It’s increasingly apparent that Donald Trump is going to be risky business as the GOP standard bearer. Reporters have asked one high-profile Republican after another to take a position on his reckless statement that the judge hearing his Trump U. case is biased because he’s Mexican.
Then Bloomberg News reported on a June 7th conference call between Trump and his top surrogates that could only be described as “deranged.”
People like Pam Bondi, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer were said to be on the call, among others. “A clearly irritated Trump told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge,” said Bloomberg.
“‘The people asking the questions—those are the racists,’ Trump said. ‘I would go at ’em,’” he allegedly said, concluding: “‘I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.’”
Though a more recent Trump statement declared that he would say no more about the judge (but no apology), there are well-founded fears that this acting out will recur, if someone else gets under the Trumpian thin skin, with a perceived slight. In fact, his public blasting of the judge came on the heels of a grotesque, similar attack on Susana Martinez, the popular Latina governor of New Mexico, because she had refused to endorse him. This occurred during a Trump rally in Albuquerque.
Apparently undeterred by his deficits among both Hispanics and women, Trump launched into a signature Trump smearfest of Martinez, who is also chair of the Republican Governors Association. Trump blasted her for not fighting resettlement of Syrian refugees in her state, when the opposite is the case, and blamed her for economic conditions going back well before her election as governor.
He also recently hurled insults and epithets at reporters in a presser, who were questioning him on his disbursement of funds raised for veterans.
There’s a strong possibility that the Don suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, which this reporter analyzed in detail here. One expert quoted said:
“He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics…”
If true, enraged responses to imagined insults are a hallmark of that syndrome, and sure to repeat themselves, not to mention what he could do in the White House. Taken together with Trump’s many inappropriate outbursts, notably his absurd statements on foreign policy – for which Hillary Clinton has already begun mocking him – this makes him a hazard to both the down-ticket candidates and the Party itself.
The GOP must surely have buyer’s remorse by now, but have no idea what to do about it, without alienating his supporters. But there’s a basic misperception about the total numbers who do support him. Latest figures, after the June 7th primaries showed this:
Total votes: 30,230,548
Trump: 13,370,679 = 44%
Non-Trump: 16,859,869 = 56%
Source: The NY Times
Therefore, the phrase “The people have spoken,” oft employed by Trump supporters, doesn’t quite apply. The likelihood of many non-Trump voters staying home in November, should Trump be replaced, is small, and the number of Trump voters is well shy of a majority. It’s far from certain that all Trump supporters would stay home.
It’s also painfully obvious that many Cruz supporters openly refuse to vote for Trump. Also, the nominee must have broad appeal. He may have gotten 13 million votes, but well over 125 million voted in the 2012 general election. According to Gallup, 58% of men and 70% of women have an unfavorable opinion of him.
However, there is an easy way out for the GOP: simply let the delegates at the convention vote their consciences. Although there’s ample evidence that they already have that right – even if bound on the first ballot, by their states – it would be helpful if the RNC clarified the rules and the party stopped trying to muscle delegates into voting for Trump on the first ballot.
There’s been a report that the state GOP in Arizona is trying to compel its delegates to sign pledges that they will vote for trump on the first ballot, or they will not be allowed to go to the convention. This may be the case in other states as well. The legality of this move is questionable, but delegates are in a quandary what to do.
For one thing, the very fact state officials are making the attempt shows that they believe the delegates have the right to vote their conscience on the first ballot. This means delegates’ goal should be to choose the best candidate to represent the party and win the general election.
It’s quite obvious that Mr. Trump is not those things.
And, more people are calling for the delegates to take action, including Ted Cruz’s New Jersey state director, Steve Lonegan who called for a “delegate revolt,” on Tuesday. The following day, radio host Hugh Hewitt joined the Dump Trump movement. ‘The conservative radio host argued…the Republican Party should make an unprecedented effort to change the Republican National Convention rules to allow them to dump Donald Trump as their nominee,” reported Mediaite. “It’s like ignoring stage-four cancer,” said Hewitt. [Disclosure: Hewitt is affiliated with Salem Media Group which owns RedState.]
As for what delegates should do, this reporter is not an attorney, but if they signed the pledge it is difficult to see how their states could penalize them for it, because he has reported on May 28th that the balloting is secret, according to Curly Haugland, a member of the Rules Committee and longtime advocate for the delegates’ right to vote their conscience. That depends upon the exact wording of the pledge, of course.
These delegates need our backing! It is incumbent on those with an interest in having the best presidential candidate to email the RNC and tell them to free the delegates, to replace Trump. [email protected] Use the main point of your message as the subject line of your email, in case the recipients don’t open and read all the emails. #FreeTheDelegates