Those who say it’s hopeless to launch ads against Trump at this stage of the process overestimate how much voters know about his history. A recent poll found that 55 percent of adults had never heard about Trump University, Trump Mortgage and other disqualifying aspects of the con man’s past.
Too late? Hardly. It’s still two weeks until the critical winner-takes-all primaries in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.
Trump’s vulnerabilities are too numerous to itemize in this space, but the two main themes that beg for attention would seem to be undermining his reputation as someone who “tells it like it is” and casting doubt on his temperamental suitability to gain control of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
The rise of Trump is often attributed to the corruption or failure of the institutional Republican Party. On the contrary, the response to Trump will test whether the Republican Party is beyond saving.
A Trump presidency is unlikely, since the press, which is coddling him now, will unload the full “oppo” file after the nomination, along with millions of ads from Hillary Clinton. But the key question for primary voters is: Will they permit the Republican Party to become the Trump party — trafficking in lies and threats, stoking ethnic and international tensions, endorsing Code Pink conspiracy theories, flirting with another Great Depression and degrading public life by the example of a degenerate?
It’s not too late to stop it — but nearly.