What do We do Now that Trump has Won the Nomination?

by N. A. Halkides   5/4/16

There’s been a lot of talk about Trump in the discussion thread on Edmund Wright’s recent Coulter vs. Coulter and of course elsewhere:  why did he rise, what does it portend, what can we conclude about his supporters, etc., to the point that I’m sure many of us are as sick of the entire subject as we are that Ted Cruz has lost the race to this huckster.  Yet as much as we might like to talk about something else, since there is very little chance at this point that anyone other than Trump will be the GOP standard-bearer the question now arises:  do we Conservatives vote for him in November or not?

I posit a binary choice because that’s all we’ve got.  No “third party” (i.e. unhappy Republicans pretending to be something else) candidate is going to do more than help elect Hillary Clinton, and no “white knight” (John Kasich, Mitt Romney, or Paul Ryan) is going to be foisted on the Republican Party by its Establishment because the Party rank-and-file simply wouldn’t stand for it.  We can vote for Trump, vote for Hillary Clinton, vote for some other-party candidate who has no chance of winning, or stay home.  In practice, doing anything but voting for Trump amounts to voting for Hillary because it will help her win.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we should vote for Trump, but it does mean we should have no illusions about what failing to do so will mean.

In trying to figure the correct course of action, we have to keep our ultimate goal in mind (saving the country from a collapse into dictatorship under the rule of the Democratic Party) as well as the two subsidiary tactical goals into which this divides:  defeating the Republican Establishment so that we Conservatives finally have a party to represent us, and then attacking and defeating the Democratic Left.  The two must be achieved in that order since the Republican Establishment (GOPe for short) chooses to collaborate with the Democrats rather than fight them.

It might be helpful to review the thinking that led many of us to proclaim that we would never vote for ¡Jeb! Bush in the general election should the GOPe succeed in somehow getting him nominated with a plurality vote (it was obvious that he couldn’t win a majority in such a crowded field).  My own reasoning, which I think was typical of this group if slightly more detailed, ran like this:  the GOPe needed to learn that Conservatives would not support yet another E-candidate and that the Party could not win a general election without us.  This would force them to accept a true Conservative in 2020.

There was less harm than it might appear in allowing the Democratic nominee an easy win in 2016 because the chances were very great he or she would have won anyway – mushy, middle-of-the-road “moderate” statist Republicans like ¡Jeb! or John McCain inspire no one and have lost 5 of the last 6 Presidential popular votes.  But the Establishment was too stupid to realize this and while it would continue to hate Conservatives, it would finally have some respect for us and accept Conservative nominees in the future.

The alternative, voting for ¡Jeb! on the grounds that he was undoubtedly the lesser of two evils compared to Hillary Clinton (or anyone else the now-totalitarian Democratic Party would nominate), was rejected because the Establishment would learn nothing from his loss to Hillary and would run essentially the same E-man every four years.  Even if he somehow won, he would allow (indeed, with increased immigration and/or Amnesty he would hasten) the country’s descent into statism.  We can imagine a sequence of elections in which when a Democrat wins the country moves Left and when a Republican wins the country also moves Left, just not quite as far.  The result after a finite number of elections is that the Tipping Point is reached and the Democrats win every election thereafter The Reality of the Tipping Point for a more detailed explanation of how this would occur).

Can we apply this line of reasoning to Trump?  Although he’s been called “liberal” and even “fascist” by a number of commentators, I believe the answer to this question is “no”.  Trump seems to have no fixed political ideology of any kind, which makes him a philosophical pragmatist, and this is bad, for it would indicate he might govern very much as if he were part of the GOPe (which also has no philosophical convictions and simply follows the lead of the Democratic Left and its philosophy of statism.  And yet, Trump was not welcomed by the GOPe, at least not sincerely.  (Sure, he may have golfed with John Boehner, but he was still on the other side of the political/business divide – a “crony capitalist” but not a member of the Washington political class).  I believe that while Trump was inadvertently created by the Establishment, he is not yet of the Establishment.  He has more courage, or just plain chutzpah if you like, for one thing – no E-man would ever question political correctness or the wisdom of continuing Muslim immigration to America.  Suppose he actually did start enforcing immigration law and cracking down on illegal aliens?  That would be more than the GOPe would do, although I don’t know that we could expect the massive de-regulation needed to really get the economy going and, of course, move the country to the Right.

The Establishment’s preferred candidates of 2016, Marco Rubio and Jeb! Bush, have been soundly rejected.  Trump has been lambasted as a socialist Democrat, but he won because he was perceived as a political outsider, and that perception is more important than the reality once we get past the 2016 election for it tells us that the power is shifting within the Republican Party away from the Establishment.  On the whole, then, we cannot assume that a Trump Presidency would either move the country to the Left or help the GOPe, and should not rule out voting for him on that basis.  Are there any positive reasons to vote for Trump, whose faults are both too numerous and too well known to list here?

