All Republicans agree Hillary Clinton is an utter disaster and must be defeated. Isn’t it time we actually beat her?
Some things never change. The most immutable law of political nature is that Republicans live to score points for the other team. That reality has not changed since Trump fused with the GOP Establishment and took over the Republican Party. In fact, it has only gotten worse.
This election should be a layup. Hillary Clinton has the most atrocious foreign policy record imaginable with her support for the Muslim Brotherhood, violent Islamists in Syria, and the Libya invasion which led to the fall of north Africa to Islamists and the rise of Boko Horam as a more potent fighting force than ISIS. The entire Middle East was set on fire under her watch as Secretary of State. The economy is in shambles, and her only major domestic policy plan is to mimic Angela Merkel and bring in hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, even as Germany suffers from that very mistake every day.
Is it really that hard to litigate the case against her in an intelligent and passionate manner? Was it that hard to shout the recent economic news from the rooftops and rebut the entire premise of the 2016 Democratic National Convention by noting how this is the worst economic recovery since 1949?
The hallmark of Republicans is to take winning issues and turn them into losing issues. Many people supported Donald Trump because they thought that, while he was no conservative, he was a fighter and at least wanted to win. He was supposed to be the bucket of Drano that would clean out the rotting excrement from the GOP pipes. Well, it appears that instead we now have the Drano and the excrement stuck together in the pipes. Trump has learned nothing from past GOP failures and has doubled down on scoring points for Democrats with his own unique style of fighting against everyone and everything but his opponent and the issues that people care about.
Nobody has been more vocal than I have been in recent years on the need to slow down immigration from the Middle East, and the existential threat we face if we allow the politicians to turn America into Europe. The polling for this issue has been devastating for Democrats. In fact, the only liberal issue Hillary did not mention in her acceptance speech was her plan for a 550% increase in Syrian refugees. Yet, thanks to his unstable personality and obsessive focus on personal attacks, Trump is allowing the Left to outmaneuver him on this issue because he is focusing on a Gold Star father — whatever one may think of him or his background – rather than taking the fight directly to Hillary over the broader policy issue. What should have been the most winning issue of our time from a political standpoint has now been transformed into a devastating attack on a military family, in the eyes of the public. We can shed tears over the bias and double standard of the media all we want, but it doesn’t excuse the political malpractice.
And make no mistake, this is political malpractice. How else can one explain Hillary’s 23-point lead on … handling of foreign policy!?
Conservatives are told to swallow the loss of two of the three legs of the Reagan stool because … we have to beat Hillary. We are told it’s ok to become the party of Russia because, well, Hillary is even worse and has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. We are told to swallow the licentious values of a man who praises the nude photos of his wife as artsy and elegant and thinks that Penthouse, GQ, and the National Inquirer are either classy or reputable publications because … well … we will lose our values if Hillary is allowed to break the [already broken] courts.
We are also told to shut up and not issue any dire warnings because it will help elect Hillary.
There is just one problem with this Baghdad Bob mentality from many Republicans: it is Trump who is electing Hillary at this point, and the only thing that will save him is for his supporters to recognize the severity of the problem and demand a course correction from their leader. Between the attacks on everyone but Hillary, the lack of campaign infrastructure or spending in critical states, the inconsistency on so many issues, and the love affair with Putin, isn’t it time for conservatives to tell Trump to get in line … and endorse himself?
When multiple polls show Trump tied with Hillary in Missouri, Utah, and Georgia, we’ve got a problem of epic proportions here. Sure, you have to wait for polling to stabilize after the conventions and there are still a few months until Election Day, but even the lethargic candidacies of Romney and McCain were nowhere near such a catastrophic failure in red states at any stage of their elections. Yes, the woman about which Obama’s FBI Director said could not receive a security clearance, broke federal law, and likely had classified information given over to enemy nations — is now tied with Trump in conservative states. This is what happens when the GOP candidate implements the campaign memo of the other side by making himself the spectacle of the campaign instead of Hillary’s corrupt and dangerous record.
If Republicans are going to close their ears and eyes and shout down anyone who raises concerns about this campaign (because we have to beat Hillary!), they will ensure that indeed Hillary wins anyway. At this pace, we could easily lose the House in addition to the Senate. Moreover, we would have demonstrated to the American people that our movement no longer care about values, limited government, or free markets. And even as it relates to immigration and national security, this is a double-edged sword. There are few people who have written more on immigration than I have. Half of my new book makes the case for national sovereignty. But if we are going to smear good policies in feces with a terrible messenger, we run the risk of losing this issue for a generation. A good messenger would plant his immigration policy flag on a story such as the increase in female genital mutilation in our country, rather than attack a Gold Star father.
Several months ago, a reasonable person could have thought that perhaps Trump’s shtick would work for him in the general election as it did in the primary. The desire to soldier on and just focus on beating Hillary was certainly very tantalizing. But at this point, the conservative movement has everything to lose and nothing to gain if they remain silent, defend the indefensible, and pretend that all the polls are wrong just like they did in 2012.
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Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.