“I support and endorse our Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,” Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters in Green Bay. The fact that the Republican nominee had endorsed a Republican Speaker of the House was newsworthy was just another reminder that 2016 is anything but conventional.
Earlier in the week Trump has suggested that he was not quite ready to endorse Ryan. Trump’s hesitation was warranted.
Since Trump clinched the GOP nominee, Ryan has been the burr under his saddle. Ryan has sided against Trump – and with Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and the media – in spats between Trump and Judge Gonzalo Curiel and, most recently, Khazir Khan (the Sharia law father of a fallen gold star soldier).
Even after Trump took the high road and endorsed Ryan, Ryan’s camp seemed to downplay the endorsement. “He appreciates the gesture and is going to continue to focus on earning the endorsement of the voters in Southern Wisconsin,” a Ryan aide told Breitbart News in response to Trump’s endorsement.
Trump’s endorsement of Ryan, however, is not something that should be taken lightly. Ryan’s challenger, Paul Nehlen, is a Trump Republican and influential conservatives such as Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter have openly called on Badger State voters in Ryan’s district to send him packing.
Just recently, Kansas voters heeded the call and handed Tim Huelskamp a pink slip. Huelskamp was a prominent #NeverTrump Republican who staked his campaign on opposition to the controversial billionaire only to be defeated by a pro-Trump Republican.
So why should Trump endorse Ryan now, especially when establishment Republicans are on the ropes? Why not go all in on defeating Ryan?
If Trump was President Trump and this was a midterm election, Ryan would be fair game. But we are in the midst of a presidential election and, as Ben Franklin said, we must hang together or hang separately.
The feud between Trump and Ryan is a drug the media cannot get enough of; it is an addiction. Each time the two Republicans fight the media gushes and Hillary gets a free pass.
Hillary lies and says that the FBI cleared her of misleading the public about her emails, but attention is on Trump’s internal GOP feud. President Barack Obama gives Iran $400 billion for hostages, but the media focuses on the Republican rift. Hillary proudly boasts a tax increase for the middle class and the media focuses on whether Trump is in need of a GOP intervention.
Make no mistake; the mainstream media will use any excuse to avoid putting Hillary under the microscope. Wolf Blitzer would rather raise a glass of wine and dance for Hillary than ask her the tough questions that will reinforce what 68% of Americans already feel about Hillary – she can’t be trusted.
Trump purists believe that the endorsement should have gone to Nehlen, but that would have been plain stupid. Now is not the time to complete a purge of the GOP as Hillary is, and remains, the prime target.
Trump not only won the nomination, but he earned the most votes of any GOP nominee in history. There is no denying that the GOP of Ryan is the GOP of yesterday.
How did Trump win? He rebuked the ideas Ryan has championed his whole career.
Trump has renounced open borders and vowed to build a wall on our southern border; a wall Mexico will pay for. He has vowed to renegotiate bad trade deals and has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a deal Ryan & Obama support – a disaster.
Trump has put free loading nations that have used the U.S. Armed Forces as their own security force on notice that it is time to pay up. And as Ryan pushes for increased intervention, Trump has promised to return to a foreign policy rooted in American vital interests and not hegemonic hubris.
On every turn, Trump has challenged Ryan and won. Ryan knows that Trump’s success means his own demise and it is why Ryan has hampered his own nominee’s campaign. If Trump loses, Ryan can blame Trump and seek to return to the GOP that Trump, and his millions of voters, discarded.
But there is no turning back for the GOP. Does the Republican establishment really think that it can ever return to its Chamber of Commerce open borders? Does it really think it can resurrect a foreign policy of unnecessary wars?
Trump has awakened a beast unseen in centuries. His nomination is not about one man; it is about a movement rooted in a populistic nationalism. It is a movement that vows to put America First; it is a movement long overdue in the GOP.
The fact is Ryan is already a loser whether he wins his primary or not. His party has changed and Ryan is not part of its future. The only thing that can prolong Ryan’s political relevance is a Trump defeat in November.
Trump was wise to resist the temptation to focus on Ryan now because that temptation distracts Trump from his only opponent – Hillary. Let Ryan enjoy limited success today, for when Trump wins in November, Ryan’s time will come and the GOP will be forever changed.
Once Trump raises his hand to take the oath of office in January, the only thing left for Ryan to do will be to run to Hillary’s waiting, weeping bosom. As they say, good things come to those who wait.