Trump's Hollow Crown: Nomination Devoid of Substance

There is no substitute for getting people to enthusiastically support you. There is no way, in a free society, to circumvent people's conscience and "win" though means other than persuasion. You may end up fumbling your way to small gains here or there. But you're not going to secure the mandate and broad base of support necessary to move a comprehensive agenda.

Donald Trump has effectively secured the Republican nomination. But he has not earned the party's actual support. Untold numbers of Republicans, from the likes of Paul Ryan to the humble strata of yours truly, have rejected Trump as the party's standard bearer. It's unheard of. But it was also inevitable after the strategy Trump employed became that of a bull in a china shop. He has burned every bridge he's crossed, and offended every constituency and institution he needs to coalesce around him. As a result, he's now left holding a nomination that amounts to a hollow crown.

The lesson for those mobilized around anti-establishment rhetoric is that we have an establishment for a reason. This is how the world works, boys and girls. You have to go out and actually persuade others that you're on to something. That translates to entangling alliances which frequently require some degree of compromise. There's no other way to do it in a free society. That's how persuasion occurs. That's how we each negotiate nearly every relationship in our lives. We work to convince one another. We strive to earn respect. We labor to engender trust. From that, a coalition is born.

The only alternative is force, and that won't work in our yet-quasi-democratic system. A lot of his supporters now seem to think that, after securing the nomination, Trump somehow gets to pillage the Republican village, lay claim to the votes, and add them to his pile of plunder. But that's not how elections work. Winning the nomination does not secure a single conscientious vote, not one. You still have to actually convince people to support you. And Trump is terrible at that.