According to a new editorial by the leftists in charge of the Washington Post, Donald Trump is a threat to American democracy. And if Republicans want to stop him from using “strongman” tactics to overthrow the country, they must…go against the will of the voters?

“Does a respect for democracy require the Republican Party to anoint its leading vote-getter?” the editors ask, anticipating the inherent contradiction. “Hardly. We are not advocating that rules be broken but that they be employed to maximum effect — to force a brokered convention and nominate a conservative candidate who respects the Constitution, or to defeat Mr. Trump in some other way. If Mr. Trump is attracting 40 percent of Republicans, who in turn represent about one-quarter of the country, that is a 10 percent slice of the population — hardly a mantle of legitimacy.”

Right. So it would have been perfectly acceptable for us to deny Bill Clinton the presidency in 1992? He didn’t even come close to winning the popular vote. But since he was in the mix with Ross Perot and George Bush, he was able to take the White House with nothing more than a weak plurality. According to this nonsense, we can just make up the rules of our democratic process according to our whims.

Now, granted, there’s a difference between the rules of the Republican Party and the rules governing our national elections. But it’s still mightily strange to wring your hands about the strength of our democracy while advocating a strategy that will tell millions of voters that they needn’t have bothered.

“There are some Americans, Democrats in particular, who are happy to watch the Republican Party self-destruct with Mr. Trump at the helm,” they say. “The country needs two healthy parties and, ideally, a contest of ideas and ideology — not a slugfest of insults and bigotry.”

The Washington Post is the Bible of the Beltway, so there will be plenty of Republicans reading this editorial and nodding right along. But make no mistake about it, there is only one sure path to self-destruction for their party, and it is the one being encouraged by the WaPo editorial board. Maybe they know that. Maybe they don’t. But either way, a convention that steals the nomination from Trump will signal the demise of the GOP.

Look, it’s fine to oppose Trump. It’s fine to think that he would make a terrible president. It’s fine to criticize him on any number of fronts. And the nervous Republicans and D.C. insiders who think he’ll destroy the party may well be right. But if you think you’re going to look the voters in the eyes, tell them they got it wrong, and go on with business as usual, you’ve got another think coming.