Hey there — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Over here, senator! I'm talking to you.
So, I read an article in The New York Times that said you're developing plans to drop Donald Trump like a "hot rock" if he wins your party's nomination. The reasoning, as I understand it, is that you've been convinced by your pollsters and consultants that a Trump nomination would lead to an inevitable victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton, but of more concern to you, a Democratic Senate in 2017, and you'd be out of a key job. In your thinking, it would be better to have a Democratic president with a Republican Senate than a Democratic president, backed by a Democratic Senate, who can nominate and confirm liberal judges and basically rule by executive fiat, just as the dreaded Obama has in his somewhat astoundingly successful second term.
And I hear you. You talk a little slowly for my ears, but I hear you.
I also think that, in the end, you're going to change your mind. If Donald Trump is going to be the nominee of your party, I think you're going to learn to live with it. Here's why:
1. Trump could win
Many of your consultants are not very good. Some are, but most aren't. If any of these consultants have made millions off of televisions ads this cycle, don't listen to them. TV ads don't work. Donald Trump's rise and buoyancy, and the empty wallets of Jeb Bush donors, should suggest to you that a lot (but not all) of modern political consulting is a scam. And so, despite what the consultants tell you, Trump could actually take this thing. But critically, sir: He'd need your help to do it. He'll need your ground game, and your coordination, especially in those swing states with Senate races. He'll need the Republican Party's voter file, which, let's be real, you and Speaker Ryan have to share with him eventually.
If you help Trump register and turn out white voters without college degrees in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Wisconsin, he could win one of those states. If you begin to notice that he's actually competitive in these states by the end of the summer, when people begin to pay real attention, it is going to occur to you that he might be competitive elsewhere — and that this gut feeling you have about voters not electing a pompous bigoted blowhard might not be correct. A few percentage points worth of increased Republican enthusiasm in seven states could flip the electoral college on its ass. We just won't know until we know...
2. Hillary Clinton will concentrate the minds of Republicans who hate Trump
The elite of the party dislikes Trump, and many are debating whether he'd be worse than Hillary Clinton. But your party has decided for you already: They're going to dislike Clinton more than they dislike Trump. Enough Republicans who would never openly admit to voting for Trump will vote for Trump to avoid voting for Clinton. In this age of negative polarization, we get more pleasure out of beating the other guy than we do in savoring a victory anyway. That means that your voters will feel more intense about Clinton than they will about Trump. And if there's some evidence that the race might actually be close, they'll become giddy. And if they become giddy, they'll become motivated. Speaking of motivated...
3. Trump's rise is fueled by anger towards you
Surely you know this, right? So imagine what your party will do if you actively work against its nominee and cause him to fail. I mean, seriously? If you think Trump is a threat to the party, or you think you're uncomfortable now, just wait until you try to attend a state party meeting that's now controlled by Trump delegates. Think of how angry Republicans will be. Why would you risk that?
4. You won't risk it because Trump is the candidate you have
I know he's not the candidate you want. I know his image does not fit with the Republican Party's image that you say you're trying to build, but frankly, although you personally have a very solid record on civil rights, your party has done everything it could to bring about the type of revolt whose only logical consequence is a Trump-like candidate. He is an emergent phenomenon, not a created one. He understands the concerns of your voters and articulates them better and more bluntly than you do.
5. You know that he's not actually going to deport 11 million people or build a wall
You've been told that he sees these proposals as a vehicle to get elected. (He is, after all, a cynical creature). You know he's going to try and forge a comprehensive solution on immigration. It may not work, and he sure as hell seems like the worst possible forger of that compromise, but it's hard to see the party alienating people any more than it already has. Your martyrdom will not, in that instance, matter a whit.
So, in the end, I think you'll find a way to live with Donald Trump. But don't worry: You won't be asked to love him.