Few and far between are moments of clarity and wisdom from Trump surrogates, these days, but for the first time in what appears to be many months, super-surrogate, Ben Carson, has injected a bit of wisdom and practicality into the race.
As Donald Trump went on another mind-bending Tweet storm, attacking House Speaker Paul Ryan for pulling his support and instead, focusing his energies on saving the down ballot, Carson sought to quell the party in-fighting.
“Paul Ryan is being very pragmatic,” Carson said in an interview with The Hill. “He recognizes that if Donald Trump loses, Hillary Clinton needs a firewall so she can’t do whatever she wants. He wants to make sure to keep the firewall there, so he’s devoting his energy to doing that.”
And as November draws closer, with early voting already starting in some states, it looks more and more as if “Madam President” is in our near-future. Trump has steadfastly refused to discipline himself, or his message. He, nor his followers seem to grasp (or care about) the purpose of the down ballot races.
Carson said that Trump should focus on winning his own race rather than feuding with GOP leaders.
“The way forward is for them to both pursue their respective goals,” Carson said. “Trump should concentrate on the issues and stop allowing himself to be dragged off into the hinterlands. … Let Paul Ryan concentrate on the House. It’s critical; you need that fail-safe mechanism.”
“He’ll realize soon enough that he shouldn’t be attacking Ryan and that his energy needs to be on the issues, because that’s how he wins,” Carson continued. “If he would concentrate on those things he would win in a walk. It’s hard for him.”
The problem with that is that Trump can’t learn. Time and again, he’s reverted back to the same losing strategy, convinced that if his ego is stroked sufficiently, that is proof of a win.
“Basically what’s happening is our country is a train about to go off a cliff, and there’s a fight going on in one of the cars,” Carson said.
“Traditionally Republicans always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” he said. “This might be the most graphic example of it, although there’s still hope. It’s a matter of whether folks will be willing to look at the big picture and not just at their own feelings.”
This is absolute truth.
If the Republican party is to survive this election season, they may need to redefine who they are and what they stand for. If this cycle has taught us nothing, it is that all those who define themselves as “Republican” cannot be counted on to carry the banner for what the party used to be. They have clamored for something other than smaller government and individual freedoms, but more for a cult of personality that promises neither.
Hence the infighting, and the reason Ryan and other top GOP members are using this last month of the election to send out every man for himself, rather than coalesce as one party around the notion of overall victory.