Donald Trump's numbers are tanking. He himself is coming to terms with the likelihood of defeat, as demonstrated by his talk of a "rigged" process. This was to be expected from Trump, as he has a history of not taking responsibility for his own failures. For those who have pinned their hopes on him, this is an understandably discouraging turn of events. For others, it provides a glimmer of hope.
I am both a #neverTrump and a #neverHillary voter. Knowing what I know about both, I can vote for neither. I have been looking at the possibility of casting a strategic vote for Gary Johnson, in spite of my reservations about his positions on social issues, because he is the most viable third-party alternative in this race and because I think it can be reasonably argued that even though some of his personal beliefs differ from mine, his commitment to smaller government and respect for the Constitution would over time lead to better results.
But my vote for Johnson, should it come to pass, would be not a passionate but a measured one. I would prefer to vote for someone who shares more of my values and has a demonstrated conservative record, and I think there's still the [remote] possibility of that happening. Here's how.
To Reince Preibus and the RNC: as it stands, you have lost me as a Republican voter. But you could get me back. Now is the time to use every tool at your disposal to convince Donald Trump to pull out of this election. Make him see that he is bound to lose and that it will forever be a stain upon his supposed reputation as a perpetual winner. Convince him that he will be better able to preserve his influence and image by bowing out now, before he loses, and portraying it as a move based in magnanimity and love of country. Then replace him at the top of the ticket with Mike Pence, his own VP candidate. If Trump supporters truly want to defeat Hillary, they will get behind the man Trump picked to be his second. If they don't do so, they are demonstrating that their support of Trump was never about Trump's ideas, but about a sycophantic loyalty to a cult of personality. In that case, they were never going to be reliable as GOP voters and it is best to cut them loose now.
Give Pence's VP slot to Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has somehow and almost uniquely managed to be supportive of Trump and his supporters while at the same time criticizing Trump's missteps and excesses. He, too, could be a unifying figure, able to appeal both to Trump's supporters and his critics. And he would add the needed "attack dog" element to the ticket that would be lost with Trump's departure.
To Mr. Trump: You have said you are not running for President to feed your own ego but for love of country, out of a spirit of self-sacrifice and a desire to "make America great again." You have also claimed to want to advance conservative ideals. If that is the case, and you also believe you can’t win, then it makes no sense to continue. The best, most selfless course of action would be to pull out, allow Mike Pence to take your place, and campaign as hard as you can for him and the Republican party, up and down ticket. Continue talking about and promoting the ideas you claim to hold dear. Take credit for giving voice to many who have felt ignored, for upending a highly frustrating electoral system, and for demonstrating that voters are hungry for something other than the usual political-speak. But be a big enough person to let someone else take the good you have brought to the process and carry it forward--someone whom not only your supporters but many others can get behind.
I am not a particularly savvy political analyst. I am just an average mom, wife, and concerned voter. But as I survey the current state of things, this scenario seems like the Republican party’s best shot at preventing a total and unmitigated disaster in November. Of course, it would require the cooperation of one Donald J. Trump. Ah, well. A girl can dream, right?