There have been a plethora of articles written on this election cycle and the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Trump’s political rise has been analyzed over and over by journalists and scholars alike, all trying to explain this polarizing figure, his unorthodox campaign and the phenomenon that has set ripples throughout the political process. None of us — and likely none of you — saw any of this coming six months ago.
Many would have been willing to bet that Trump’s 15 minutes of fame were just that, a temporary breaking wave in the large sea that is politics. Yet, somehow he has emerged as a political juggernaut. Much like a fictional supervillain published by Marvel Comics, Trump crushes all in his path. Becoming nearly impenetrable as his candidacy gained steam, he seemingly withstands blow after blow, always rising to the top — even when challenged on the veracity of his statements or asked questions about his past.
Several months ago, many in the Republican Party — including me — would have been willing to bet that Trump’s accession to the front-runner post and now ultimately the GOP nomination would have never been possible. However, what was once thought of as an impossible feat is now reality, and it is the current reality that the Republican Party must face.
There are two fundamental questions that remain unanswered: the possible expansion of government and whether or not Trump’s detractors are seriously willing to lose this election to likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The latter is concerning because this isn’t a presidential election where we as a party can regroup over the next four years, but an election that could potentially change the face of the nation. These concerns must keep any conservative awake at night and are fundamental to the direction of America.
Clinton represents the past, all that was and all that never will be. If elected, her election would be the furtherance of failed foreign policy and government expansion, not to mention the decades of change that would come from her potential appointees to the Supreme Court. It should be obvious, from the perspective of a conservative, that she is a dangerous choice. Yet some in the Republican Party are willing to further divide the party in hopes of a third-party savior who would be unlikely to win the general election. Such a possibility would only guarantee a victory for Clinton, which Republicans must not easily allow. Republicans have an obligation to put forth a competitive campaign to beat her. If she wins, the party has the benefit of saying it tried. After all, she represents the antithesis of any logical and rational proponent of conservatism. They cannot justify allowing Clinton to waltz into the White House without a real challenge.
Republicans who oppose Trump should meet him and address their concerns. Such a meeting would allow those who oppose him to bring their concerns to the forefront with the hopes of finding common ground and helping Trump become a better candidate. Those who refuse to even meet and discuss their concerns are, in many ways, assisting Clinton. Maintaining such a disposition isn’t practical or logical. Any person concerned with making an intellectual case for conservatism, small and large, should immediately recognize this.
This election is about more than Trump. It is about fundamental change to the American society — liberalism versus conservatism — and those opposing Trump must get over their egos or risk a Clinton administration, which means bigger government, higher taxes and a weak foreign policy. Those issues are far too grave to ignore.
I understand Donald Trump’s detractors. However, when assessing the overall picture, their actions will only cause greater harm for the party and the country as a whole, and will automatically guarantee a victory for Clinton and the furtherance of liberalism — which may work in part, but most certainly not in whole. A fractured GOP only causes further harm to the American people and those unwilling to come together will be responsible for the fundamental change that will come via Clinton’s liberal policies. And that, ultimately, is indefensible.