As a longtime Republican who has financially supported GOP candidates for office at all levels of government, it’s deeply offensive to see the lengths that some in my party will go to in order to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination.
And that certainly goes for those who seek to wrest the nomination from Trump at this summer’s Republican National Convention, even if Trump is the delegate leader when the convention begins.
The “stop Trump” forces are outraged that Trump, if nominated, would lead the party to a crushing loss in November. I assume the corollary of their argument is that we should put forth a candidate who didn’t fare well in duly constituted primary elections and caucuses around the country. Or worse, we should anoint some “white knight” candidate who has never put himself or herself through the rigorous democratic process, but somehow has the approval of the older white men (such as myself) who dominate the upper echelons of our party.
Quite frankly, the logic escapes me.
The purpose of presidential primaries is to allow candidates the opportunity to run for our nomination in as democratic a manner as possible. The Republican National Committee oversees a rigorous schedule of primaries and caucuses, and this cycle has witnessed an abundance of qualified candidates seeking the presidency.
Seventeen candidates started this grueling process, with four remaining. The winnowing of the field came as the result of voters — yes, you remember them — casting their ballots in primaries and caucuses for their favorite candidates.
But now that the votes are coming in, certain elements of our party don’t care for the likely outcome. They don’t dispute the process. They don’t claim any irregularities that led to the results. They simply don’t like the potential outcome.
Establishment Republicans are predicting a crushing defeat if Trump were to be nominated, and some speak in apocalyptic terms. This dramatic and petulant behavior reminds me of the schoolyard boys who make up the rules for a game, only to take their ball home when they don’t like the outcome.
Those who seek to deny Trump victory by changing nomination rules so that a different candidate — who received fewer, or no, delegates — could emerge the nominee are engaging in the type of undemocratic and “business-as-usual” politics that disgusts the public and that, quite frankly, has led to the popularity of outsiders like Trump.
They just don’t get it. The people were fed up to begin with, and this type of behavior only serves to remind them why they were so disgusted in the first place. They resent the establishment, lobbyist-led and -fed so-called party leaders changing the rules in the middle of the game for their benefit. The Republican Party belongs to the people who comprise its grassroots voters, not the party bosses who profess to know what’s in their best interests.
In the interest of full disclosure, Trump and I have been friends for many years. I greatly respect and admire him. And to those who are taking cheap shots at him by suggesting he’s a racist, I can tell you from firsthand experience he demonstrates equal opportunity in his businesses.
So, my advice to those who are attempting to deny the nomination to anyone who has garnered the requisite delegates to be our nominee is this: Stop! Let’s honor the democratic process that has served this country so well and keep it in the hands of the voters, where it belongs.
Peter Kalikow is the president of the New York City real estate firm H.J. Kalikow & Co., LLC, and past owner and publisher of the New York Post.