Even a Trump Loss is a Trump Win

Jeet Heer, in The New Republic, argues that “the Republican Party faces a nightmare scenario with Trump as its nominee, with two possible outcomes—both of which are unappetizing. The more likely possibility is that Trump could so offend the general public that the GOP would get a historic electoral drubbing to rival the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater … With the Republican ticket headed by a loudmouth bigot [Democrats] could certainly pick up seats in the House and re-take the Senate.

“But the other possible outcome is even worse for the GOP: Trump could win the presidency … ‘We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job,’ one GOP strategist told the Post. ‘It’s not just that it could be somebody Hillary could destroy electorally, but what if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?'”

“The lessons of 1964 are clear: Even a losing and divisive candidate changes the orientation of the party … If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, he’ll transform the party even if he loses. A Trumpized Republican Party, much more xenophobic than even now, will be the new norm. And the stage will be set for a new Nixon—most likely Cruz or Rubio—to become the more polished Trump and win the White House.”

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