I’m not sure how many people are going to to be square with you, but we have to be honest, we are headed to the crapper in a mighty way. When the plot to Idiocracy starts playing out on CNN instead of Comedy Central, we have a problem we actually have to deal with. Unfortunately, it’s a little too late for that. So, here’s what you can expect regardless of who wins…
By now you have seen the primary results and perhaps you started filing paperwork to move to Canada. If you’re a Trump supporter, you’re probably on Cloud 9 right now. If you supported Cruz or Rubio, you’re most likely very deflated. If you voted for one of the remaining Democrats, such as Hillary or Sanders, you may think we have a glimmer of hope. But it doesn’t matter anyway and here’s why:
Party Split? More Like Party Catastrophe
A year ago, the media gave Donald Trump the best advertising campaign money didn’t buy. An ad firm couldn’t write a better proposal:
“Hey Donald! Can I call you Don? Look, here’s what you need to do: we need you to be yourself. Don’t hire a publicist to clean up your image. Say whatever comes to your mind even if contradicts previous policies you oppose. They will think you’re so crazy and sure to lose that they will keep broadcasting us all the time. Also, if you can make sure to occasionally piss off every minority group in America unapologetically, that would be great.”
To be fair, everyone treated Trump like a joke. It’s the kid you invite to the party because you know they will be fun, but if they ever speak or offer a solution, you would look at them like they are crazy. We all expected the ride to end well before this except under our nose and Republican party leaders, the base shifted. The Atlantic’s article last week gave a great explanation of how the center of the Republican base is so geared towards Trump that there’s not much they can do. They are the middle class people who have been fuming about the direction of the nation. Despite some valid concerns, their support towards one of the most vile candidates in recent memory can’t be ignored. It invalidates so much of their cause when they would rather be so blind or angry to support such a terrible man. Sadly, that means another Republican who’s just going to tow the party line isn’t going to cut it, which is why Rubio and Cruz are so unpalatable to them. Which leads to my next point…
There’s No Republican Answer
Unless there’s some sudden awakening in the new Republican base over night or I’m dreaming (And you probably know how much myself and much of the nation hope we are), there’s no current Republican ticket that will work to stop Trump. When the base has shifted that far away from what everyone thought the party was composed of, you have no hope of recovering from that inside a election cycle. Of the remaining five, Rubio and Cruz look like the normal establishment meaning they won’t be fiery enough to pull away Trump supporters. They will get a lot of backing from party leaders, as we’ve seen a bunch of Hail Mary support thrown towards Rubio. Not so much for the second place finisher Cruz, but that’s because even between picking Trump or Cruz, they still vote neither. Kasich would be the GOP nominee I could stomach, but he has resolved himself to avoid mudslinging which comes across weak when it’s rather honorable in actuality. And I’m not spending more than two sentences on Ben Carson. But suffice it to say, he has been his own worst enemy and there’s no way to fix that now.
Trump’s In A Win-Win
Oh, so you still think Rubio or Cruz has a shot if it goes to a brokered convention…let’s explore a few scenarios….
Scenario 1: Trump gains the nomination before the convention
This is where I see it headed because of how paltry Rubio performed last night. Everyone is attempting to throw any support his way in an effort to stop Trump, but it hasn’t translated into votes. You would think throwing support to Cruz would the logical choice, but he alienated himself during his time in Congress. Those wounds haven’t healed despite Trump walking around with a bigger stick. GOP leaders may get their act together before Ohio and Florida and attempt to rally, but they really should have been doing that sooner. I believe, try as they might, whatever they choose will be too late and Trump will easily gain the nomination. We may see a GOP candidate run independent, but that cuts the conservative vote in half or worst. Speaking of running independent…
Scenario 2: Trump is short, the convention brokers a different nominee, Trump runs independent
There’s the slight chance that Cruz pulls off enough votes before the GOP convention this summer that Trump doesn’t have enough to gain the nomination. If it heads to convention, we seriously have no idea what will happen. Republicans may be hoping for this outcome so they find a way after a few rounds of voting to get Cruz or most likely Rubio the vote. Here’s the problem with that: they won’t get enough of Trump’s voters in the general election. The people supporting Trump folded to the desire of the party in 2012; they aren’t doing that this time, especially if they think they’ve found their guy. Trump will probably run as a independent if he doesn’t get the nomination which creates the same outcome above, splitting the vote…leading to
Clinton May Win, But She’s Not Safe
How does this affect the Democrats? The GOP civil war creates an easy road to the White House for Hillary Clinton. All she has to do is look fairly competent against Trump or whoever she ends up debating, continue dodging email and Benghazi questions and she’ll probably win. The Sanders movement hasn’t thrown a big enough wrench into the Clinton campaign. He may be a sign of how far left the party is heading or already is, but the choices aren’t nearly as polarizing like the GOP candidates. Both of them are palatable to most Democrats meaning there’s not enough vitriol or fire to cause any division. Democrats may have a changing base, but they didn’t just sit through 8 years of a guy they didn’t want like the GOP base has. That doesn’t mean the ingredients don’t exist for the same unraveling for the Democrats, it’s just not going to happen this year or for a while. If Clinton wins, she will probably face similar tactics that Obama has faced the past 8 years; to which degree however, I can’t be sure. Regardless, a Democratic President would have the arduous task of working with a Senate whose composition will go through extreme changes, which reminds me…
What About The Senate Races?
There are a large number of openings in both the Senate and House that you normally wouldn’t be worried about. I submit to you that every single state that Trump wins needs to be put under a magnifying glass. If the shift runs that deep, it could have a profound effect on the GOP incumbents. Again, referencing the Conor Friedersdorf article in The Atlantic, we could potentially have a ton of Eric Cantor’s running around who look pretty secure and then shock us come November. It’s a bit early to forecast what will look like for the end of this cycle, but it would be foolish to ignore. Trump’s constituents are not going away anytime soon. It’s completely possible that Democrats could find away to steal some seats from this predicament. However it’s just as equally possible that they will fail to compete against mini-Trumps around the nation.
The Bottom Line
The options are not great regardless of who gets elected to office. The GOP is split; we can’t be sure what they will look like a year from now or by midterms. The Democrats should win this presidency, but there’s a great to definite chance they become just as hampered in governing as they have been the past 8 years. If America wanted to become great again, it just took a major step backwards last night. If any good has come from Trump’s rise, it would be that we can finally see the darkest parts of our nation being dragged into the light. Or maybe dragged isn’t the right word considering how gleeful Trump supporters are with their candidate and meaner than snakes to anyone else. I’m seriously not mad at Trump supporters, it’s been a breath of fresh air to see people being completely honest about themselves even if that potentially means we are living out the worst parts of Idiocracy…The next four years will be rough and I’m not certain we will completely recover to resemble anything good for awhile. On the plus side….
…I hear that Canada is nice this time of year…
And I fear many have already started to use that link, I shudder to think about it…
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