There’s an obvious effort underway within the Republican Party to civilize Donald Trump, or at least to drag him into compliance with the most basic norms of first-world political discourse. It may or may not be successful in the end, but either way, it bodes ill for the Republican Party in the coming election because of the way Trump has engineered his primary success.
Barring a seismic shift in the GOP nominating process, the man who will carry the party’s banner into November won by appealing to the grievances of a segment of the party that is generally older, whiter, and less educated than the rest of the Republican electorate.
Republican strategist Ford O'Connell agreed that the event was not Trump's best moment. "Trump's supporters like him not because they agree with all of his positions but because of what he represents, which is a giant middle finger to the establishment wing of the GOP and to DC politics as usual. For Trump to succeed in this election he doesn't need to be as scripted and subdued as he was in Tuesday night's speech. In fact, Trump can be as outspoken and colorful as he wants so long as he stays 'on message.'"
And while that message includes attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and telling GOP voters how he plans to improive their lives, O'Connell added, "He does not need to go down rabbit holes after federal judges or airing personal grievances that are not related to [those] two items."