The recent spat between Glenn Beck and Donald Trump, as well as Mark Levin’s recent criticism of Trump for his attacks on Ben Carson, represents the very real rift that exists between many principled conservatives and the eccentric billionaire.
Already at odds with the Republican establishment, even if Trump does win the primaries he needs to convince conservative voters and influence swayers like Beck and Levin to not just vote for him, but fully support him in the general election. This isn’t happening so far, especially considering Beck’s recent appearance on FoxNews where he made it clear he would indeed NOT support Trump were he to become the nominee.
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If Trump does go on and win the nomination, however, I predict that Beck, Levin, Matt Walsh, and other principled conservatives may very well get behind Trump in the general election. If this happens, I believe they will be doing the right thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I do understand maintaining a certain idealism when it comes to general elections. My thoughts were of a similar line in 2008. I understood that Barack Obama was absolutely the worst thing that could happen to this country, but there was no way in hell I was voting for John McCain.
My friends and family criticized me for this stance, likening it to tossing my vote in the dumpster, but I explained it this way:
By 2008 Republicans were in free fall because they had lost both houses of Congress in 2006 as a result of George W. Bush’s foreign policy blunders and with his support of comprehensive immigration reform. What’s worse, establishment Republicans were dumb enough to put McCain at the helm, thinking the base would be so afraid of Door No. 1 that they would vote for any dolt they put behind Door No. 2.
It was a bad move, as history proved, and those of us with even a modicum of political understanding could see it coming a mile away. Many of us eschewed McCain in favor of other candidates (I voted Constitution Party) or no candidate at all, while Obama got his base excited and energized by the “change” he promised to bring.
But, as I told my friends then, Obama wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. Had McCain somehow gotten elected, Republicans would have faced even more disastrous defeats in Congress. Democrats might have been able to pass any legislation they wished and override any McCain veto should he have miraculously decided to grow a spine.
What happened instead, and this was entirely predictable, is Republicans and conservatives were finally able to rally and take Congress back. Obama, not Bush or McCain, became the lightning rod.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Instead of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi running the country over an inept and pandering McCain who would have doubtlessly decided to “work with them” on certain “key” issues, we got an Obama who has been hamstrung to some degree almost his entire term by an imperfect but still Republican Congress.
In my view it was the far more desirable outcome. The real conservatives who refused to support McCain were fully vindicated by history.
This election, however, is far different. Yes, the primaries are indeed the time to be picky and choose the candidate who best lines up with your worldview. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is a great candidate. Go and support him with every fiber of your being. There are other great candidates in the race as well, any of whom would be a far better president than Hillary Clinton.
However, when the primary dust has settled, if Donald Trump does manage to win I don’t think it’s wise for any conservative leader to refuse to support him in the general election, multiple red flags aside.
Here is the unique situation we’re facing as a country.
Their leadership is far from ideal, but Republicans do control both Houses of Congress. That’s the good news. The bad news is that demographic trends strongly point to conservatives being increasingly unable to win national elections going forward. Democrat strategists know this. That’s why they are so determined to bring in immigrants by the boatload or freely let them in by failing to secure the border. These are the “voters” who will ensure their power for generations to come. It is already unlikely that any true conservative could win the key states necessary for a victory, particularly Florida and Ohio, and as time goes on it will only get worse.
That is why the immigration issue is such an important one. As it happens, we have a candidate in Donald Trump who has not only promised to deal with this issue in a hardline way, but who is also a self-funded “celebrity” who energizes his base and can appeal to Independents and even populist Democrats.
Cruz is a wonderful person and a principled candidate who would make an amazing president, but does anyone really think Cruz could possibly attract the voters Trump will in a general election?
In all reality, in a society increasingly influenced and fascinated by celebrity, someone like Donald Trump may actually be the only “conservative” this country could possibly have a chance to elect, at least for now. Thankfully, his personal idiosyncrasies aside, his actual stated positions, particularly on trade, foreign policy, taxes, and immigration are the exact prescription this country needs to get back on the right track.
Yes, I recognize the fact that Trump is supposedly lagging behind Clinton in national head to head polling, but if Trump wins the nomination I don’t think those polls will reflect reality (if they do now). At that point, faced with the very real prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency, I think true conservatives who oppose him now will reluctantly throw their support behind Trump. That, combined with Independents, populist Democrats, and his already strong base could be just the formula to carry the general election.
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