If listening to the current Republican presidential frontrunners speak is scaring you to death, here is something to make you feel better: there is now a semi-plausible scenario in which the entire party hilariously self-destructs.
Contemplating a world in which someone like Donald Trump could be the presidential nominee of a major party is terrifying. But now—with a new Washington Post report that Republican Party insiders are quietly starting to plan for the possibility of a “brokered convention” that would effectively allow the party establishment to steal the nomination away from Trump should he prove too popular—everything is in place for the chain of events that would almost certainly destroy the Republican’s chances in 2016.
1. Republican Party leaders are embarrassed by Donald Trump’s popularity, but they do not know how to stop it. They thought it would fade on its own, but it hasn’t.
2. The head of the RNC, the Senate majority leader, and “longtime Republican power brokers” met to discuss how to hijack the nomination from Trump (or someone equally crazy) at the convention, should it get that far.
3. The story of the meeting leaks, obviously, feeding the narrative of powerful political insiders trying to thwart the will of the public—the narrative already embraced by the sort of voters who have made Trump the frontrunner.
4. Ben Carson today released an outraged statement about the WaPo story, threatening to take his ball and go play elsewhere: “If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party.”
5. Now, projecting forward requires only a little imagination: first, Ben Carson, who is not going to win the nomination anyhow and therefore has little to gain, leaves the Republican Party in order to maintain his brand of moral purity.
6. Then, Donald Trump—either due to declining poll numbers once the real voting starts, or just because of the accumulation of perceived slights from the Republican powers-that-be who all clearly hate him, decides to leave the Republican Party and make an independent run for the White House. Such a run would feed his ego perhaps even more than running as a Republican, since he could take his rabid supporters with him and also be free of establishment figures trying to rein him in.
7. Trump signs up Ben Carson as his VP candidate, because why not.
9. The Democrats win handily in 2016.
Mister Trump; Mister Carson. I applaud your profound moral honesty and urge you in the strongest possible terms to abandon the corrupt Republican Party and lead your supporters on a bold independent run for the White House, which will be inspirational and also, you know, successful, or whatever. Just do it.