Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Donald Trump as the Isolationist in Chief... Not a Recipe for Success

As I’ve said before, if Donald Trump is the nominee I will vote for him over anyone the donkey party runs. Why? One reason… the single greatest threat to our nation is open borders and the continued entry of people from failed states with no understanding or appreciation for limited government or individual rights. The Democrat Party, which has a similar disdain for both things, has almost destroyed the country on its own and with open borders it seeks to tip the scales of our Republic towards their tyranny by packing the voting rolls with such invaders

The candidate who promises to build a wall and curtail illegal immigration gets my vote… and my hope that he will actually do so.

But I have to say, Trump continues to make it much more painful to be willing to support him. From his thin skin and childish Twitter tirades, it makes one wonder how temperamental a President Trump might be. Something more consequential that forces some soul searching when considering voting for him is his unserious perspective on international relations. When he says things about not sending money to countries that hate us, that makes pretty good sense and makes a great place to start with foreign aid. But he doesn’t stop there. There are two things that are particularly troubling about his foreign affairs perspective. His populist tirades against free trade, and his statement of two weeks ago that the United States should pull back from its leadership in NATO.

On the former, Trump cries that the United States is losing out on trade with China and Mexico and other nations around the world and that these countries are taking the jobs of millions of Americans. Both of those suggestions may indeed be accurate, but he is wrong in that they are a symptom, not the illness itself. The primary driver of those issues is not that Mexico or China are cheats. They may be manipulating their currencies or labor markets, but that’s not why American companies choose to build iPhones in China or cars in Mexico. It’s American taxes and regulations… Think about it, China is a Communist country separated from the US by 6,000 miles of water and Mexico is a dysfunctional quasi state where the politicians and population are perpetually intimidated by narco terrorists. And somehow it makes sense that a US company would want to manufacture widgets in those places rather than in Detroit or Pittsburgh? Yes. Sure, labor costs are a problem, but it’s regulations and taxes that are the real drivers of trade deficits. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal regulations cost American consumers almost $2 trillion in lost economic productivity and higher costs in 2014. And that’s just the federal government! That $2 Trillion was almost four times the entire US trade deficit with the whole world that year! Add to that the fact that US tax rates are the highest in the developed world and that giant sucking sound of jobs you hear is not because of China or Mexico’s cheating, but rather because the US government is simply making it too difficult to operate profitably in the United States. If Trump wanted to make our trade balance more balanced and bring back jobs he’d focus on eliminating regulations here rather than spending most of his time demagoguing the rest of the world.

The bigger problem with Trump’s world view is his fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the United States in said world. Two weeks ago he suggested that the United States should take a step back in its leadership of NATO. We could do that and it would certainly save us billions of dollars a year. But it not only would it lead to a world war, but it would be the catalyst for a collapse of the world economy and western culture. Why? Because it was American military power, presence and a willingness to use both that has kept the west largely at peace for the last 70 years and driven a greater increase in world prosperity than in any period in all of human history.

To understand the impact of a United States led NATO, one simply has to look at the history of Europe. For two millennium, from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the rise and collapse of the British Empire, Europe was at an almost constant state of war either within itself or without, and often brought much of the rest of the planet along with it.  That reality culminated in the two world wars of the first half of the 20th century that cost the lives of over 100 million men women and children. Post WWII however, after the United States military brought order to a world in chaos, Europe and much of that world have enjoyed an unprecedented period of relative peace, and as a result saw wealth and prosperity grow and expand at levels unprecedented in human history.

None of that happens without a NATO led by the United States. It was NATO that kept the Russian bear at bay for half a century and American leadership in the Pacific that kept the Red Chinese from swallowing much of Asia. And as a result Europe and Asia have become critical trading partners with the United States and have provided both markets for our goods and sources for things that make our lives better.

