Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Damage Already Done By Trump

Here's an ABC story about how some states have been taking steps to prevent people like Donald Trump from eventually running as a third-party candidate if they want to first appear on the ballot as a Republican. I think it's good for the states to do that sort of thing. But one of the dangers of a campaign like Trump's is that it can so easily be replaced by another movement of a similar nature. The longer Trump is in the race, the more committed some of his supporters are likely to become to notions like the alleged corruption of the Republican leadership and the supposed unacceptability of all of Trump's rivals. Even if Trump were to leave the race without running as a third-party candidate, his campaign has already created an environment that makes it much easier for somebody like Trump, even if not Trump himself, to get significant support as an anti-Republican third-party candidate. Even if that candidate were to get as little as, say, half a percentage point or one percent, that could easily be enough to give the election to the Democrats. Trump's campaign and his irrational supporters have already done a lot of damage, even if Trump were to drop out tomorrow and never run as a third-party candidate. Maybe there won't be a significant anti-Republican third-party candidate in 2016. But the risk should never have been taken by starting or supporting a campaign like Trump's.

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