Donald Trump must be stopped, and it’s up to Republicans to do it.
That’s at least the take of one widely known conservative commentator, who has gone as far in his recent column to suggest that Republicans should actively work against Trump even if he is the presumed nominee.
Such a scenario would place the GOP and Hillary Clinton essentially on the same side come November. While unlikely, so was the candidacy of Trump to begin with, and it hasn’t done much to win over the party brass.
George Will, in a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, wrote that if Donald Trump were nominated, “conservatives would have two tasks.”
“One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.”
Yes, what George Will is suggesting is that the party brass actually sabotages Trump by continuing to work against him even after the primaries are over.
That means using paid advertising; super PACs; the works.
While that is unlikely to happen, it is still within the realm of possibility that Republicans will try to stymie Trump’s chances at the Republican National Convention later this year.
Senator Ted Cruz, who isn’t well-liked by establishment Republicans himself, is the last remaining hope that the GOP has from the current primary field.
However, the voting primaries are all but sealed in favor of Trump with the frontrunner needing just 241 delegates to secure the nomination and leading Cruz and Kasich in the delegate-rich California (172 delegates).
Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich hope that by staying in the race they can prevent Donald Trump from getting the delegates necessary to cross the threshold.
Doing that, however, would mean Republicans would be better served picking a candidate from outside the field since it would likely alienate many GOP voters to select a nominee who couldn’t secure majority support from the election cycle.
To that, however, George Will said that Indiana and California voters can, by supporting Cruz, “make the Republican convention a deliberative body rather than one that merely ratifies decisions made elsewhere, some of them six months earlier.”
“A convention’s sovereign duty is to choose a plausible nominee who has a reasonable chance to win, not to passively affirm the will of a mere plurality of voters recorded episodically in a protracted process.”
In other words, if voters pick badly, it is a convention’s duty to save voters from themselves, even if that means supporting someone diametrically opposed to their beliefs (i.e. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton).
To clarify Will’s point, he is not attesting that sabotaging Trump will result in a 2016 election win. He seems to already believe that that is a foregone conclusion and that the best opportunity for Republicans is to limit Hillary Clinton to one term.
Where Will’s real concern is at this point is the congressional races. According to him, a Donald Trump win would mean with almost certainty that Democrats would retake the Senate and possibly the House of Representatives.
By derailing Trump, Republicans would be able to save their majorities — at least in the House — while rousting Clinton out of a job in four years and potentially getting another crack at stocking the Supreme Court with a few conservative justices.
But what do you think, readers?
Would Republicans be done for as a party if Trump won the White House, or at least ran for president as the republican nominee? Or would Will’s plan be a worse idea? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons / Gage Skidmore]