So it looks like, barring an untimely heart attack or convention insurrection, the GOP’s nominee will be Donald Trump.
It’s worth noting that early last September, when the GOP was looking at its biggest, deepest field ever, with seventeen accomplished governors and high-profile conservative Senators throwing their hats in the ring, not a single member of America’s landed punditry predicted Trump would get to the nomination.
With one exception.
Scott Adams. Of “Dilbert” fame.
Adams chalks Trumps success up to his love of not merely beating, but humiliating, opponents – and, quite frankly, his genius at it:
[Adams] remembers just how the game turned. He was young and improving at chess, but the masterful kid across the board would outmaneuver Adams till the game seemed a runaway. Now, this kid didn’t want to just beat Adams; he wanted to embarrass him. “So after he’d picked away three-fourths of my pieces and I was discouraged,” Adams recounts, “he would offer to turn the board around and play with my pieces.” And then effectively “win” again.
On those occasions, Scott Adams, the creator of “Dilbert,” got insight into the type of personality that loves not only the challenge of game strategy, but also the thrill of overwhelming the competition. It is the sport of meticulously plotted domination.
And that is part of why Adams believes Donald Trump will win the presidency. In a landslide.
Time will tell.
As to what I think about the nomination? I think I’ll phrase my answers in the form of a not-remotely-Socratic dialog with my favorite opponents – my caricatures of people I disagree with!
|Statement or Question||My Answer|
|“It’s the end of the GOP!”||What? Again? This is like the tenth time in my adult life people have declared the GOP “dead” over some bit of electoral trivia or another.|
|“It’s the end of the conservative movement!”||Well, this is a little closer. The conservative movement had its choice of 16 mostly excellent candidates – accomplished governors, conservative Senators, some excellent options. And we didn’t turn out enough vote for any of them to prevail over The Donald. I’ll let that sink in for a bit.|
|“The GOP created Donald Trump”||Well, no – the open primary system did. The support for Trump at any given GOP meeting, caucus or convention is razor-thin – but the rules these days give near-absolute power to open primaries. Which are prone to being flooded by people who don’t are more interested in personalities or issues than the party’s platform as a whole. Trump knew this, and used it to his advantage. Who wouldn’t?|
|“If you hold your nose and support Trump, you are supporting a National Socialist”.||Oh, shut up. Seriously. You want to debate specifics of German history, look me up. We’ll go round and round, and you will lose. Promise.|
|“I’m going to vote third-party to show my dissatisfaction with the system. Maybe I’ll vote for Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian party…”||Sure! Or you can vote Pikachu, the adorable Pokemon character. It’ll have precisely the same effect on life in America!|
|“There is no reason to vote Trump”||Well, no. There are two.
1) There are a lot of downticket races that do depend on good GOP turnout. And yeah, the GOP majority in DC has been a disappointment – until you think about what would’ve happened with four more years of Democrat absolute majorities. That sounds like a consolation prize? It is. Life is full of consolation prizes – if you’re lucky. If you’re lucky and smart you build on the consolation prizes.
|“You said there were two reasons. You are teh lier”||Hush.
As Dennis Prager says, in quoting the Torah, “only what is certain is certain”.
It is possible that Trump will appoint an idiot to the SCOTUS
It is a certainty that Hillary will appoint people who make Sonia Sotomayor look like Antonin Scalia. Given a choice between “zero” and “fifty/fifty”, what are you going to take? (Add to that the rumors that Trump was considering appointing Ted Cruz to the SCOTUS? That, alone, would be reason to vote for Trump).
|“I’m sick of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils”||And I’m sick of people wishing things would get better on their own. They don’t. They won’t. They never will. Sack up. This is life.
The best thing that happens is the conservative “movement” will grow up and realize that it can’t win by speaking to the echo chamber any more than the Paulbots could.
More, obviously, in coming weeks.