The GOP is split and it wound is gaping. Sen. Sasse, Ben Shapiro, Brent Bozell, Charles Cooke, Erick Erickson, Jonah Goldberg, Stephen Hayes, Ben Howe, Bill Kristol, Mark Levin, Ron Paul, Ben Stein, George Will, Rick Wilson, Nathan Wurtzel, and many others have already pledged to never support Trump. This stance isn’t taken lightly either – it is at a time when there is much at stake. Some might argue, the stakes have never been higher for conservatives.
The death of Scalia and the ages of (Ginsberg, Kennedy, and Breyer) possibly opens four seats – a huge opportunity for either the democrats or the republicans to change the course of the next 25 years of the court. Had Cruz won and he filled both Scalia’s seat and even 1 of the three raged 77 or older, the pendulum of the court will have likely turned to a Constitutional court rather than the strange entity it is now.
Further, the nemesis of republicans is the presumptive nominee for the democrats. Hillary is so hated and her policies so contrary to what was once republicanism that she is almost a dream nominee on any other year for the right. On the flip side, her presidency would be increasingly tragic to republicans the further right you go. Her executive time with her nomination of a SCOTUS would surely lead to an eventual overturn of Heller, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Gonzales v Carhart, among others.
So why are those of us on the far right jumping ship?
Our movement isn’t much different from the Trump movement in some ways. The distinction is that we weren’t born from an anti-establishment movement, we created it. We weren’t fooled by Trump’s rhetoric because we’ve seen many attempt to ride our wave who lacked principle. We’ve exposed the Sarah Palins, Scott Browns, and Ron Johnsons. We see through them. At the same time, we propped up the Ken Cuccinellis, Chris McDaniels, and Matt Bevins whom the establishment warred against. We watched Trump endorse the establishment in their fight against us and we didn’t forget. It is not surprising then that when he came out as “anti-establishment” many of us rolled our eyes and dismissed it – and him.
I do not foresee the GOP dying a quick death – but they will become the post Nixon party. That party couldn’t pay to keep the HQ lights on. They embraced Trump because he had money, power, and brought attention. They threw caution to the wind allowing him to speak at CPAC and legitimizing him without any vetting. He was made kosher by the RNC in spite of his extremely sketchy past, his numerous attacks on GOP platform issues, insane ideas (make Mexico build the wall), and personal attacks on candidates and media personnel. He was pardoned after his numerous false birther initiatives (Obama and Cruz), saying Bush was behind 9/11, floating the National Enquirer stories (Cruz affairs story/JFK assassination) and countless other troubling – what would be gaffes for anyone else.
Their allowance early on is understandable (even if misguided), but their allowance late was purposeful and unforgivable. The establishment tried to back everyone except Cruz throughout the process. I’m convinced they urged Kasich to stay in only to make sure Cruz didn’t last. It worked and the constitutional conservative candidate failed. The same happened in 1968 when Nixon beat (though he lost the popular vote) Ronald Reagan in the presidential primary. Later Rockefeller (a wealthy NY progressive) would become VP to Ford and fight against the conservative wing of the GOP lead by Reagan. Reagan could have split the party, but he didn’t. Perhaps that was in folly. The same forces who warred against him won the long fight and brought the party back to the left and now….Trump.
The silver lining is that the American people who identified as conservatives eventually woke up to the game. 1968 wasn’t the end for Reagan, nor was 1976. Eventually 1980 happened and the rest is history. Conservatism and liberty proved to be an intoxicating sip. Perhaps Cruz will do the same in the future. Perhaps we will have played the role as the Reagan Revolutionaries of ’76 in 2020. Perhaps after 4 years of Hillary (like 4 years of Carter) the people who came out in droves for Trump will have realized their folly.
Until then, I will vote my conscience. I will never be bullied into voting for something or someone I cannot support. I wouldn’t support an abortion bill simply because it has tax cuts, likewise I will not support a progressive simply because the alternative is Hillary. I’ve washed my hands of this election. It is on those who nominated him. The notion that the party would split if he were nominated has been understood for a long while – yet he was nominated in spite of it. You cannot put forward a divider and then call for unity; you cannot strike your enemy and then blame him for fleeing at your hour of need.
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