There has been a lot of speculation about a brokered convention. Paul Blest at Salon says it will never happen; I think he’s wrong. It may, it may not, but if the Republican establishment is serious about saving the party from oblivion, it’s a very real alternative. And also, very possibly the best chance at rescuing the party from the destruction it’s headed towards.
Blest’s argument seems to pivot around the fact that it would split the party–which it would. Trump and Carson have both said they would flee the party in such a case, and both would take a substantial portion of their voter base with them. I say good riddance. While I am not looking to shore up the Republican party, objectively this exodus would be good for it. The Republican Party has been losing members for a good while now, largely because of the people who support guys like Trump and Carson. Losing these voters would represent an immediate, painful hit for the party but would also like be removing a tumor. It would give the party the opportunity to recruit, expand its base, and grow. Exorcising the xenophobic, ultra-religious bigots would make it possible to actually do the minority outreach they have to date merely been able to only pay lip service to.
Yes, they will lose the 2016 election, but I submit they have lost it already. They don’t have a candidate who can win it. If Trump takes the primary and they don’t execute a brokered convention “to save the party,” they will break the party anyways. Same for Ted Cruz–though he is not threatening to flee the party. The bottom line is, the voters Trump and Carson are threatening to pull from the Republican party are the ones the party needs to get rid of anyways, if it wants to remain viable. Chasing these two guys and their minions out would hurt in the short term, but enable the party a chance to actually achieve the recruiting goals it’s ostensibly had for over a decade now.
Nobody is leaving the Republican party because it’s “too liberal.” Nobody. I know Republicans who have left the party, and it is because they are conservative. Trump and Carson supporters aren’t conservatives, they are radical extremists. Losing them will certainly cost the Republicans the 2016 election, but that’s lost if any of them win the nomination anyway. It’s time for the Republican party to take a long term approach, write this year off, and start building a broad, diverse coalition for 2020. They have a real chance at minority outreach if they can. That, or start packing up all the files and equipment in boxes, because if they throw up Trump or Carson in the general election, the party is probably finished.