Open, trench warfare is now the way of the Republican Party. What will be left of the GOP after November is anyone’s guess.

The GOP’s presidential nominee is attacking the GOP Speaker of the House, rather than focus on Hillary Clinton who, meantime, is pulling further ahead in the race. Donald Trump also is calling fellow Republican Sen. John McCain “foul-mouthed,” rather than focusing on Hillary Clinton, who, meantime, is pulling further ahead in the race.

I guess he figures if he cannot defeat Hillary Clinton he will defeat the Republican Party. He can see that his odds of defeating the GOP are greater than his odds of defeating Clinton. After all to Trump, a win is a win. And he does not lose, in his alternate reality.

The Republican Party’s leader, Reince Priebus, meanwhile, is going down with the Trump ship, and taking the Republican Party with him. He wanted to run again for chairman. If he’s tying his boat to Trump’s dock…that dream will disappear.

And the millions of Trump supporters — Republicans, they say — will defeat every GOP House member they can, to get their revenge on Paul Ryan saying he will ignore the GOP presidential nominee and focus on keeping control of the House which, if he did and if Donald Trump were to win, would only accrue to Trump’s benefit.

Oh, and those Republicans who are voting for Trump because he will name their kind of justice to the Supreme Court? How do they expect to get those justices confirmed if the Democrats control the Senate? But, sure, minions — back Trump to the hilt, don’t look out for the party in any way or shape.

The Republican world is upside down. Of course in Trump World, “upside down” is a good place to be financially. Donald Trump makes money when he fails, so anything that positions him that way is a win-win to him.

I am very saddened by the destruction Trump is doing to the party. One thing to lose an election, which he is doing, but another to take the party down with him. The country needs a strong two-party system, as we’re seeing through this election.

Another question is what happens after he loses with the many millions of people he’ll be leaving who will be even more frustrated by the “system?” Will he lead them to the future (doubtful), will his pal, Steve Bannan, who is likely more foul than Trump, but is rarely interviewed, on the record anyway? Those millions of people will need to be dealt with by a leader or by Clinton when she’s president, a topic for future posts.

More importantly, I fear for the nation on Nov. 8. Not that I think Trump will win, I do not. But a even Trump loss also will put this nation at risk.

His claims that the election will be rigged for him to lose could put this country into a violent state on Nov. 8 and beyond. His allegations that there will be fraud and rigging, for which there is no precedent in our history, are riot-inciting, a criminal offense. Of course for a guy who apparently feels that sexual assault is okay if you’re a celebrity, inciting a riot is no big deal.

By directing his supporters to vote and then monitor in “certain areas” to be on the lookout for fraud (as if they would know real fraud if it bit them on their asses), well…not only is he preparing his excuses for losing but he is setting up our country for needless violence on Election Day and beyond. And hate. And needless injuries. And needless further division of our country.

My friends who support Trump, that of course is your choice. But after Nov. 8, what? What do you want our country to look like and be?

The mere appearance of a bunch of angry white people at a minority neighborhood polling place could be enough to suppress the vote, another “win” for Trump because a fair election won’t be fair to him.

He will be taking his race-baiting campaign to an even lower height by pitting whites against Blacks “in certain areas.” Sad does not cover it. Tragic and possibly criminal for inciting a riot.

The man knows no boundaries or decency.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog:

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