May 062016

Gotten up and dusted yourself off yet?

Donald Trump may have essentially clinched the Republican nomination after the Indiana primary on Tuesday, but really, it was clear earlier than that. The trap had been closing on Ted Cruz for some time, and when he couldn’t narrow his 15-point polling deficit in the Hoosier State at all, it snapped. In fact, Bobby Knight’s endorsement of Trump may have ended up the final straw—a suitably colorful detail in the least conventional presidential campaign in a century.

Our nominees are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am right now.” – Clark W. Griswold

Despite previous declarations of varying severity, I don’t even know what I want to happen. I don’t much like Donald Trump. I never have. I think he is unserious and offensive.

Do I hope Trump “gets down to business” now? That he pivots toward polite society? Do I find what I can support and say so be it, this is what it is? There are some Trump supporters who provide me some real comfort there. I’ve been an A.J. Delgado groupie for some time, because she’s conservative and highly intelligent, but will also fearlessly zag when others zig. She really digs him. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly emerged from a one-on-one meeting with him and endorsed him. I voted for Ben Carson in the Alabama primary, and he has endorsed him.

Do I support a third-party candidate? Libertarian? Constitution Party? The conventional wisdom is that anyone significantly splitting the vote on the right hands the election to Hillary. Many people think Trump does that all by himself. Whether that’s true is an intriguing question, but I think it remains that a significant third-party run on the right is an easier path to a Hillary presidency than Trump running alone.

Do I hope for chaos in Cleveland? That’s certainly not impossible, but now that Trump will secure the delegates he needs ahead of July, I think it’s become quite unlikely. Republican leaders are surely aware of the gravity of this moment. The survival of the party is not a given. Shenanigans designed to oust Trump, whether “legal” or not, could irretrievably spill the guts of the GOP on the convention floor. Drama here depended on ambiguity in the electorate. That is no longer a factor.

Today, I don’t know. And that’s OK. I don’t have to know for months. “Interested observer” sounds right.

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 Posted by at 11:13 am

  2 Responses to “Trump. Now what?”

  1. I’m always dismayed at the choices we have for elected officials. I believe it says a lot about the kinds of people who run for office. Every truly decent person to whom I’ve said, “You should run for office,” looks appalled and says something to the affect that that’s not the sort of life for them.
    The most decent and moral person in the entire process is the one whose policies would be the most ruinous for our country. Bernie Sanders. What a sad irony.

    • We’d have better people running consistently if holding elected office were more like what our founders envisioned than the freakshow it is today. 😫

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