The Republican Party is in serious trouble when, after several primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump is the front-runner to win the presidential nomination. Add to this that Senator Ted Cruz, one of the most hated politicians among his own due to his arrogant, divisive and extremist postures, has shaped up to be the candidate to unify the Party and stop the advance of the New York millionaire.
There are no other Republicans left with a chance to obtain the presidential who have a positive, moderate position on immigration. In the last few days, Trump and Cruz competed to rouse indignation and anger against immigrants among their followers. Behind them ‒ too far away to be a dangerous rival ‒ is Governor John Kasich, who reminds everyone of what the Party used to stand for before nativist populism and evangelism became political philosophy.
Both Trump and Cruz have little to do with the GOP candidates of previous elections, ‒ whether they won or lost ‒ from Ronald Reagan to Mitt Romney. Reagan continues to be the role model by today’s conservatives like Cruz, but they have a distorted image of a ruler who was a pragmatist where it was needed, as in tax reform, secretly opening up relations with Iran, negotiating with the Soviet Union’s “evil empire” and creating comprehensive immigration reform. It is no wonder that Kasich, a congressman during the Reagan era, is the candidate most akin to the late President.
The third option is for the Republican National Convention, meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, to choose a third candidate is none of the other two earn the majority of the votes plus one, from the delegates. Upsetting Trump and Cruz’s delegates may lead to a chaos with unpredictable long-term effects for the GOP.
The fact that the nomination lies between a lying, egomaniacal big mouth and a religious man who preaches during his political speeches is nothing but the consequence of the path that Republicans chose to follow a long time ago. The Tea Party’s populism, the incongruity of Sarah Palin’s candidacy as vice president, the visceral hatred against President Obama and the hegemony in Congress of inflexible Republican factions have paved the way and sowed the seeds whose fruit Trump and Cruz are picking today.