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As I have said consistently since the 2016 presidential campaign began, this site does not endorse any candidate until after the GOP convention in July. But also made clear was that Donald Trump was ranked #17 out of the 17 original candidates for the nomination, IMHO he is still ranked #17 even though there are only five candidates left. It’s still hard to imagine someone who is a very recent conversion to conservatism, acts the part of a bully, calls women such as Megyn Kelly bimbo because she asked him a legitimate question, as a leader.  He won’t be able to bully congress and foreign leaders the way he has bullied people during his entire life.

While I still oppose a Trump nomination with all of my might (and would happily support either Rubio or Cruz), after his ‘yuuuge” win in Nevada my mind keeps wandering to the question of what will I do if Trump is the nominee.  I could never bring myself to vote for Hillary or Bernie even if Mr. Trump gave me one or two of his billions.

If Trump does get the nomination, conservatives that eel like me are really left with two choices, vote for the billionaire birther, or when I go into the voting booth on election day skip the presidential line and vote in all the other electoral contests.  On one hand, if I skip the presidential line isn’t it just like voting for the Democrat? On the other hand, how could I vote for the man who has the potential to be the most thin-skinned and divisive president since…well Barack Obama.

When bringing up his recent conversion to conservatism Donald Trump keeps bringing up the late president Ronald Reagan.  But to paraphrase the late Senator and VP candidate Lloyd Bentsen,” Mr. Trump, I voted for Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronald Reagan. Even though we never met, I always felt Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Mr. Trump you are no Ronald Reagan.”

Ronald Reagan’s conversion to conservatism began in 1947 but it was his G.E. years (1954-62) that closed the deal:

The book The Education of Ronald Reagan links the eight years in which Reagan worked for General Electric – acting as host of its television program, GE Theater, and as the company’s public relations envoy – with his conversion to a movement that would come to advocate lower taxes, small government, anti-Communism, and opposition to the excesses of “union officials.”

He served two terms terms as a conservative governor of California.

It was only after all the above, did Reagan first try and become President in 1976 three decades after he began the conversion. In the case of Donald Trump, he was still promoting liberal ideas in interviews in 2011 and 12, only 4-5 years ago.

But the biggest difference between Trump and Reagan is the 40th president was a visionary and a unifier. When he spoke he painted a picture of this country that made most Americans feel like we were one people and if we put our minds to each and every one of us could make anything we wanted happen.

There was only one Ronald Reagan and it’s hard to believe that any candidate will come along to be the next “Gipper.”  But Trump is more like Barack Obama. While his campaign slogan is “I will make America great again,” Reagan would say, “America is the greatest country in the world, and you can make it greater.”

Additionally, except for Barack Obama, no other president in my lifetime has made the volume, and type of ad hominem attacks as has Trump. And I am not only talking about his primary opponents.  Just like Obama the billionaire punches down, uses twitter to slam at the “regular folk.

As the saying goes, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.  That’s the traditional refrain for those who want to point out the campaign isn’t settled. After Nevada, Valkyrie Brünnhilde, the character played by a very large lady with horned helmet, spear and round shield hasn’t begun the 20-minute aria which ends Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen but she is getting ready to put on her costume.

I happen to like Marco Rubio but his claim that he could beat Trump if Cruz, Kasich, and Carson dropped out so he can fight the billionaire “mono y mono” is bunk. While much of Kasich’s supporters may go to Rubio, it’s hard to see Carson’s going anywhere but to Trump. As for Cruz, he is going after many of the same voters as Trump, especially the evangelical Christians. If Cruz dropped out (and it is highly unlikely that he will) the best that Marco could hope for is a split of the Cruz vote.

With the SEC primaries next Tuesday, Senators Cruz and Rubio better have an unbelievable debate, and in incredible week of campaigning because as of now Donald Trump leads in every state next Tuesday except for Texas. If that lead holds Brünnhilde will begin her aria, and conservatives will have to make a tough and emotional decision.

As a NY Jets fan, I am quite familiar with the five stages of grief:

  1. denial and isolation
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance

Many Republicans and conservatives will need to go through the five stages should Donald Trump get the nomination (although I am still hoping for a different result).

The issue Trump and his supporters have to figure out is how do you get those people who today feel strongly that he doesn’t have the personality or experience to be president, to get from stage one to five before election day. Otherwise Trump will face a large faction of Republicans sitting on their hands come election day.

 

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