Is Reagan-style conservatism dead now that all the conservatives are out of the race? Hardly.
It’s been three weeks since Sen. Ted Cruz, the last conservative in the presidential contest, dropped out after his loss in Indiana. Not only did Cruz lose, but conservative Marlin Stutzman lost the Indiana senate race to moderate Todd Young. Does this mean conservatism is out? And what should conservatives—especially the #NeverTrump crowd--do in November?
First of all, as bitter a pill as it is to swallow, come November 9th, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will become the 45th president of the United States. Yes, it may be an appalling choice but the electorate gets what it deserves. That’s the choice. The Messiah is not on the ballot.
Now conservatives could play Libertarian and refuse to make a choice between the lesser of two evils—but the lesser of two evils will still occupy the White House for the next four years.
Conservatives must turn from the debacle of the Republican primary and change from #NeverTrump to #NeverHillary. Her scandals and her lust for power are too many and too great to ignore. Remember Benghazi.
You don’t have to be enthusiastic about Trump. You don’t have to work for him. But you do have to vote for him because the alternative is immeasurably worse.
You can do more.
It is said that elections take the temperature of the electorate at a point in time. Who gets elected is a reflection of the electorate. This time around the electorate is angry. They want a real change in the system, not the road to perdition that this president has marched us down for the last eight years.
If conservatives—and libertarians, for that matter—take our metaphorical balls and go home, who’s left on the field to shape and direct that anger?
Tyrants. People who will say that government has failed us because we haven’t given it enough power. That our spending hasn’t been bold enough. That the government need to do something to fix the mess we’re in.
If Trump becomes president, and he listens to those voices, and if he does everything he has said he will do, the federal government will continue to grow. The debt will continue to grow. The presidency will continue to grow.
That’s not something conservatives want. To avoid it, we must stay in the game—like we’ve done for the last eight years.
And look what conservatives have accomplished: more state legislative houses and governorships in the hands of Republicans than at any time since before the Great Depression. Of those Republicans, more conservatives.
Moreover, we have stopped the liberal agenda. Not dead in its tracks, to be sure, but it’s stuck in neutral, grinding away its gears and accomplishing nothing. The president has passed no significant legislation since Obamacare—and that was passed unconstitutionally and is hanging on by a thread.
All of Obama’s executive orders can be overturned with the same presidential pen that wrote them.
But not if Hillary Clinton is wielding that pen.
Conservatives don’t simply stand against the liberal agenda; we stand for something. We stand for the God-given rights of the individual, protected by the Constitution.
There is no more time to lick our wounds and feel sorry for ourselves because we won’t get a conservative in the White House. So what? The real power of the federal government belongs in the Congress.
The cult of the presidency belongs to the liberal left. Historically, it has not been part of the American psyche. We’ve not playing Game of Thrones here and we’re not meant to be an elective monarchy.
If the Constitution is still to mean anything in 2020, the Congress will have to re-assert its pre-eminent role. What are the odds of that happening if conservatives don’t engage?
Tea Party and other liberty-minded people have learned the hard way over the last seven years that to advance your principles you must, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, get in the arena. Making catcalls from the sidelines won’t do it.
There is much to be done—let’s roll!