As the primary season progresses, a great many members of the Republican establishment are becoming overly emotional.
They’re angry and frustrated that their well-funded Washington-backed candidates didn’t amount to much this time around. Anti-establishment outsiders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are dominating the popular vote and the delegate count.
The establishment must face the facts: a change agent is going to be the Republican nominee for president.
In 2008 and 2012 when establishment picks John McCain and Mitt Romney prevailed in the primary process, grassroots conservatives were told to fall in line and we did. We didn’t start #NeverMcCain or #NeverRomney campaigns, although we had every right to when you consider things like Romneycare and McCain-Feingold.
Last week RNC Chairman Priebus was absolutely right when he said: “I want to get something really clear, because there’s been a lot of talk about this. This party is going to support the nominee, whoever that is, 100 percent. There’s no question about that… can you agree with me without question that any one of these four gentlemen would be a world better than Hillary Clinton?”
Chairman Priebus, of course, was talking directly to the counterproductive Never Trumpers. It appears that Priebus has considered the wisdom of #NeverTrump and soundly rejected it for obvious reasons. Do the establishment sore losers pushing this movement have any idea what they are doing?
Here are the potential outcomes of #NeverTrump from my perspective, all of which are horrible for Republicans.
Donald Trump wins a convincing plurality, but not a majority of convention delegates. The GOP establishment hands the nomination to someone else. Trump supporters are betrayed, stay at home, and Hillary Clinton wins the general election.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz split the remaining delegates with neither at the 1,237 threshold and the GOP establishment hands the nomination to someone other than Trump or Cruz. Both Cruz and Trump voters are betrayed, stay at home, and Hillary Clinton wins the general election.
Trump wins the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination and the GOP establishment chooses to run a third party candidate. The conservative-populist vote splits and Hillary Clinton wins the general election.
This disastrous outcome would mean that Hillary Clinton would pick Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor and perhaps two additional Supreme Court nominees.
The logic here isn’t very complicated. If you support the #NeverTrump movement — for whatever immature reason you convince yourself of — you’re essentially supporting a far-left liberal Supreme Court for the next generation. We’re all about to find out if this is the true preference of the #NeverTrump crowd.
I’ll readily admit that every candidate on both sides should tone down the rhetoric — including Donald Trump. After all, Trump’s winning and now is the time to rise above Bill Ayers and his ilk and be presidential. This is an enormous opportunity for him.
My message is simple, even if unpleasant for some Washington elites. All Republicans must unite around the nominee whoever it turns out to be. If Hillary Clinton is elected president because one of the scenarios I mentioned plays out, the #NeverTrump crowd will receive a lion’s share of the blame and that could mean the end of the GOP as we know it.