Establishment Hatches Plan to Stop Donald Trump
Donald Trump is definitely an outsider politician and many people, especially die-hard conservative Republicans, don’t like him. The problem, as they see it, is that whether or not his ideas are good or bad, Trump appears ready to defy the tendency to compromise as professional politicians do, regardless of their partisan affiliations. Trump is an enemy to their personal interests.
The same happened with Ronald Reagan. Critics alleged he was an actor in second-rate western films and hardly the sort of person capable of leading the world’s most powerful nation. Not only was Reagan a beloved GOP president, but also many Republicans still miss him to this day, considering him the very symbol of a strong, Top Gun-style America.
Some Republicans and their well-heeled backers, however, may have a plan to beat Trump before he gets as far as Regan.
But first, a little background…
Trump himself has never liked the party establishment, so the feeling is mutual. The conservative middle class does not recognize itself in the boldness (or harshness) of his words. Many women cite his sexist views. Most religious Republicans, who in many states in the Midwest and South are the ones who decide elections (proving decisive in both of George W. Bush’s elections), disdain the tycoon’s flash and lifestyle.
Those GOP voters who have decided against supporting Trump don’t have many options left. Ted Cruz and John Kasich have formally abandoned the race to the nomination. Trump has no more rivals. The Cleveland convention is a done deal; it won’t deliver any surprise. Instead, it will be Trump’s coronation.
The primaries in Indiana mark the end of the road for the nomination race, but Donald Trump’s victory has opened a tough “civil war” within the GOP itself. The average Republican doesn’t like the New York billionaire. Social networks are pulsating to the tune of #NeverTrump, #TodayImADemocrat, or similar hashtags.
Unfortunately, today, these voters have no choice in who will represent their Party: the fact that Trump will be the Republican candidate in the race for the White House in November is now certain.
While the many Republicans who don’t want to vote for Trump seem to have no apparent choice left, though, that’s not entirely the case. They can still do one of two things: 1) they can boycott the polls entirely, or 2) they can go to the polls, hold their nose, shut their eyes, and put a checkmark next to Clinton.
As Henry Olsen, an analyst at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, noted, “I’m watching a 160-year-old political party commit suicide.” (Source: “It’s Donald Trump’s Party Now,” The New York Times, May 3, 2016.)
The challenge for Donald Trump in the next few months will be to win over those voters before the general election. The battle will be tough, judging from the first reactions.
It might be even tougher, though. Some have not yet surrendered to the reality of Trump as the GOP’s candidate. The Cruz-Kasich plan to force the nomination race to be decided in Cleveland has failed—that was Plan B.
However, there may yet be a Plan C.
Are traditional Republicans with financing from the Koch brothers pondering nominating an independent conservative candidate in November to run as an alternative to Trump?
Trump would have an easy time against any opponent who takes him on in open battle, so finding a candidate who can match Trump could be difficult.
There is also the technical problem of any Trump rival having to collect a number of signatures in each state. This is not easy to do with just a few weeks left until Cleveland.
Let’s assume, though, hypothetically, that there were conditions (technical and political) for an alternative candidate. Who can run? House Speaker Paul Ryan (former Romney VP candidate in 2012) has refused convincingly. Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico, who would contrast Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric and his “beautiful” wall idea, could get strong blowback support from Hispanic voters. And Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, has already ruled out running as an independent.
Plus, GOP funders, just like the Koch brothers, have noted that they will support Hillary Clinton. Billionaires Charles and David Koch said during an ABC television interview that they would back Hillary Clinton as president. Unlike in other elections, the Koch brothers, who are worth some $90.0 billion together, have not paid a penny to the Republican Party and its candidates. (Source: “Exclusive: Koch brothers will not use funds to try to block Trump nomination,” Reuters, March 3, 2016.)
Might the Koch brothers, who have used their considerable wealth to bend democracy, back an alternative dark-horse candidate? They might and that dark-horse candidate may already have a name: Gen. James Mattis, a.k.a. “The Warrior Monk.” There’s no word that the Kochs are behind him yet, but rumors have been growing that unnamed billionaires are backing his candidacy.
James Mattis, a decorated soldier’s soldier who’s known for a 7,000-book library on military history and reading The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius in Latin, had already ruled out his candidacy on April 29. (Source: “Bill Kristol’s Pick For A Third-Party, Anti-Trump Candidate Says He Won’t Run,” Talking Points Memo, Apr.29, 2016.)
Yet, that was before Trump became the undisputed GOP leader for 2016. Retired General James Mattis could still launch a third-party presidential effort to wreck Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. “The Donald” would not have such easy sway over a four-star general who once said, “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.” (Source: “The Best from Mad Dog Mattis,” The Washington Free Beacon, March 18, 2016.)
If that doesn’t quite capture how Mattis could make mincemeat of Trump’s rhetoric, how would Trump possibly trump this one?
“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.” (Source: Ibid.)
I personally like this one: “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.” (Source: Ibid.)
That’s the real killer quotation. It shows that Mattis can brawl with Trump all day long, beat him, and then win over wonks and reasonable people a moment later.
In a last desperate attempt to stop Trump, the right kind of “money” and GOP leaders might still persuade Mattis to stop Trump and beat Hillary Clinton. After all, wouldn’t it be fun to see Mattis deal with ISIS, have a chat over vodka with Vladimir Putin, or debate Hillary Clinton—and all of that after a battle to the last killer quote with Trump?