And now Donald Trump wants to abandon NATO leadership. In the name of populist rhetoric he wants to turn his back on a successful world that the United States largely designed and benefits from. That would be a mistake. For our partners in NATO, for much of the world that relies on the west for leadership and trade, and, most of all, Americans. The solution to a troubled planet isn’t to pull up the drawbridges and hide behind the moat… But that seems to be the Donald’s plan.

It would be a tragedy if American leadership having already devolved from Ronald Reagan defeating the Soviet Union and winning the Cold War to Barack Obama embracing anti American thugs across the planet and unleashing ISIS on the world is followed up by Donald Trump reviving the isolationist policies of the 1930s that led to WWII… because with bellicose and acquisitive states like Russia and China unrestrained by American strength it would not be long before WWIII was at our shores.

But, such is the nature of populist candidates. Say and do anything that will get cheers from the crowds and ignore the consequences down the road. Let’s hope in November we have a Ted Cruz lever to pull

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The coming Armageddon - Donald Trump may be the match, but the GOP set the kindling...

Absent a political earthquake, Donald Trump will be the GOP’s nominee for President of the United States. It is possible that he won’t, but the odds are long. His nomination will set the nation on a disastrous course that is only partly – and a small part at that – of his making.

When Donald Trump wins the nomination the $2 billion of free media he has received thus far will turn against him. If Mittens Romney thought he was portrayed as a monster just wait until the lefty media gets done with the Dean of Trump University. It will be an unmitigated bloodbath. And, frankly, it doesn’t matter who shows up on the left. Whether it’s Hillary Clinton or, in the event she’s already been indicted, Bernie Sanders, it won’t matter. Left is left is left.

During the general campaign there will likely be riots across the country as socialists, Communists, anarchists and every other faction of the Democrat Party seek to eviscerate Donald Trump’s 1st Amendment rights. But unlike the 1968 riots which resulted in a decisive Nixon victory, 2016 will see the party of the rioters win, decisively. And they are likely to take the Senate with them and possibly the House.

From there things will go south… rapidly. Not only will there be no wall built, but the US southern border will basically disappear as the United States of America evolves into the United States of Latin America, just another failed state. The fa├žade of budget restraint the GOP has been pretending to impose will be gone. Government spending will rocket beyond a quarter of GDP within a few years and keep growing beyond that. Taxes will become more complex as they rise precipitously. Regulation will strangle free markets. And China and Russia will assert themselves even more than they have against the obsequious Barack Obama. ISIS will thrive and will find greater success here at home. The American military will become a full blown social experiment and social program all rolled into one. And of course, political speech – at least the kind that utters anything against the regime or against global warming or for traditional marriage – will be essentially outlawed while political correctness will become the order of the day in schools, churches, offices and everywhere else, enforced by thugs empowered by an approving government…. And then to top it all off, regulations driven by the global warming hoax and socialist hubris will devastate the American economy, sending investment and jobs beyond our borders as government policies drag the world into a 2nd Great Depression, just as they did a century before.

And there won’t be a thing the GOP can do about it. Why? Because the party will be gone. Like a zombie its body may be around for a little while, but it will be gone. Conservatives, fed up with a quarter century of the GOP being nothing more than an extension of the Democrat party will bolt. The energy of the Tea Party from early on in the Obama presidency will rise like a Phoenix and will be far larger this time. Not only will it include conservatives, but it will include many – not all – of the Trump supporters who are angry and feel disenfranchised and marginalized by government and have been told their outsiders in their own county.

And make no mistake, as bad as things have gotten under an Obama with a supplicant GOP, they will only get worse under a Democrat president without even a faux opposition. And that means in every way… economically, militarily, culturally and perhaps most importantly, politically – in terms of how citizens deal with one another, particularly those with whom they disagree with.

