In a January 7 column, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson wrote that Donald Trump’s nomination would “rip the heart out of the Republican Party.”
Ever certain to keep my arrogance tank filled to the brim, I write simply to state that Mr. Gershon is a month behind me. He writes:
The nomination of Trump would reduce Republican politics — at the presidential level — to an enterprise of squalid prejudice. And many Republicans could not follow, precisely because they are Republicans. By seizing the GOP, Trump would break it to pieces.
I’m sure Mr. Gershon is a smart man – indeed, I’m writing on a political blog in Wisconsin and he’s…well, prominent. Nonetheless, a month ago, I made the same point:
The choice writ large is a possible inflection point for the conservatism of modern times, which is a strong scaffolding built over the past 60-plus years from the ashes of classical liberalism. Efforts by thinkers and leaders from Goldwater to Buckley to Friedman to Reagan has built that scaffolding plank-by-plank since even before Buckley founded The National Review in 1955. In many ways, the electoral culmination of the work of the aforementioned visionaries was Reagan’s presidency.
Gershon isn’t the first national commentator to have stumbled upon the consequences of a Trump nomination. There have even been whispers…very very quiet, and probably kooky ones…have been emerging in the blabbosphere about an “establishment” (traditional conservative) alternative candidacy of some sort, should Trump win the GOP nomination. For my part, I’m not sure jumping off the USS Grand Old Party would be a great strategy.
It seems that commentators with traditional conservative beliefs rooted in the Buckley/Reagan tradition are uniting around the idea that Trump would be a wrecking ball for the unified conservative movement that has slowed the advance of the progressive state thus far.
By contrast, I believe a Rubio candidacy would easily beat Hillary Clinton and carry with it U.S. Senate victories in key swing states like Wisconsin. With both houses of Congress and The White House, conservatives would be able to roll back progressive victories under both Obama and Bush.
By contrast, a Trump candidacy would likely dock points from each Republican running for re-election, in addition to smashing the conservative platform that, brushed up for the 21st Century, will lead America to prosperity.
In short, I was right.