Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a gathering at a campaign stop at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Republican Party in the Image of Donald Trump

“It is a damning indicting of the Republican Party that the man they all loath and think would be the end of them is the man who is promising to do the thing the GOP promised over and over to do and never did.”

There is a growing hysteria among Republicans about Donald Trump. The very same people circulating news stories that Donald Trump’s supporters are really Democrats who do not vote are also in the fetal position quivering that Donald Trump’s nomination would be the death of the Republican Party

I have very good friends who take that position. They say the conservative party in America would be over if Donald Trump were the nominee.

I disagree.

If Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, he would be taking a party devoid of ideas and remaking it in his image. In other words, Donald Trump would not be the death of the GOP. The GOP has already died.

What are the compelling ideas of the Republican Party these days? Extend the Ex-Im bank? Nibble at Obamacare?

Donald Trump took center stage in the Republican Primary with a simple idea: secure the border. His whole campaign is centered around that idea. He wants to secure the border. He has expanded that beyond border integrity and illegal immigration to make it about economics. He wants to secure the economic border from crap deals with China. He has extended it to national security. Donald Trump wants to secure the border from ISIS.

It is a damning indicting of the Republican Party that the man they all loath and think would be the end of them is the man who is promising to do the thing the GOP promised over and over to do and never did. Donald Trump’s core argument is security. If that kills the Republican Party, the Republican Party needed to die anyway.

But it is also deeply insulting to suggest the rise of Donald Trump is the death of the GOP. Anyone who has ever seen an episode of The Apprentice or read Art of the Deal knows Trump values highly skilled individuals who have self-starting initiative. The idea that Trump would kill off the GOP is ludicrous.

But what is even more ridiculous is to think that at a time the GOP holds the majority of the House, the majority of the Senate, the majority of state governors’ mansions, and the majority of state legislatures that somehow Donald Trump could singlehandedly destroy all that merely by getting the Republican nomination.

It is ridiculous and insulting to women like Nikki Haley that she is somehow anchored to Donald Trump. It is ridiculous and insulting to men like Paul Ryan that his fortunes are tied to Donald Trump. It is also ridiculous and insulting to Donald Trump that, could he get the nomination of the Republican Party, somehow the party that gave him the nomination would then keel over dead.

It is not Donald Trump who would kill the Republican Party. He’d merely remake an already dead party in his own image — a party out of ideas that has no pulse for a fight. Frankly, it is not even that Trump would remake the Republican Party. The GOP will not die. But the careers of a lot of grifters within the GOP would surely die. That’s not a bad thing. But they have cornered the market on outrage at the man they, the supposed best of the best in the political consulting class, could not stop.

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Erick Erickson

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