Republicans must dump Trump
It’s bad enough when a narcissist is so full of himself that even a defeat can’t humble him. Win or lose, he’s always right. Imagine, then, what happens when an extreme narcissist starts to win, and wins big. All narcissism breaks loose. He goes from being drunk on his greatness to being totally plastered.
This is what is happening to Donald Trump.
He has passed the drunken phase. His stunning victories in the Republican primaries, his endless media exposure and his raucous rallies have become like cocaine-heroin speedballs to the part of his brain that triggers his ego. Blinded by self-love, he has doubled down on his offensiveness and recklessness.
His critics inside the Republican party say, “What did you expect? This is who Trump is.” But I think it’s worse than that.
What we’re seeing now is Trump becoming more and more Trumpish, a man so hypnotized by his own success that he can’t see himself unraveling (with a 70 percent disapproval rating). He can hire and fire advisers, but it won’t help, because he can’t help himself.
If Trump pulls off a miracle and wins the White House, we will have an unhinged leader of the free world, intoxicated by his greatness, prone to even more recklessness.
But even if he loses, which is more likely, we will still have to brave another few months of Trumpian bile. Come November, there won’t be anyone left to offend. We will all need a National Detox Day.
Among the many fallouts of this cringe-inducing year is how Trump’s crassness has overshadowed some genuine grievances among his working-class voters. Many of them feel, rightfully, that the economic recovery has left them behind and the Washington establishment has ignored them.
Some Trump voters also are tired of seeing their country getting ripped off, whether by a badly run war in Iraq that squandered $3 trillion, a badly negotiated nuclear deal that empowered a terror-sponsoring Iran, or unfair trade agreements that have cost American jobs.
The great GOP tragedy of 2016 is that it was a vulgar and divisive circus clown who figured out how to tap into many of those grievances.
In the beginning, many of us saw the Trump phenomenon as a harmless and amusing sideshow. Now, we see it is contaminating a party — and a nation.
That’s why Republicans must do everything they can to dump the Trumpster.
This is no longer about partisan politics; it’s about defending the honor of our country. As Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said recently, “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
With their convention only a month away, for Republicans that time is now. Trump’s beyond-the-pale behavior justifies looking for every possible angle in the playbook to allow delegates to nominate another candidate.
Yes, it’ll be messy, but as John Fund writes in National Review Online, there are expert opinions in support of freeing up the delegates:
“Curly Haugland, a member of both the Republican National Committee and the convention’s Rules Committee, has co-authored with Sean Parnell a persuasive mini-book, ‘Unbound: The Conscience of a Republican Delegate,’ to make the case that delegates to the GOP convention are free to vote their conscience.”
Denying Trump the nomination is a long shot, to be sure. Love him or hate him, the man has earned his delegates. Still, this is one of those torturous moments when one imperative overrides another. If there is a legitimate way to replace Trump with another candidate, it must be tried.
Republican leaders must say to America, “We have decided that Donald Trump is so far out of line that we can’t in good conscience support him. Even if we have to bear the wrath of his supporters, divide our party and forfeit the election, we will encourage delegates to go in another direction.”
Politicians and operatives inside the GOP who have mocked and criticized Trump but are nevertheless supporting him are simply proving his point about the cronyism of the political class. The only way they can salvage their integrity is to throw themselves at the mercy of principle and work to replace him.
This would be good not only for America — in the long run, it also would be good for the Republican Party.
“There will always be other Trumps until Republicans decide to make defeating Trumpism a cause, even if that means short-term losses,” former Democratic speechwriter Jon Favreau writes on The Ringer website. “If the party does not become more welcoming and inclusive, young people and other voters will tune it out.”
Donald Trump is too narcissistic to learn from his experience, either in victory or in failure. The Republican Party cannot afford to become like him.
David Suissa is president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.