There is of course immigration, the seminal issue of the moment because of our closeness to the Tipping Point (we may in fact be already past it), which has already been mentioned.  The bare possibility that Trump would do something about it made him a better choice than all the pro-Amnesty, pro-mass-immigration candidates.  I will suggest one other, and that is the prosecution of both Hillary Clinton and those Democrats who used the IRS as a political weapon against Conservatives, as an act of public hygiene of the same urgency as burying the victims of bubonic plague.

Should these miscreants get away with these outrages, which go beyond anything in Richard Nixon’s wildest dreams, I would say America is finished as a free republic – when those who govern can use the powers of office to punish their political opponents, they have become the rulers and a country is then well on its way in transitioning to “hard” tyranny from a “soft” one – if indeed the “hard” phase has not actually been reached.  As for Clinton, her mishandling of classified information, which, remember involved using a private email server in violation of the law for the express purpose of evading accountability while Secretary of State, proved once again that she considers herself above the law.  For that, and for compromising our national security, she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Of course it remains to ask, would Trump actually go forward with the necessary prosecutions?

Once again, with Trump no one can say for certain, but assuming he appoints even middle-of-the-road Republicans to the senior positions at DOJ, there is no reason to think indictments would not be forthcoming.  If Hillary is elected, those prosecutions (and those of future Democratic criminals) will never take place.

And that brings us to another point:  even if Trump is only the lesser of two evils, he is surely much the lesser in this case.  Hillary Clinton has to be one of the most evil people in the entire country, having been pursuing arbitrary power since around 1970 with a frightening degree of intensity and ruining many lives along the way.  Many of the more strident anti-Trump people seem to think he’s as bad as she is, but that isn’t the case:  Trump is riddled with flaws, but he doesn’t hate America as Hillary does, nor do I believe that he seeks power for its own sake as she most certainly does.  Stopping Hillary has to be a Conservative priority, and this is a powerful argument for Conservatives to vote for Trump.

There are many principled Conservatives who will not vote for Trump.  For them, Trump’s obvious failings – his inconsistency, lack of commitment to sound principles, long-term association with Left-wing Democrats, and sheer vulgarity make him completely unacceptable.  These are indeed serious failings.  Also, there is always potential danger lurking where we cannot clearly see, and what Trump would actually try to do in office certainly falls into the category of the unknown.  And yet we must not allow a visceral dislike for the man, justified as it is, to cloud our better judgment.  There is also great danger where would-be tyrants seek power – and Hillary Clinton is beyond any doubt such a would-be tyrant.  Like it or not, the choice is now between her and Trump, and Conservatives should think twice before concluding that Trump is as dangerous to liberty as she is.


Nik is a freelance writer, former professor, and has written for FrontPage Magazine.
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15 Responses to What do We do Now that Trump has Won the Nomination?

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Actually, I tend to agree with Ann Coulter that Trump is probably more-or-less sincere on immigration. He emphasizes it too strongly, and as his signature issue, to go back on it completely. There are plenty of other reasons to dislike him, however. In essence, Trump has too many of the character flaws we’ve criticized in Barry Screwtape Obama, and we ‘d rather not have to complain about them for 4 more years. It also helps that most of us live in uncompetitive states. Slick Hilly isn’t going to have a chance in Kentucky in the end, nor Trump in Illinois, so we can consider third-party candidates more safely than someone in Ohio or Florida.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      For me it’s not a matter of dislike. Rush Limbaugh and others say he’s a very likable guy behind the scenes. I don’t doubt them.

      But do you care if your brain surgeon is likable? You care that he’s competent. And Donald Trump (like someone pulled out of the phone book at random) might be competent at being President of the United States, or he might not be. The problem is, by word and by deed, he has not shown that he is good at anything but pure rhetoric.

      And we just had one of those in the White House. Wishing and hoping that he’s competent on one favored subject that this obvious demagogue is blustering about is building one’s house upon sand.

      • Anniel says:

        “But do you care if your brain surgeon is likable? You care that he’s competent.” Brad Nelson

        Oh Brad, I laughed so hard at that. You have no idea just how many INCOMPETENT and totally UNIMAGINATIVE brain surgeons there are out there. I have been trying to find a way to say that “likable” and “innovative” may be just what you need if you require brain surgery. If your problem is “normal” in nature, no problem. But what if it’s not normal and requires thinking outside the box, maybe even radical thinking and action?

