House Speaker Paul Ryan, the nation’s highest-ranking Republican, finally, predictably, endorsed Donald Trump this week, and all is well again in Republican Land. This follows weeks of reluctant meetings dedicated to finding common ground between the GOP’s principles and Trump’s outrageous policies, and Ryan’s calculated endorsement is the official stamp of approval on an unconventional and at times reviled campaign. But the GOP are basing their decision on a seemingly credible but dangerous gamble; that Donald Trump can be controlled and that he is going to change.
Ryan and most of the GOP establishment withheld their endorsement of Trump for as long as inconspicuously possible, in the vain hope that Trump would learn to mind his manners as per his unfulfilled promise to act more presidential. But even though they have rationalized their decision to continue with the love-hate-loathe relationship, don’t think for a second that it means that Trump is off the behavior hook – Ryan reassured Republicans that he is prepared to have stern words with Trump whenever he says something un-PC. So there’s that comfort.
Despite his deep reservations about some of Trump’s positions, Ryan is a pragmatic modern politician. He sees the value in having a Republican (albeit unpredictable and inexperienced) president who will willingly sign Republican bills into law, over Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately Trump’s divisiveness will more likely accelerate the implosion of a party whose core ideals of small government, economic growth, foreign trade and traditional values are really important for America right now. Ryan may think he’s doing the party a favor by encouraging the GOP to close ranks behind Trump, but actually the opposite is true.
Feel like a reluctant hero, battling for a good cause? Movie for your mood: Die Hard