Ted Cruz suspends campaign: what next for conservatives? #NeverTrump

Donald Trump with some of his supporters
Donald Trump with some of his supporters

I’ll comment after quoting some of this brief message from Ben Shapiro, posted at Daily Wire.


So, Donald Trump is the nominee.

After all the fighting, after all the lies, after all the conspiracy theories and bloviating and position-shifting and progressivism, after all the insults and racist pandering and economic illiteracy, after all the cruelty and full-fledged stupidity, Donald Trump is the nominee.

What does this mean?

It means that standing against Trump means more than ever.

Early in this race, I stated repeatedly that the way to defeat Trump would be to point out to Republican primary voters that he wasn’t conservative. After all, I reasoned, conservative voters were outraged with the Republican establishment that had caved over and over to President Obama; they’d want to nominate someone who wouldn’t cut deals with the wild leftists of the Democratic Party.

I got it wrong.

It turns out that a huge bulk of Trump supporters don’t care that he’s a leftist. They think he’s a tough guy who will fight for them; they think he’ll fulfill the promise emblazoned on his ridiculous red “Make America Great Again” hats. They buy his two-bit promises, his stripper glitter showmanship, his foghorn bravado. And they do so because they don’t give two good damns about conservatism.

[…][T]he Trump movement rejects conservatism. They don’t care about the Constitution – it’s a passé document that must be discarded in favor of a Dear Leader who can lead America back to Greatness. They don’t care about the Declaration of Independence – they are an interest group, and they want their payoff. They don’t care about traditional concepts of negative rights, or economic freedom, or foreign policy strength.

They don’t care about conservatives.

So conservatives must stand against them.

[…]Trump’s “something new” is something quite old, and quite un-American. If conservatives want a future, they must stand against him and his corrupt, bankrupt philosophy.

2016 could have been a time to reap the harvest of conservatism. Instead, Trump burned down the field.

It’s time to plant anew. We should do so with alacrity rather than embracing the man holding the match.

Right. There is not a single authentic conservative that voted for Trump. Trump is not a conservative, in any way, shape or form – on any issue. We should stay home during the general election and let him lose rather than let the label “conservative” be connected to a clownish liberal sociopath.

UPDATE: Don’t stay home, go vote in the other races, and just write someone in or leave it blank for President. (I stand corrected on this)

The people who voted for Trump were basically idiots who had failed in their own lives, and wanted to blame someone other than themselves. That’s what Trump promises: he will help the losers who want to win vicariously through him. Most of his support came from white registered Democrats who never completed college, and probably had never held a decent job in their lives for any length of time. But there are enough self-made losers in America, apparently, that a clown can be selected as the nominee of a major party.

Consider this post by Kevin Williamson in National Review magazine:

The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

David French, who grew up in Kentucky, and then attended Harvard Law School, adds this in National Review:

These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin’s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand.Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.

For generations, conservatives have rightly railed against deterministic progressive notions that put human choices at the mercy of race, class, history, or economics. Those factors can create additional challenges, but they do not relieve any human being of the moral obligation to do their best.

Yet millions of Americans aren’t doing their best. Indeed, they’re barely trying. As I’ve related before, my church in Kentucky made a determined attempt to reach kids and families that were falling between the cracks, and it was consistently astounding how little effort most parents and their teen children made to improve their lives. If they couldn’t find a job in a few days — or perhaps even as little as a few hours — they’d stop looking. If they got angry at teachers or coaches, they’d drop out of school. If they fought with their wife, they had sex with a neighbor. And always — always — there was a sense of entitlement.

And that’s where disability or other government programs kicked in. They were there, beckoning, giving men and women alternatives to gainful employment. You don’t have to do any work (your disability lawyer does all the heavy lifting), you make money, and you get drugs. At our local regional hospital, it’s become a bitter joke the extent to which the community is hooked on “Xanatab” — the Xanax and Lortab prescriptions that lead to drug dependence.

Of course we should have compassion even as we call on people to do better. I have compassion for kids who often see the worst behavior modeled at home. I have compassion for families facing economic uncertainty. But compassion can’t excuse or enable self-destructive moral failures.

We have Trump as the nominee because there are just too many of these low-information voters voting. Some of my friends are blaming the public school system, for destroying the quality of American education. Others are blaming the churches, for focusing on feelings rather than intellect. Those are both true, but I think we should blame the TV-watching Trump cultists themselves: first for failing at life, second for voting. If you’re an illiterate loser who cannot hold a job and you blow all your money on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, then you should not be voting.

Sadly, there is no job interview for voting. Any imbecile who knows more about sports than policy can vote. The way forward is simple. We need to play defense more than ever before, because things are going to get worse. And we need to continue to argue and explain why conservative principles and policies work better than the policies of liberal Democrats like Trump and Clinton.

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14 thoughts on “Ted Cruz suspends campaign: what next for conservatives? #NeverTrump”

  1. Meanwhile, in the 2016 Northern Irish elections only one of our numerous political parties is pro-life and pro-marriage and only 2 of my local candidates (out of 18) are not rabidly, joyously Progressive. Seems like a very bad year for conservatives.

    As you say, low-information voters, poor education and anti-intellectual churches are largely to blame for all of these phenomena in our respective countries. What we’re all reaping now is the result of years and years of neglect. As long as the majority of the populace is dependent on left-leaning media and academics to provide their thoughts and opinions we will never make headway in this war against secularism and relativism.

  2. Hopefully the Libertarian Party does not explode this year and we are left with a candidate that truly embodies classically conservative values.

  3. “We should stay home during the general election and let him lose…”

    We should definitely NOT stay home during the general election. If you can’t vote for Trump then leave it blank or write in someone else, but elections should be about more than the national popularity contest for president.

