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 I Hope I'm Wrong - May 4, 2016

There was another Indiana election night I remember with great fondness.  That was the night of November 4th, 1980, when the election between Republican Ronald Reagan the incumbent Democrat President Jimmy Carter would be decided.  Traditionally Indiana had one of the earliest poll closings so their results would be the first indication of how the evening would go.  I awaited the state's results with both apprehension and hope. 

First it was announced that Reagan had carried the state.  This was no surprise, Indiana is traditionally Republican in Presidential elections, it has only voted for the Democrat candidate twice since World War Two.  If Reagan had not won, it would have been a disaster for his prospects.  Then the results of the governor's race were announced, a GOP victory.  But this was an open-seat race, so a Republican win was good news but not definitive of any general trend.

But then the last major statewide race was called and it was another Republican victory.  Three-term incumbent Democrat Senator Birch Bayh, a prominent enough figure in his party that he had even sought the Presidential nomination in 1976, was defeated by future Republican Vice President Dan Qualye.   When I heard that result, I began jumping up and down in front of my TV set in an ecstasy of joy.  The Indiana Senate race had been considered no worse than even-money and if Quayle had beaten Bayh so handily that the race could be called so soon, I knew it was going to be a good night for the GOP.  And so it proved.

I will not remember fondly the Indiana election results last night.  It spells the end of any hope that Donald Trump can be denied the Republican Presidential nomination.  The Donald's impressive victory in the GOP primary in that state caused Senator Ted Cruz to pull out of the race for the nomination and with good reason.  Indiana had been considered one of the Texas Senator's best hopes for victory and if Trump could beat him there by a landslide of more than 15 percentage points, Cruz had little hope of winning any of the remaining primary contests.  And it also spells the end of the hope among his opponents that Trump's support among Republicans has a ceiling well under a majority.

John Kasich remains in the race, perhaps hoping that in between now and the Presidential election, Trump will be found in bed with a dead woman or a living man.  (Though I wonder if even either of those events would faze any of the Donald's supporters, considering what they have borne already without wavering in their fidelity to him.)

So Trump will be the Republican nominee for President this year.  I cannot help but fear, along with many others, that the result will be either a crushing Trump defeat in November, possibly taking with him the GOP majorities in the House and Senate and putting possibly the only presidential candidate worse than he is in the White House.  Or if by some miracle he does win, proving such a disaster in office as to damage the GOP brand worse than anyone since Herbert Hoover.

Trump's victory also means that for the first time since I began voting for President in 1972, I will not be supporting the Republican presidential nominee.  Instead, I will vote for any plausible third party candidate who might run.  If not, I will write in the name of someone I wish was the GOP candidate, such as Governor Scott Walker of Indiana or Ted Cruz.

Maybe I'm all wrong.  (I've been wrong before.)  Maybe the Donald Trump who runs in the fall will turn out to be completely unlike the candidate we have seen so far, a narcissistic, ill-informed, lying, slandering ignoramus, who I would not trust to successfully find his posterior with both hands.

So, I hope  I am wrong.  Otherwise, it will be a bad four years for our country.

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