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GOP hierarchy, get out of voters’ way

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) AP

There is no end to the cluelessness of those who are doing whatever they can to “stop” Donald Trump. Now the blabbering seems to be centering on stopping him at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

It’s a dramatic battle plan. Get past the first ballot and then stick someone else in there who is more acceptable.

Here is a reality check on those thoughts.

If you succeed and do, indeed, stop Trump, prepare to kiss about 40 percent of your voting base goodbye, especially the ones who have been angry about orders from Washington for a decade now.

Picking a presidential candidate involves moving through a series of gates that lead to choosing convention delegates. It starts with a withering scrutiny expressed in various primary elections.

The Republicans inside the Beltway once believed they had the greatest collection of candidates ever, a thought that evaporated the minute Trump, like a velociraptor that had been hiding in waiting in some dark, abandoned casino basement, emerged and started eating them alive.

None of the other candidates could roll up enough support to stop a man with no real organization, not much of a staff, borrowed money from his own bank account, no government experience, indescribable hair and an attitude so New York it makes you wince.

But here is the reality.

If the Republican hierarchy keeps pushing the idea that Trump is not a legitimate candidate, it risks having its whole castle collapsing. There would be an angry mob out front with torches and pitchforks wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

And the throngs would be right.

How dare the hierarchy try to undermine so openly the will of the people. Generally, hierarchies do things like this behind closed doors, where they can not embarrass themselves.

They would do whatever the Koch brothers or any of the other bankrollers wanted, the people be damned.

But now we are in a world of transparency, perhaps unintentionally. The man rolls up votes in bigger batches than anyone else. That is how you define “victor” – the person with the most votes wins.

Building a 10-foot-high wall around Cleveland isn’t going to change that. All it would do is keep out the people who are at the very heart of the Republican electorate, those voters out in the country who are so angry at the “system” they would turn to an arrogant, vulgar billionaire with a steaming baaaaditude instead of the usual collection of GOP candidates.

Hillary Clinton, with all her blemishes and her now skinny, rambling campaigner husband who won’t shut up, is looking better and better, even for Republicans.

The hierarchy knows that, which is why it is acting so blindly against its own interests.

Charles M. Madigan is a professor at Roosevelt University.

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