    I get so frustrated with conservatives that talk about how the power should reside at the local and state level, but then want to stay home when the presidential nominee isn’t their guy. There are many state and local candidates, as well as ballot issues. If you stay home, then the low information voters will win probably voting for the “D” candidate from the top down. As conservatives who believe in the constitution we should be voting starting with local, state and finally up to national level.

    And for the record I’m not a Trump supporter; I’ve been supporting Cruz almost since the beginning.

  4. I’m reminded in a bad way of elementary school group projects where I learned that a group of people not thinking it through matter more than someone who has a reasoned, rational suggestion for how to do the project.

    (Example: computer game where you are building a town with housing, shopping, a park, and sewage treatment and have to chose where to put each one. The computer then grades it based on the optimal choices. The easiest to build [park] should go in the hardest site to build on [wetlands]. I point it out. They put it in the forest.)

  5. Another major factor? 78% of American men are regular consumers of porn. Regular porn viewing changes the physiology of the brain and has a very strong impact on a person’s worldview. Therefore, a morally depraved person with zero character can be viewed as the answer as long as they use the right manipulative slogans. Ergo: Donald Trump

    1. I have absolutely NO DOUBT that this is a major part of the problem. Good men recoil from a man like Trump, with his divorces, adultery, and misogyny. It’s not to say that women who do porn are innocent victims of men, as some say. Only to say that men (real men) understand that there is something morally wrong with Trump.

      What’s interesting is how there is this commandment against adultery, Trump has broken it, and yet so many low-information losers who claim to be Christians cannot infer that they should oppose a confirmed UNREPENTANT adulterer. This is not even to mention the frivolous divorces.

  6. I think that Trump is a complete moron who won’t make a good president overall, so what I’m about to say isn’t even remotely meant to be taken as me supporting him. I would so much rather have a conservative in the White House, but unfortunately we will have to choose between a complete moron (Trump) and an even bigger moron / psychopath who is on the warpath to get us (Hillary or Sanders – same applies to both). I’ll vote for Trump in November in order to choose the “lesser of two evils.”

    I know someone who used to work for the government in a way that he had access to a decent amount of classified information. His reason for supporting Trump over the other republican candidates was simply due to the other candidates not taking the immigration crisis we are facing seriously enough to convince him that they will do anything about it. Of all the candidates, the one who is most likely to send immigrants packing is Trump. And the reason this matters is because it’s a HUGE matter of national security to have them here, especially with ISIS infiltrating the US posing as refugees. America is too far gone to save at this point. It’s like you said in the post – people don’t want to make their lives better. You can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. Even a perfect president can’t stop the tide at this point, since most people wouldn’t embrace him due to his expectations that they actually be productive members of society rather than leeches (for example). Society here WILL crumble – it’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.” We can’t stop it, but we might be able to slow it down enough to buy some time to prepare ourselves for it. That requires hitting the “stop” and “rewind” buttons on immigration.

    Just wanted to explain his position on why he supports Trump over the others. He thinks Trump is s moron too, but because immigration is currently posing such an immediate threat to us, that’s the route he decided to go. Because voting for otherwise better candidates won’t help us if they don’t get rid of the immigrants, and then the ISIS infiltrators knock out our Power Grid, for example.

  7. What advice do you give as far as actually voting this year then? Stay home? Vote 3rd party? I may have missed it but it seemed you said stay home as the best option.

    1. OK I am revising my answer – don’t stay home. Go vote, but leave the presidential candidate blank or write someone in. The important thing is that Trumpism is not allowed to become the face of conservatism.

  8. The thing that gets me is that people think they started #NeverTrump to stop him at all costs; and now that he’s going to be the nominee their done. But that’s not the case. #NeverTrump is a position. of I disagree with Trump so much that under no circumstances will I cast my vote for Trump. This doesn’t require funding or backing or applaud from anybody. I refuse to vote for a corrupt, cheeto-tan, lyning, pandering, —hole.

    If the Trumpa-loompas want to tear down the Republican Party and the “establishment” then I say they can put out the fire and take responsibility. They will not take the mantle of “conservativism” while their actions and stances conserve nothing.

  9. Afraid that I don’t buy that logic, sorry.

    The argument is pragmatic, and it is used by the two parties to manipulate our votes every presidential election. In this case, we get a string of horrible candidates over the past fifteen years and are basically bullied into voting for them out of fear/hatred/emotion against the alternative. Great way to maintain the system as it is.

    It is not reasonable to believe that the SCOTUS will ever, even with conservative justices, make any actual substantive moves to limit government any more than it already is. Even justices like Scalia did not/would not vote to overturn centuries of jurisprudence and precedent and still deferred to executive agencies. The only truly effective measure to combat federal overreach is for the states to stand up for their sovereignty and effectively nullify invalid court decisions.

    Illegal immigration is such a muddied and tired topic at this point that I’m afraid nothing good can come of it. And, of course, the parties have drawn their positions in order to divide the issue neatly into two camps without dissent. Amnesty and illegal immigration is an issue similar to slavely in the states. Holding to strict deportation will split families and disrupt commerce but not enforcing the law undermines the rule of law. The true issue of immigration has more to do with protectionism and the welfare state and the drug war than immigration itself. The issue will not go away with a wall.

    That said, I would not advocate not voting at all. A non-vote is a dismissed vote, an assumption that it was one that would not be had otherwise. However, a vote constrained to major parties at the expense of any other option only solidifies the concept that, no matter what candidate the party chooses, my loyalty is bought. I will vote for the candidate that best exemplifies the principles of Peace, Tolerance, Limited Government, Individualism, and Free Markets. It is unlikely that candidate will be Donald Trump.

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