Cruz If We Can, Trump If We Must
Ben Shapiro and others have written several well-reasoned and impassioned pieces explaining why they will not vote for Trump in the general election under any circumstances, and why conservatives should follow their example. Most of these arguments are well-taken... in the primary process, even in a brokered convention. But this anti-Trump conservative cannot abide this going into November against Hillary Clinton.
Shapiro is concerned that conservatism itself may not survive a Trump presidency. Why? Will conservatives roll over and abandon their principles because they failed -- again -- to educate enough people in those principles in advance of this election season? Trump isn't the conservative candidate any more than Gerald Ford was, so be it. There is no doubt that a Trump presidency may tarnish the Republican brand and make it all the more challenging to elect Republicans in the future, something for which Mr. Shapiro expresses no sentimentality, but there is no reason that conservatism itself should be a casualty.
To the contrary, a Trump candidacy and presidency is a teaching moment for conservatism. First, it is the price -- very high, but apparently necessary -- that conservatives have had to pay to break the monopoly power of the Republican Establishment and its perennial trail of anointed squishy, nice-guy Democrat-lite candidates, from Bob Dole to John McCain to Mitt Romney to Jeb! Second, it is an object lesson in how the presidency itself has metastasized into a Frankenstein's monster of tyrannical arbitrary power and cult of personality that the framers of the Constitution so rightly feared. Even if we get our guy in -- Cruz at this point -- we have an uphill battle to restore the institutional checks and balances of power, with the real focus being on the legislature.
A Trump presidency may be no better or worse for the economy, the national debt, welfare dependency, health care, abortion, national defense, and/or fiscal responsibility than a Hillary presidency. But there are at least four things that I hold dear whose very survival is in far greater peril under Clinton than under Trump:
1. The First Amendment.
2. The Second Amendment.
3. Recognition of the international and domestic threat of radical Islam and Sharia law.
4. Howard Hyde.
I have many reasons to fear for my own survival under a Clinton administration. One of them -- which I could never have imagined until recently, but which is now as real as it became in Australia a few years ago -- is what I should do if she should sic the EPA's SWAT team on my house to confiscate my guns (my heinous criminal record in the past 20 years: one 54-mph-in-a-40-mph zone and one overdue vehicle registration). If I were to surrender my freedom, my natural God-given right and social responsibility in that way, I will no longer be a man, no longer an American, but reduced to being a sitting duck for a home invader or a helpless bystander to the next San Bernardino Jihadi attack, none of which I can live with anymore. Speaking of principle, Mr. Shapiro, I might have to decide at that moment to die on my feet rather than live on my knees. And thanks to Firearm Salesman of the Century Barack Obama, I know for a fact that I speak for millions of American patriots, black, white, brown, yellow and red, in that.
One school of thought has it that in order for the pendulum to swing back to conservatism and Liberty, we must allow the Left to do so much damage to the country that people will finally wake up to hold them accountable; and therefore it is a defensible strategy to hold out for a true conservative Republican candidate. Counting on this could be hazardous to our health. The fundamental transformation of American society from independent-minded frontiersmen and business owners to meek subjects to brain-dead wards of the state, is well advanced. There is no trampoline under us, ready to spring us back once we hit the magic low point. The rubber has rotted and crumbled; the springs have rusted and broken. There is nothing underneath us but the fire and brimstone of Hell, which is to say, the wretched earthly condition of that 80% of humanity that lives outside of the Anglosphere, constitutional law, and Capitalism.
A Trump administration will be deeply flawed. But Hillary and her camp is at war with Americans who work, pay taxes, take their faith (especially Christian) seriously, speak their minds freely without deference to PC, raise their own children, keep and know how to use guns, and expect their private property and constitutional rights to be respected. There is no comparison.
By all means, let's do everything we can to get a conservative into the White House. There is still time; the fat lady ain't sung yet. But come November, we will have to make choices from alternatives actually available to us, and survive to fight another day.