Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will has made no secret of his disdain for Donald Trump. Will, who provides the Washington Post with a rare conservative voice, has repeatedly said that the Republican Party needs to divorce itself from the Trump movement, and he’s not backing away from that opinion in the final week before the election. Far from it. He not only wants Hillary Clinton to win, he wants her to destroy Trump on November 8.
Appearing in the Powerhouse Politics podcast this week, Will said that a narrow Clinton victory would be “the worst conceivable outcome” for the GOP. If Hillary sneaks past Trump by only a handful of electoral votes, he said, Republicans may blame the loss on “the old stab-in-the-back theory.” In other words, they may conclude that NeverTrump conservatives like Ben Sasse, Glenn Beck, and Mitt Romney were responsible for depressing GOP turnout and cementing a Clinton presidency.
On the other hand, Will argued, a landslide Clinton victory could inspire the Republican Party to distance itself from what he called the “indignation industry,” made up of talk radio stars like Rush Limbaugh and websites like the Drudge Report. He said that unless the GOP trims the outrage and makes serious changes to the platform, the party is doomed.
“Until the Republican party gets right with minorities in this country,” Will said, “it’s never going to win another presidential election.”
It’s hard to understand how someone so smart can be so stupid.
What Will (and many, many others) seems to have forgotten is how the Republican Party wound up in this mess to begin with. He’s internalized the mainstream media’s narrative that the GOP could have won this election if they’d followed the 2012 “autopsy” blueprint. You know, embrace amnesty, drop opposition to abortion, compromise with Democrats, and basically turn into a center-left party. This is what happens when you spend your whole life inside the Beltway, surrounded by liberals. You start to forget that the majority of conservative Americans are absolutely aghast at the direction those liberals have taken the country.
Will’s theory – that the alt-right has taken over the GOP, leaving “real” conservatism without a home – is completely backwards. The Republican Party has been utterly ineffective for eight long years, allowing one of the most liberal presidents in history to drag America so far to the left that millions of us can no longer recognize our own country.
When Trump came out swinging last summer, he represented something we’ve been desperately longing to see: An actual fighter. Someone who wasn’t afraid to look at what’s going on and say, “You know what, that’s enough. We simply can’t keep going in this direction. We have to put an end to this before it’s too late.”
That message resonated with millions of Americans who have been abandoned by the current GOP. And no matter what happens on Tuesday, those Americans aren’t going away. Before making any rash decisions, the Republican establishment had better come to terms with that.