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Has America really come to this? Have we come to where we must rely on the Republican Party to save us from electing a President who is an arrogant, egotistical blowhard with the vocabulary and maturity of a fourth-grade boy and the potential to wreck our economy and start World War III?

What have we done to deserve this plague on our great country, Lord?

Only two things stand between Donald Trump and the nomination for President.

One is Republican primary voters. We’re supposed to be reassured when commentators say Trump’s high poll numbers don’t reflect the real views of the real people who really vote in the fast-approaching caucuses and primaries.

Well, that’s just great. Do you mean the same people who caucused and voted for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich last time around? Do you mean, to put a fine point on it, Republicans in South Carolina?

Failing that, we’re told, the Republican Establishment will step in and restore sanity. Even if it takes a brokered convention.

Really? Have you seen how grassroots Republicans talk about the Republican Establishment? Read the Daily Haymaker right here in North Carolina. Policy Watch and Moral Monday don’t hold a candle to those boys when it comes to trashing the Republican Establishment.

Jeb Bush is as Establishment as they come, and how’s that working out?

What if neither the primary voters nor the Establishment stop Trump? What if he gets the nomination?

Not to worry, we’re told. Hillary Clinton will beat him in a landslide, and it will mean the end of the Republican Party.

Now, that’s tempting. And not out of the question. I recently saw a reliable North Carolina poll that showed Clinton beating Trump by four points here.

So you think: Bring it on! If Clinton beats Trump by four points in a state that Obama won by 1 point in 2008 and Mitt Romney won by 1 point in 2012, she’ll win a national landslide.

Just one problem. That poll was taken before the San Bernardino shootings. Before the anti-Muslim panic.

Imagine this scenario. Trump wins the nomination, despite all the smart set’s assurances. Sure enough, Clinton is off to the races. Trump’s campaign alienates everybody. Even big-name Republicans disavow him and vow to hold their noses and vote for Hillary. Through September and into October, it looks like a national sweep – and a disaster for Republicans.

Then, two weeks before Election Day – Boom! ISIS terrorists pull off a shocking attack on American soil. Dozens – or hundreds – of people die.

America panics. Just like we did after San Bernardino. Just like we did over Ebola in October 2014. (Remember, Democrats?)

Trump seizes the moment. He thunders that he’ll deport ‘em all, build a wall, round ‘em all up, bomb ‘em back to the Stone Age, whatever it takes.

At that point, the election leaves the gravitational pull of Earth. Where do we end up?

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