In the interim, the Right's pundits, led by National Review, have come out definitively and explicitly against Donald Trump, and articulated in no uncertain terms why no conservative voter should support him.
These arguments have been met with a fusillade of raspberries and a barrage of shrugs from the voting public. Those who were not inclined to support Trump may feel even more strongly about it. But those who are supporting him were moved not one whit.
Why is that, exactly? To answer that question, one must delve a bit more deeply into the Republicans' lack of leadership -- under the Obama administration, most notably, but for years prior, as well.
In fiscal matters, the GOP has been virtually worthless. Under President Obama, the national debt has doubled from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. Put differently, Obama has racked up more debt in seven years than every other president in the previous 227 years combined.
Where are the Republicans? After the Obamacare fiasco, irate voters gave them a majority of the House of Representatives in 2010 and complete control of Congress in 2015. Their response? Nothing. Zip, zilch, nada, bupkis. Congress has the power of the purse, and the Republicans refuse to use it. The GOP, under former Speaker of the House John Boehner, caved on every budget deal. The debt ceiling has been raised multiple times during the Obama administration. Current speaker Paul Ryan seems to be no better, given the most recent budget deal in October of last year that funds everything on Obama's wish list through the end of his presidency. Adding injury (and death) to insult, Planned Parenthood even continues to get their millions, despite the scandals exposed by last year's videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood personnel describing the process of obtaining and selling fetal body parts.
On other pressing issues, the GOP is no better.
Illegal immigrants flood across the border by the thousands each month. Some carry infectious diseases. A significant number have criminal backgrounds, and tens of thousands commit crimes while they are here. The Obama administration has released over 100,000 of these criminals back into the population. If they happen to be deported, they can come right back and be given "sanctuary," as was the case with Kate Steinle's killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.
Where are the Republicans?
Now we must worry about terrorists in our midst -- some who could exploit our porous borders, but many who have come here legally under a system that does not even take advantage of the kinds of social media screening a fifth grader could use. Europe is watching itself collapse under the weight of migration, sexual assault and other crimes, impossible demands upon their generous social safety nets, and repeated terrorist attacks. But anyone who expresses concern is castigated as a "racist."
Where are the Republicans?
94 million Americans are out of the work force. The middle class is losing ground. The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of importing millions of low-income, low-information people who will vote "D" in exchange for freebies.
Where are the Republicans?
The GOP leadership is unhappy about the current state of presidential primary affairs? Well, this is the same group that keeps selecting failed candidates (Dole, McCain, Romney) who conservative voters reluctantly supported not because those candidates were strong advocates for conservative principles, but -- to quote Thomas Sowell -- "better a third-rate fireman than a first-rate arsonist." It's always the same "centrist" and "electable" excuse -- a deceitful shibboleth pitched by the left and the media (but I repeat myself) and bought hook line and sinker by the Republican National Committee.
The RNC and its mouthpieces don't seem get it, so let me spell it out for you: articulating a clear vision that people of different political viewpoints can get behind is NOT the same thing as keeping your mouth shut so that no one knows what you really think. The former is legitimately bipartisan appeal and electability. The latter is just cowardice. Furthermore, falling for the "You've got to move to the center" shtick while the Democrats jerk the country further and further to the left isn't leadership, it's abdication.
Millions of Americans do not agree with the policies of the Democratic party, and are demanding political representation. The anti-Trumpsters can complain all they like that "Trump is no conservative." What does that mean exactly? Voters have been sending self-proclaimed "conservatives" to Congress for years, only to have them cower in preemptive defeat that "Obama will veto everything" or "We can't shut down the government because the media won't like us." So what? (Side note: the government was shut down during Snowzilla earlier this week. Who even noticed?)
Voters no longer believe that Republican politicians -- at least at the national level -- have the courage of their convictions. Scratch that. The voters no longer believe that Republicans have convictions. Those who are wailing and gnashing their teeth about Trump and wondering why he's the front-runner need only look in the mirror.
In the absence of true courage, voters will settle for bravado. At this point, Trump is the political equivalent of a mercenary. Voters don't care what he calls himself -- much less what others call him. If (and it's a big "if") Trump is willing to go to Washington and actually do what voters want him to do, then they think he's the man for the job.