The older they are, the harder they fall

October 27, 2016 — by Daniel Bessonov and Alex Yang

GOP may be in danger

Republican candidate Donald Trump’s multiple embarrassments, both before the megaphone and behind the podium, have undoubtedly damaged the Grand Old Party’s reputation — perhaps irreversibly.

As of October, according to political website FiveThirtyEight, Democrats have a 76 percent chance to regain control of the Senate. That predicted lead increased over 11 percent just days after a tape recording of an extremely lewd conversation between Trump and TV host Billy Bush was broadcast on Oct. 8.

In response, many prominent Republicans, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former New York Gov. George Pataki have retracted their endorsements of Trump or stated their unwillingness to vote for him.

The New York Times predicts that Clinton has a 93 percent chance of winning presidency. Of course, losing both the Senate and presidency — and later control of the Supreme Court — would be a huge blow to the Republican Party.

The situation raises the question: Can the Grand Old Party escape from becoming the Bland Old Party?

“Donald’s comments were vulgar, egregious and impossible to justify,” Marco Rubio, a 2016 presidential candidate, wrote in a tweet on Oct. 7. “No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.”

2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain has also scorned Trump and everything he stands for.

Additionally, this wave of condemnation after the "disgusting, vile and disqualifying" tapes, as Virginia congresswoman Barbara Comstock described them, may not have been as sudden as many media outlets claimed. It was more like a catharsis of all the negative emotions many of the Republican Party harbored for their current situation in the U.S. political system.

After losing the last two presidential elections with strong candidates (Mitt Romney lost to Obama in 2012), the Republican Party has basically chosen a clown to represent them this time around. If Trump fails to grab the presidency, it may be the beginning of the GOP’s slow, painful decline.

As the Republican Party continues to splinter, it’s harder to view the Republican Party as a unified organization. By contrast, Democrats have mostly set aside differences and united under Hillary Clinton.

Trump has even lashed out against his own party, lashing out at House speaker Paul Ryan, one of the most prominent figureheads of his party. It is almost as if Trump is trying to drag as many of his friends as he is opponents down with him.

After blundering through all three presidential debates, Trump looks much more like a sore loser than a respectable man running for office. In fact, to the nation’s horror, Trump has stated in multiple interviews that he may not accept the election results — “unless he wins.”

The GOP simply may not be able to recover its public image for years after the PR disaster that is Trump’s filterless mouth.

The country won’t easily forget this election. No attempt at recovery will erase the image of a xenophobic, racist, sexist head of blonde hair running for the most powerful office in the country.

The GOP is out of options. Given the more likely scenario of his loss, they’ll have to make drastic changes — whatever it takes to distance themselves from Trump.

Looking beyond this upcoming election, Republicans need to find a way to appeal to minorities, women and the younger generation if they hope to win back the highest office.

While the Democratic Party’s future is looking far brighter than the GOP’s, that’s not necessarily a good thing. In the worst-case scenario of the GOP cracking open, there might just be one party that dominates the presidency. The U.S. needs at least two viable parties — both conservative and liberal in balance.

In the meantime, the biggest brains at the top of the GOP need to pull their wrenches out, wipe away the residue of Trump and fix their party.

 
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