Conservatives have been complaining for years (decades, if you ask some of us) about the way the Republican Establishment forces moderate candidates onto us. They say that they need someone closer to the middle in order to appeal to more conservative Democrats as well as Independents. That hasn’t worked the last two elections, but a case can be made that it was a sound attempted strategy based upon the appeal of Barack Obama.
This year, there’s no such argument that can be made. Hillary Clinton doesn’t appeal to many in her own party, let alone moderates. Bernie Sanders could, but it seems like the chips are stacked against him. Martin O’Malley is pretty much done.
What this means for Republicans is that we have an opportunity to take advantage of an extremely weak and controversial candidate in Clinton. She will not be able to pull in the left and moderate voters the way that President Obama did. In a way, she’s in the same situation that John McCain and Mitt Romney found themselves in the last two elections. They were uninspiring even to many in their own party just as Clinton is uninspiring to Democrats.
Any argument that the Republican Establishment can try to make that we need to appeal to the mushy middle should be tossed out as a desperate attempt to maintain their status quo. That’s not to say that we can’t lose. In fact, one can easily contend that Donald Trump could have won in 2008 and 2012 but can’t win this year given the risk factor he poses for voters. Democrats might not get excited about voting for Clinton, but they could get scared enough to come out and vote against Trump.
This isn’t an attack on Trump by any means and I believe he has a chance of beating Clinton, just not as good as others. If the polls that he promotes so heavily are to be believed, he ranks high against other Republicans but scores in the middle of the pack in the general election and almost always shows a loss to Clinton unlike others. I like a lot of the things that he proposes and I would have supported him in either of the last two elections. Unfortunately for him, this is the election when a wildcard simply isn’t necessary. The same could be said about Ben Carson, though I believe he would have a better chance head-to-head against Clinton because he has the one thing that hurts her the most: credibility.
Unlike previous years when the Republican nominee was chosen by the establishment based upon their moderate perspectives, this is the year when we can finally repeat what happened in 1980 when a conservative was elected. This year, the sentiment towards the Democrats in general and Clinton in particular is weak enough that our choice should be made based upon integrity and credibility rather than some half-baked “electability” factor. They’re all electable. We need principles in the White House to finally return after nearly a three decade hiatus.
When you hear the calls for Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, or even Jeb Bush as being our “best chance” of winning back the White House, ignore them. We don’t need a moderate. This year, we can finally put a conservative back in the White House where they belong.