Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addresses the crowd during an election night watch party Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Stafford, Texas. Behind Sen. Cruz is Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, right, and Heidi Cruz and his daughters at left. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Conventional Wisdom Has Been So Wrong, Let’s Keep Using It

The conventional wisdom was that Donald Trump was not really serious about running for President.

Then the conventional wisdom was that Donald Trump would drop out.

Then the conventional wisdom was that he’d start to fade as voter interest moved on.

Then the conventional wisdom was that he’d say something so outrageous that voters would abandon him.

Then the conventional wisdom was that Cruz was toast after South Carolina because he lost evangelicals there.

Then the conventional wisdom was that Cruz’s best states were on Super Tuesday and after that it was all downhill.

Then the conventional wisdom was that Trump would win Kansas and Maine.

None of those things happened.

The masters of conventional wisdom demanded that Ted Cruz not keep giving Donald Trump a pass in Iowa. When Cruz got within striking distance in his attacks on Trump, the conventional wisdom was that if Cruz had done it sooner, Trump would never have gotten so high, so pay no attention to Cruz’s ability to win Iowa.

The conventional wisdom has been wrong about everything. Even with Saturday’s elections, the conventional wisdom was that Trump would wallop everybody everywhere and, in fact, Cruz bested Trump in several states. The chief purveyors of conventional wisdom have had a pre-disposition toward Rubio the entire time. And now the conventional wisdom is that we need Rubio to win Florida, Kasich to win Ohio, and we will stop Donald Trump at the convention. Every time the purveyors of conventional wisdom do a new path forward, they trot out tropes already crumbling and new maps that shrink the odds further and further against stopping Trump. They cannot conceive of a fundamental shake up.

Back in the day we’d have said the conveyors of conventional wisdom had gone full retard, but because of politically correct notions and outrage these days we are not allowed to say such a thing.

Nonetheless, they’ve lost their damn minds.

Instead of trying to shake up the race, the purveyors of conventional wisdom still want to let the fever run its course and they’ll break it at the convention. In addition to making the winner the inheritor of an illegitimate legacy, they only have a slim chance of it working.

The only way to truly stop Trump is to stop him now.1 But a common trait of the conveyors of conventional wisdom is that they cannot adapt. Like the Bourbons of France, they’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They see no way forward and the way forward they should take is the one they absolutely refuse to embrace.

The way forward is simple.

Rubio needs to rally to Cruz. They need to form a ticket immediately. They then need to campaign as a ticket always by each other’s side. Rubio needs to continue the personal attacks on Trump while Cruz needs to shake up his message and talk about blue collar workers being left behind by a system aligned against them. Stop the soaring rhetoric about a better tomorrow and throw punches.

This requires Cruz to win Florida and Rubio to lose Florida.

The conventional wisdom and Rubio supporters are right now the most butt hurt people in America. They’re still anchoring to Cruz stopping Trump and refuse to concede that he did stop Trump in Iowa — they were too sexually aroused by Rubio’s third place win in Iowa to notice.

The people presently insisting that Cruz must give Rubio Florida are the welfare queens of conventional wisdom — hanging on it, feeling entitled, and not used to losing the accoutrements of establishment power they’ve gotten used to. They cannot conceive of allying with Cruz unless they are in charge. It was fair game for Rubio to campaign in Texas, but not for Cruz in Florida.

In the meantime, they keep losing.

Yes, I too thought Cruz should let Rubio win Florida until it became apparent that the dynamics of the race would not change. The only way to change the dynamics are for Rubio to get out and join with Cruz now — it would shift the media conversation, it would shift the perception of winning, and it would form the alliance to unite the part. Rubio losing in Florida finally shifts the donors and the expectation and forces a rethink of the race — a rethink badly needed.

Cruz understands this.

Cruz understands that Rubio has to lose Florida to shake up this race and actually beat Trump. He is trying to do something to stop Trump legitimately in primaries. But he’s getting crapped on by the people who never liked him to begin with and who have been consistently wrong at every turn in this race.

It is clearer and clearer that the purveyors of conventional wisdom would rather a Rubio stigmatized as a illegitimate winner through rules changes worthy of Cuba than a legitimate winner with Rubio in the role of Vice President.

I want to stop Trump. I want to stop him in the primaries. The people who say that is not possible refuse to concede how they’ve misjudged everything and are too prideful to realize it is time now to change. It is time now for a Cruz-Rubio unity ticket.

The Establishment players of 1980 were willing to suck it up and join with Reagan. It’s a pretty damning in indictment on the twenty and thirty-something millennial voices of the GOP now that they’d rather play dirty at the convention than suck it up and win now.

Friends, the Republican Establishment no longer asks “what if” and instead just says “we can’t.” That’s exactly why they are dealing with Donald Trump now.

1. No, you are not stopping Trump by giving the nomination to someone else at the convention. You’re making him a living martyr with a movement and cause more committed to burning down the GOP and the existing political order.

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Erick Erickson

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