From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
This year should tell us that nothing in politics is certain, but right now, there’s just no way for the Republican Party to leave the convention in Cleveland unified. You can’t square this circle. A certain percentage of Trump voters won’t support anyone but their man as the nominee. On the flip side, 37 percent of Republican voters yesterday said they would “seriously consider” voting for a third party or other candidate if Trump is the nominee.
Barring a sudden Ted Cruz surge in the final 20 contests, the Trump folks will argue their guy won the most votes, the most states and has the most delegates. We know how quick Trump is to hurl accusations he’s being cheated – even when they’re baseless. Nothing we’ve seen in Trump’s behavior going back years indicates he’s capable of graciously conceding defeat and pledging to do his part to help elect the Republican nominee. Nothing we’ve seen from his supporters suggests they’re amenable to voting for Cruz or some other Republican.
On the flip side, the #NeverTrump crowd believes that voting for Trump is selling their soul, reducing themselves to the humiliating subservience of Chris Christie. They’ve seen religious leaders compare Trump to King David, Sen. Jeff Sessions endorse the guy who hired illegal immigrants for construction jobs and off-the-cuff endorsed expanding the H1-B visa program. journalistic institutions turn themselves into propaganda outlets for him, the media turn itself into all-Trump, all-the-time frenzy of alternating adulation and denunciation. (“Nothing too hard, Mika.”) The allegedly conservative party is now ready to sign on to the guy who defends Planned Parenthood, opposes entitlement reform, speaks warmly of Vladimir Putin, boasts he’ll be able to get the military to violate the law, won’t rip up the Iranian nuclear deal, mocks Carly Fiorina’s appearance, and lies constantly, obviously and shamelessly. Trump corrupts everything he touches, and one plurality in the party can’t believe the other plurality is eager to give him the powers of the presidency and authority over the FBI, Department of Justice, and IRS.
And despite the overwhelming hype, he’s won 37 percent of the cast votes so far.
Last night, Bill O’Reilly offered an odd defense of the GOP frontrunner: “The reason I think Trump won in Florida is because he comes across as more authoritarian. Not authoritative, authoritarian.”
Let’s take a look at the Merriam-Webster definition of authoritarian:
1. of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority <had authoritarian parents>
2: of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people <an authoritarian regime>
There is nothing less American than authoritarianism. This nation was not founded on blind submission to authority. If we wanted a “concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people” we would have remained a colony of the British crown.
The people do not get to elect an authoritarian who will ignore the Constitution. An authoritarian is never the right solution.