Conservatives Dont Own The Republican Party

The conservative base of the Republican Party cannot understand how Donald Trump has ascended to being the leading candidate for presidential nominee despite all evidence showing he isn’t conservative. Because they can’t understand it they are angry which is making them blind to a disastrous political mistake they are making.

The foundation of conservatives inability to understand Trumps rise lies in their view of the Republican party. They see it as the Conservative Party when in reality it is more a center-right party. According to Gallup, Republicans who describe themselves as both social and economic conservatives has dropped to 42 percent. The second largest group is made up of those who are moderate or liberal on both issues. That means the majority of the Republican Party hold views that are closer in line with Trump than with them.

Instead of viewing themselves as part of a national coalition where they must make compromises on some of their core beliefs, they are threatening to take their ball and go home.

Throwing the Buckley Rule,( you vote for the most electable conservative option against a democrat), out the window, the #nevertrump campaign on Twitter has become very popular among conservatives recently. The hashtag is used to state the reason why someone won’t support Trump even if he becomes the Republican nominee. They realize that refusing to support the Republican nominee virtually guarantees a Democrat presidency. Apparently this won’t dissuade them, they would rather have a president they disagree with 100 percent of the time versus one they agree with 50 percent of the time.

Even more dangerously conservatives have threatened to contest Trump’s nomination if he is under the 1,237 delegates required. If they are successful it is possible that it could cause many moderates to leave the Republican Party for good. That would give conservatives what they want, a party they control, but for what? As conservatives are only 38% of the national population, it’s unlikely they could win the presidency without the coalition they would be blowing up.

Conservatives need to step back and take a deep breath. After doing so they need to rethink their never Trump stance. Remembering that Republicans control both houses of Congress will help them put perspective on a possible Trump Presidency. In Federalist 51 James Madison when speaking about checks and balances famously said “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” We can all agree that Trump is ambitious so he will want to have a successful term with a chance at reelection, therefore he will work with Congress to fulfill his campaign promises. Where Trump goes too far past Republican orthodoxy Congress will be able to rein him in.

This scenario is better than conservatives tacitly endorsing a Democrat presidency and isolating themselves from the party that allows their movement to have national prominence. Hopefully they have the wisdom to see this before it’s too late.

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