What happens next? Trump says he won’t abide by his pledge to support the Republican nominee. Figures. It’s not like his word was his bond before he ran for president. This is a businessman known for his parsimony, his reluctance to fulfill invoices, his quickness to sue, his welching on commitments. If he doesn’t win the nomination outright and the convention seems open to another candidate, Trump will threaten to leave the GOP and take his voters with him. Fear of that outcome is why so many in the Republican Party have catered to Trump for so long.
They should stop. If Donald Trump and Chris Christie and Sarah Palin and Ben Carson and Jeff Sessions and Sean Hannity want to leave, well, arrivederci. The rules are the rules, and if you do not win by the rules, you do not get to rewrite them on the fly. Indeed, Trump’s predilection for changing the rules to better satisfy his interests, his whims—the very definition of authoritarian rule—is one reason he should not become president.
Just because the party is split doesn’t mean the more obnoxious candidate wins. Nor is Trump the only one ready to bolt: If he does win the nomination, he’s certain to drive many college-educated and suburban and church-attending Republicans out of the party—probably more voters than would follow him if he left. Don’t their opinions count? Or is anger and reverse snobbery the only legitimate currency in this divided and embittered movement?