        I’m going to tell you about my friend Daniel. He suffers from a condition called “Klipple-Trenoney” Syndrome. I hope that’s spelled right. At any rate, sections of the bones become vascularized and overgrow to the point of great pain and uselessness. Most people who develop this have it in only one arm or leg, or, very rarely, in the skull. Daniel has it in both legs, both arms and hands, and in the skull.

        I first met Daniel when he was 12 years old, the night before he faced an unbelievable surgery. Cate’s neurosurgeon, a friend of Ben Carson, would remove the top of Daniel’s skull and scrape and remove the overgrown skull tissue compressing his brain. They even polished it. Such a surgery had never been attempted before. I can’t imagine the courage and stamina it required for the doctors, especially Dr. Frim, to even attempt such a fix.

        When the docs later decided to do the back of Daniel’s skull, he had a stroke and his eyesight was affected. When he was well enough to try again, they decided to simply REMOVE the whole rear skull bone, roll his scalp up and put a Teflon piece in they could roll the scalp back down over it. Would you trust someone who is just “competent” to do such a surgery on you?

        Daniel and his family know that Dr. Frim loves their son, so they trust his judgment to try and do what’s right. Daniel is now 26 years old. Yes, he’s in a wheelchair, but he’s able to walk sometimes and is mostly out of pain. He would have died years ago had he not had hope in treatment beyond the pale. His mother, Janet, says a scan of his body would no longer look human.

        I think that some people look at the nation and ask if it’s worth it to try with someone they see as flawed, but I agree with those who say, you look at what is, not what you wish was.

        If Daniel can yet live, maybe we can, too.

        I truly hope it’s not only sand we build on.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Would you trust someone who is just “competent” to do such a surgery on you?

          Of course. “Competent” sort of covers it all. But what a story of Daniel. I had never heard of that disease. I’m glad he’s mostly out of pain.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    With Trump we’re left to a sort of quantum weirdness theory for politics. We can’t say exactly what the position is of any of his policies because the closer we look, the more it all just becomes a blur of possibilities.

    Some hard questions for those who are trying to see on the bright side:

    1) If Trump had a “D” next to his name, would you be in the least confused about who he was?

    2) For all those who told us to swallow down this or that squishy RINO because of the supposed “delectability” factor, why are you now not concerned that this offensive and unpredictable man is your nominee?

    3) When did you start ignoring bizarre behavior from the people who are supposed to be the smartest and wisest people in the land? In any other reality, anyone who repeated a bizarre conspiracy theory regarding Ted Cruz’s father and Lee Harvey Oswald would be laughed off the stage. Anyone who supports such a man is a bit off their own rocker.

    That’s the end of the story for me. I could squint and pretend that Mitt Romney was at least a thoughtful RINO. I could trust him with the nuclear button. But Trump? The man shows signs of paranoia and mental illness. This isn’t the kind of man you’d want to give such power.

    And he’ll likely never get such power. I figured Hillary had no chance at the presidency because she was so unlikable. All that the Republicans had to do was front a candidate who was palatable enough. But does anyone seriously think there is a Democrat alive (at least in numbers) who will vote for Trump given his serial bizarre statements? Why would you? What does Trump offer?

    The truth is, nothing. He’s a product of an immature and shallow electorate who is lashing out like a child for (in essence) being lied to by people they put in office (RINOs) to do that very thing — combined with a bizarre sub-constituency who make Libertarians look sane.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’m not here to defend Trump, but I will note a few caveats to the sagacious points you made. As to point 1, Mark Krikorian has a nice piece at NRO explaining why he (reluctantly) will vote for Trump. In essence, any candidate brings not only himself (or herself in the case of Demagogues of whatever “gender”) and a set of policies, but also appointments — for SCOTUS, and for key positions (such as the DOJ position enforcing “civil rights” such as transgender bathrooms). Trump is better than Slick Hilly precisely because he has an R and will select appointees generally from his fellow Republicans — who will be an improvement over Slick Hilly’s appointees. The link is:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/434914/hillary-is-worse

      As for point 2, this is an excellent point for many Trump supporters, but not for all of them. Ann Coulter has been a single-issue anti-immigration voter for several years, and ready to support northeastern moderates (first Chris Christie and then Mitt Romney) over this issue. But there are others (I suspect Rush is in this group) who dd demand purity until Trump came along (though Rush never actually endorsed Trump, and probably voted for Cruz or Rubio).

