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Why 2016 Republicans are starting to panic, in 1 paragraph...

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Summer is over. And Donald Trump is -- still -- at the top of the 2016 Republican primary field.

That makes lots and lots of Republicans with an eye on winning the White House in 2016 (or even 2020) very, very nervous. That unease -- and its origins -- are explained brilliantly in this paragraph, taken from a broader piece entitled "The GOP is Killing Itself," by former Bush administration official Pete Wehner:

The message being sent to voters is this: The Republican Party is led by people who are profoundly uncomfortable with the changing (and inevitable) demographic nature of our nation. The GOP is longing to return to the past and is fearful of the future. It is a party that is characterized by resentments and grievances, by distress and dismay, by the belief that America is irredeemably corrupt and past the point of no return. “The American dream isdead,” in the emphatic words of Mr. Trump.

Wehner, whose honesty and insight about his party and its prospects I've praised before in this space, nails a sentiment I've heard expressed by countless Republicans in the Summer of Trump. The concern is that a candidate like Trump is running a campaign based on the 1980 electorate, not the 2016 one.

I'm not sure if Republicans' main concern with Trump is that they think he can't win...

Or that they think he CAN win, and that frightens them.

Both, but seem to fear most that he will legitimately win the Republican nomination but not the Presidential election, for the aforementioned old-school values that no longer appeal/speak to the diverse 21st century United States.

2015 Trump + Boehner/McCarthy signals a kind of identity crisis, apparently

This crisis has been a long time in the making.

The Tea Party minority has hijacked the Republican majority in its election of its next Speaker.

It's unclear what they want other than to stop most forms of government.

Trump doesn't really represent the Tea Party.

Instead, he's a populist who used to be a Democrat.

I think what terrifies the party is that they don't know what he actually stands for.

He could win AND be way more liberal than they'd get with Hillary.

Not like the Democrats have it incredibly better.

We shall see... As the World Turns!!!

So true. This is both an election for hope... And an election of lack of hope.

I think a lot of people are hoping the president in 2016 has not yet announced that s/he is running.

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