Saturday, August 13, 2016

Donald Trump's road to redemption?

Beginning early in the Republican primaries I began writing critically about Donald Trump, a man driven by too many neuroses for laymen like me to understand or even count. (Hillary Clinton is in the same league.)

Putting aside the important question of what Trump has done (and will do) to the Republican Party and what a Trump or Hillary election victory would mean to our country and other free nations—no small question, but one for another day—I write now about the prognosis for the election itself, and what could be done to avoid what is being seen just over the horizon as political Armageddon

For now, my “could” rests on two premises, both of which are legitimately uncertain. One is that as of today, Trump is going to lose the election (and perhaps lose the House and Senate, too). The other, that somewhere within him he knows it.

What then to do, as he faces this Hobson’s Choice?

He can keep going, and become someone he hates: A loser! No matter how Trump would rationalize his loss—e.g., "the election is rigged, "the establishment was out to get me," "the stupid voters (blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, gays, etc.) didn’t care about Hillary’s lies"—his loss would be a loss would be a loss, forever. And losers are losers are losers.

Or he can quit, and become another type he hates: A quitter! He could rationalize that, too: "People who promised support faded away," "my campaign managers had their own agendas," "the corrupt media didn’t play fair," the Election Commission rigged the debates," "the fix was in for Hillary." But his quitting would be quitting would be quitting, forever. And quitters are quitters are quitters.

Horns of a dilemma? No way out?

Maybe not.

Back to my “could” and the two premises. (1) As of today, Trump is going to lose the election, and Hillary Clinton is our next president and will appoint a Supreme Court that will last for too many years, and (2) in moments of lucidity, Trump (or at least his children) knows that. Now I add a third legitimately uncertain premise: He is just rational enough not to want that to happen.

What to do?

Rule 9 of the Republican National Committee rules provides as follows:

Filling Vacancies in Nominations
(a) The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican
candidate for Vice President of the United States, as nominated by the national convention, or the Republican National Committee may reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.(My italics.)

If Trump took the high ground and withdrew from the race in the name of saving the Republican Party, the Presidency and Congress, the Supreme Court, and perhaps even the free world, he would more than redeem himself for what he’s done wrong, and he could build on that beau geste (“a graceful or magnanimous gesture”) to begin rehabilitation of his reputation.

I acknowledge that my three premises are shaky, and without them, well, que cera, cera.

So we’re left with the question: Is Donald Trump made of stronger stuff than what we’ve seen—strong enough at the core of his being to fall on his sword to save his country?