Friends, we need to sit and talk for a few minutes about the Republicans. I’m a little worried for them. I know it’s not like me to express empathy for the representatives and subscribers of a political ideology that has gutted this country economically and socially over the last several decades, but alas! I worry about our red brethren.

As we've watched their clown car of presidential hopefuls crash around the country the last several months, the tone of the mockery within my household has changed several times. I remember the early days, when Aileen and I had actual strategic debates of what would happen to the country if someone like Marco Rubio or Scott Walker (or, God forbid, even Jeb Bush) found himself with a finger on the button. I felt simultaneous terror and relief at the mere suggestion that whoever was chosen to represent the GOP would undoubtedly select our own Gov. Susana Martinez as their running mate, simultaneously saving our state and dooming the nation. I'm not so worried about that any more.

It wasn't immediately obvious what Donald Trump would do to this campaign. I don't think anyone dared dream it would be this awesome. "It's the guy from The Apprentice," we said. "He's just fishing for a Fox News job. He'll be gone in a week." How wrong we were.

I remember a year ago, having conversations with Chris—as it became obvious that the GOP was happy to overtly define itself with bigotry, sexism and fear-mongering—about how funny it would be to watch the whole party implode, as the "reasonable" (read, "rich") Republicans abandoned ship. "That'll never happen. They've got too much of an established party core. Sure they have a few fringe lunatics, but Boehner and McConnell and them would never let something like that happen." We were both half-right.

You may not be aware of this, as the mainstream media is still following this clusterfuck like it's a legitimate political race (as best they can fake it), but the Internet knows. The Internet has been paying attention and calling the game more objectively than most. To briefly summarize, the Republican sideshow is no longer a political contest. It's halfway between a WWE wrestling match and a playground full of children teasing each other.

Jeb Bush, the once all-but-anointed candidate, has been saying things like the following: "I've got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that." That almost directly translates to, "Screw you guys, I'm going home." Meanwhile, as Trump continues to pants him and point and laugh along with half the nation, and the other "serious" candidates cower in fear, the very fabric of the Republican voting machine is coming to pieces. The fringe factions of bigots, religious fundamentalists and blue-collar workers are splitting off to follow the candidates that best cater to their individual fears, leaving a naked, gleaming pillar of moneyed interest unprotected at the party's center.

I'm not worried about President Trump yet. But the way the Republican establishment is letting itself be trolled by this primary can lead to nothing less than the end of the party. Even if Chris is right, and Mitt Romney descends from the rafters at the election, like Stone Cold Steve Austin, to save the day right as Donald's going for the pin, the core of petrified simpletons that were instrumental in electing every conservative since Reagan will have been routed and run into the woods. This next election is going to be crazy and entertaining. But it won't be close. And it will be the last of its kind.

The point is often the least interesting part of the conversation. Have one with the author: miljen@sfreporter.com