On Thursday, Donald Trump reached the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, thus dashing the hopes and dreams of #NeverTrump Republicans who’ve tried to fight his nomination tooth and nail.
Trump made the magic number after the Associate Press counted unbound delegates who told the AP that they are going to support him at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
One of the delegates was Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.
I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.
Trump’s official number is 1,238 delegates, however on June 7, 303 delegates will be at stake. It’s very likely that Trump will exceed 1,500 delegates going into the convention, further destroying any hope of a contested convention for people like Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
While many conservative elites continue to disavow Trump, there’s no doubt that the billionaire owns the Republican party’s grassroots voters. While there are many delegates like Pollard, who seem to embrace Trump’s nomination, there are some who still dream of a second ballot.
Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh says that he’s committed to voting for Trump on the first ballot since he won the primary vote in Linton’s district, but there’s a catch:
If there’s a second ballot, I won’t vote for Donald Trump,” Linton said. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.
Trump began his quest with a ride down a golden elevator in Trump Towers. which seemed fitting given his silver spoon upbringing.
During the announcement of his candidacy, Trump didn’t waste any time setting the tone of his campaign. During his speech he flat out accused Mexico of sending rapists and murderers across the U.S. border illegally. A traditional campaign would have ended right then and there, and perhaps any other presidential year before this one Trump’s would have.
But Trump survived the fallout and began making more outrageous, politically incorrect, “campaign killing” comments. He insulted women, minorities, Washington, world leaders, countries; there were no boundaries in his mind.
After losing Iowa to Cruz, many felt that Trump was going to sink fast, but that wasn’t the case. Trump went on to win nearly every contest since Iowa, while dispatching the other 16 GOP candidates, with some candidates dropping off naturally. Other candidates, Trump took credit for personally destroying, like Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Trump reaching the milestone of 1,237 delegates was something not many political pundits and politicians believed could happen.
Now Republicans face the choice of fully backing Donald Trump or destroying their party in a civil war. Across the aisle, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is also on her way to securing the nomination but faces similar challenges concerning Bernie Sanders supporters.
This election year has been the year of the political outsider, with voters on both sides of the aisle staging a political revolt against their respective party establishment. But that’s where the similarities seem to end. While Trump’s campaign was fueled by fear, xenophobia, racism, and delusional nationalism; Sanders’ campaign is about galvanizing a “political revolution” that brings voters into the political process, thereby fundamentally changing America from a capitalist oligarchy to a more Democratically Socialist society that values shared prosperity.
However, Trump was able to overcome all obstacles within his party and dominated using an amalgamation of every disgusting neo-con message which he then amplified 1,000 percent. Trump represents the consequential Frankenstein, built by years of the Republican party’s capitulation to the extreme right agenda.
On the other hand, Sanders accounts for a message not yet welcomed by the Democratic party, and he was unable to convince enough traditionalists to move the party to the left far enough, whereas masses of Republican voters are making a mad dash to the right under Trump’s leadership.
Right now many on the left are still underestimating Trump’s chances in a general election, believing that the American public is still somewhere within the center and that Trump will not be able to beat Hillary Clinton, who they consider to be the ultimate centrist.
But what if they are wrong and in November the country seeks a radically different direction, be it left or right?