It will take years for the Tea Party / marginalized citizen party to find its footing and make its mark as it will have to fight the GOP zombies who won’t have yet realized their party is dead. The question is, by the time the new entity finds its legs will the county have become Venezuela? Will there be an actual revolution between those who see that a bloated, unrestrained, rapacious government has become an enemy of freedom against those who see the redistributive and regulatory happy government as the central element of their lives? Or will it be possible to recover Benjamin Franklin’s Republic through Constitutional means? That’s a good question, because a Constitution is only as strong as the character of the citizens sworn to protect and defend it, and with Barack Obama we’ve only begun to see exactly what can happen when a man of the left – read anti-American – is given that duty.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Angry GOP Voters and Donald Trump - The Enemy of My Enemy is Not My Friend

I’m angry. I’m actually damn angry. I’m angry that Americans have twice voted into the highest office in the land a man who is demonstrably anti-American, who sows racial tension, who has sought to destroy free markets, who has turned much of the nation into a welfare state and who has crippled the American military and destroyed American influence around the world. To me, Barack Obama is a cancer on the American body politic and the nation.

But I’m not angry at Obama… well, I really am, but he’s not who has animated me the most in the last six years. It’s actually the GOP establishment. I’ve gone to Tea Party rallies near and far. I’ve voted for candidates who claimed they were conservatives. I’ve donated money, I’ve manned phone lines, I’ve put up signs along the highway. I even gave lectures on the constitution and started writing a blog. All for what?

We have Obamacare, lock stock and barrel, and its numerous exceptions, extensions and a plethora of executive orders. We have a NLRB that thinks it can tell companies where they can invest and who they must hire. We have an IRS that’s become a thug enforcement arm of the Democrat party. And of course we have trillions more dollars of debt than we did eight years ago.

Needless to say, I’m angry at the betrayal. In 2010 we were told that the GOP couldn’t do anything because they were a minority in the House. So we voted them into power. Then we were told that we needed the White House, and somehow the GOP was able to screw up an election that should have been theirs on a silver platter. Then in 2014 we were told that they still couldn’t do anything because Harry Reid ran the Senate. By 2015 he was on the sidelines. But now we’re told that they can’t do anything because Democrats control the White House.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 4 times shame on me. Exit poll after exit poll shows that Republican voters are livid with the GOP and want to burn it and Washington to the ground… hence the attraction of Donald Trump. Millions of people across the country who are disgusted with the GOP are flocking to the banner of a guy who will definitely not be held hostage to political correctness. A guy who doesn’t care about sucking up to minority voters. A guy who says what’s on his mind. Indeed, Donald Trump with his big business billions and his big mouth make many Americans stand up and say “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” He makes them feel like an NFL receiver spiking the football right in front of a safety who blew his coverage. In a word, they want a winner who will destroy the liars in Washington.

The problem however is something that was revealed in a 2013 study by Washington State University. The first line of the piece says it all “Being confident and loud is the best way to win an argument - even if you are wrong”. The study basically suggests that people are more drawn to someone who sounds confident and is loud – even obnoxious – than they are to someone who’s right. And with Donald Trump that’s exactly what we have. GOP voters want someone who’s unabashedly pro-American. That’s Trump. They want someone who says he’s going to seal the border. That’s Trump. They want someone who’s immune to political correctness. That’s Trump.

Unfortunately, in this case the ancient adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is simply wrong. Donald Trump may indeed be anti-establishment, but that’s different than being pro freedom, pro prosperity and pro limited government.

Those are the things necessary to change Washington, the things that are necessary to rein in the leviathan of government, the things that are necessary to restore the freedom of the American people and unleash the prosperity that comes with it. Those are the things that Ted Cruz offers, but may not get the opportunity to execute because voters are too busy focusing on the bombastic guy at the other side of the bar.

That of course is Ted Cruz’s challenge over the next month: Demonstrate to GOP voters that trash talking will not fix what’s wrong with the county. Convince them that braggadocio will not dislodge an entrenched bureaucratic borg that seeks to control virtually every aspect of a citizen’s life. Articulate why his constitutional principles make him the correct vehicle for their anger, and not Donald Trump. If he can do this, there is some hope for redemption for the party as it’s redefined by conservative principals. If not, not only will the party be gone, but much of what made America great in the first place. Ideas like free markets and individual liberty are already on the ropes. Let’s hope they don’t go down for the count.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Art of the Steal... Democrats voting in GOP contests make a HUUGGEEE difference

UPDATE:  The infographic below did not originally include ID, MI and MS.  Their addition only strengthens the premise of this post.

