Not Much Time Left

Another victory for Donald Trump — and with it comes the nervous question of whether or not it’s too late to stop him from becoming the Republican nominee and perhaps even president.

With three consecutive wins, Trump is the undisputed conservative front runner and anything can happen. The primary season still has some way to go but with each new victory it becomes more and more difficult to change the course of events.

The Republican Party in the U.S. has a problem completely of their own making. They can no longer communicate with their base. It’s not just a few scattered loonies — not by a long shot.

But complaining about Trump won’t solve the problem. American conservatives are far more ideology driven than Democrats are. They look to their party for emotional cover on such delicately fraught subjects as guns, religion or gender equality as well as economic guidance, in a country that is changing far too quickly for them to adjust.

The conservatives are no longer able to convey and explain conservative values in a modern society becoming more and more diverse by the day. The disaffected are thus easily taken in by Trump and his “don’t vote” rhetoric — as long as his promises are rhetorically slick and maintain a connection to the 1980s, what conservatives consider the golden Reagan-era years.

It means nothing that Trump is, in some respects, a bit less ideological than his opponents Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. He appeals to his followers’ emotions.

If mainstream Republicans hope to wrest control of this election back into their own hands there’s not much time left for them to do so. Since Bush’s departure they’re all looking to Marco Rubio as the logical selection: young with a conservative heart in the right place. But the senator from Florida wasn’t able to capitalize on the money and party support that flowed in his direction after Bush departed. Rubio and the party need to turn in a strong showing in the 11 states voting on all-important Super Tuesday. If Rubio fails, there’s nothing left for the party but despair; the conservatives lack the power of self-renewal.

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