In light of Clinton’s weaknesses, Trump’s main hurdle to winning the election may very well lie with the NeverTrump movement. That movement encompasses much of the Republican establishment – that is, the political class of centrist elected officials, opinion-shapers, former officials and ideologues. Its members have vowed not to vote for Trump even if it means that Clinton wins the White House. The fact that so many prominent Republican voices continue to oppose Trump even after he has been nominated hurts his ability to build support among swing voters.
As far as the NeverTrumpsters are concerned, Trump carried out a hostile takeover of their party.
In an interview with CNN in late May, Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief) Bret Stephens spoke for many in the NeverTrump camp when he said that he wants Trump to be “the biggest loser in presidential history.”
Stephens explained, “It’s important that Donald Trump and what he represents, this kind of ethnic quote ‘conservatism’ or populism, be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party and Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form.”
It’s the big issue, isn’t it? Immigration. People. A bigger issue even than small government versus big government. The globalists tell us we are all identical, so lots of immigrants to the west from third world countries and Islamic countries are just fine. Only the politically correct really believe that; the rest of us suspect or know it will be an unmitigated disaster.
On the eve of his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama pledged to “fundamentally transform,” America.
He kept his word.
And it is this fundamental transformation and the Republican leadership’s failure to stop it that transformed a loud-mouthed, brash billionaire into the Republican nominee. It was this transformation, and the Republican establishment’s failure to block it, that made it impossible for moderates like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to win the Republican primaries in 2016.
Trump is only the Republican candidate because he was the best candidate for opposing the fundamental transformation. He raised immigration and the people issue, while the other Republican candidates recycled Reaganism, which addressed the problems of the 1970s.
Trump is no Billy Sunday. He is not a champion of free trade or social conservativism. He isn’t a neoconservative interventionist. Trump is the bar brawler who says things no one else will say. And the people who lack faith in the country’s ability to help them, who have lost hope that things that used to work can work again, adore him for it.
This brings us to the issue of the lessons that will be learned by Republican voters if Trump loses as the NeverTrumpsters hope and expect.
If Trump loses, his voters will not realize that they were mistaken to believe in him and support him in defiance of their party’s intellectual class. They will blame the NeverTrumpsters for the election results and boot them out of the party altogether. If the Republican Party even exists in 2020 and 2024, its candidates will make Trump look like a moderate. …
[I]f Clinton is elected, what Republicans think about illegal immigration and free trade and foreign policy will be irrelevant. America’s fundamental transformation will become irreversible.
The stakes in this US election, both for the US and the world, are higher than usual.
hat-tip Stephen Neil