Five years ago, after buying our new home, my wife bought two tall chairs for our children to sit at our kitchen counter. The kids never pushed the chairs under the counter. They were always across the room where, inevitably, the youngest would crawl up into the cabinets to sneak treats.
On one particular day I came in through the garage carrying a heavy load, the chairs were again where they were not supposed to be, and I tripped and fell. I dropped everything I was carrying, had a scrape on my leg, and immediately lost my temper.
For the second or so that the streak of robin’s egg blue sailed through air, there was no more rage. Arching ever upward through the threshold into our dining room that chair sailed in a perfect spiral. Gravity took hold somewhere over the near side of the dining room table. The left tip of the back of the chair penetrated the wall like a Roman spear into a barbarian. The right tip soon joined it, thrusting in just so to slay the barbarian sheet rock. The thud satisfied in the way a primal scream can soothe the soul.
But only for that second or two. Then I had two holes in the wall and an angry wife. Even more infuriating, the chair did not then lay vanquished in pieces, but stubbornly refused to break. Now I had two holes in the wall, an angry wife, and an exasperated self more angry then with me than with my kids.
Thus we arrive two weeks from the election. Republican voters kept telling their elected officials to stand up to President Obama and fight. The goal posts kept getting shuffled around. One year Senator John Cornyn (R) of Texas was promising a government shut down to stop the President’s out of control spending. The next year the GOP was handing the President a blank check to raise the debt limit while throwing Ted Cruz under the bus for trying to defund Obamacare.
Regardless of the merits and expectations raised and lowered, Republican voters headed into the 2016 election cycle with two Presidential defeats, a restored congress, and lots of broken and empty promises from those they got elected. John Boehner got the boot, but it was not enough. Angry and emotional, the voters saw Republican donors rallying to Jeb Bush in the same way they had rallied to Mitt Romney in 2012.
So Republican voters, tired of tripping over their party as their party tripped over Democrats, decided to pick up Donald Trump and hurl him at the establishment wall. All the warning signs that this was a bad idea were ignored.
With just thirty-six percent of the Republican primary vote, Donald Trump sailed over the sixteen other candidates. He skyrocketed into Indiana. Leveled off through July. Then gravity took hold on July 28, 2016, as the Trump rage machine hit the headwinds of Khizr Khan. Trump began to dive, taken hold of by the gravity of Presidential politics and in two weeks will hit the wall known as voter rejection.
The race is over. It was mostly over the moment Trump bounced out of Indiana with a win. Many easily foresaw what would happen. If the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would already have the requisite 270 electoral college votes to win. By Election Day she will have even more. Donald Trump was and is a terrible person and terrible candidate with neither the discipline nor willingness to listen to others that good leaders need.
When Trump hits the wall, he will leave holes in the Republican Party. The party will need to unite to stop the leftwing agenda Hillary Clinton will want to advance. The GOP will have an argument that Clinton has no real mandate. She only won because her opponent was Donald Trump.
In the next four years, elected Republicans need to restore their voters’ trust. In 2020, instead of anger, perhaps the happy warriors of the GOP will finally be ready to exit the wilderness and fix the mess. All temper tantrums ever do is make things worse.