Trump Is The Likely Nominee – Now What?
Trump Is The Likely Nominee – Now What?
Judging by the comments that I’ve seen scattered all over Facebook and on other blog posts and news articles, I’m not the only person dismayed and stunned by what we are now facing in this election. After the primary vote in Indiana yesterday, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, leaving Donald Trump as the undisputed front-runner for the Republican nomination. (Reportedly, John Kasich will also be formally dropping out today as well. Good riddance.)
Let me repeat that: barring a miracle, or a convention showdown (something the GOP party leadership has no stomach for), Trump is going to be the Republican nominee.
Andrew Breitbart was a freaking prophet, and no one listened.
So, now what do we conservatives do? I have a few ideas, which I’ve been thinking about as the Trump juggernaut steamrolled its way through this primary season.
1) Vote in the remaining primaries.
Thanks to the way the primary schedule is structured, the West Coast hasn’t even VOTED yet (though some caucuses have taken place). Oregon votes on May 17th, Washington state votes on May 24th, and California votes on June 7th. I encourage everyone who has yet to cast a ballot to vote for the candidate who is still on the ballot and best represents them. I know that I certainly will be, even though that candidate is no longer officially in the race.
Why? Donald Trump has not earned my vote. As the candidate, it was his job to convince me that he would best represent my interests as president. He failed, and I refuse to reward his failure with my vote just because he is the last one standing. Honestly, I was “meh” on Trump at the beginning of this primary season. I viewed his candidacy as a sideshow in a packed field full of much more qualified people. After all of the flip flops, the outright lies, and the displays of ignorance on policy, I am disgusted by him. I would not vote for him to be the local garbage collector.
Now, I freely admit that I have it easier than many people. As the resident of a painfully blue state (Washington), which will reliably vote in lockstep for whichever Democrat is nominated, I know that my vote means nothing within the electoral system. I can therefore vote for a third party, or write in a name, with a free and clear conscience. I don’t envy my friends who live in redder states who will have a much more difficult choice to make. If they choose to vote for Trump, I will cast no stones. I can only tell you what I am going to do. Donald Trump has failed to win my vote, so he will not have it.
2) Identify and support true conservatives at the Congressional and state levels.
After this tweet last night…
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016
.. the Republican party leadership can bite me. This is their doing. They decided that a Trump would be a better fit for the good ol’ boys club, than someone who would actually want to cut off their gravy train. The establishment position was made profoundly clear when former speaker John Boehner called Cruz “Lucifer” but called Trump his golfing partner and “texting buddy.” It’s time to take notes, name names, and primary out the establishment candidates who are responsible for this mess (*cough*Mitch McConnell*cough*). It’s time to find solid, reliable, small-government conservatives and win some primaries. It’s been done before, it can be done again.
We also need to realize that with Trump at the head of the ticket, the downward draft to other Republican candidates could be horrible at the state level. It is vitally important that we retain and gain conservative seats within the states. We need to find, identify, and support GOOD candidates. The establishment feels they can work with a Trump after turning their backs on the Tea Party. And along with that…
3) Not one more dime to the RNC.
Despite what Donald Trump has said about self-funding, there is no way he is going to cough up a possible $3 billion of his own money for the general election. Trump is going to have to start headlining GOP fundraisers in order to raise money for the general election. I am under no obligation to give the RNC the penny I found under the carseat in my minivan. I prefer to support individual candidates with donations, rather than tossing it into the party pot. The RNC will need to deal with the headache of their self-proclaimed self-funder themselves.
4) Vote with our feet – and our clickers.
This primary cycle has been particularly enlightening, and revealed how many of the conservative media were so eager to sell out to be considered one of the “cool kids.” So, good bye, Fox News (with the exception of Greg Gutfeld and Red Eye, for me at least).
Good bye, a majority of national talk radio (and some local talk radio) shows.
Good bye, books I had previously purchased by conservative writers who decided to go all in for Trump. I deposited a huge bag of books at my local secondhand book store (didn’t get a dime from them, either – seems they’re not much in demand right now), and there are several talking heads on my list of people that I will never support with a book purchase again.
And good bye, certain websites who pandered to Trump. I won’t even bother with the links, but one of them was willing to throw their own reporter under the bus to make sure that their Trump worship could continue uninterrupted.
I’m just one person, but I’m not the only one willing to walk away from news outlets and radio shows that I’ve watched or listened to for years. The only things that really affect the media are ratings and ad revenue. Those are the ways that we can effectively express our disappointment and frustration – not angry tweets or emails.
5) Practice “small acts of bravery.”
National Review writer David French had an article out on Monday entitled “Small Acts of Cowardice Are Destroying Our Culture.”
This is how culture wars are lost: through the slow accumulation of individually defensible but collectively unjustifiable decisions not to resist. It’s the decision that objecting during diversity training simply isn’t worth the hassle. It’s the decision not to say anything when you see a colleague or fellow student facing persecution because of their beliefs. It’s a life habit of always taking the path of least resistance, keeping your head down, and doing your best to preserve your own family and career. The small fights don’t matter anyway, right?
Local talk radio host Todd Herman offered the antidote to this on his show yesterday: practicing what he calls “small acts of bravery.” Standing up and speaking truth, even when it’s unpopular. Even when it marks you as “politically incorrect.” Andrew Breitbart often said “politics is downstream from culture.” We have to change the culture – through bravery. Only then, can we change the politics.
So, in the immortal words of Captain Malcolm Reynolds:
Be brave. Don’t just go with the flow. Aim to misbehave.
We’ve been through world wars, terrorist attacks, depressions and recessions, beaten fascism and communism, and been a “shining city on a hill” for generations. One man with a bad tan and a questionable coiffure cannot bring it down single-handedly. Neither can a pantsuit-wearing liar. They can damage us, sure. But they can’t bring us down. Only we – the American people – can defeat ourselves. Don’t give in to defeat. I agree with Ben Shapiro – now is the time to start rebuilding a movement – and a party – that we can be proud of. Come be a part of it.