Dear Establishment Republican,
After eight years of waiting for a clean shot at the White House, your party is about to nominate a racist reality star with narcissistic personality disorder. You could go on denying this reality — close your eyes and chant “Jeb!-mentum” until the world just melts away. You could pretend that Ted Cruz isn’t an untrustworthy sociopath who everyone hates. Or you could pull yourself up by your bootstraps and invent a bunch of rationalizations for why a Trump nomination would actually be a good thing.
We recommend the latter. And to help you along, here are five things your cronies are already telling themselves to make peace with the inevitable:
1. He’s a dealmaker.
Trump can be dealt with — hell, he loves to be dealt with! He wrote the book on dealing with people. If he can deal, why can’t you?
Trump would “probably work with Congress. He’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker,” former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole told the New York Times on Tuesday.
Richard Edwards, president of an electrical-contracting firm and a self-identified “Establishment Republican,” told the Hill that his friends are finally appreciating Trump’s virtues as a wheeler-dealer.
“My friends are now seeing something in him,” Edwards said. “He just understands business, and he’s right in saying that America is a business. It’s a multibillion-dollar business.”
2. His demagoguery isn’t racist — it’s “entrepreneurial.”
Robert Bazyk, CEO of a Connecticut-based security firm, believes in politeness and refugees’ rights. He has also given the maximum legal donation to Trump’s campaign.
“I believe in welcoming refugees from all countries, races and religions who are genuinely fleeing religious and political persecution,” Bazyk told the Hill. “I also believe the insults and name-calling in politics are as counterproductive as political correctness.”
But Bazyk also believes that the Donald is “the only candidate with the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ to solve America’s ‘big problems.’”
If a nagging voice is telling you that the benefits of an “entrepreneurial spirit” don’t really outweigh the harms of a “Muslim ban,” don’t worry: The latter is really just a fleeting manifestation of the former!
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent explains:
“Many GOP establishment types … can just say that Trump’s various pronouncements (even if these donors personally disagree with them) merely reflect an entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit — they are the inevitable byproduct of thinking big, of a refusal to be constrained by convention, and hey, you know, come to think of it, we could use more of that right about now.”
3. When he gets nominated he’ll become terrified of losing and do whatever Republican operatives tell him to.
Trump does not like to lose. He threw a 95-minute tantrum when amateur Egyptologist Ben Carson briefly overtook him in the polls. Once he gets the nomination and faces the challenges of pivoting from borderline white nationalism to the American mainstream he’ll be dying to take orders from GOP consultants.
“You can coach Donald. If he got nominated he’d be scared to death. That’s the point he would call people in the party and say, ‘I just want to talk to you,’” lobbyist Charles R. Black told the Times’ Jonathan Martin.
Black argued that the same can’t be said of Trump’s closest rival.
“What would happen is a lot of the elected leaders and party elders would try to sit down and try to help Cruz run a better campaign, but he may not listen.”
4. He is a talented politician with cross-partisan appeal who can win a general election.
The poll results speak for themselves: Trump is a winner. Plus, he can appeal to both Christian values and New York ones:
“Mr. Trump is a better politician than we ever imagined, and he is becoming a better candidate,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote this week. “Trump and Cruz are now the front-runners for the nomination, but the challenge for both is to show that they can reach beyond the GOP base to win in November. The ‘New York values’ exchange suggests that Mr. Trump understands the task better than Mr. Cruz does.”
The paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, is inclined to agree.
If you’re going to tell yourself this one, just make sure you never look at Trump’s favorability numbers among Americans with melanin.
5. He is a harmless clown who will never win a general election.
You didn’t become a job creator without knowing when to cut your losses. Sure, it’ll be a drag to see Hillary Clinton back in the White House. But give her a chance to accidentally email the nuclear codes to Sidney Blumenthal, then take her out after one term. Better to lose one election than lose control of the party — which is what would happen if either of the two leading candidates somehow makes it to the oval office. So better to go with the candidate you know can’t get elected — the one that 70 percent of Latinos hate.
“This willingness to accommodate Mr. Trump is driven in part by the fact that few among the Republican professional class believe he would win a general election,” Martin writes in the Times. “In the minds of these Republicans, it would be better to effectively rent the party to Mr. Trump for four months this fall, through the general election, than risk turning it over [to] Mr. Cruz for at least four years, as either the president or the next-in-line leader for the 2020 nomination.”
So there you have it. Five things to tell yourself when the confetti rains down on Republican presidential nominee Fuckface von Clownstick.