Can We Go Back and Start Over?
That is what a number of the Republican Party’s leading members are debating these days in the United States. For them, if Donald Trump wins their political party’s nomination, it would be a nightmare.
So they are asking themselves – conservatives met in Washington this week on this issue – how best to derail the Trump Train before it pulls into the station.
They have until July, when the Republican Convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, to find a solution. It is there that the winner of this unpromising race will be officially designated.
In order to win, Donald Trump needs to receive support from 1237 delegates. Let’s not forget that these delegates are allocated in accordance with the votes received during the primaries and caucuses across the country. To date, he has amassed 673.
The billionaire candidate might not obtain enough to win from the first visit to Cleveland. Yet under the complex rules of this huge event, for the second round, the majority of delegates are not obligated to vote for the candidate they initially supported.
More than 1237 delegates could then decide to line up behind Ted Cruz, for example. The Texan senator, who currently follows closely behind Donald Trump, is nevertheless not so different from the billionaire from New York.
In wondering how to stop Trump at all costs, Republicans are asking the wrong question. Their leaders are prisoners of the very reasoning that has permitted the rise of these two intolerant candidates.
They gave a telling example this week. Republican senators have made it known, with contempt, that they have no intention of examining the judicial candidate selected by Barack Obama for the United States Supreme Court. This means that the country’s highest court is being held hostage.
The majority of Republican members of Congress have become disciples of obstructionism. They feel that President Obama behaves like a tyrant and that his decisions are so harmful for the country that it is necessary to block them at any cost.
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, demonstrated this over the past few days. He has maintained that in wishing to appoint a judge for the Supreme Court, Barack Obama could “undermine our Constitution” and “protect” his presidential initiatives which are “lawless actions.”
This type of discourse holds sway for Republicans. It is no longer possible for a candidate whose remarks are less aggressive and more conciliatory to rise to head of the party.
Finding an alternative solution to Donald Trump is, for the party, the equivalent of trying to cure an all-consuming cancer with a box of band-aides. Leading members should instead ask themselves how they can get out of the dead end they have been approaching, foot on the gas pedal, for too long.