Back in 2008 Rush Limbaugh had a bit called “Operation Chaos” where he suggested Republicans in Ohio and elsewhere cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democrat primary. The goal was to keep Clinton in the race to blunt the lead of Barack Obama and cause more chaos on the Democrat side. Well, Operation Chaos was pretty much a failure as Obama steamrolled Clinton.

While Limbaugh is not calling for an “Operation Chaos” this year, something along those lines is definitely happening… but it doesn’t have anything to do with Hillary Clinton this time, but rather, Donald Trump.

The turnout for this year’s primary contests is surging with record numbers of voters participating on the GOP side. No doubt there are Republicans who sat out in 2012 and 2008 who are now participating. But that’s not the driver of the numbers. The driver is… Democrats. In Massachusetts as example, according to the Boston Herald 20,000 Democrats switched to the Republican Party before the primary. That works out to fully 5% of the GOP ballots cast. Interestingly, Trump’s 31% margin of victory in Massachusetts was the largest he’s has had.

In Pennsylvania the same thing is happening. According to CBS 46,000 Pennsylvania Democrats have already switched to the GOP to vote for Trump. If the participation in the Pennsylvania primary exhibits the same kind of increase Massachusetts did (up 12% over 2008, the last year with a lame duck president in office) then those 46,000 Democrats will make up 5% of the 900,000 GOP voters.

But of course that’s not the only way Democrats are influencing the GOP primary. In Massachusetts and Pennsylvania they switched because both are closed states in that registrants of party can’t vote in the primaries of another party. Massachusetts is officially open however as unaffiliated voters can vote in any party’s primary. That means that the only way Democrats in those two states can vote in the GOP primary is by changing parties.

But in a large number of states you don’t even have to do that. Those states have “Open” primaries or caucuses where voters can vote in either party’s primary, regardless of which party they are registered in. That makes a HUUGGGGEEEE difference. (And for course, Ohio is an "Open" primary.)  To give you an idea of how big, consider the following:
There have been a total of 14 open primaries and caucuses where Democrats are able to vote in the GOP contest. Donald Trump has won 12 of them. At the same time, there have been a total of 9 primaries and caucuses in closed states… and Ted Cruz has won 6 of them, while Donald Trump has won only 3 of them.

So in the states where only Republicans can vote in the Republican primaries and caucuses Ted Cruz has won 66% of the contests while Donald Trump has won 34%... and those are states where data shows that tens of thousands of Democrats are switching party affiliation for the specific purpose of voting for Trump in the GOP contest. At the same time however, in states where Democrats are free to vote in the GOP contest Donald Trump has won 85% of the time.
Conservatives like myself find ourselves growing horse explaining that Donald Trump is no conservative, that he loves big government and is no friend of liberty… all to no avail. The Trump train keeps rolling on. We wonder, how is it even remotely possible that someone so antithetical to the principals of limited government and individual freedom could be leading in the GOP race when a guy like Ted Cruz, who lives and breathes and bleeds those things is on the same ballot? Well, now we know. Republicans are not the ones making Donald Trump the front runner, Democrats are.

While you can make the argument that some of them may indeed be moving to the party to vote for Trump rather than playing out a reverse of Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos”, you have to ask yourself how many Democrats who voted for Barack Obama are going to be pulling the lever for any Republican in the general election?

So it should be no surprise why poll after poll shows Donald Trump getting trounced in the general election by either Clinton or Sanders… It’s Clinton’s and Sanders’ voters who are picking the opponent for their candidate! Picking the players on your side and the players on the other side. That’s a pretty good position to be in, it almost sounds like something right out of the Art of the Deal. Hmmm, you don’t say…

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cleveland Convention Chaos, Donald Trump and the Rule of Law...

