When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican Presidential Primary there was no one who took him serious — including yours truly. The GOP establishment simply laughed it off and declared they’d never get behind such a raving, know-nothing idiot. However, as Trump’s popularity rose and the other 16 serious contenders began dropping like flies, a couple of conservative’s openly endorsed him. But most were using all sorts of negative adjectives and nouns to describe Trump, with some well-known names declaring they would never endorse nor support him no matter what.
But that was then and this is now.
Today, as the presumed nominee of the party (with 1238 delegates in hand), nearly all are supporting Trump albeit with noses pinched and snarls through gritted teeth. Many believe Trump will be the Napoleon of the Republican Party and, as President, be the Party’s Waterloo; yet they’re still rallying around him.
For example, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham once called Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot”, a “jackass” and said “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office”. But now that he’s the clear Primary winner, Graham not only supports Trump but is encouraging donors to support him.
Others, who are in a fight for reelection – like Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina – claim to support Trump but refuses to endorse Trump or campaign with him.
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who said last year there was no need to endorse Trump because he would never be the nominee, now finds herself in a predicament. Running neck-and-neck with her Democratic challenger, she can neither afford to endorse him nor rebuke him. Yet she’s trying to ‘support’ him.
Then there’s Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC. Once upon a time he called Trump a ‘varsity’ candidate. But as he began to realize that Trump could win the Primary, Priebus began exploring options to prevent Trump from becoming the official nominee – including a nuclear option. But evidently he concluded that the future of the Party might be less bleak with a Trump nominee vs. alienating millions of voters.
There are many others who can’t stand the idea of a Trump Presidency, yet are pledging their support. So what’s the message coming from the GOP establishment? It’s crystal clear: The Party would endorse Satan himself as President if only he would declare himself a faithful Republican.