Surprising as it is, there are still a lot of people who are on the sidelines as the party decides between Trump and Cruz. Almost the entire United States Senate, many sitting governors, and a large number of ostensibly conservative pundits have said that they are not going to endorse either Cruz or Trump. This is the coward’s way of tacitly endorsing Trump without risking any fallout for doing so, or taking any responsibility for the crazy things that Trump says and does.
In spite of scam candidate John Kasich’s protestations to the contrary, it is still very possible for Trump to get 50% (1,237) of the delegates. The RCP estimate right now has Trump sitting at 755 pledged delegates. There are still 769 delegates outstanding.
Not only would it not be impossible for Trump to get 482 of those delegates, it wouldn’t even be very difficult, not with New York (95) coming up on Tuesday, and then a massive potential haul the following Tuesday – 172 delegates in territory that is extremely favorable to Trump (CT, MD, PA, RI, DE). He also still has NJ (51) still on the map, and WV, OR and WA are total wild cards at this point. It would be frankly stunning if Trump didn’t get at least half the delegates from CA (172).
Many people have fallen into the trap of believing that Trump’s chances of reaching 50% have already gone down the tubes, but it just isn’t so. In fact, if Cruz doesn’t sweep NE, IN, MT, and SD (just for starters) I think it’s highly likely that Trump will in fact reach that marker. The idea that everyone is just jockeying for position at the convention at this point is a fiction designed to make John Kasich feel better about gambling away the fate of the country on his own vanity project. And it is a fiction that Trump is happy to indulge, because it keeps more and more people on the sidelines, or willing to vote for Kasich out of protest.
Like it or not, Trump is sitting in the driver’s seat. Cruz still has an even-toss chance (or maybe slightly better) of keeping Trump from getting 50% of the delegates, but even so, not all delegate outcomes are the same. If Trump gets 1170 delegates on the first ballot, denying him the nomination looks like a much more difficult proposition than denying him the nomination if he only gets 950.
In other words, if the GOP does nothing to unite to stop Trump, he will win, either before the convention or at the convention. And the pundits and elected officials who are sitting on the sidelines now know this – or at least they should. The only reason anyone would refuse to take a stand against Trump at this point – even for Kasich – is because they secretly want Trump to win. If that’s what they want, they should have the courage of their convictions and come out and openly declare it.
Quite apart from the political considerations, there is no substantive reason for anyone to be neutral about Trump at this point. The man is what he is. All his warts and virtues (I guess he has virtues? Lots of eggs on Twitter say he has virtues.) have been laid bare in spades. He is, by his own accounting, a transformative force in Republican politics.
Anyone who genuinely can’t make up their minds, after nine months of Trump’s campaign, whether the transformation Trump wants to wreak is a good one or a bad one is either too cowardly or too dimwitted to occupy any sort of leadership role in one of the two major political parties of the most powerful nation on earth.
The time to stand by on the sidelines and watch has passed. It’s time for everyone to get in the game now, before the game ends up swallowing this party – and this country with it – whole.