The Trump Card

Donald Trump is channeling tens of millions of patriotic Americans, says the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds.  As long as he stays in the race, these frustrated and angry people will have a voice – voice that needs to be heard.  A voice telling the Republican Party to fight – man up and fight for what is right.

A man who speaks for tens of millions should be heard.  Erick Erickson's disinvite to the RedState America meeting was stupid.  He doesn't want his daughter traumatized by exposure to a man who may have referred to a woman's menstrual cycle?  What about a man who makes jokes about a child-molesting Supreme Court Justice having sex with animals?  (That would be  the man who tucks her in at night.)  Ben Carson and John Kasich never were invited.  Jeb! Bush, however, who, says Erick, was the most conservative governor, was given kudos by Erickson, who said, "I love the guy."  Erickson is getting a lot of love for dumping the Donald – love in all the wrong places.

While no one can predict the future, a Trump nomination would be unique in American history, a radical departure from the norm.  That's exactly what Trump people want but aren't likely to get.  Regardless of its timing, either next month or at the convention or anywhere in between, Trump's departure from the race will be a critical moment in the campaign.  If the Trump people go with him when he leaves, Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite for the White House.  If Trump gives an unqualified endorsement of the winning candidate, a whole lot of Trump people will come with him.

It sticks in a lot of people's craws, but Trump may be getting close to a position that allows him to make or break a presidential election.  The Republican nominee may have to make peace with Trump in order to win.  This is the Trump Card.  This is what Fox's Brett Baier asked him to give away – for nothing.  The RNC may try to exclude him from debates if he won't agree to endorse the nominee.  That's why it's called the stupid party.

This is why he's not going away.  Even if he doesn't win, he'll still have this card to play.  The Republican nominee, and likely next president, will owe the Donald a big one if he or she gets his support.  Will that be enough, or will Trump want more?  At some point in this campaign, this will be the biggest story in politics.

The nominee will make a pilgrimage to Trump Tower, for the highly publicized Trump Summit.  The Donald will take his time mulling over his decision.  He'll milk it for all it's worth.  All eyes will be on him as he consults and deliberates.

It's nice having a Trump Card.  Especially if you know how to play the game.

Fritz Pettyjohn is a former Alaska state legislator and a co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force.  He blogs at
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