Exactly one week from today, Republicans will gather in Cleveland for their convention. Conventions are supposed to be a time of hope, of looking to the future, and a way to send your nominee off with a bang as he or she heads into the general election. But thanks to Donald Trump, this year’s GOP convention could well succeed in only one thing: Destroying the GOP as a viable political party.
But hey, let’s party!
GOP insiders are dreading the 2016 convention because of what it represents: the final victory of the hate-filled, narrow-minded extreme right-wing of the party over any semblance of reason, expansion, and inclusivity. As New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan recently lamented:
“The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of conservative principles. What’s happening right now is a meltdown of the Republican Party.
“We’re going to be looking at this for years, trying to understand this,” he added. “It will be analyzed in the books for a decade or two or three.”
Beau Correll, a Virginia convention delegate, was even more apocalyptic in his assessment of what the rise of Trump means for the GOP:
“I cannot in good conscience support someone that I know will be a disaster for our nation and our party. If we continue with Trump, it’s going to be total annihilation.”
And the even larger fear for many Republicans is what they do if–by some fluke–Trump winds up winning. As GOP strategist Mark Salter recently remarked, Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate, but:
“She’s not ignorant or hateful or a nut. She acts like an adult, and understands the responsibilities of an American president.”
Other party members see Trump as an attempt by some on the right to live in the past; say 50-60 years ago. Mac Stipanovich, a longtime Republican consultant, had this to say:
“What they want to do is go back to 1956. And it’s just not going to happen. If that’s who we are, then we’re headed for the ash heap of history.”
Sometime shortly after November 8, 2016, we should know if there is a new addition to the ash heap.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.