The future of the Republican Party rests with the partial government shutdown and whether it stands with Trump to the end on the border wall issue. If it waffles, as it is often inclined to do, the GOP is finished forever.

Like him or despise him, Donald J. Trump is everything and more than the Republican Party has said it has wanted for years. He's Ronald Reagan on steroids and is not afraid to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest opponent.

Donald Trump may be a bit of a bull in a China shop, but he gets results. If the Republicans abandon him on the wall, it will be them and not he who will suffer the consequences. Trump could leave the Republican Party in 2020 and win re-election as an independent. The Republicans would wither away and die on the vine.

The Republican Party needs Donald Trump to remain relevant because it doesn't have leadership that is strong enough or gutsy enough to stand up to the Democrats and the media.

Donald Trump could be America's first truly independent president if the Republicans bale on him now.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.