When Barack Obama won both of his Presidential terms, conservatives were often blamed by moderates and straight-ticket Republicans because we were accused of staying home. We didn’t get the conservative candidates that we wanted and many claimed that they wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney or John McCain, so their losses were our fault. The same thing seems to be repeating itself again, but in reality it’s very different.
Truth be told, we voted for McCain and Romney. Conservatives who objected to the GOP Establishment candidates voiced our concerns and filed our objections, but on election day the vast majority of us held our noses and voted for the moderates. The reason they lost is because they failed to resonate with the average voter who isn’t politically savvy. Still, conservatives were blamed because we weren’t enthusiastically embracing the only choice we were given.
With Donald Trump, it’s a completely different scenario. Many conservatives will stay home this time around. It’s not just because we don’t think Trump is conservative enough (he isn’t) nor is it out of some misplaced pride that keeps us from admitting that we were wrong about him. The problem is that we’re absolutely right about him. Some or all of the following reasons are compelling us to abandon the GOP nominee for the first time in decades:
- He’s not even close to being a conservative. In fact, he’s much further to the left than Romney or McCain. Heck, he makes the Bush family seem like far-right extremists. Outside of immigration, every single one of his policy proposals are either pseudo-conservative perspectives or are outright liberal.
- He doesn’t possess the values that should be required of a President. Trump has been given the businessman pass for doing things that are amoral or even immoral throughout his life. Since he wasn’t a politician before, we’re supposed to forget and forgive all of the people he’s hurt. We’re supposed to dismiss his claims of buying politicians as “just business” because that’s how it’s done. We’re supposed to accept that filing four bankruptcies and tanking dozens of his companies somehow exemplifies sound fiscal judgment. We’re supposed to disregard his casinos (and the strip clubs within them), infidelity, and choices that damaged lives around the world because he was just being The Donald.
- He’s a moron. He’s rich, therefore he’s smart. That’s the narrative. Forget the fact that he made his money in real estate after being born into a real estate empire. Forget the “small” loans he’s blown through to get here. Never mind his inability to name a single leg of the nuclear triad after being asked about it by the same person on two different occasions. I never thought George W. Bush was a very intelligent person, but compared to Trump he’s an absolute genius.
- We’ll lose the Senate and possibly the House if he keeps the race with Clinton close. The final month before the general election will have hundreds of Senate and House candidates pointing to Trump and rallying people behind the idea that he cannot be allowed to have control of the House and the Senate. The only thing that can prevent a complete meltdown of Republican control in the federal government is if he’s losing badly before November.
- Judges. Where’s this magical list of judges that he’ll nominate? He said he’d pick the best. He said he’d have a list out within a week. That was in January. He said he’d have it released by the end of the month. That was February. With three or four spots likely coming open, his decisions will affect multiple generations. His track record for picking out “the best people” always tends to lean further and further to the left.
There are so many more reasons that conservatives are not going to vote for him; too many to list. There seems to be only one reason for conservatives to vote for him: fear of a Clinton White House. I completely agree that it’s a compelling argument. Here’s the thing, though. Hillary Clinton might be the second worst Presidential candidate in modern history and would likely demolish what’s left of the country after eight years of Obama. The only person who might be worse than Clinton is Trump. He’s already sounding more like a Democrat than a Republican. If he’s ideologically similar to Clinton on many issues outside of immigration, he’s not worth the risk based upon his demonstrable incompetence.
His supporters will say that he’s pro-2nd-Amendment and pro-life. Unfortunately, he’s come to these perspectives recently. What could possibly make us believe that he won’t change again? After all, he’s known for changing at will. When the next major mass shooting happens, do we really believe he won’t cave? If women’s rights activists pressure him, will he always fight abortion? Keep in mind that he’s already threatened to change the GOP platform by lightening the abortion stance.
There’s one argument missing here. I’m not one who believes that Trump will destroy the Republican party nor do I believe he can destroy the conservative movement. If the party is so weak that one candidate can make it topple, then it should be toppled. As for the conservative movement, it’s time to make it solidly rooted within the grassroots. Until we can get the people to realize that conservatism works, we’ll never get a great candidate into the right positions.
Is it possible to be #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary? Yes. It’s when we abandon principles and adopt a “lesser of two evils” strategy that we fail. By focusing on a third-party conservative or even investigating other candidates already within some of the 2nd tier parties, we may not be able to stop either of the two evil ones from being in the White House but at least we won’t have to accept the responsibility for aiding them, either. It is up to Donald Trump and his campaign to earn the votes of Americans, conservative or not. At this point, he’s done nothing to earn our vote other than to stir up a plurality of angry individuals who were ripe for his sales pitch after eight years of Obama.
It’s impossible to know at this time if Trump would be better than Clinton. What we do know for sure is that other aspects of Trump’s nomination are going to hurt the country. It’s also likely that a Trump Presidency will bring America down. Whether through third-party conservative candidate or by sheer grassroots opposition, it’s imperative that neither of the two liberal candidates get our votes.