Trump has unprecedented name recognition. He’s garnered some $1.9 billion in free publicity during this presidential cycle — more than six times as much as his closest competitor (Cruz). He has “Ten Billion Dollars” at his disposal. Trump has everything he needs to be president. If he can’t do it because there is a group of conservatives who are not interested in rallying around an untrustworthy liberal who mocks the handicapped and calls women “pigs” — isn’t that his problem? Isn’t it Trump’s problem if a whole lot of conservatives think that women shouldn’t be punished for having abortions, that the president of the United states shouldn’t retweet white supremacists, and that American foreign policy shouldn’t be operated like a protection racket? If Donald Trump wants conservative votes, isn’t it his job to show that he represents conservatives? And if those conservatives won’t acquiesce, then Trump’s supporters can go out and find other people who will vote for him. That’s also how elections work.
But Trump’s partisans won’t do that — because winning this election is not actually what they’re about. They’re not about “making America great again.” They’re sure as hell not about party unity. They’re about vengeance. They’re about crushing the conservatives they believe have betrayed them. They’re about tying the villains to the tracks and pushing the TrumpTrain™ full-steam ahead.
If Trump is the nominee, it won’t matter what anti-Trump conservatives do leading up to November. If Trump wins, his supporters will trot out the guillotine. If Trump loses, they’ll trot out the guillotine. They just want to see heads roll.