When I read this afternoon that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced (on CNN!) his reluctance to support Donald Trump, his party’s assumed presidential nominee, I knew it was time for the Republicans to take a time out, to shut up for, say, a week and let things cool off. Furthermore, hard as it may be, they should not for that period give any press interviews and they should refrain from making any public pronouncements. (Ryan, generally a smart guy, was absolutely a sucker for Jake Tapper.)
And that includes Mr. Trump, who won the primary election far more quickly than even he thought he would. He needs to take a breather to figure things out. Anybody would.
Naturally the #NeverTrump crowd needs to go silent for a few days as well.
All branches should stop and think, not do anything definitive. It won’t hurt. They can come out and be just as mean to each other in another week, destroy the party, start a third party, move to Canada, invade the Balkans, whatever they want to do. But maybe they won’t. Maybe they have more in common than they think. They should at least try to find out.
Now I realize this would be a pro-Trump strategy, but it should be. The man has won the nomination. He did so with more primary votes than anyone else in the history of the party against a field of, originally, 16 other candidates. That’s pretty impressive in this democratic republic.The millions of people who voted for him deserve everyone’s respect. He needs to be given a chance to unite the party. If he fails, so be it. But he still must have the opportunity and that cannot be done in public. It just doesn’t happen that way, not with more bruised egos than there are stars in the Horsehead Nebula.
Moreover, the likes of Tapper and Megyn Kelly should not be the ones promulgating and adjudicating the policies of the GOP. They can hear about them later, when we want them to. (HINT: Their interests are not ours. They are theirs.) So can we. First, Trump and his intra-party opponents must sit down and talk behind closed doors. They are probably doing that now. But they should do more of it, as much as is needed. And, I know this is difficult, the various factions should have the maturity not to leak until things resolve, one way or another.
The amount of misunderstanding in this campaign has been extraordinary and much of it was deliberate. Obfuscation came from opposing sides and also from the press that everyone knows favors the Democrats anyway. Things have to be cleared up. Questions asked. A lot of what Trump says seems to be contradictory, but may not be. We should find that out too.
By shutting up for a week, Republicans will get another benefit. Nature and the news abhor a vacuum and to fill that vacuum the public will be reminded, once again, of who the president is and of his immense level of incompetence. In the midst of this crazy campaign, you may have noticed, his poll numbers have gone up a tick. He seemed the sane one for a moment. He also won by being funnier than the notably unfunny host of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, the world continues to fall apart and the global economy to disintegrate. It would be good for the public to be reminded of that instead of incessant reports of who said what to Donald and what he said back — and vice versa.
And for a second bonus, it will give the electorate a chance to register that, for now, it is the Democrats who are the ones endlessly bickering. Hillary hasn’t even been able to defeat Bernie yet. And if we’re lucky, she won’t make it without those creepy, undemocratic super delegates.
So let’s do it. You all know the sound …. of silence!
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and the co-founder of PJ Media. His next book – I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Country, If It Hasn’t Already – will be published by Encounter Books in June 2016.