Hey #NeverTrumps: This Could Be Your Last Relevant Election
Labor Day weekend is here, marking the end of summer and the beginning of the real election season. Donald Trump finds himself up by one point in the latest Rasmussen poll, while other polls show a rapidly shrinking Hillary Clinton lead. The momentum seems to be shifting, especially following Trump's visit to Mexico and his detailed immigration policy speech – not to mention the Friday afternoon dump of Clinton's FBI interview.
Yet the #NeverTrumps are not giving up. Many are doubling down on their efforts to stop their party's nominee. Despite Ted Cruz pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee, he withheld his endorsement. His supporters continue to run ads against Trump in swing states.
What will this accomplish? "Free the Delegates" and "Vote Your Conscience" are catchy phrases to shout from atop a moral high horse. These #NeverTrumps view themselves as modern-day Paul Reveres, riding through America shouting, "Trump is coming."
I'm here, not on my high horse, but simply writing to tell these #NeverTrumps that the real phrase that needs to be shouted during election season is "The Democrats are coming."
If Hillary Clinton wins in November, the odds of Republicans ever winning the White House again are lower than the odds of Barbra Streisand endorsing Donald Trump for president. This may well be the last chance for Republican relevance in a national election. Do the #NeverTrumps realize this? Do they care?
Start with illegal immigrants in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security estimates this number at 11.4 million. Others, such as Mexico's former ambassador to the U.S., believe that the number is closer to 30 million. What happens to illegal immigrants under a Hillary Clinton presidency?
Mrs. Clinton has promised "comprehensive immigration reform" within her first 100 days in office. This is a fancy way of saying "path to citizenship" or amnesty. Doesn't this have to pass via Congress? Yes, and it probably will, given previous Gang of Eight support from Marco Rubio and John McCain as well as from Speaker Paul Ryan. And if a few pesky House Republicans get in the way, Mrs. Clinton can always proclaim amnesty via the executive order pathway, perfected, without Republican resistance, during the Obama presidency.
Think you can stop executive order amnesty? How? By defunding government agencies? Or impeachment? During the Obama administration, the Republican congressional leadership took these checks and balances off the table, leaving President Obama to tinker with Obamacare without consequence. Any reason to believe they wouldn't roll over in similar fashion before a President Clinton?
Well then the Supreme Court can stop it. Really? The same Supreme Court that twisted itself into a pretzel to justify the constitutionality of Obamacare? There are already four solidly liberal votes on the Supreme Court with four sometimes, but not always, conservative votes. Any bets on whom a President Clinton would appoint to be the tie-breaking ninth vote? More than likely another liberal Justice Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Building on that liberal majority during her presidency, Clinton would create a rubber-stamp court for her progressive agenda.
Any other checks and balances we don't know about? If Congress and the Supreme Court don't check the executive branch, who will? Big media will be the wind in Mrs. Clinton's sails just as they were for President Obama.
A "path to citizenship" is a path to voting, since that is a fundamental right of citizenship. How will these new 11-30 million citizens vote?
Pew Research Center surveyed Latino immigrants who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Thirty-one percent identified as Democrats, only 4 percent as Republicans. Latino voters who are U.S. citizens identify as Democrats over Republicans by 54 percent to 11 percent. In the 2012 presidential election, Latino voters chose Obama over Romney by 71-27 percent.
Based on these numbers, for the sake of argument, assume that newly legalized immigrants will vote Democrat over Republican by a 5-to-1 margin. How close are presidential elections?
Barack Obama beat John McCain by 9.5 million popular votes. Obama beat Mitt Romney by 5 million popular votes. Granted, the election will be decided by the electoral college and the vote tally in a few battleground states, but the popular vote is still a good barometer of electoral success.
No one knows for sure how many illegal immigrants are currently in the U.S., but the doorway is wide open with a steady flow of from across our southern border and from places unknown in the Middle East. If the 11 million figure is accurate, with a 5-to-1 ratio favoring Democrats, this would be a net gain of 8 million or so new Democrat voters. If 30 million illegal immigrants can vote, there will be well over 20 million additional votes for the candidate with a D after their names – more than the margin of Reagan over Mondale in 1984 (17 million) and Nixon over McGovern in 1972 (18 million), both considered landslide elections.
This analysis does not include the votes bought through new entitlements, proudly brought to you by your Democrat president. Student loan forgiveness, single-payer health care to replace the imploding Obamacare, government reparations for any group feeling aggrieved or mistreated, and so on.
Bottom line is permanent minority status for Republicans as a national governing party. As much chance of winning the White House as Dole, McCain, or Romney. Probably less. Exactly as Ted Kennedy planned 50 years ago when he ushered the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress.
#NeverTrumps can moralize about the Constitution and presidential temperament all they want, but come November 8, a choice is necessary. Republicans who can't pull the lever for Trump are in essence pulling it for Clinton. Ditto a vote for a third-party candidate like Gary Johnson, who, by the way, supports Obama's executive amnesty.
Go ahead, Republicans. Wrestle with your conscience, ride on your high horse, wrapped in your morals and ethics. This may be the last election where you have a vote that matters.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based retina surgeon, radio personality, and writer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.