Where do we go from here? With the departure of Ted Cruz from the Republican race, conservatives are left with an unpalatable choice. Our choices are:
1) A crooked New York, big-government liberal who has refined cronyism to an art and who has demonstrated a willingness to say and do anything to get elected.
2) Or, we have Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps the greatest synopsis of our situation comes from one of the leaders of the anti-Trump charge, the National Review. A brilliant analysis by David French began thusly:
“The party of Lincoln is in ruins. A minority of its primary voters have torched its founders’ legacy by voting for a man who combines old-school Democratic ideology, a bizarre form of hyper-violent isolationism, fringe conspiracy theories, and serial lies with an enthusiastic flock of online racists to create perhaps the most toxic electoral coalition since George Wallace. Then — to add insult to injury — multiple GOP leaders bulldozed the ashes by issuing nauseating calls for unity…”
What we conservatives are left with is a series of choices. Unfortunately, they are akin to the kind of choices we loathe, the kind of choices college beer-swillers posit to one another like “Would you rather passionately make-out with Rosie O’Donnell for ten minutes or lose a pinky finger?”
Contrary to the wishful thinking he has near-constantly spewed, Trump is not a uniter of beliefs but has fractured the GOP even more than it was before. We now have a trinity of positions in the GOP: the establishment, conservatives and those who have surrendered to the cult of personality that talks big but offers little.
In short: conservatives need to consider whether or not we will embrace Donald Trump.
Truthfully, there are arguments for both sides. All three factions of the GOP do not want Hillary Clinton as a president. However, embracing Trump comes with a taint.
Just as we should be cautious about who we recommend for a job, our political endorsements reflect upon us. Should we endorse a man who could, at any moment, reverse course? Should we embrace a man who is one vile utterance away from once-and-for-all alienating all female voters? Should we assign our names and reputations to the man who is an absolute wildcard?
There are up-sides to this, too. Trump is refreshingly bold at a time when timidity dominates the GOP. His stance on trade is spot-on and despite his many shortcomings, Trump is likely to undo some of the damage Obama has done to America’s reputation abroad by announcing a resurgence of a “no bullshit” foreign policy attitude.
Perhaps more important than our individual reputations, however, is the brand of true conservatism. If we embrace Trump, conservatism is on the hook for his rhetoric. For nearly eight years now, almost every defense of Obama begins with, “Yeah, but George W. Bush did this…” Do we really want to be lumped-in with Trump for the next decade or two?
This question becomes even more relevant when we consider political realities. Ted Cruz is out for 2016. If we want to push him in 2020, the message will have to be “We tried it your way. Now let’s try it the right way.” It’s hard to do that when we’re willing to embrace any candidate with an “R” by his name.
All of this, however, may be rendered a moot point when we consider the fact that by nearly all reputable polls, Trump falls short when pitted against Clinton.
So, now is about the time that Trump supporters utter their pathetically-flimsy argument: “What, do you want Hillary to win?!”
Save it- I’ve been hearing it for months. I heard it when there were 17 Republican contestants and Trump enthusiasts pretended like our choices were Trump or nothing.
We had 17 candidates. Only about half were decent choices. Up until Tuesday, we had a stellar choice that was the staunchest defender of true conservatism since Reagan. Still, for months, those who highlighted the serious red flags present in Donald Trump’s campaign were greeted with a false choice: “Hillary or Trump?”- as if there were no other choices to be found anywhere.
Now we’re in this God-awful situation and Trump supporters are enthused about the self-fulfilling prophecy they created by listening to empty rhetoric and ignoring appeals to reason.
We had options; now those options have narrowed and we’re stuck with tough choices.
To briefly summarize how insane our electorate has become, consider this: our choices in November will be between a woman under no less than four federal investigations and a crony capitalist who accused his opponent’s father of being complicit in the JFK assassination.
A Hillary presidency would be unimaginable, but we cannot be sucked-into the same old “lesser of two evils” choices we have pondered for decades. We cannot expect things to change so long as we are willing to break with our beliefs out of fear of the consequences of remaining steadfast. No movement has ever succeeded with such an attitude.
It is my sincerest hope that Trump’s campaign has been nothing but an elaborate shtick and behind the façade designed to solicit support from reality show-watching, soundbite-loving morons is a healthy supply of conservative ideas and rock-solid policies.
In such an instance, I will happily rescind my #NeverTrump declaration as it was predicated upon withholding support from this Trump. The man changes his belief system like I change my socks, so if he morphs into an incarnation of a Trump I can begrudgingly get behind, I will do so without ever fully trusting him.
However, what does it profit conservatives to support a man who has, thus far, worked in opposition of nearly every position we hold dear? From political correctness to crony capitalism to wealth redistribution to illegal immigration, there is not a single issue (to my mind) that he has not wavered significantly on.
With this in mind, conservatives must decide whether they will settle for Hillary-lite or holdout until we turn this country around.
I know which one I’m choosing.