Let’s All Stop Trying to Make Trump Happen

Liam Donovan

National Review

5th May 2016

As conservatives around the country wake up to the new reality of a Trumpist GOP, Republicans are still coming to grips with the implications. In one camp you have the eager team players, gamely digging in to do combat with Hillary and support the nominee no matter what. In the other you have the #NeverTrump crowd, steadfastly resisting calls to stand down in the name of party unity.

But by far the biggest group doesn’t quite know what to think. They didn’t support Trump, they’re nervous about him as the standard bearer, but he beat the odds, right? If conventional wisdom was wrong then, who is to say it’s right now? To them I say: Stop it. Stop talking yourself into it.

Conventional wisdom was wrong precisely because it didn’t heed the polls. It expected voter sentiments to change and Republicans to “get serious” as the election approached. As it turns out, they were serious all along.

Trump tapped into something, all right. But the tide of grievance, resentment, and white identity politics he rode to the nomination is a drop in the bucket. EDITORIAL: Trump, Alack, This isn’t the mystery method.

It’s not #persuasion. And it isn’t chess. It’s a demagogue who won a primary election by throwing away the general election.

And that’s the irony: The Trump of May 2015, the apolitical celebrity, could have made things interesting. Instead he mortgaged everything to win the hearts and minds of 40 percent of 25 percent of the country. His potential has been negated by his uncanny George Wallace impression these past ten months.

No matter how hard he shakes the over the summer, the airwaves will be saturated with his incendiary words — and that’s before the Dems even start on his suspect business record, his hucksterism, and stories of the people who suffered in his wake. Trump’s dismal numbers transcend all bounds. In the latest CNN poll, showing Clinton with lead, he loses every geographic region, education level, and income level.

The only groups he manages to carry to are rural voters, conservatives, and Republicans. On the other hand, Trump is poised to turn crucial swing blocs into Clinton voters. Mitt Romney carried married women by 7 points in 2012, when they made up almost a third of all voters, but according to a recent Purple Strategies poll, Trump has a 70 percent unfavorable rating with these women, and they prefer Hillary by a margin.

The only places he seemed to show particular strength were already Romney strongholds, and any gains he makes there will hardly be enough to offset what he loses in the swing suburbs. We’re already seeing this in state polls, where Trump trails badly even in swing targets like North Carolina and Arizona, which both have key Senate battles. More Donald Trump Trump’s Morning Joe TweetsA Question Needing an AnswerIs Immigration to the U.

S. an Entitlement? Trump has even managed to help Clinton solve her biggest challenge: galvanizing the Left and reconstituting the Obama coalition. With Trump as the boogie man, enthusiasm will be far less of a problem.

Trump has turned the election into a referendum on his own bombast rather than Hillary’s record or the prospect of a third Obama term. And even if Trump himself proves Teflon, each ugly word and deed will be hung around the neck of every Republican on the ballot. The attacks will be smothering and relentless, and the press will grant no quarter.

As the election gets closer and Clinton hatred begins to heal primary wounds, you may see the gap narrow, and a bored press is bound to run with a “Trump Surge” narrative. But this will end only in defeat the only question is the margin, and the extent of the ensuing fallout . The sooner we all appreciate this, the better off the party will be, and the more we can do to salvage the Republican majorities, to say nothing of the future of the party.

If you’re inclined to vote for Trump, go ahead, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that unity is going to save any seats in Congress, much less the White House. And for those poor souls unfortunate enough to be sharing the ticket with him this fall, run for your lives.,.

 

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