Last night, Conservatives Against Trump held their second meeting to discuss a third party alternative against Donald Trump. Below is the group’s statement agreed to at last night’s meeting.
— Erick Erickson
As economic, defense, and faith conservatives, we oppose Donald Trump and will not vote for him in the coming general election. Our objective is two-fold: the election of a conservative president and averting the debacle of a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders administration. To achieve these objectives, the candidacy of Donald Trump must be defeated.
Among our many objections to Trump are his liberal positions, his authoritarian, bullying approach to leadership and his extraconstitutional tendencies. During this campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated beyond doubt he is not a conservative.
We object in particular to his:
- Support for torture as a means of retribution and punishment of non-combatants
- Insistence that the U.S. military would follow unlawful orders
- Ignorance of basic U.S. defense doctrines and systems (e.g. the nuclear triad)
- Acceptance of abortion as settled law and support for organizations that visit the shame and tragedy of abortion on American society
- Advocacy of punitive measures against women who are victimized by abortion
- Support for a government-run, single-payer health system
- Donations and other support for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and many other liberal Democrats
- Endorsement of authoritarian leaders who are consistent violators of human rights and international law including Vladimir Putin and the Chinese Communist regime
- Foreign and defense policies that would weaken U.S. alliances in Europe and Asia and expose key allies to totalitarian aggression
- Moral equivalency in Israel’s struggle for security
- Protectionist trade laws that would raise prices at home and undermine U.S. ability to compete globally
Many who support Trump do so out of deep frustration with the direction of our country and a yearning to see the renewed flourishing of the American experiment. We understand, share, and respect that frustration. At the same time, along with the almost two-thirds of Republican primary voters have chosen candidates other than Trump, we have discerned him to be anything but a conservative and untethered to any principle deeper than his own self-interest. Rather than solving problems, Trump would greatly deepen and exacerbate them by undermining our constitutional system and heightening our country’s already significant social, economic and political challenges.
This faux-Republican has appealed not to the better angels of our nature, but has preyed on misunderstanding, propagated ignorance, and fostered bigotry, resentment, and even violence. He has been vulgar, coarse, lawless, dangerous, and demagogic and flouted and mocked the country’s history, traditions, and institutions. He is, in fact, the very type of politician our Founders warned against as a threat to limited government and individual liberty.
To the extent it is within our power, we will not allow vulgarity to stand in the place of virtue. We will not stand by while our national character is polluted and our worst instincts replace sober and measured deliberation of pressing national issues. As conservatives, we have loyally supported Republican candidates when those candidates have supported conservative principles. Donald Trump has abandoned and repudiated those principles and made it impossible for us to support him. To nominate him for president would be to replace time-tested conservative philosophy with unpredictable personal rule by one man and convert the Republican Party into another reality-show vehicle for Trump’s unbounded megalomania.
We will vote. Sitting out an election is not an option. The Republican Party has before it several candidates with the record and ability to serve as president with honor and distinction. In the coming months, we will devote ourselves to ensuring the nomination goes to a candidate who will strengthen our economy, national security and, above all, the conservative values on which all else depends. Should this effort fail, we will join with other faithful conservatives to find new candidates and institutions to carry on the fight for conservative principles and policies.