As the Republican Party continues its post-midterm meltdown, Donald Trump is rising to the occasion.
Trump used his Truth Social platform Wednesday to remind the Republican Party that he plans to destroy it if it cuts him loose. He included no text, he simply blasted out an article from the pro-MAGA site American Greatness titled, "The Coming Split."
In it, the author, Dan Gelernter, explores what might happen if a majority of GOP voters still want Trump as their nominee but the "Republican Party" refuses.Campaign Action
"I have no intention of supporting a Republican Party that manifestly contravenes the desires of its voters," Gelernter writes. "The RNC can pretend Trump isn’t loved by the base anymore, that he doesn’t have packed rallies everywhere he goes. But I’m not buying it: Talk to Republican voters anywhere outside the Beltway, and it is obvious that he is admired and even loved by those who consider themselves 'ordinary' Americans."
Though fewer Republicans and GOP leaners than ever say they want Trump to run in 2024, it’s also true there’s still plenty of appetite for Trumpism and his mystique, shall we say.
Gelernter pledges to support Trump as third party candidate if he does not prevail in the Republican primary.
"Do I think Trump can win as a third-party candidate? No. Would I vote for him as a third-party candidate? Yes. Because I’m not interested in propping up this corrupt gravy-train any longer," he explains, singling out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as entirely out of step with the base.
Gelernter isn't wrong about McConnell, who has completely lost grip on the motivations and desires of the MAGA Republicans who have overrun his band of party elites.
But the bigger immediate problem for McConnell and his ilk is the fact that Trump will surely burn the entire party to the ground if he doesn't clinch the nomination.
He is most certainly hinting at a third-party run that would almost surely doom Republicans in a general election.
But let's imagine a slightly less dramatic scenario in which Trump loses but doesn't launch an independent candidacy. He will never be the guy who graciously steps aside, endorses the GOP frontrunner, and works to elect them, a la Hillary Clinton in 2008 or Bernie Sanders in 2020 (to say nothing of 2016). Even if Trump isn't running, he will launch a revenge tour with the sole mission of burying the GOP standard bearer, whoever they may be.
Trump brought millions more voters into the Republican fold, and the party is now dearly dependent on motivating the MAGA base it gained after alienating suburban voters who once buoyed Republican turnout. If Trump’s not the nominee, he will undoubtedly instruct those MAGA voters to abandon the Republican Party as a corrupt institution of traitors to his cause.
One way or the other, Trump is committed to making sure any party he isn't dominating is no party at all. Nothing will be left of the Republican Party if he can help it. So the GOP either gets Trump as a nominee, gets a third-party candidacy from him, or gets a scorched-earth campaign from Trump to raze the entire institution. How grand.