The Roman philosopher Cicero once said, “An enemy at the gates is less formidable for he is known and carries his banner openly.” Conservatives who opposed Trump understood this principle well. Donald Trump is set to fully unfurl his liberal banner now that he has won the GOP nomination.
Let me preface my thoughts by disclosing I was (and still am) a staunch Cruz supporter. After my favorite Texan Rick Perry dropped out, I evaluated the field and decided to back Cruz. The choice was really between Cruz and Rubio, and Cruz sold me as a movement conservative. He was better organized, more principled and more prepared for the role of Commander-in-Chief than his rivals.
Having reflected on the state of our country and the Presidential race, I have concluded that conservatives must actively oppose both Trump and the Democrats. We must use our leverage to force Trump to recognize and pay homage to the conservative movement before he embraces full throttle progressivism.
Yesterday’s announcement by Speaker Paul Ryan (a win for the resurgence movement) that he was not ready to support Trump provides an exploitation opportunity, to borrow military terminology. In doctrinal terms, an exploitation is taking full advantage of success in military operations, following up initial gains, and making permanent the temporary effects already achieved. Ryan has shrewdly added some leverage for conservatives. Let’s not squander it.
Since Cruz outmaneuvered Trump on the delegate front, he has the opportunity to play kingmaker by asking his delegates to support a particular candidate for Vice President. This would force Trump to accept a unity ticket nominee as his Vice Presidential candidate.
Both Trump and Hillary are detestable, but we must acknowledge we live in the two party system the founders created. If conservatives want to increase their influence, why not launch a campaign to have a major conservative movement leader one heartbeat away from the Presidency in the unlikely event Trump somehow wins the race? Conservatives would be foolish not to seize this opportunity.
Many of you are mentally throwing flags on the field at this suggestion. Understandable. Trump’s probably going to lose 35 states. Trump gets killed with women, Hispanics and black Americans. I assure you I reside in Realville. But I also didn’t think Trump was going to defeat sixteen other competent and capable Republican candidates—the best GOP Presidential slate we had ever fielded.
It’s time to execute a contingency plan. Even if Trump loses in glorious fashion, a competent VP candidate could at least articulate conservatism and keep free market ideas in the conversation. Ben Sasse could do a stellar job. His ability to explain conservatism is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen. Watch it here. Sasse is eloquent, very intelligent, and like a majority of Americans, loathes Donald Trump.
Another possibility is Marco Rubio. Many conservatives still respect and admire Rubio even after his amnesty fiasco. He also controls delegates. He’s about to finish a Senate term. What does he have to lose? He’s articulate and a true believer in Reagan conservatism. A Jefferson-Burr type relationship could be beneficial to the long-term health of our party. It would certainly be odd having a Vice Presidential candidate admit he dislikes the nominee, but Americans need that kind of honesty and would appreciate the candor.
We are in uncharted territory. One of two pathological liars–a totally unqualified reality tv star or an equally incompetent career leftist will probably become the next President.
Whoever leads the veepstakes offensive needs to establish a simple one or two page core beliefs or “Contract with America” type of document. Maybe some other Resurgent contributors can begin crafting such a document. Sadly, Trump and establishment Republicans have watered down what it means to be a conservative to the point that most Americans probably don’t even know what it means anymore.
Thinking through these scenarios, my thoughts went to Joseph from the Old Testament. An Egyptian Pharaoh, who was arguably the most powerful man in the world at the time, decided to listen to wise counsel at the right moment. He relied on the wisdom and advice of a Hebrew prisoner, a man who had once been enslaved. Pharaoh essentially appointed Joseph as his Vice President. During the famine crisis, Joseph practically ran the country.
Those of us in the Resurgent movement must be strategic and prepared to take advantage of opportunities to illuminate the path to Judeo-Christian values and free-market policies that made America the shining city on a hill and the leader of the free world.
A third party attempt is just not feasible, at least at the moment. The odds are conservatives would end up with a Perot style scenario that enabled a Clinton to win (again) by a plurality instead of a majority. That potential disaster is unacceptable.
It’s time to strike back against Trumpism and liberalism to advance conservatism.
Now Ted Cruz has some major decisions to make. He can urge his delegates to back a solid VP nominee. Cruz cares deeply about the conservative movement and the future of our country. Now those close to Cruz need to petition him to give serious thought to this course of action.