“God save us! We might nominate a man who doesn’t believe in our constitutional values!”
That is the frenetic cry from many figures in the “conservative movement.”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with the concerns over Donald Trump. As many of us here at Conservative Review have said, we see in Trump a liberal con man with a disconcerting penchant for authoritarian pursuits. I see a man who never utters the word “liberty” and very much embodies the status quo system people think he will destroy. And yes, at some point, character does matter.
However, the problem with our comatose party and broken constitutional republic didn’t start last year when Donald Trump announced his vanity campaign. Ever since Reagan’s departure, the Republican Party has been controlled by people who don’t champion our values and consider the Constitution a fine suggestion … much like Donald Trump. In fact, in the biggest twist of irony, people are mistakenly attracted to Trump precisely because they have had enough of the Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs) lying to them during the elections only to cheer on Democrat policies upon winning.
Many of the people (but by no means all) who are now vociferously opposed to Trump are the same ones who blithely stood by while the party betrayed us and helped promote progressive aims. There was no sense of urgency to throw out those charlatans. These same people rightfully want nothing to do with a party nominee who supports Planned Parenthood but have no problems with a party that violates our sovereignty, promotes the Democratic jail break agenda, and registers 20 million new Democratic voters. They rightfully don’t want anything to do with white supremacist groups, but had no problem with reverse discrimination and the racial pandering inherent in both parties.
While I was fighting every one of these legislative battles over the past few years and recruiting numerous candidates – candidates who truly respected the Constitution and were not like Trump – to run against these RINOs in primaries, many of these commentators and elected “conservatives” were silent. As my colleague Michele Malkin recently said, “DC didn’t listen; they made their bed, now they’re lying in it.” Michele fought for over 13 years to get Republicans to take the issue of immigration seriously. After disregarding warnings for years, we might now be saddled with a charlatan who is perceived by the voters as a man who will fix that problem. This is why it’s so absurd to think the problem of Trump can be solved by supporting someone like Rubio.
It’s interesting to observe some of these same thumb suckers who are tearing their hair out over Trump still can’t bring themselves to endorse Ted Cruz. They play this game of “either one is better than Trump,” all the while missing the point that there is a huge difference between Rubio and Cruz. Rubio embodies the reason so many people are attracted to the golden calf of Donald Trump. Trump might be the rabble-rousing Korah but he is just one Korah among a party full of them. Only Cruz could unite enough conservatives against both the ruling class and the Korah of our time. Yet, these wizards of smart are quietly almost as offended by Cruz as they are Trump.
Conservatives who find Trump to be unacceptable should not lie in the bed of those who created this problem. Trump is the latest flavor of the month in the endless stream of RINOs and phony Republicans who have broken this party beyond remedy. Think D.C. Republicans are bad? Most state party leaders, with the exception of a few states like Texas, are even worse because there is a dearth of patriot groups shedding light on state legislative activity and holding them accountable.
#TrumpNever should really be part of a broader #RINOsNever effort to rebuild a constitutional party from scratch. This means looking at the systemic problems. This means making state legislatures and legislators great again. This means focusing on the fundamental diseases that have led us off the constitutional rails and into the abyss of a social utopia. This means growing that bench of constitutionalists at a state level and promoting a convention of the states on targeted issues to fix the national party and national government from bottom up.
Our constitutional system certainly won’t be saved by Donald Trump, but it didn’t die with him either. That ship has sailed a long time ago. Working to defeat or circumvent Trump cannot be used as a conduit for returning us to the very problems that fueled his rise. If ultimately conservatives are handed rotten lemons in the coming weeks, it might be a blessing in disguise to take advantage of the ensuing chaos and finally work on long-term goals that should have been pursued long before the rise of Donald Trump.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.