Clinton-Kaine is a worse ticket than Dukakis-Bentsen. Some would say it’s hard to claim that the current Democratic nominees are worse than Mondale-Ferraro or McGovern-Eagleton-Shriver based upon those outcomes. I would argue that Mondale was a sacrificial lamb placed before the altar of Reagan’s second term and McGovern had every possible circumstantial chip stacked against him. Hillary can’t make the same claims. Trump is no Reagan and most of the important chips such as money and media are stacked firmly behind her, propping her up as best they can.
The Republicans had several advantages going into this election. They’re following a two-term incumbent who has no natural heir. They have Obamacare, ISIS, BLM, and a multitude of other issues that could be easily parlayed into “try something new” Independent votes. They had the most solid collection of quality candidates in the modern era arrayed before them. Most importantly, they have control over both chambers of Congress, giving them two years to make good things happen before election day, 2016.
If they blow this one, fingers will be pointing. Most will point at either Trump or NeverTrumpers, depending on which side of the fence they’re on. Some will point to corruption issues such as rigged voting or biased media. They’ll all be right to some extent, like picking out correct answers on Family Feud, but the ultimate culprit responsible for a Clinton-Kaine victory will only get a small portion of the blame. The top of the board will get fewer fingers pointed at it than it deserves. “Survey says…”
The GOP as an entity, as a party, and as an institution should bear the full weight of a loss. It’s not just Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others in party leadership roles. It’s the party itself. Everyone from top to bottom has played a part in making President Hillary Clinton a realistic possibility. In what should be an easy triple-digit Electoral College victory for the Grand Ol’ Party, this election year was blown by everyone who enabled weakness, embraced centrist moderation, empowered the alt-right, and enshrined Trump in his nomination.
You are to blame. It doesn’t matter if you voted against Trump in the primaries. It doesn’t matter if you opposed McConnell, Boehner, and Ryan. It doesn’t matter how many Tea Party rallies you attended, how many dollars you contributed to conservative causes, or how many articles you shared on social media about the debacle that is Donald Trump. It’s your fault for not doing enough. It’s your fault for not shaking every Trump supporter you know into submission with the truth. It’s your fault that Benghazi, the email scandal, her health concerns, the Clinton Foundation, and her lack of noteworthy accomplishment didn’t get enough attention to stick as the damning issues they should have been. It’s your fault that Clinton is still viable, Trump is the GOP’s nominee, and the Republican-controlled Congress continues to give President Obama pretty much everything he wants.
It’s my fault as well, perhaps more so than anyone reading this.
I’m asked every day why I’m putting so much time and effort into forming a new party to launch after the election. It’s to the point that I should put together some scripted replies to copy and paste into emails based upon variations of four basic question types. I’ll let you guess the question based upon these answers:
- We’re not going to try to work from within the GOP because the nebulous “Establishment” is too embedded in big government business-as-usual to listen to the conservative voice of reason. The Tea Party was the best chance for an internal movement to change the GOP. Many of their victories over the past six years have been erased or co-opted.
- Other conservative third parties have failed to reach the escape velocity necessary to break the two-party barrier. Their advantage of accumulating tens of thousands of members over the decades is completely wiped out by their poor growth strategies and the stigmas attached to their platforms. We are growing quickly enough to surpass all but the Libertarians by early 2017 and we’ll do so with a modern growth strategy in place.
- The persistent fiction that the two-party system is impenetrable is perpetuated by the two-party system itself. It’s a logical fallacy similar to begging the question because it’s argued as an assumed fact. Unfortunately, it’s been working for over a century which is why we have no illusions that it will be easy. However, there hasn’t been a time since the 19th century when busting the fallacy was more possible. The combination of voter angst and the power of the internet makes it possible to reach the velocity necessary to break the system.
- They won’t fight to keep conservatives until it’s too late for two reasons. The first is that they want to be the centrist party, the “pragmatists,” and Trump has enabled them to let their hair down. They won’t be putting their hair back up any time soon. The second reason is because they’ve never had to fight for conservatives and they don’t really know how. The conservative vote and membership has always been assumed. Our party will stay under their radar accumulating members and not revealing our size until we’re big enough that they can’t destroy us easily.
The support we’re receiving, both in the form of raw numbers as well as passionate participants, has been overwhelming. Every few minutes, someone new signs up to stay informed. A good percentage of them request direct communication. They’re sharing ideas. They’re offering to help. I’m humbled by the response that could not have been prompted by my hands alone.
2016 is the last straw. If Hillary wins, the mandate to build a better mousetrap is clear. If Trump wins, we will be required as conscientious conservatives to be the voices of reason expressing dissent to the leftward lurch of both the party and the President. The GOP has left us hanging far too many times to be forgiven once again. We’re always convinced that we can fight, that it’s easier to salvage from within rather than rebuild from the outside. This year proves that all of those hopes have been lies all along.
Will you help?