The Five Stages of Grief: Coming to Terms with “President Trump”

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

DENIAL

Donald Trump won the Nevada caucus last night. Big deal. Everyone expected that.

The real story is who finished second. And Marco Rubio came through BIG — winning second place with 24 percent of the vote!

All that matters is the delegate count, okay? And last night? Marco Rubio won delegates! He’s keeping pace. He has Trump right where he wants him!

Rubio’s genius 3-5-2-2 strategy — i.e. finishing third in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire, second in South Carolina, and second in Nevada — is really panning out! He’s on fire! He can’t be stopped! He’ll take second place all the way to the convention!

This definitely isn’t over!

#Marcomentum

ANGER

Wow, it’s over. We blew it, America. We’re nominating Donald-freaking-Trump.

We picked the reality TV star. “You’re fired.”

I remember a year ago, when we started The Pulse 2016, we were gearing up for a substantive, issue-focused debate. It was exciting. We were ready for conservatism to finally take over the Republican Party.

Instead, we are settling for ideologically-fluid authoritarianism. Our “policy debates” in this primary have been limited to: 1.) Is Ted Cruz a liar? 2.) Is Mexico really going to pay for a wall on our southern border? 3.) Is Jeb Bush pathetic or what?

God help us.

Last night, exit polling showed that Nevada voters were really angry. Me, too.

#DeportNevada

BARGAINING

Okay, maybe this isn’t so bad.

Trump has flip-flopped on pretty much every issue, but to be fair, he is flip-flopping in the right direction. He now promises to defund Planned Parenthood, defend religious freedom, and maybe even reform the Federal Reserve.

It just wasn’t meant to be for Cruz or Rubio. But hey, Donald Trump is certainly a fighter. Maybe he’ll stick to his newfound conservatism. Maybe he’ll be a great President.

You know what? I can get behind this. Trump 2016! Let’s do it!

#AllAboardTheTrumpTrain

DEPRESSION

Never mind. This is terrible.

Look, Donald Trump is NOT a conservative. What are GOP voters thinking? You want an outsider? Pick Ted Cruz. That guy hates Washington, and Washington hates him! He has conviction. He’s a fighter.

Or pick Marco Rubio. He has charisma. He’s a conservative. He’d be great.

But Donald Trump? Seriously? That’s our answer? We’re voting for THAT guy?

The guy who previously supported partial-birth abortion? The guy who wants universal healthcare? The guy who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats just a few years ago?

This is it. We’re finished. It’s been real, America.

#LOLNothingMatters

ACCEPTANCE

No, let’s be realistic. Everything will be fine.

Donald Trump is going to be the nominee. That’s our reality. It was a spirited primary fight, but he won. He’s the guy.

He’s still infinitely better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. He will still be solid on foreign policy and the economy. We will still likely have a Republican House and Senate.

It’s okay to be disappointed. But everything will be fine. It’s not the end of the world.

Trump will be the 2016 GOP nominee. This race is over. And in all likelihood, he’ll tap into millions of typical non-voters and beat Hillary Clinton, too.

Donald Trump is going to be America’s 45th President. And he’s going to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain!

Author’s Note: I’m still at the denial phase. #Marcomentum? #CruisinForCruz? Maybe I’ll get to acceptance by November.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for the American Principles Project.