- - Thursday, August 11, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“Doom and Gloom for the GOP” — the headlines speak for themselves as the media gleefully report that morale is low in the Republican Party and a growing number of traditional Republicans are expressing their discontent and unwillingness to support Donald Trump. These anti-Trump Republicans are ready to hand over a victory to Hillary Clinton, who continues to display a penchant for “pay-for-play” deals and offers no new solutions for strengthening America.

The anti-Trump Republicans think that they are abandoning just the nominee, but they are also abandoning many grass-roots Republicans and millions of voters who made their voices heard in the primary season by backing Mr. Trump.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus boldly sent a message to those anti-Trump Republicans, saying that “we will win with or without you this fall.” Despite the growing obstacle from their own party members, the Trump campaign and the survivors at the Republican National Committee are focused on developing a solid grass-roots ground game and reaching new voters in key states. They are not giving up on the GOP and understand the dangerous consequences of a Clinton presidency.

It’s not even September and some establishment GOP types are ready to throw in the towel on Mr. Trump and focus on 2020. They oppose Mr. Trump’s unorthodox campaigning style and his rhetoric. Some even agree with Mrs. Clinton that he is “dangerous.”

But what is dangerous is handing over the nation to Mrs. Clinton, who has misjudged our enemies, proposed weak economic plans and higher taxes, and would reshape the Supreme Court negatively for generations to come. The anti-Trump Republicans need to realize that Mrs. Clinton — not Mr. Trump — is the candidate opposing limited government, peace through strength in the international arena and stronger economic growth. Under the Obama administration, we have already witnessed a shrinking middle class, lower wages and a 50-year low in homeownership, and yet these Republicans who support Mrs. Clinton effectively support the status quo.

Do I wish Mr. Trump sounded more like a politician, used his words more carefully, and stopped making news with his controversial comments? Absolutely. It is discouraging to be on the front lines fighting for a candidate who is not “politically trained” to stay on message. Unfortunately with such intense media scrutiny, every word matters in this political environment and Mrs. Clinton is beating him in the messaging game. But never forget: a Hillary Clinton presidency will spell doom and gloom for not only the GOP, but, more important, the nation.

The anti-Trump Republicans fail to understand the Trump movement, a clear message to the establishment Republicans from ordinary Americans who are tired of empty promises, tired of business as usual in Washington, and tired of being told what to do.

Today, many of these voters are upset with those anti-Trump Republicans who refuse to unite the party and instead support Mrs. Clinton. Many Republicans and independents voted for a fighter to take on the Washington establishment and that fighter happens to be Mr. Trump — with all of his flaws. Yet Mrs. Clinton does a better job of hiding her flaws and presenting herself as qualified to be president despite her failed record.

Maybe I’m an eternal optimist and hope to see the GOP factions make up. But it will take great efforts from both Mr. Trump and those in Republican establishment, and it just may be too late. Mr. Trump has caused serious damage in failing to understand that sometimes his straight talk gets him into trouble, especially with those who have been in politics for a long time. My greater concern is the willingness of the anti-Trump Republicans to embrace Mrs. Clinton, which means accepting her pattern of corrupt behavior and her determination to continue President Obama’s progressive agenda.

I’m not willing to give up on Mr. Trump, the GOP or this election in the middle of August, but Mr. Trump has little time to try to turn this ship around and convince voters that he is the candidate who can jump-start the sluggish economy and make real change in America.

If only the doom-and-gloom Republicans would listen to Mr. Trump’s economic plan of eliminating regulations, bringing wealth back to America and cutting taxes, and compare that to Mrs. Clinton’s stale economic agenda. Her plan is not Republican or conservative in any way.

The mainstream media and the Democrats are clearly relishing the doom-and-gloom headlines and the failure of the GOP so far to unite. And it is unfortunate that the anti-Trump Republicans are allowing the Democrats to win and destroy their own party.

Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor, co-founder of Cove Strategies and former White House director of specialty media under President George W. Bush.

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