Sometimes people don’t know what they have in their hands. Thus, all the hand-wringing over the impending nomination of Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee. And it seems less and less likely they will hand him a “third-party” GOP opponent.
The effort is “fizzling out.”
An effort by prominent conservatives to recruit a third party candidate to run against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is fizzling out. . .
No major political star has stepped forward publicly so far to be a third-party candidate. . .Mitt Romney and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), have ruled out doing so.
Polls also indicate that Republicans around the country are coming around to Trump now he’s their presumptive nominee. A Public Policy Polling survey found Republicans are as unified around Trump as Democrats are around Clinton, with 72 percent or Republicans saying they are comfortable with him as their nominee.
Part of the problem for “NeverTrump” is money. The billionaires and multi-millionaires who fund Republican causes aren’t enlisting.
Several GOP fundraising sources in interviews with The Hill scoffed at the idea of a third party candidate as a fevered dream of elite conservatives who are hopelessly out of touch.
Many of these donors aren’t warming to Trump, but believe the third party recruitment is an exercise in pure fantasy.
Even William Kristol is waking up from his fantasy of running a “true conservative.”
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, another prominent face in the third-party push, sounded disappointment with Trump’s meetings with Ryan and other Republicans on Thursday.
“It is depressing as a Republican and a conservative to see Donald Trump making this triumphal procession…through Washington with the Republican leadership of the Republican National Committee and the House and Senate basically capitulating to him,” he said Thursday on MSNBC.
“Unification means capitulation,” Kristol added.
Meanwhile, Trump has already shown signs of his own “capitulation.” Here’s what he said about the minimum wage in August, 2015:
Saying the United States needs to be able to compete in a global economy, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday having a low minimum wage isn’t a bad thing for the country.
“. . .We are no longer competing against one state against the other. … It’s the United States against other places,” he said. “Where the taxes are lower, where the wages are lower, where lots of things are” lower.
Now, Trump says people deserve a raise.
Donald Trump supports a higher minimum wage. . .
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said, “I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour,” the current federal minimum wage. “With that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude.”
Likewise, taxing the rich and attacking free trade. . .
Just days before Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan meet to bridge differences and unify the Republican Party, the billionaire businessman again broke GOP economic orthodoxy and one of his most prominent and earliest supporters said she would work to oust Mr. Ryan from his post.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,”Mr. Trump went beyond his disdain for free trade, long a linchpin of conservative thought. He also said he would be willing to raise taxes. . .
There’s also the issue of banning Muslims.
On banning Muslims from entering the United States:
December 7, 2015: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. . .”
May 12, 2016: “It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion.”
But Trump fans like that about him: flexibility.
In his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump wrote, “I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. … I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first.”
And that’s what sets Donald Trump apart. He can’t be labeled. He can’t be stifled. Some have even said his flexibility will allow him to attack Superhawk NeoCon Hillary Clinton from the left! And, thus, we have “Donald Trump: The Independent.”
That’s why Trump is not too eager to placate Paul Ryan, and the rest of the “conservative establishment.” He doesn’t need them, because he’s appealing directly to the people, the way Ronald Reagan did.
Trump knows “the Art of the Deal” even better than Reagan, who was famous for negotiating with then-top-Democrat Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neal. It will also allow him to “triangulate” his position, like Bill Clinton, co-opting and taking credit for opposing policies—the thing Republicans hated most about him.
Once elected, “Trump: The Independent” could easily become “Trump: The Statesman,” finding the best policies of the right and left, because neither side owns him.