No one who has been paying attention to the Republican presidential race for the past couple of weeks can be surprised that Donald Trump scored a huge victory today, prompting Senator Ted Cruz to get out of the race.
That his big win occurred on the same day as his insane accusation that Cruz's father was involved with JFK's assassination confirms the sense of many principled conservatives that the electorate has blown it and failed to discern that Trump is unfit, if not unstable, for any office, let alone the presidency.
"While tonight's Indiana primary results increased Donald Trump's delegate count, Trump remains short of the 1237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination," the Our Principles PAC's founder Katie Packer said.
"A substantial number of delegates remain up for grabs in this highly unpredictable year. In addition, there is more than a month before the California primary - more time for Trump to continue to disqualify himself in the eyes of voters, as he did yet again today spreading absurd tabloid lies about Ted Cruz's father and the JFK assassination."
She continued, "We continue to give voice to the belief of so many Republicans that Trump is not a conservative, does not represent the values of the Republican Party, cannot beat Hillary Clinton, and is simply unfit to be President of the United States."
She vowed, "We will continue to educate voters about Trump until he, or another candidate, wins the support of a majority of delegates to the Convention."
While technically true, many Republicans now must come to terms with the need for a conservative who does represent the values of an outfit previously called the Republican Party. Republicans should keep in mind several points.
First, insofar as Trump is almost certainly going to be clobbered in the general election it is no excuse to say a third candidate would hand the race to Hillary Clinton.
She has it in the bag, barring a cataclysmic event.
A third candidate is a political necessity to turn out voters for down-ticket Republicans, but more important, a moral necessity that disentangles conservatives from Trump and his noxious ideas.
Second, when former candidates like Bobby Jindal say they will vote for Trump (but not be happy about it!) and when TV media entertainer Sean Hannity allows Trump without challenge to repeat his despicable lie about Cruz's father, responsible Republicans must conclude that there needs to be a separation between those who put stock in personal character and truthfulness and those who do not; between those who babble inanities and those who insist on intellectual rigor; between those who lack simple decency and respect for fellow Americans and those who believe our political system must function without threat of violence, bigoted slurs and lies.
The dividing line is now crystal clear. To one side stands an angry nativist mob and to the other men and women of decent character and honourable purpose. Choose sides. You cannot be in both camps.
And if you claim to be bound by "party loyalty" to support Trump, there will be scores who will refuse to be in the same party.
Third, the idea -still - that "establishment" Republicans gave us Trump suggests some Republicans simply do not get it.
Jeb Bush, Senator Lindsey Graham, moderate think-tankers and advocates of responsible immigration reform - to name just a few - have fought Trump tooth and nail from the beginning. Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Senator Jeff Sessions, the Freedom Caucus and others in the far right swamp backed Trump staunchly (or when it mattered most, before hedging their bets). Let's can the chatter about "Republican establishment" versus the grassroots; if anything the "grassroots" voted for Trump by the millions.
Finally, there have been and will continue to be efforts to find an alternative candidate to Trump and Clinton.
Honourable men and women who find Trumpism repugnant and are willing to step into the fray should be commended regardless of the election's outcome. They will have a ready answer to the question: What did you do to stop Trump?