A new poll has Donald Trump way ahead. Polling at 36%, Trump is 20 points in front of his closest competitor, Sen. Ted Cruz. Ben Carson is polling at 14% and Sen. Marco Rubio is at 12%. Nobody else is even close.
A few months is a long time in American politics, although for now it appears that either Trump, Carson, Rubio or Cruz will take the Republican nomination. To some extent, it's hard to be any more precise than that. We'll have to wait and see how things unfold once the primaries get going in February.
If Trump were to get the nomination, what's next for the GOP?
Conventional thinking says that, if Trump were to win the nomination, Hillary Clinton would coast to the presidency. Given Trump's lack of relevant experience and utterly un-American policy prescriptions, this line of thinking makes a lot of sense. But one thing that's not entirely clear is what mainstream Republicans would do if Trump won the nomination. Would most publicly back Clinton? Might many not turn out to vote at all? Would some decide to support Trump believing that anybody is better than Clinton? Or maybe some would cautiously back a Trump candidacy hoping that, if elected, he'd eventually hire some people with relevant experience (to ensure his ludicrous campaign) turns into a slightly less silly presidency?
These are darks days for country and especially the Republican Party. In a two party system, being out of the White House for twelve years (or longer) is really bad news. On the other hand, if leading Republican presidential candidates are going to embrace racism and xenophobia, then the GOP may need to get used to being out of power for extended periods -- or indefinitely.
The Trump cancer has infected the GOP. If the party proves unable to remove the cancer before the general election, then maybe people across the political spectrum should unite and endorse Clinton without hesitation. Clearly this is an uncomfortable thought for many on the right. Nonetheless, if this un-American cancer is allowed to metastasize further, then the appalling discourse that has dominated 2015 may become increasingly common. And a comprehensive un-American policy agenda could be on the horizon. People from all walks of life, in the U.S. and beyond, would suffer the consequences.