      Point 3 is another matter. One can understand allowing a certain amount of leeway (as Mr .Dooley observed, “Politics ain’t beanbag”), but the amount needed to support Trump (especially in the primaries, when there were better alternatives than the Fire Witch) seems excessive.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        As I just heard from Mark Levin, Trump has just flip-flopped on the minimum wage issue. Anyone recognize a pattern here? And that is certainly one aspect of intelligence. And that pattern is that Trump seems willing to say anything in order to flatter others to get his way with the gravity of his flip-flops always tending toward the Left.

        Therefore expecting him to stay true to his word (depending upon which words, of course) regarding immigration is a poor risk. I know she takes Andy McCarthy to task in her recent article. But she herself has taken on the blinkered trait of Trump. Instead of dealing with reasonable doubt, inconsistencies, and flat-out lies, Ann goes for the messenger.

        May StubbornThings be the last place on the internet where we serve refreshing iced tea and not kool-aid.

        Regarding point #3, I stand by what I said. Okay, if someone reluctantly votes for Trump because he thinks Hillary would be a worse train wreck, then I think that’s a rational and reasonable assessment. Trump gains because of the simple fact that he remains somewhat of a blank slate. He’s never been in office. He’s never actually made a decision of that type (other than greasing the palms of the liberal politicians who have).

        But to be adamantly for Trump given his own poor character reference is beyond the pale.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          You’ll get no disagreement with me there. But as for the minimum wage, all too many GOP Beltway Bandits are willing to go along with it, though they usually favor a lower one than the Demagogues (especially lately) do. So, again, Trump is no worse (though also no better) on that issue.

          We’re having a bit of a cold snap here, so we’ve been drinking hot tea rather than iced tea lately. But I haven’t had Kool-Aid since I was a child. I certainly don’t plan to start now, especially not the almond-flavored sort.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I still think the biggest thing Trump has had going for him is he is not a politician. Nobody trusts a thing coming out of the mouths of politicians, but there is a small hope that Trump might actually do some of the things he promises. This is not a very firm foundation on which to build.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Donald Trump is now open to raising the minimum wage. Flip flop.

    Change you can believe in. You’ve been had. You Trump voters have been had.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Nik, I can’t disagree with your logic, but like Brad, I am seriously skeptical about anything coming out of Trump’s mouth. Perhaps he will, substantially, carry through on his immigration promises. But beyond that, I have my doubts that even he knows what he will actually do if he wins.

    I would be happy if he built a wall, cut back immigration overall and appointed constitutionalist Supreme Court Justices.

    I would be surprised if he went after Clinton on the many crimes she has committed.

    In any case, the man sticks in my craw. I will have to do my best to get rid of the disgust of the man, which I presently have. Note, although I was not for him when he began his run, I was not disgusted with him. I guess that is what happens after months of exposure to him and his Trumpkins.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I know what you mean. I never had him on my list, but I was a lot readier to vote for him late last year than I am now. In my case, this is mostly a response to Trump’s own misbehavior since I haven’t read as much of the worst comments by the most dedicated Trump acolytes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      We’ve gone from a Marxist community agitator to either another Marxist agitator or the cultural equivalent of a game show host. How is this not considered free-fall? And I suppose I should get on here and play nice and assuage the feelings of the fools who went for the game show host, but I can’t in good conscience do that. If it’s possible for people — Ann Coulter or otherwise — to lose their minds and their good sense, it has happened now. And to accommodate the bizarre as normal is just defining deviancy down. Sorry, I just won’t do it.

      Frankly, I’d probably be pleased with Alex Trebek if I had to go with a game show host.

  5. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Thanks to everyone for their intelligent comments. This is indeed a discouraging time for us, and I while I wish I could say something like “It’s always darkest before the dawn” I can’t pretend that I expect to see the morning beam any time soon. What I would urge is that we don’t feel too sharply disappointed by the lone fact of Trump’s nomination, because the Republican Party was already in the midst of a civil war before Trump showed up, and it was always probable that a divided Party would lose in November given the horrifying size of the Democratic base of moochers plus stupid progressives.

    Notice that much of the Establishment never did rally to Ted Cruz even when he was the only chance of stopping Trump. Do you think it would have been any different had Trump not been in the race and Cruz was now the presumptive nominee? I have to think there would have been fewer #NeverCruz folks than the vast #NeverTrump crowd, but they would have been there, sitting on their hands or even working behind the scenes to undermine him. We must never forget how much the Establishment hates us Conservatives, or that they are to blame for the rise of Trump.

    My belief was and is that a principled Conservative like Cruz still has a better chance of defeating the Democrats than mush-men like Jeb!, Rubio, or Kasich (a theory that badly needs testing), but who knows? It just might be that in this age of celebrity-worship and reality TV, Trump is the one “Republican” who can actually beat the Democratic machine. We’ll soon see.

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