For months we have been listening to politicians and pundits tell us that Trump would never be the Republican nominee for President. We have witnessed the #Never Trump Movement try and try again to create an effective effort to block his nomination to no avail. We have been told that a candidate can’t just ignore the rules and alienate large segments of the electorate and still win the nomination. We have been confidently assured of this by all who “know” and are “experts” in such matters. Yet we watched as Trump successfully won primary after primary with ever-increasing numbers, finally securing the nomination after his two last rivals dropped out of the race. In recent months we have heard firm promises of nonsupport for Trump from leaders of the Republican Party. However, now it is clear that the Republican Party establishment has, for the first time in decades, lost control of the process and finds itself in unfamiliar territory. In short, the Republican Party has a big problem and not solving it can have major implications for the party and our country for decades to come.
The question of whether the Republican Party will be able to heal itself and coalesce around the Trump candidacy is vital not only to the national Republican Party, but the state organizations as well. Looming in the results of this election is control of the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court. Additionally there are many state houses and state legislatures that hang in the balance. The potential impact of this election cannot be overstated. To name just a few of the key issues that are in play, abortion, immigration, gun control, voting rights, same sex marriage, pay equity, and the Affordable Care Act come to mind. It is also clear that there is a major contrast between the Democratic and Republican approach to our role in the world. The different approaches and attitudes between the Democrats and Republicans on these and other issues aren’t minor. They are of major consequence and will impact on millions of lives now and for many years.
It is for this reason that Democrats cannot be distracted from the urgency or opportunity of this election by internal conflict and ego-centered behavior. Winning control of the Senate, the House and ultimately the Supreme Court is within reach. Winning back state houses and control of state legislatures can reverse the rightward drift of the recent past. It is all on the horizon. We are now being told by the “experts” and those in the “know” that a Trump victory in the General election is not going to happen. These are the same “experts” and those in the “know” who told us that Trump would not win the Republican nomination . They are proving their case on maps of the Electoral College just as they proved their case on maps of the state primaries. If we allow ourselves to be lulled into overconfidence by the “undeniable facts” we will get what we deserve. Just as the Republicans cannot afford to allow the “never” contingent destroy their chances, neither can the Democrats expect unreliable facts lead us to expect an easy reach. Just as the Republicans must now confront the challenge of coalescing into a solid election machine, so must the Democrats. This election is not going to be a walk in the park. If Democrats are going to win all that is offered and possible, we will have to get together and get into the trenches. We can’t afford to allow anyone to sit this one out. Democrats must never allow each other to say never. We must now get together and win for the many who will come after us.