With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds. ~ ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Never let it be forgotten that on the day Donald Trump all but clinched the Republican presidential nomination he again intimated that there would be blood in the streets of Cleveland if he is denied that reward, mocked foes long gone from the race, and accused the father of his last remaining credible opponent of being connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. That is what we have to look forward to over the next six months, let alone what would transpire in the nightmarish event that this Frankenstein of a man were actually to assume the mantle of the most important job on the planet.
That reality seems not to have sunken in, and even this pundit who saw the future in the not too distant past, continues to grapple with its enormity.
Meanwhile, the cable news and television networks went about their post-Indiana primary coverage with a customary fickleness that quickly lapsed into gross irresponsibility as the usual talking heads treated the ascendancy of a billionaire with a profoundly vile world view and a nativist lynch mob to cheer him on to the Republican nomination as just another event in the long slog to another Election Day and Ted Cruz as just another politician with a bruised ego.
There were the usual references to the reality show star with the small hands and peculiar hair having tapped into some mysterious wellspring of discontent, but not a peep that a 160-year-old political party that traces its roots to a guy by the name of Abe Lincoln has been neutered through a hostile takeover by a white nationalist whose diamond-encrusted ring a good many Republican lemmings are now getting in line to kiss. And then it was time for the taking heads to move on -- to Hillary Clinton, the death of a Navy SEAL in northern Iraq, and didn't Beyoncé look just lovely on the red carpet at the Met Gala in her pearl-embroidered Givinchy Haute Couture latex gown?
The media is responsible for creating this latest iteration of Trump, as opposed to real estate tycoon Trump, sports team owner Trump, casino magnate Trump, National Enquirer fanboy Trump or "The Apprentice" Trump, as well as enabling his dizzying takeover of the Republican Party.
But now that Trump has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the Nazi, hate and other crypto-terrorist domestic groups who have enthusiastically endorsed him and extremism has become the new normal, only the Republican Party itself -- the very folks who enabled Trump through its racism, obstructionism and hatred of Barack Obama -- remains an obstacle to him skating dangerous close to winning it all should Clinton immolate. In 2016, implausible does not mean impossible.
The GOP could make the implausible impossible by manning up behind a credible third-party sacrificial lamb who would assure that Trump would lose.
But as the acrid smell from Indiana slowly dissipates, the party is far more concerned about "unifying" what remains of a dissolute conservative movement than what is a moral necessity, let alone could be an historic act of altruism in taking responsibility for having created something a great deal more consequential to the future of the republic than a cleanup in Aisle Five. And then there are the party bigs who disingenuously hint that if only the substance-free Trump would "tone down his rhetoric," they'd clamber on board, or are going through the rhetorical contortion of saying that they will "support" him but not "endorse" him.
That sound you hear is Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican from the good old days who happened to have help save us from fascism, spinning in his grave.
POLITIX UPDATE IS WRITTEN BY SHAUN MULLEN, A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER FOR WHOM THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS HIS 12th SINCE 1968. CLICK HERE FOR AN INDEX OF PREVIOUS COLUMNS.© 2015-2016 SHAUN D. MULLEN.
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