Leftists don't hate Donald Trump. They are afraid of him.

Now that Marco Rubio has suspended his campaign, Donald Trump may have an open path to the magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination.  Delusional thinking on my part?  Actually, this was a recent headline in the NY Times.

Predictably, the political right and left are in a tizzy over this prospect, but for different reasons.  On the right, it is a "moral and character issue" according to Erick Erickson, organizer of Conservatives Against Trump.  A group of conservative activists met and drafted a statement denouncing Trump but said activists declined to sign the statement or otherwise identify themselves.  Surprising that they would not all be proud to publically stand against Trump rather than scheme against him behind closed doors.

The GOP establishment is also down on The Donald because, in their opinion, he would lose badly to Hillary Clinton.  Karl Rove takes it farther, promising, "If Trump is the nominee, the GOP will lose the White House and Senate."  Severely conservative Mitt Romney agrees: "a Trump nomination enables her [Hillary Clinton's] victory."  Even severely underwhelming presidential candidate Lindsey Graham says of Trump, "He's going to lose badly."

The left too is in panic mode about Trump's march to the nomination.  At first glance, this makes no sense.  If Trump is as bad a candidate as Rove, Romney, Graham, and others believe, the left should be doing handsprings over the prospect of him being the candidate to face Clinton in the general election and lose in a landslide.  Instead of criticizing Trump, big media should be quietly encouraging his candidacy, running their own version of operation chaos.

Consider these recent headlines on the Huffington Post website. "How The Trump Campaign Could Evolve Into Organized Violence, In 6 Steps."  "Violence and Arrests At Trump Rallies Are Way More Common Than You May Think."  "There Is A White House Petition To Arrest Donald Trump."  Much like what one would see in the Weekly Standard or National Review.

So why are Democrats suddenly reaching across the aisle in a rare display of bipartisanship to join their Republican foes in opposing Donald Trump's candidacy?  Are they really looking out for the best interests of the Republican Party?  Fat chance.

The Washington Post editorialized this week, saying, "Mr. Trump must be stopped because he presents a threat to American democracy."  That's rich.  Were any of President Obama's unlawful executive orders "a threat to American democracy"?  Or any number of Supreme Court decisions usurping the will of the people, replaced by the will of five justices in black robes?

This is the same Washington Post that began endorsing presidential candidates in 1976 and has never endorsed a Republican for the White House.  And now they are concerned over the well-being and future of the Republican Party?  In their editorial, they claim, "The country needs two healthy parties and, ideally, a contest of ideas and ideology."  Sure, two healthy parties duking it out over the issues, as long as one party is Mike Tyson and the other party is Pee-wee Herman.

Instead, it is fear that motivates the Washington Post and other similar left-wing mouthpieces – fear that a Republican, who in this election cycle happens to be Donald Trump, will defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

Polls of Hillary versus Donald don't mean much eight months away from the election.  Some polls today say Hillary would beat Donald in the general election.  These polls also gave Hillary a double-digit lead over Bernie Sanders a few days before he beat her in Michigan.  There are also polls showing Hillary losing to Donald in November.  Instead, what do the pundits think?

Politico ponders, "How Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton."  Clinton campaign outlet MSNBC observes, "Unease for many Democrats who worry that the general election could turn into a nasty and unpredictable house of horrors."  A Democrat Arizona state senator, in a rare moment of Democrat candor, acknowledges, "Donald Trump just might win the White House."

Conventional wisdom is that this is nonsense and Trump will eventually implode.  The smart set in the N.Y.-D.C. Elite Club have been saying this for the past nine months, since Trump announced his candidacy, and here he is today as the odds on favorite to secure the GOP nomination.  What credibility do these same prognosticators have predicting Hillary winning a landslide victory?

Trump hasn't yet begun to focus his snark on Hillary.  Instead, he has been maneuvering within the scrum of 17, now down to three candidates.  But when he has, it's been brutally effective.  In December, he effectively neutered the hero of the modern Democratic Party, Bill Clinton, by calling him "one of the great abusers of the world."  Fast-forward to now, and a Trump ad against Hillary Clinton features her barking like a dog.  The ad even caught the attention of Vladimir Putin, who doesn't think it's funny.  But Vlad would much prefer "reset button" Hillary in the White House, especially after reading her emails during her four years as secretary of state, compared to a tougher and more unpredictable Donald Trump.

Wait until Trump is the nominee, and see what he directs against Hillary.  And Bill.  I would be frightened if I were them.  Ask low-energy Jeb or Little Marco how they fared under the Trump attack machine.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made."  Donald Trump is the enemy of both the GOP establishment and the Democratic Party, but for different reasons.  It means not only that he is doing something right, but also that the left fears him – not because he will destroy the Republican Party, but because he will destroy the Democrats.  Based on policy, the Democrats should embrace him, especially if he is a liberal Democrat, as the Powerline Blog asserts, but instead they fear him because he can and likely will defeat their true liberal candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based retina surgeon, radio personality, and writer.  Follow him on Facebook  and Twitter.

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