It's the million dollar question as we look to the possibility that Donald Trump is somehow the nominee: Do we as Republicans stand with him? Do we circle the wagons? Do we overlook everything in his past and say "You know what? Better than a Democrat."
The answer, for me at least, is decidedly "No."
This is an answer that I have evolved to. But, I've seen his past donations, read his past statements, and heard his defense of Planned Parenthood time and again. I can say this with absolutely certainty: I very much believe in the RedState position of "Conservative in the primary, Republican in the general." But, if Donald Trump is the nominee, then there is no Republican in the general election. That is a fact.
I need nothing other than Trump's statements on Planned Parenthood to justify this, but he has a history of positions, donations, and statements that are antithetical to Republican and, more importantly, conservative ideology. His support comes from a rejection of political correctness and an embrace of xenophobia. His campaign is a living, breathing example of everything he explains in his book on making deals.
Donald Trump is starting at the farthest end of the spectrum on a major issue and, the moment he sits down at the table, negotiating toward the middle will begin. There will be no wall. There will be nothing to make Mexico pay for. There will be no dealing with China. They are all empty promises spoken in order to gain support from a morally outraged base.
The Republican Party has only itself to blame for this chaos, but more than that, it is doing absolutely nothing to put an end to it. There is no indication that there is anything learned from this. And so, their chance to take over the White House is slipping away because they don't get just how badly they've screwed up. They will blame the base, a base they've alienated for so long that there is not trust being either group, and they will continue doing what they do.
Because of this, we stand a chance of there being no Republican in the general election for president. I've long resisted the idea of a third party, but if that is the scenario we face, I'll gladly jump ship to something I can believe in again.