Those who say that if Trump has a plurality of the delegates by the time the GOP gets to the convention he should be given the nomination, sound like a vapid Miss America contestant calling for “World Peace”. That’s not to suggest that Trump shouldn’t walk away from the convention with the nomination, but rather simply, that it shouldn’t be his by default.

There’s an easy way for Trump to guarantee that he walks away from the convention with the nomination: Win 50% +1 delegates. It’s actually that simple. As the rules are written, that’s what a candidate needs to secure the nomination. It's said that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades… and a plurality may be close, but it’s not 50% +1.

If the point is to give the nomination to the guy with the most votes, then why didn’t the rules committee make that the rule? They could have, but they didn’t. So what we have is a scenario where someone could walk into the convention with 49% of the vote and not walk away with the nomination. “Gee, that’s not fair...” So let’s just give it to him! OK, well, then, let’s say instead of 49% he had 36%... do we do the same? How about 29%? Or how about this… we anoint the guy with 26% of the vote over two other guys have 25% each and where 74% of the voters want someone else?

There are endless scenarios that can play out if we simply toss the rules, but the fact of the matter is, the whole point of the multiple ballots at the convention is to create a framework for choosing the nominee when there is no clear winner. That involves horse trading, deal making and different candidates jockeying for position. That might not be as pristine as the newly driven snow, but things rarely are.

This of course creates an opportunity for the despicable GOP establishment to take advantage of the situation and try and foist some failed candidate like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush on us, but it’s their right to try. It’s just up to the delegates to not let them. If that were to happen there would no doubt be a revolution, but sometimes you can’t save a party from itself any more than you can a person.

The bottom line is, those making this argument are making the argument that Al Gore should have been sworn in as President in 2001 because he won a majority of the votes. “It’s only fair…” But that didn’t happen because that’s not how the rules were written. Indeed, if we are going to throw out the rules and go with what’s “fair” then we might as well not have rules in the first place. That’s the difference between rule of law and the rule of man. One gives participants a clear understanding of how the rules work and motivates them to work within that framework for particular goals clearly understanding the possible outcomes and potential consequences for their decisions. The other provides none of that clarity as rules change as the powerful manipulate outcomes favorable to them, giving everyone the motivation to curry favor with the powerful and take advantage of the weak. One fosters freedom and prosperity while the other fosters duplicity, obsequiousness and treachery.

We already have one president who has decided that the limitations of the Constitution don’t apply to him… let’s not start the next one down that same path by the party telling him that the rules only apply when they work to his advantage.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What will Rush Limbaugh’s legacy be: Footnote or Patriot? Now is his time to decide...

I’ve been listening to Rush Limbaugh since about 1992. Although he claims to be right 99.8% of the time or something like that, I find that I only agree with him about 97% of the time.

I’ve listened with great interest as he has eloquently exposed the left’s perniciousness in situations where I saw nothing sinister at all. More times than I can count I listened to the news or read a paper and simply took what they said at face value. Then I would listen to Rush talk about the exact same event and discuss the media’s coverage of it and like Russell Crowe’s John Nash in A Beautiful Mind he would lay out in great specificity what was really going on. He is as skilled at revealing the underlying machinations of the left and the media (the same thing, really) as Nash was at solving codes.

At the same time, he has been equally successful in highlighting the hypocrisy of the GOP establishment’s embrace of big government and open borders.

For more than a quarter century I’ve listened to Rush trumpet the virtues of conservatism. For more than a quarter century I’ve listened to Rush proclaim that if Americans only had an articulate conservative champion to vote for they would and the nation would be saved. Now that the country has one in Ted Cruz – for the first time in a generation, where's Limbaugh?

I’ll tell you where he is… he’s sitting in his south Florida studio explaining why Donald Trump is so successful in outsmarting the pundits. Sure, he offers the requisite “Ted Cruz is a rock solid conservative” a couple of times a week, but he spends most of his time explaining why Trump seems to defy the odds that no one else would have a shot at.

