They’d Rather Lose with Trump than Win with Somebody Else

Just about every poll indicates that if the election were held today Donald Trump would lose big to Hillary Clinton. His defeat would be yuuuuge. The newest RealClearPolitics average of polls has Hillary beating Donald 48.9 percent to 39.5 percent, a margin of more than 9 points. Good thing for Trump that it’s only April.

Ted Cruz does better than Trump but still comes out on the losing end, though not by much. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Hillary gets 45.3 percent of the vote to Cruz’ 43 percent. While that’s well within the margin of error, it’s difficult to see a hardliner like Ted Cruz winning the support of enough moderates and independents to beat Mrs. Clinton.

That leaves John Kasich, the only Republican left standing who consistently beats Hillary in the polls – and by a lot. In the NBC News poll Kasich wins 51 to 39. In the CBS News poll he wins 47 to 41. In the Fox poll, he wins 49 to 40. And in the McClatchy/Marist poll Kasich wins 51 to 42. The RealClearPolitics average has Kasich trouncing Mrs. Clinton 48 percent to 40.2 percent.

It’s easy to conclude from this that Trump supporters would rather lose with their beloved Donald than win with Kasich. Except, they don’t see it that way. They, like most true believers, are convinced that Donald J. Trump will beat Hillary and be the next President of the United States.

They believe Trump will not only win their votes but also those of disenchanted blue collar Democrats who don’t like Hillary as well as alienated non-partisan Americans who don’t usually vote at all. Could be. But it looks like he’ll also lose the support of a substantial number of mainstream Republicans who not only don’t like Trump’s policies (to the extent they even exist) but mainly don’t like … Donald Trump himself.

They don’t like the way he acts, which is like a wise guy in junior high. They find him, in a word, embarrassing. Lyin’ Ted and Crooked Hillary get a rise out of his loyal followers, but for lots of Americans – including a lot of Republicans – childish potshots like that make them cringe.

So here’s what I find myself wondering: Would you want your kids to behave like Donald Trump?

Would you want your kids bragging as much as Donald Trump brags? Do you want your son constantly telling everybody how great he is? Do you want your kids calling the other kids names (the schoolyard version of Lyin’ Ted and Crooked Hillary)? Do you want them to answer every insult with an insult of their own? Do you want them to admit their mistakes or insist today that they never said what you clearly heard them say just a day earlier? Do you want them making fun of people with physical disabilities? How about mocking POWs? Would it be OK if your son suggested – out loud – that he thought that one of the girl’s in his class was ugly?

Not to worry, we’re being told. Crazy Donald will morph into Civilized Donald after he wins the nomination. Maybe. But the best gauge of how people will act in the future is how they’ve acted in the past.

Besides, he didn’t get this far by being civil or polite. He’s the frontrunner precisely because he’s not civil or polite but because he’s outlandish and outrageous, traits his most passionate supporters cherish. If he wins the GOP nomination and starts to color inside the lines, he may become more acceptable to some – but he also may be viewed as too gracious and courteous for some of his most ardent fans who have fallen head over heels for the current uncultured and ill-mannered version of the Donald.   So a Trump 2.0 might pick up some new support, but likely won’t lose very much (if any) old support.

Still, it’s true that people are capable of change. I just don’t think Donald Trump is one of those people.