Republican and conservative resistance to the prospect of Donald Trump as the party’s nominee has been a major political storyline in recent weeks. Yet underappreciated is the extent to which the general electorate is already gearing up to stop a potential Trump candidacy.
Below, we excerpt some recent pieces highlighting why general election voters – Latinos and non-Latinos alike – are engaging against Trump, as well as some reminders of how many in the Republican Party remain complicit in his rise and have missed the chance to stand up to him effectively enough, early enough and strong enough.
Frank Wilkinson in Bloomberg View, “What Republicans’ ‘Demographic Death Spiral’ Looks Like”
“Some analysts have suggested that Trump-fueled Republicans might profit from higher turnout among white voters. It’s certainly possible. But how are nonwhite voters, who represent a greater share of the electorate every four years, to interpret the further concentration of the GOP into a white party? As benign? Republicans complaining about Trump’s lack of fidelity to conservative principles are like a man whining about a light rain as a tornado bears down on him. Trump’s deviations from conservative orthodoxy are nothing compared with his aggressive alienation of the nation’s fastest-growing voting blocs. Birtherism, attacks on Mexicans and Muslims and the elevation of racial fear and resentment from political undercurrent to organizing principle pose long-term threats. Republican voters may be in the process of nominating a political race warrior. But the party, let alone the country, can ill afford a war.”
Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo, “Lust for Destruction”
“The key to understanding the Trump phenomenon – his ability to do all these things and pay no price – is that it has very little to do with Trump and almost everything to do with the portion of the electorate he is currently operating. The current Republican party is built in large part on roughly 25% to 30% of the voting electorate which is radicalized and revanchist … what we are talking about here is a distinction between policy and political mentality, specifically a view of politics based on resentment and desire for revenge. And that operates with a large minority but not close to a majority of the electorate.”
Paul Waldman, in The Week, “Why Working-Class Whites Can’t Propel Donald Trump to Ultimate Victory”
“If there’s one thing we know for sure about Donald Trump, it’s that he’s a candidate for white people. This would seem to be an almost insurmountable problem in an increasingly diverse America, but some are beginning to suspect — either with hope or fear, depending on whom you ask — that Trump could win a general election by pulling in large numbers of working-class white voters who are responding to his message of alienation, anger, and resentment….But it’s not going to happen….the white working class becomes a smaller and smaller portion of the voting public with each election, particularly in presidential election years when turnout is higher across the board….another problem with the blue-collar whites theory of a Trump victory: It rests on the idea that he’d bring out large numbers of those voters who don’t vote often, but also requires that people opposed to Trump won’t be similarly motivated to turn out. “I find it just so implausible that we could have this massive white nativist mobilization without also provoking a big mobilization among minority voters,” political scientist Ruy Teixeira recently told The New Yorker. “It is kind of magical thinking that you could do one thing and not have the other.”
Dana Milbank in Washington Post column, “Trump’s Flirtation with Fascism”
“Trump is on the wrong side of a struggle between decency and bigotry, between democracy and something else. Yet, incredibly, the other candidates in the race — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich — all said they’d support Trump if he wins the nomination. The morning after Trump’s salute, the morally neutral Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, told CBS’s John Dickerson the that his ‘role is to basically be 100 percent behind’ the eventual nominee … Where does Trump’s flirtation with fascism end? Nobody knows. But don’t say you didn’t see it coming.”
Jonathan Chait in New York magazine, “Why, Exactly, Is Trump Driving Conservatives So Crazy?”
“By making race and nationalism the text rather than the subtext of Republican politics, Trump threatens not only the party’s agenda but the self-conception of its intellectual class.”
Eugene Robinson in Washington Post column, “Will Latinos Wall Off Trump from the White House?”
“Latino voters have the potential to form a ‘big, beautiful wall’ between Trump and his goal. If Trump gets the Republican nomination and Hispanics are provoked into voting in numbers that more nearly approach their percentage of the population — and if, as polls suggest, they vote overwhelmingly against Trump — it is hard to see how the bombastic billionaire could win. Such an outcome would serve Trump right. Unfortunately for the GOP, it would also threaten to make Latinos a reliable and perhaps monolithic voting bloc for the Democratic Party, just as African Americans have been since the 1960s. If this were to happen, simple arithmetic would make it increasingly difficult for Republicans to win the White House.”
Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg View, explaining why he will not run for President, “The Risk I Will Not Take”
“Senator Cruz’s pandering on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme. His refusal to oppose banning foreigners based on their religion may be less bombastic than Trump’s position, but it is no less divisive. We cannot ‘make America great again’ by turning our backs on the values that made us the world’s greatest nation in the first place. I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future — and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States.”