It’s his show and he has every right to do exactly what he wants and say anything he wants. My question is however, does Rush Limbaugh want to be remembered as a political gadfly who uses his microphone to poke fun at liberals and illuminate the folly of the ruling class, or does he actually want to be a hero? He can be one or he can be the other, but he can’t be both.

If he truly believes what he has been saying over the last 28 years then now is the time for him to put his microphone where his mouth is. I’ll take Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump doesn’t solve the problems that are undermining the country as we speak. Donald Trump will not end big government. Donald Trump is not a champion for individual freedom. Donald Trump is not an enemy of crony capitalism. Donald Trump is not a fan of separation of powers or limited government. Ted Cruz is all of those things and more.

At the end of the day, Donald Trump embodies many – but not all – of the things Rush Limbaugh has been railing against for the past quarter century. So the question is, does Rush really believe what he says or is he simply trying to sell advertising? Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with the latter. I love watching the Big Bang Theory, but not for one second do I think the actors on that show are going to give Stephen Hawking a run for his money on a physics quiz. And they don’t expect me to believe it, they’re actors, I know they’re acting and it makes for great entertainment for me and they make lots of money. Great setup.

But the Rush Limbaugh Show is not a Hollywood sitcom. People don’t listen to Rush to listen to fiction. They listen to see the left exposed and listen to the heartfelt commentary from someone who cares about the United States, who champions freedom and explains (with examples) how liberty and free markets make the world a much better place than socialism, communism and most of what came before the United States was born.

And so, people like me look at Rush today and wonder if his heart is really in it or is he like a union leader who plays to the base while enriching himself at their expense? Although our expense in this case is time rather than money. We wonder if wrapping himself in the American flag and American values is simply a ploy to generate advertising dollars.

Right here, right now is where the tire hits the road. Donald Trump is well down the path to winning the GOP nomination. That might lead to a Trump or Clinton presidency. Neither would be good for the country nor for freedom… although a Clinton presidency would surely be worse. But we’re not there yet, and now is when the voice of Rush Limbaugh could actually make a difference. It won’t matter in the general because coming out of the conventions most minds are already made up, and the ones that aren’t are likely not listening to Rush.

This is not a call for Rush to savage Donald Trump. That’s not necessary. What is necessary however is to stop the with wall to wall “exposing” of the hypocrisy of the GOP establishment – which we all see – and the media’s duplicity as they prop up Trump only to knife him once the general campaign begins. What is necessary is for Rush to simply talk about how Trump doesn’t comport with most of the things he has championed for the last quarter century. To explain that Trump is an enemy of free markets, limited government and no fan of individual freedom. And explain why those things are important and why his posture on those ideas puts him closer to Barack Obama than they do to Ronald Reagan.

There are times in our lives when we are faced with real, consequential choices, and it’s up to us to us to decide what we want to leave behind when we’re gone. For 28 years Rush Limbaugh has eloquently stated the case that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of the world, our Constitution is possibly next to the Bible in importance in helping to improve the condition of man and that our free markets have driven more prosperity than the world has ever seen. He’s right… but the cancer of liberalism has put all of that at risk. The question is, a century from now, when people look back on Rush Limbaugh’s life, will they read about a political gadfly who entertained people between long commercial breaks or will they read about a patriot who helped the country survive the scourge of progressivism and helped bring about a conservative revolution that not only turned back the tide of big government, but unleashed the forces of freedom (both individual and markets) that ushered in a period of growth and prosperity unprecedented in all of human history?

That’s a choice Rush will have to make. Does he want to go down as a footnote in history or does he want to join the pantheon of giants who used their influence to make a difference as have Ben Franklin, J.P. Morgan, William F. Buckley and Milton Friedman?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

After Super Tuesday the Little Trump Train is still chugging... Oh, what is a party to do?

