In the last days of this election Trump has done it again. A hat trick none of us expected. He has divorced the Republican Party and formed the “Party of Trump” — a party I will not be joining. The Trump phenomenon is something that will be discussed for the next 50 years. Some have called it a movement, others called it a racist faction, and I call it the “Party of Trump.”

I’ve watched this movement from day one. On Jun. 16, 2015, I recall being on air when the host of the program, Thom Hartmann, announced Donald Trump was running for president. I was aware of this from news alerts earlier in the day, but had not seen the footage of his campaign announcement. While the short clip played on air my mouth opened wide. Never had I seen a candidate make such politically incorrect statements. He said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

I said on air that night that no one would take Trump seriously. I wasn’t the only pundit who said it. Week after week, I watched Trump make one inflammatory statement after another. Some of the things he said I agreed with, others, not so much. As this went on, he lost business deal after business deal, and normally that would be enough for a newcomer to stop and reform their candidacy or drop out of the race completely.

He didn’t, which endeared him to his supporters even more. In fact, I wrote a piece on him published in Aug. 2015 titled, “Why the Republican base has a tie to Trump that won’t break.” I said, “The tie that binds Donald Trump and the Republican base is stronger than any of us political experts could have ever imagined. I understand it. The base feels as though they have been bamboozled by the GOP.” I also said, “The base wants to abrogate business as usual for the party and stick with The Donald until the end — even though it is unlikely Trump can win a general election.”

I later received a panicked call from my editor saying Donald Trump was trying to reach me. Unbeknownst to me, Trump had read my piece and loved it. He wanted to send me a thank you note. This further proved, in my mind, that Trump was nothing like the typical candidate running for president.

In July of 2016, Trump became the official GOP nominee for president. In spite of many notable members of the Republican Party having issues with Trump on his policy stances, his temperament, his campaign infrastructure or any number of issues, the GOP embraced him in a show of party unity. Notable members whom Trump had attacked, like John McCain, Paul Ryan, and many others, endorsed him in spite of personal differences.

Although I had many issues with Trump, I gave him a pass because my distrust for Hillary Clinton was very strong, and I felt I had to do everything within my power to ensure she was defeated and that the GOP continued to hold the majority in Congress. Since then, the Trump campaign has been rocked by scandal after scandal, many of which could have been prevented.

Two days after Trump’s second general election presidential debate, he sent several unprovoked tweets attacking the GOP and House Speaker Paul Ryan. He attacked many of the people who had defended, supported, and endorsed him. This was the last straw for me.

During a segment on Fox Business, I explained to the host Stuart Varney that based on Donald Trump’s tweets it appears as though he is divorcing himself from the Republican Party, and if he loses he only has himself to blame. Stuart pushed back, saying that people were going to be mad as hell at me and if Trump loses it would be my fault. Since then, I have lost fans and received angry messages from Trump supporters and others.

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Although I will never support or endorse Hillary Clinton, as a principled conservative I can no longer give Trump a pass, especially when our House and Senate majorities hang in the balance.

Read more at Red Alert Politics.

Gianno Caldwell is a lobbyist with Caldwell Strategic Consulting and a political television commentator.

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