Donald Trump said that there might be riots if he was denied the Republican nomination. In saying this he was, of course, assuming the most probable outcome: that he will get to the convention in July well ahead of Ted Cruz and John Kasich but without a clear majority of delegate votes. And then the wheeling and dealing will deny him the nomination.
Two things then went on. First the media, the Democrats and his Republican rivals criticised him for inflammatory language. He may have meant the reference to ‘riots’ figuratively. Who knows? He was never going to get that benefit of the doubt and the days are in the past when Bob Askin, then Premier of NSW, could say jocularly to Lyndon Johnson that he ought to have told his driver to run over demonstrators (who had thrown themselves in front of his car) and to which Johnston reportedly responded ‘a man after my own heart’
The second thing to happen is that some anybody-but-Trump conservative commentators went back to 1860, when Abraham Lincoln got the nomination against the front runner. If it weren’t for the wheeling and dealing, they say, America would have lost a great president. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be an Honest Abe in the wings, only a Ted and John. So the parallel is a complete stretch and, anyway, strange to say, most people can’t remember or see the relevance in what happened 156 years ago.
Trump is a not a throwback to the 1860s, but he is to a time not so long ago – to 1968, say, when Askin made his non-PC remark, a time when prissy commentators and politicians were thin on the ground. Now anyone not mincing around with the language stands out as a vulgar ruffian. John Kasich knows the New Age playbook. “I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land,” he said.
Here’s news for him, Mitt Romney chose the high road and lost and Kasich would too if he were mistakenly given the nomination, as I am fairly confident would Cruz. The Democratic machine, with hordes of locked in black and Hispanic voters, is simply getting harder and harder to beat as the demography of America changes. A circuit breaker is needed and Trump might be the last chance to re-balance US politics.
What Republicans should realise is that underneath the Democrats’ civilised veneer they have a well-funded, no-holds-barred approach to winning elections. On the other side we have Cruz, Kasich and Rubio (when he was still in it) criticising Trump for his intemperate language in Chicago, where Obama’s friend and former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayres, plus thugs from the MoveOn and Black Lives Matter movements, were intent on hijacking his event and closing down his free speech. Whose side are these soft-headed Republicans on? The answer is simple. They are on the losing side.
Take a football (round ball) analogy. Your team is losing and will inevitably lose by at least one or two goals unless a change is made. You could put on defender to keep the defeat at respectable proportions. Or you could put on a robust striker who might win the game for you or, of course, potentially lose it badly.
Back to realpolitik. These are not the times to incur a respectable loss. The stakes are too high not to take a chance. Hillary Clinton or, if she were to be indicted, Joe Biden or (self-identifying Cherokee Indian) Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren would take America further down the socialist road. The borders would remain porous. The military would be squeezed still more to fund social programs. Israel would be further isolated. Islamic immigration and influence would grow. The budget would remain out of control. So what? America would simply become more like Europe. That is the problem.
The lights are already on the way to going out in Europe. There is only one country left to stand up for freedom and be able to back it up. On the other side is Russia, China, North Korea and the gaggle of 57 countries, including a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran, making up the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It is regrettable, but the West can live without the France or Germany that we knew, but the loss of the US to radical make-believers puts us all at risk. It is Trump or we might be heading for a riotous world order, not just a riotous Republican convention.