Donald Trump's campaign pledge is to "Make America Great Again." Instead, if he is nominated, he may end up destroying the Republican Party.
Trump's blustery, brash and in-your-face demeanor has attracted a large following of devoted acolytes that have lifted him to front-runner status for his party's nomination. Ever the showman, Trump has gobbled up hours of free media time on television news outlets, which has resulted in huge ratings.
Since he announced his candidacy last June in the opulent lobby of Trump Tower on New York's Fifth Avenue, he has overcome many political gaffes and consistently confounded political commentators who have many times predicted his demise. At long last, though, it appears that the accumulated weight of his missteps has begun to drag on his campaign, and may have permanently damaged the Republican Party.
Trump has referred to Mexicans and rapists. He has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border, which he says Mexico will pay for. He has pledged a mass deportation of all 11 million immigrants who are in this country illegally. He has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. He has humiliated his opponent's wives, including Heidi Cruz and Columba Bush. He has attacked journalists, including Univision's Jorge Ramos and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who each have millions of loyal viewers.
Trump has alienated women. "Look at that face!" he said of then opponent Carly Fiorina. "Would anyone vote for that?" He has unapologetically supported his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who has been charged with battery for grabbing the arm of a female reporter at a rally. And, in an apparent attempt to strengthen his bona fides as a pro-life candidate, he said that there has to be "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions. He later recanted that position following a firestorm of protests, saying in a statement that if abortions were illegal, "The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon women would be held legally responsible, not the women."
Trump has also alarmed our allies in Europe with is lack of understanding of foreign affairs and loose talk. For instance, this exchange with MSNBC's Chris Matthews:
“Can you tell the Middle East we’re not using nuclear weapons?”