An Open Letter to the Real GOP

This is sort of urgent. I’m writing this note to you in the hopes that you will use the final hours leading up to the election to denounce Donald Trump. It’s for your own good.

Full disclosure: Democrats will be devastated if Trump wins. Sales of Xanax will go through the roof. Jokes about moving to Canada will overwhelm social media. And our core beliefs about our country will be blown to smithereens. But after the initial shock, the Democratic Party will coalesce like never before in modern history. Trump will do a really bad job. And, in time, we’ll get over it.

The Republicans will not.

I didn’t vote for McCain, Romney, or W, but I understand why you did, and I get the attraction to those candidates (and I also see some flaws in the ones I’ve backed). But this is different. Trump is not only unqualified; he’s unstable, and he’s a bad guy.

He’s not really running as part of your party anymore. And it turns out, even without your support, your money, your columnists and pundits, or even your ability to stomach him, he’s still incredibly popular. He is essentially a third party candidate. The Party of Trump.

You know you can’t depend on him. He doesn’t really share your values. He will drive you crazy. He won’t push your agenda forward. He will embarrass you. But it’s more than that.

Dealing with Donald Trump will make dealing with the Tea Party seem like having a tea party. He will destroy the existing GOP. And it won’t be by mistake. The one consistent thing about this guy is that he lives for payback. He is going to rip Paul Ryan’s heart out and hold it up in front of the American people and tell them how really fantastic it feels. He is going to remove the power from the establishment players that abandoned him, and pass it onto the nuts like Newt and Rudy. You will have no chance against his star power and media savvy. And he is going to make it hurt. Vindictiveness is the means and the end. It’s how he keeps score.

Look, I get the strategy you’ve been employing until now: Separate yourself from the guy at the top of the ticket, but don’t do anything to suppress the turnout you need to control the Congress. So you offer critiques, but never actually pull an endorsement. The strategy has been hard to watch (and I’m sure, even harder to execute), but I get it. In the same position, I probably would have made the same moves.

But the whole strategy hinges on one key factor. Trump needs to lose for it to work. If he does, you get to save your party, while maintaining the power to keep Hillary from moving the Liberal ball down the field.

The problem is that this election got too close.

You’ve got to pull the plug and make a strong statement that Trump is dangerously wrong for the job. And you’ve got to make it now.

Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about the impact on turnout in down ticket races anymore. This election has throroughly obsessed the electorate. Look at the debate numbers, the news-site page views, the nonstop coverage, the cable news viewership, the social media exchanges. We are locked in. This is the greatest show on Earth. Turnout is going to be incredible.

Over the past few months, a lot of Democrats have accused you of putting Party ahead of country. But I’m not here to attack anyone or to accuse you of playing too hard. What I’m arguing is that denouncing Donald Trump is putting your Party and your Country ahead at the same time.

I only wish I could have argued it more quickly, because time is running out… on you.

Dave Pell Writes NextDraft: Get it Here.