Mark Levin points out the weakness of the candidates. None of the candidates has or can win a majority of Republican votes. None of them can win a significant majority of the delegates going into the convention. Even if Donald Trump gets to 1,237 or even 1,300, that is winning by a
"tiny, tiny sliver. That's not typically a winning formula. Typically when a party comes out of a situation like this, the party loses. Not all the time, but often.
"We are a party not just divided. We’re a party that’s cut up into fourteen pieces. We’ve got demagogues out there pushing their own agenda many of them in the old media and the new media with disinformation who are pushing results and not information."The primary process has destroyed real political discussion.
"The primary process lacked what? A lot of substance. It lacked arguments for the American people to the American people on how we the liberty loving philosophy of conservatism could benefit their lives. How we could juxtapose us to the Bernie Sanders and the Hillary Clintons and the Left. All of that lost pretty much as a result of the way this primary has been conducted."[I would add that under the Trump movement constitutionalism is irrelevant. Under Trump pro-life is unimportant. Under Trump big government is inconsequential.]
Levin takes on some of the planks of the new populism/nationalism.
Tariffs and protectionism: "That’s Herbert Hoover. That’s depression. That’s poverty. That’s economic dislocation. There’s nothing new about it. We’ve already done that. It’s a disaster. About a hundred years ago."
Isolationism. "You still need forward bases." "You still need NATO. "“Fortress America is extremely dangerous. Every time we do that the enemy tries to take advantage of it.”
Finally, to underline the weakness of the no principled content populism/nationalism strategy, Levin says there’s no great movement for it. Trump has 40% of the vote. That's nothing massive or overwhelming. It could very easily result in electoral disaster.
I think he's right on this. Even more disastrously, I believe the conservative movement (especially the part that has centered on constitutionalism) has been seriously wounded. The Goldwater election defeat helped build the conservative movement (by, among other things, bringing a rising conservative to the forefront: Ronald Reagan). Whether this one will have any side benefits is still up in the air. As Samuel Johnson said: "when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." So perhaps an electoral disaster will give the needed slap in the face to wandering conservatives.