Now that Super Tuesday is history, one has to wonder about the future. The Donald Trump train looks a little less like a juggernaut than it did yesterday… but just a little. Of the 11 states contested, Trump won 7, Cruz won 3 and Rubio won Minnesota. Seven out of eleven sounds pretty staggering, but when you look at the delegates it’s a little less so. Overall, after 30% of the contests (including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada) the math looks thus:
  • Trump has 285 delegates and earned 34.54% of the votes cast. Those 285 delegates however represent 50.35% of the delegates pledged.

  • Cruz has 161 delegates and earned 24.17% of the votes cast. Those 171 votes represent 28.45% of the delegates pledged.

  • Rubio has 87 delegates and earned 22.27% of the votes cast. Those 87 delegates represent 15.37% of the delegates pledged.
So Trump’s 35% of the votes has translated into victories in 77% of the contests and earned him 50% of the delegates so far. For better or worse, that’s what one calls punching above your weight.

But the juggernaut may not be so robust going forward. Indeed, in order to secure the nomination Trump will have to do exactly as well going forward as he has done thus far. That might get harder. If you watched Thursday’s debate you saw something utterly different than you have seen previously. You saw Rubio and Cruz take out the knives and attack Trump in a way he had not been targeted before. But it wasn’t just style, it was substance as well. Going forward we will likely see not only more of that during the debates – unless Trump hides – but commercials that in many cases use Donald Trump’s words to expose him as the liberal that he is.

Of course, for what appears to be a base of about 30% of the GOP, none of that will matter. And if Democrats in other blue states jump parties to vote for him, (as at least 20,000 did in Massachusetts, giving him his highest percentage yet 49%) that could put him over the top. But for Trump going forward, everything has to go his way if he wants to win the nomination. For the other guys they just have to keep Trump from getting a majority of delegates before the convention. Or... if Rubio, Kasich and Carson drop out, Cruz could very well win the nomination outright. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now.

If it goes that far, a convention fight would likely result in someone other than Trump emerging as the GOP nominee… with Rubio being the likely winner, although at that point the field would be wide open. Of course the prospect of backroom deals and inordinate establishment influence is exactly what a majority of GOP voters are fighting against (Trump + Cruz voters) but I’ve learned never to underestimate the ineptitude and stupidity of GOP leadership.

A convention outcome with anyone but Trump will likely lead to Trump running 3rd party… which in turn might well throw the election to the House… and another opportunity for the GOP leadership to screw the American people and put one of their Democrat light darlings in the White House.

Like a Trump presidency, that would lead to the end of the Republican Party. Conservatives would decamp and start their own party… or more likely parties. At that point they would become spoilers in the American political scene, not winning, but keeping the GOP from winning. Like a zombie, the GOP would likely limp along for a while until conservative opposition coalesced around a unifying party that could put together a viable slate of candidates. Of course the country they know might be gone by the time they get around to doing so as the Democrats would be running the place…

The bottom line is, unless this thing plays itself out just right, the Trump phenomenon may very well be the end of the GOP. Odds are at this point that the nomination will either go for Trump or head to the convention, and who comes out the other side of that will likely determine the outcome in November. The GOP will have three choices at the convention:
  • 1) Give the nomination to Trump and watch a sufficient number of disaffected voters sit out or go third party to give the election to the Democrats.

  • 2) Give the nomination to one of their establishment darlings and see Trump bolt and run 3rd party, resulting in a Democrat victory or a House vote.

  • 3) Give the nomination to Cruz and potentially see victory. The difference between Cruz and any other potential non Trump nominee is that Cruz is a small government guy, a real reformer and the GOP establishment hates him, and thus, many who threw in with Trump could be convinced to return to the fold in a way that they might not if a squish is on the ticket, particularly on immigration.
Whatever the outcome, this election has everything that is the worst in American politics. From smoke filled rooms with power brokers and moneymen to populist charlatans to a sizable portion of the electorate knowing few facts and caring even less, one can’t but help but wonder what the rest of this decade will look like. It also has something we've not had in a while... a candidate who promises to reduce the power and influence of government while at the same time championing liberty and individual freedom.  It would be nice to see what a Cruz White House would look like...