May 6, 2016 8 Comments
The Spectator chimed in yesterday with some very good thoughts.
Following Tuesday night’s Indiana primaries, the race for the Republican nomination is effectively over. Talk of Donald Trump being overhauled in a contested convention in July evaporated when Ted Cruz withdrew from the race after seven successive defeats. Compromise candidates have ruled themselves out, and Trump’s former opponents are reluctantly rallying around. It really has come to this: the people of the most powerful country on earth will be asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and her former campaign donor Donald Trump.
It cannot be assumed that Trump will be defeated in November. This week, for the first time, a poll put him ahead of her. The world is sooner or later going to have to face up to the possibility that a man whom our own Parliament recently debated banning from the UK, and whom the German magazine Der Spiegel recently called ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, might soon be leader of the world’s most powerful nation and commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military.
Is Donald Trump really such a danger to the world? Yes, but not in the way most of his critics usually assert. As the National Review has pointed out, Trump’s ascendancy means that Reagan-style conservatism is now in exile from the Republican party. He will attack Hillary Clinton from the left on every-thing from her Iraq vote to social security.
One of the points that they make, for Europe, but it applies to us as well. If he gets his way on protectionist trade deals, well I already know who get hurts the most. The American consumer. Take a look at almost everything you buy at Wal-Mart (and a good share of your groceries) and add about 30% to the price. That might create a few jobs, but at a terrible cost. Oh, by the way, it was also one of the main causes of The Great Depression, and thusly World War Two.
My junior Senator, Ben Sasse, wrote an open letter yesterday, he makes some good points.
1. Washington isn’t fooling anyone — Neither political party works. They bicker like children about tiny things, and yet they can’t even identify the biggest issues we face…. I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln — and I will work to reform and restore the GOP — but let’s tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision.
As a result, normal Americans don’t like either party. If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: “Neither.”
Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate. And why shouldn’t they?….
Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that we’ve not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation. If we don’t get them to re-engage — thinking about how we defend a free society in the face of global jihadis, or how we balance our budgets after baby boomers have dishonestly over-promised for decades, or how we protect First Amendment values in the face of the safe-space movement – then all will indeed have been lost. One of the bright spots with the rising generation, though, is that they really would like to rethink the often knee-jerk partisanship of their parents and grandparents. We should encourage this rethinking.
These two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart. It might not happen fully in 2016 — and I’ll continue fighting to revive the GOP with ideas — but when people’s needs aren’t being met, they ultimately find other solutions.
In the history of polling, we’ve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate. This year, we have two. In fact, we now have the two most unpopular candidates ever — Hillary by a little, and Trump by miles (including now 3 out of 4 women — who vote more and influence more votes than men). There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two “leaders.”
With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.
Remember: our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?
So…let’s have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years? You know…an adult?
I think he has a point, so do others, Ace has this to say:
Allah seems to take the position that if this is what American has chosen, why shouldn’t it get it, good and hard?
But Sasse’s point is that much of America didn’t choose these two, and that part of America is not duty-bound to follow the folly of others. If there are still things permitted to be done — like run a third party challenge — why should they not be done?
The usual math on this is that a third party run would be disastrous and would deliver the election to Hillary. Many #NeverTrumpers, and I’m edging into that group myself, find this a weak objection in this case: Trump himself will inevitably be demolished, so there’s no threat of “throwing the election.” It already has been thrown.
Second, Trump represents an very stupid and dangerous form of authoritarianism. Everything with him is force and bullying. Riots at the convention if he doesn’t get his way. His online trolls actively threatening people’s physical safety.
I don’t get it — I’m supposed to be outraged by Lois Lerner, yet amused by this? Why? Because this will only be visited upon my enemies? First, that’s not principled, that’s just stupid tribalism,, and second, it’s not true — the gentle persuasions of authoritarian You Will Be Made to Buckle are already being visited on us, and by “us,” I mean non-Democrats.
And finally, Leslie Loftis, attempting to explain the improbable state of the campaign to the British on The Conservative Woman, says this.
[…] They wanted to know what a principled conservative saw.
Today, I see devastation.
Senator Ted Cruz’s shock exit from the race on Tuesday marked the end of the Republican Party as a conservative home. We are free agents now.
Rumour has it that some credible threats convinced Cruz to drop out, but more likely he saw that neither the self-interested GOP players nor the gullible Trump supporters could be swayed. They cling together in the carcass that is the GOP now. They might have even made a Trump/Kasich deal on that.
We were witnesses to a rare event in US history, the death of a US political party. The Grand Old Party’s final breath was commemorated in modern fashion,burning registration card snaps tweeted to Reince Priebus, head of the GOP, pop culture memes, and one heck of a search spike for Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party.
Pretty much how it feels to me, as well.