Today, let me speak to fellow Conservatives about our GOP Civil War.
I believe Ted Cruz will be our nominee. At this point, he needs to be. Trump would lose the General Election, taking major numbers of House and Senate seats with him.
Do I “TrusTED?” I trust he’ll govern conservatively, and that’s what matters.
Can I support Ted as our nominee? Easily, for three reasons:
- He agrees with virtually all my views.
- A few people who have treated me well will be very happy.
- His debate ability will likely be enough to defeat a mortally wounded Hillary.
But now, a word for all the Never-Trumpers out there.
I’ve read your reasoning, I share your concerns, and I admire your willingness to forsake everything for principle—too few people are so grounded. But please hear my next words and think upon them:
You’re hurting Ted.
Imagine if there were an enormous “Never-Cruz” movement among followers of the other GOP candidates (yes, some feel this way, but nothing near the consensus we see against Trump). You would literally be told by huge numbers, “If Cruz is the candidate, we’ll stay home or vote Hillary!” Now imagine one of their candidates beating Ted for the nomination.
Here’s my question: Would you be more likely, or less, to vote for their candidate?
Answer: LESS. MUCH, MUCH, MUCH LESS.
Fact is, if Ted wins the nomination, his supporters will request the voting loyalty of supporters from all other candidates. I’ve always said, “Don’t insult people by requesting more loyalty than you offer.” Whatever we think of Trump, the fact remains he has opened our party to groups who long ago tuned us out, and we need to retain as many as possible—especially in a nation where demographic shifts won’t be kind to Ted Cruz.
To retain more, we need only treat their candidate--their choice—with the loyalty we’d request for Ted.
Please don’t lecture me on principle—I lost my family for principle. I lost all I hold dear for Conservatism, and I’ll go to my grave with only my wife to bring flowers, because I saw a nation needing rescue from liberalism. I know the stakes. I know the cost. I know the pain of pulling the lever for a candidate I neither admire nor embrace.
But by driving off huge numbers, we’re hurting Ted; not just his campaign against Hillary, but also in the Congressional numbers he’ll need to advance his agenda.
Do you TrusTED? Then help Ted. Don’t hurt Ted. Find Trump supporters, tell them why you support Ted instead, but offer the loyalty you hope to request. Tell them you see how Trump is better than Hillary (think “borders” “energy development,” “healthcare plan,” etc.), and then share how Ted does all this and more. Help them imagine Ted slicing up Hillary in debate (they’ll like that, as do I). Sell your guy, but understand that by declaring their guy “Equal to Hillary,” you’re insulting them right out the door--which in turn hurts your guy.
“Strategy” is not a dirty word. “Loyalty” is not complicity. Rather, these are marks of wisdom and vision, when faced with an enormous and unified Democrat Party. You don’t beat such numbers with protest votes, but with strategic votes (and yes, I know the failings of Republicans we’ve elected). You don’t slay such dragons by leaping upon your own sword to, pardon the pun, make a point.
In this fractured, Constitution-deprived nation, we only win by earning the ear of others—including Trump supporters--first by praising where they are right. Only then can we share where we feel they could be righter.
I’ll close with an honest approach to numbers, taken from a rather principled guy named Jesus Christ. Setting aside His greater salvation message, look at Christ’s simple wisdom—His frankness—in dealing with numerical realities:
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”
I don’t want to build a candidacy while ignoring the cost of our civil war, only to have Democrats mock us in the aftermath. “Ha! They couldn’t finish what they built! They didn’t count the cost!” I also don’t want to find myself making peace with Hillary because I foolishly brought ten thousand to the field when she brought twenty thousand. (Okay, I’d never make peace with Hillary, but you get the idea)
I want the Presidency. I also want the Senate, and a strong majority in the House. The last thing I want is to send Ted to Washington, only to limit him with a weakened Congress.
I didn’t lose my family and all my roots (I was raised leftwing) only to sacrifice America on the altar of my pride. I’m not willing to shout “No lesser of two evils!” when the numbers dictate a greater evil will consume our children’s future. I can’t worry about how a president worse than Bush will reflect upon my party when Obama’s catastrophic policies are one election from being cemented in place.
Sorry. I’ve counted the cost, and our current civil war just isn’t worth the price. Go to a veteran’s hospital, and watch these heroes recovering. Go to a memorial. Look up at an American flag. Then walk to a park somewhere, and watch the children playing. Think back. Then think forward.
And when you’re done, sit down and count the cost one last time.