The narrative now among many Republicans and conservatives is that Donald Trump might be bad, but he’s not worse than Hillary Clinton. That’s debatable, but one thing is certain: embracing Trump makes losing the Senate and possibly even the House of Representatives a near certainty.
Let’s first look at the scenarios before diving into the full concept:
- Trump Wins in a Landslide: Despite claims by many #NeverTrumpers, it’s very possible that Trump could run away with this election. Clinton is that unlikable. She’s that corrupt. Many Independents, particularly those who are concerned with terrorism and border security, will roll the dice on Trump rather than embracing the known corruption of Clinton. In this scenario, the Democrats will focus all firepower on making sure that Trump is not given control of the Senate and the House. This will carryover to those Independents who are willing to vote for Trump. They’ll be more secure with a Trump Presidency if the checks and balances are stacked against him. The Republicans will lose the Congress in a big way if it appears likely that Trump will win.
- It’s Close: Nothing much changes in this scenario from the previous. The fear of Trump controlling the White House with a friendly Congress will still scare people enough to vote Republicans out of office. This could yield the worst-case scenario: a Clinton administration with a Democratic controlled Congress.
- Clinton Wins in a Landslide: It’s sad that, as conservatives, this might be the best-case scenario for the country. If Clinton is winning big going into the final weeks, there’s a chance that a mixture of complacency on the left and stalwart opposition on the right could save Congress. A Clinton White House with a Republican-controlled Congress is not what anyone really wants, but if we’re talking about the lesser of evils, this is the least evil scenario.
There are two paths possible for conservatives to take. The first is bad. The second is worse. With the first scenario, we push with everything we have to prevent Trump from having the slightest possibility of winning. This doesn’t mean supporting Clinton; I would never vote for anyone as liberal or corrupt as either candidate and the idea of an opposition vote should go against American values. There will be conservative candidates on most ballots. When in doubt, write-in Ted Cruz.
Preventing Trump from having a chance means fighting for the conservative candidates in Congress and running for Governor without supporting Trump. It’s sticking to our guns about the truth that he possesses neither the integrity nor the skills required to run this country. It means making sure that nose-holding Trump supporters realize that opposing a Clinton White House by supporting Trump means the potential to give her Congress as well.
The second scenario is a full-blown blitz to do three things: help Trump win, help Congress remain Republican, and push both towards conservatism in any way possible. Unfortunately, “any way possible” is limited. In fact, there may be no way to make Trump shift to the right. Some will point to his Supreme Court list as an example that he can be conservative. This sentiment is naive. It’s a list of names of judges that someone else likely compiled in an effort to pander to conservatives. If any other candidate had released the list, I would cheer. This is Trump. He can and has changed his perspectives at will. This list is meaningless until someone is appointed. Based upon how he’s handled literally every other policy proposal, I would wager that the judge nominated to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat is not on this list.
Then, there’s the fall. Every pundit has been anticipating a breakdown or scandal of some sort since Trump announced his candidacy. It hasn’t happened, at least not to the point that he would lose. Every day, the chances increase. If you think that nothing is coming and that it’s safe to attach your name to the Trump brand by supporting him, may God help you when the Trump train derails. Those who have stayed true to conservatism and America will remember the names of those who drank the Kool-Aid.
By embracing Trump for the sake of unity, Republicans are increasing the likelihood that they’ll lose one or both chambers of Congress. The only way to prevent it is to support conservative candidates and to declare loudly that Donald Trump does not represent us.