When this 2016 presidential election is over, regardless of who becomes our next president, the Republican Party will never be the same. When in its history has it been so divided and in such a state of turmoil over its future direction? The biggest question of all is: can it survive and continue to exist as a viable political entity or will it break up into diametrically opposed factions?
The jury is out and things look very dismal for America's staunch conservatives. This party has been in the process of splintering ever since the Tea Party walked in and stirred the pot of dissension and division. In this current primary election the GOP initially had 17 candidates who, collectively, have to represent the worst set of candidates in that party's history.
Let's use the following metaphorical presentation to examine the condition of the Republican Party as the battle for its control rages on. Let's say that Trump is East and the GOP leadership is West; and the twain shall never meet. Their ideology and their positions on key issues are not even remotely on the same page.
Why Trump is running as a Republican is beyond comprehension because he gives the distinct impression of being a closet Democrat based on his past history and his general beliefs about the direction of this country. Who knows; he may be just that. In fact I'd say that a great many Republicans may be thinking that this is exactly what is happening. His candidacy may turn out be one of the most clever political schemes ever to have been carried out in America.
We know that Trump assumed command of the GOP ship of state without the authorization of the board of directors of the "company" and is taking it in a direction in which the majority of its members don't want to go. But he is in command and no matter how hard they try to remove him from his position of authority they are unable to do it; and as the party heads into a looming disaster, Captain Trump, just as the captain of the Titanic did in years past, issues the order, "Full Speed Ahead."
As this ship, under the iron-fisted command of Trump, stays on this dangerous course, many voices in the GOP are sounding the alarms, demanding that its hierarchy come up with some way to force Trump to change this reckless course and stay with the one that they have faithfully followed.
Here's a link to an article which contains the lyrics of "The Ship of State, A Republican Song" which perfectly illustrates the current condition of the Republican Party. The parts of the lyrics that stand out are, "She carries a sorty crew and needs a new commander", "There's mutiny aboard the ship, there's feud no force can smother" and "Her sordid crew shall be dismissed, to seek some honest calling."
Let's recall these words of President Lincoln, the first Republican president, who said, "A house divided cannot stand." Lincoln, of course, was referring to the great divisions that existed in the country, largely over the issue of slavery, during those trying times. It's ironic how those words, now these many years later, are so very descriptive of the political party that he once led; one that is reeling from internal strife.
It's Trump against Paul Ryan, Trump against Lindsey Graham, Trump against Reince Priebus; it's Trump against the entire Republican Establishment and its ideology. The Republican Party hierarchy can't comprehend how it was so easily blindsided by this political neophyte who came out of nowhere and has managed to pull off what could be described as a hostile takeover or a political coup.
Here is how bad the GOP's current situation is: there are two following scenarios which may materialize, either of which could serve to pound the last nails into the GOP's coffin:
If the Republicans, even at this late date, find a way to derail Trump's nomination through a "brokered convention" or otherwise, he will almost certainly take his revenge against them by running as an independent 3d Party candidate; call it the Trump Party. If he does there is no question but that he will receive millions of votes from his loyal supporters in the GOP; and the net effect will be to send Hillary Clinton to the White House
Now suppose that they can't stop him and he becomes the GOP candidate; we are beginning to hear that many of this party's members, who can't possibly accept him as their nominee, are banding together and strongly considering the possibility of coming up with their own hand-picked candidate to represent the conservative movement in the party. If they do it's a safe bet that this candidate will draw millions of votes away from Trump and, once again, Hillary will easily win.
This is a catch 22, or lose-lose, situation for the Republicans because, based on these scenarios, it will be very difficult if not impossible, for them to win the presidency. It's as if true Republican conservatives find themselves standing on the deck of the USS/GOP Titanic, watching as the ship heads straight into the iceberg field, feeling completely helpless to do anything about the collision that is surely to follow.
But as bad as this situation might seem to be for the GOP there is something developing on the political horizon that could also spell big trouble for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is determined not to drop out of the Democratic race. There is an increasing possibility developing in which he, if he finally accepts the fact that he will not become the Democratic nominee, will make the decision to run as an independent 3d party candidate.