Trump: Could This Be the End of the Republican Party as We Know it?

Katherine McPartlan ’18 – Inside Politics Participant

The 2016 election has been anything but typical. We have witnessed a successful entrepreneur take the polls by storm, an inexperienced state senator trailing behind, and the most qualified candidate be put to silence. For many young voters, this is the first election that they have paid attention to, and they have nothing to compare the madness of this election too. Typically, after a Democratic officer has been the President for two terms, it is likely that a Republican nominee will take over the seat. However, the 2016 election may harvest different results.

Donald Trump, in particular, has proven to be the most popular candidate among the primaries and caucuses. For a candidate who can change his stance on abortion five times within one week, he has defied the norm of who will be successful in politics. Not to mention the fact that he is not actually a politician. Trump’s success in business has allowed voters who are struggling financially to support his message and believe that they can be helped by any laws that he would propose in the future.

The media may be to blame for Trump’s success thus far. Though we all know that Trump wants to “build a wall,” and “make the Mexicans pay for it,” we have no idea how he will execute this plan, or why certain people are supporting it. Most people agree that Trump is a fear monger and that he is relatable because he has proposed a source of safety regarding immigration and the refugee crisis that is currently occurring in Syria and throughout parts of Europe. Despite his irrationality, Trump’s campaign has resonated with the American population because he has been outspoken regarding the issues that people are worried about. His slogan, “Make America Great Again” has proven to be the most powerful phrase in this election and has swayed voters to be on his side.

The fact that many voters have pledged their support to Trump, rather than his more worthy opponents, reveals to us that the Republican Party is in jeopardy. What is going to happen if he secures the Republican nomination? Even more terrifying, what happens if he is elected President of the United States? Only time will tell. Regardless, it is evident that the Republican Party is going to have to make some serious changes in future election years. Perhaps they will need to place regulations on who can run based on the candidates’ qualifications.

With Donald Trump in the lead, Ted Cruz behind him, and John Kasich way behind, this election has revealed to us that the Republican Party, in particular, has many flaws within the system. Trump’s continuous victories thus far over Cruz and Kasich have had no intervention from the Republican Party. There has been speculation that this election may be heading towards a brokered convention, where the party may choose to nominate someone other than Trump to be the Republican candidate. To this, Trump has threatened that there will be “riots in the streets.” Overall, we wonder if Trump’s presence within the Republican Party could be the supreme destroyer of the party. I suppose that we will find out in the next coming months, and look forward to seeing if the party can put itself back together or will crumble under the weight that is Donald Trump.