Obviously, I agree with Andy (and with Bill Kristol) and many others: Trump should go. Of course, I never thought Trump should have been the nominee in the first place, in no small part because, as I wrote last night, I always believed the gargoyle on that tape is the same man we’ve seen all along. I’m honestly shocked by how many people are shocked by this “revelation.”
Already, Trump’s surrogates — official and unofficial — are demanding unity around the nominee. For instance:
Republicans need to learn how to win- this is political warfare not the prom queen election. Dems stand behind theirs no matter!
— Autry (@Autry) October 8, 2016
Now, this line of argument hasn’t meant much to me this year. I’m not a Republican operative and it’s not my job to be a cheerleader, particularly when cheerleading would require lying. Party loyalty can ask too much and all that.
But, for a great many Trump supporters, party loyalty has been everything: “Remember the pledge!” “Support the nominee!” “The Court, the Court, Forever the Court!” “If you’re not for Trump you’re for Hillary!”
These exhortations are essentially the soundtrack of my year.
And I believe a great many people are actually sincere when they’ve shouted this stuff at me. Well, what if Trump does nothing to repair the damage tomorrow night? What if, in fact, he makes things even worse for himself? (Hardly unimaginable save to the most enraptured). Let’s say he drops below 40 in the polls. Let’s say the Clinton campaign, not content with the results of dropping Little Boy decide to drop Fat Man (whatever that might be)? What then?
From the get-go, one of the main arguments for Trump, peddled not just by Trump but by brood and his publicists on TV and off, is that “he can win” (“because he fights!”). They claimed he adds states to the map. He can win in the Northeast.
So far evidence of that has been between scant and none. But the myth of Trump the Winner inflamed the minds of many. For some, to be against Trump meant being against “winning” itself.
Well. What if it becomes clear he is a loser? Where will all the people shrieking about party loyalty, unity and beating Hillary be?
Loyalty is a 2-way street. The party, the down-ballot races, the court, surely these are more important than Trump? Surely the emotional investment in Trump is worth writing off for the good of the country? If you sincerely believe that the country is “over” if Hillary wins and it becomes transparently obvious that the only possible way to avoid that is some kind of Torricelli maneuver, what is your reason for saying “No. We must go down to defeat with Mr. Trump!”?
Start coming up with your answers now, because you may need them very soon.
My advice: Cut him loose, because you know in your heart of hearts he’d cut you loose for far, far less.