If America actually split into two nations along political lines — Red State Nation and Blue State Nation — which country would be more secure, prosperous, and free? That’s a fair question and one blue staters don’t want to answer. It would be an admission that constitutional conservatism works.
In 1994, the conservative tidal wave that crashed upon President Clinton’s beach gave the Republican Party new life. From 1995 to 2000, Republicans in the House and Senate cut the cost and size of the federal government, reformed welfare, passed significant tax cuts, balanced the budget, and produced budget surpluses and a booming economy. Bill Clinton likes to ignore his first two years in office in which his leftward lurch (at the urging of his wife and her friends in Congress — let’s not forget Hillarycare and $200 billion budget deficits as far as the eye could see) caused more economic stagnation and a potential for Jimmy Carter redux. I’ll credit Bill “the era of big government is over” Clinton for being savvy enough to ride that conservative wave.
Conservatism was not just ascendant — Ronald Reagan saw to that — but triumphant. Unfortunately, conservatism’s triumph was frittered away by George W. Bush who, I believe, wanted to be a true conservative, but didn’t trust his own instincts enough over the counsel of the Bush political apparatchiks — the establishment Republicans his father relied on. Thus, instead of reducing the size and scope of government, we got Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the useless Department of Homeland Security, and the odious bank bailouts at the eleventh hour of his presidency, the loss of the House and Senate, and, ultimately, Barack Obama.
Republican Party leaders have not just failed to acknowledge that constitutional conservatism is the road to peace, prosperity, and increased personal liberty for all, the establishment has openly attacked and sought to marginalize conservative voters such as the citizens in the Tea Party movement. And now, the party establishment is wondering how Donald Trump, who is marginally a Republican and definitely not a conservative, is attracting movement conservatives to his banner. Betrayal breeds strange bedfellows.
Instead of seeking common ground with Donald Trump and attempting to not just tap into his movement, but to make it the party’s movement, the Republican establishment cabal of elected officials, consultants, pundits, and the billionaire donors whose butts were saved by the bank bailouts are predicting a Trump candidacy will not just fail, but will sound the death knell of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.
I’m about to anger a slew of my friends and colleagues. You are all wrong. Donald Trump is not the problem. You are. You see your fiefdom in peril. You see your future employment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the FFGD (Feckless Federal Government Department) — the administration job you had already picked out under President Jeb! — disappearing. You could not care less about conservatism. If you did, you wouldn’t keep caving to Obama, the Democrats, and the New York Times editorial page. I would remind all of you political professionals and K Street lifers that your insistence on listening to the aforementioned liberal elites gave us moderates John McCain and Mitt Romney. Movement conservatives were told to just shut up and vote (and donate).
Had you cared about conservatism, you would have hung up the phone on Jeb! when he first called you asking for money. You would have taken Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, and dare I say Ted Cruz seriously and promoted their candidacies as an answer to the voters’ demands for an outsider. You would have reached out to Donald Trump and tried to bring him to a better understanding of constitutional conservatism and made him feel welcome in the Party of Reagan. You would have seen that he is actually attracting a new wave of working-class Americans who feel left behind and marginalized by the elites in both parties. If you cared about conservatism, you would have approached him with humility and good will and sought to help him grow as a Republican, as a conservative, and as a statesman.
Instead, you ignored Fiorina, Jindal, and Cruz and attacked Trump and his enormous voting bloc, raising the phantoms of catastrophe for conservatism. You thought that the more people saw the real Donald Trump, who has no real political philosophy and has lived a life motivated by his bottom line, the less they’d like him. It didn’t work. He has remained popular, though admittedly some of that popularity has been eroded by your relentless attacks. You throw the same epithets at him — “bigot, misogynist, con man” — that Democrats have been hurling at Republicans for decades.
Many of you are publicly promising to vote for Hillary Clinton who is not just a leftist, but a congenital liar who has only ever cared about two things: her personal power and wealth. And she will give us a continuation of Barack Obama, who is the only American who could make us nostalgic for Jimmy Carter.
That, my friends, will harm the Republican Party and do grave damage to America. Hillary Clinton will give us higher taxes, more regulation, bigger government, an even more politically motivated Justice Department, and a liberal lock on the Supreme Court. Without fiscal restraint and pro-growth policies, the national debt will increase exponentially and the payment on that debt will rise so dramatically (when the Fed can no longer hold down interest rates) that there will be no money left in the budget for anything else. Basically, we’re Greece.
So before you make Donald Trump out to be the greatest threat to conservatism, consider the alternative. Four more years of Obamanomics, stagflation, racial division, class warfare, more Americans on the public dole, America’s enemies growing stronger and more aggressive while our allies shake in their boots, Islamic terrorism out of control, innocent Christians being slaughtered in the Middle East, Israel facing existential choices — to bomb or not to bomb — as Iran gets nukes (either of their own making or via purchase form their allies in North Korea), and perhaps most gravely, the distinctly American liberty culture drowned by a surging illegal alien population from failed states in South America and the Middle East that has no interest in assimilating or even learning to speak English. Adios, USA.
Donald Trump may not be a conservative, but he’s smart enough to know that a President Trump would ignore and offend conservatives at his peril. He knows that he will have to make deals with us. And let’s be honest, the Republican establishment detests the idea of President Cruz even more.
At this moment, a true movement conservative understands that preventing Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) from winning the White House must be our focus. A unified Republican Party will defeat Hillary or Bernie whether the candidate is Trump, Cruz, or Kasich. I swallowed hard and voted for McCain and then Romney because I believed that any Republican is a far better choice than any Democrat. That holds true today. To those Beltway Republicans and the money men who support you who threaten to stay home or vote for Hillary, you have made it clear that you hold Republican voters in contempt. Your self-interest and your arrogance are worse than the Ivy League liberal elites who see us as a bunch of dumb hicks “clinging to God and our guns.” You think the Republican Party is your personal playground and your private business. Apparently it is not anymore.
Betrayal makes strange bedfellows. The sad thing is, in your breathtaking arrogance, you think it is we the people who are betraying you.