forbid he were to win the election in November I believe he would be the most dangerous and unqualified person ever to occupy the Oval Office. I do not think it hyperbole to say a Trump presidency would be a direct threat to the security of the United States.
His campaign is built around the sort of fear and loathing politics which are dangerous to the public discourse. That anyone could make the sort of outright racist statements he has and still even be considered for any public office is disgraceful. He fosters a distrust and distaste for the media bordering on obsessive, and has found no fact he is not prepared to ignore in his pursuit of a win. In short, he is the epitome of everything Republicans have stood for over the last several years.
The right side of the right wing for years now has thrived on division. What once was compromise and governing, is now betrayal. They attack the media for doing their jobs. They refuse to accept science on climate change or evolution, claiming their opinions deserve equal weight to scientific fact.
All of these tactics are an effort to generate support from low information voters. Republicans have perfected wedge politics in an effort to make motivated voters out of people too lazy to use Google. Trump’s campaign embodies all the xenophobia and ignorance this approach depends on. His success is the natural consequence of adding celebrity to an already dangerous strategy.
Trump has taken a divisive path to victory, and turned that road in to an expressway. He has ramped up the rhetoric to get as many people on his super highway of hatred as he can. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for giving him the map.
Why then would I say he can save the GOP?
Trump saves Republicans as a brush fire saves a forest. Pure and total, purging destruction.
If Trump wins the nomination chances are he will lose the general election. Big electoral college states like California and New York likely to go for the Democrats, while key swing states may do the same because of motivated Democrats and stay at home Republicans.
Races in the Senate, House of Representatives, and any number of State houses could also see Republicans lose to the same mix of fired up Democrats and lay low Republicans. It is not inconceivable come November Democrats are in charge of the White House, and both houses of Congress.
Republicans may then recognize all they have lost in giving their party over to extremists to win. Their new plan may be to bring in as many people as possible, instead of isolating just enough to win.
They may come to see winning can not be the only part of politics that matter. If you win you have to govern, and lives depend on you doing that well. People’s lives have never done well in the hands of race baiting demagogues like Trump. Hopefully after reflection, Republicans ensure their party never again nominates one.
If Trump scorches the Republican’s Earth, what rises from the ashes may be a return to reason for their party. That will be a tree that may take time to grow, but it will no longer bear the sort of rotten fruit currently poisoning American politics.