In Part I of this series, I covered the history of the Republican Party, emphasizing how social conservatism became the dominant faction of the party with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
In Part II, I covered how Trump himself is presenting the first major ideological shift of the GOP since 1980, by maintaining a wide variety of positions (conservative, moderate, and liberal) on just the right issues in order to appeal to new, more promising demographic, all while maintaining charisma and personality.
Now, I will make my plea to the conservative “Never Trumpers,” who, by sticking to their “principles,” are willing to allow a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Naturally, Trump’s potentially long-term shift of the Republican Party’s Overton Window away from the dominance of social conservatism has many on the far-right worried. Those who wish to carry on Reagan’s legacy, those who supported Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz, those in the Tea Party, those who call Trump a “RINO” or even an outright “liberal,” all fear that Trump might as well be another Democrat and will be the death of both social and fiscal conservatism as we know it.
To those, I ask this: is the loss of some power in a friendly political party equivalent to the possibility of being outright eradicated by an opposing political party?
Donald Trump angers conservatives by not being as firmly conservative as Tea Party members. Hillary Clinton should outright frighten conservatives by her determination to eliminate the movement as we know it. Hillary Clinton hates conservatism. She wants to put an end to conservatism, and will have the perfect opportunity to do so through her potential Supreme Court nominations.
If Barack Obama – who is, arguably, not as far-left as Hillary Clinton – was willing to utilize the IRS to target conservative groups, then you better believe that Hillary, who has the media and some levels of the FBI (more or less) under her control, will not stop until she ensures that it becomes an ideological minority for the next half-century or more.
Her appointments to the Supreme Court – which could potentially endanger the entirety of the Bill of Rights as we know it – will only solidify her crusade against conservatism for the next 40 to 50 years. Her victory would mean the crumbling of the Republican Party as a whole, in addition to the more conservative factions, and an inevitable shift of the country further towards socialism. This could potentially alter the course of American history for the worse, in an irrevocable collision course with the same fate as past world powers that practiced socialism like the Soviet Union.
Trump may not be as firmly conservative as those on the far-right would like. He’s not a carbon copy of Ted Cruz. He’s not the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But he still holds some conservative values (not to mention, on the most important issues such as gun rights and religious freedom), as well as moderate stances (such as drugs, gay marriage, and military intervention), with only a handful of positions that can truly be considered “liberal.”
Above all else, it is clear that he is friendly to conservatives: He obviously needs them and certainly doesn’t want to lose their support. Just look at his incredible list of potential Supreme Court nominees if you don’t believe me. Some may argue that Mr. Trump is a lying “con man,” and won’t nominate any of those individuals if elected. But does anyone in their right mind really think that we have a better chance at such a nominee under Hillary Clinton? Rumor has it that the Republican majority in the Senate would rush to confirm Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in the lame duck period if Hillary wins – because you can guarantee whoever she pulls out of the woodwork would be a lot more liberal. Just consider the somewhat fringe theory that she might even nominate Obama himself.
Trump’s big “sin” against social conservatives is that he simply thinks that they should no longer dominate the Republican Party, since he thinks that they threaten to run it into the ground by doubling down on their beliefs, even against the obvious and inevitable tide of the rest of the country. After 2012, is this such a far-fetched or unreasonable concern?
Again, it is true that social conservatives will lose a major source of power by no longer being the dominant ideology of the Republican Party. And this can constitute a setback in many ways. However, they will not see their freedoms and civil rights infringed upon by a corrupt, conservative-hating, leftist government. They will still be free to practice their rights, including their dissent against Mr. Trump himself. If anything, Trump may pride himself on being disliked by those on the far-right, in his continual efforts to modernize and expand the party beyond these demographics.
This can also allow social conservatism to thrive perhaps where it is most important: on the state and local levels, in certain states and areas of states where social conservatism will still be popular for decades to come. Perhaps even parties like the Constitution Party can finally gain serious and credible status, or perhaps the Republican Party may see another major ideological shift with another Reagan-type figure a few decades from now – only time will tell.
But at the end of the day, the two choices may both seem bad for social conservatives. But in reality, one is only detrimental in the short term – the other is an existential threat to social conservatism. And with eight years already past where social conservatives have been facing systematic oppression and resounding defeats (especially on the steps of the Supreme Court), the movement cannot afford another four to eight years of the same thing, on an even larger basis. A Trump Administration would merely set social conservatism back somewhat, not destroy it. A Hillary Clinton Administration would end social conservatism in the United States once and for all. And if that is done in America, the rest of the world may indeed surely follow.
As a very basic summary of this argument, what better way to convey the overall message than through a quote that is often attributed to Ronald Reagan?
“The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20% traitor.”
Donald J. Trump is an 80% friend to social conservatives, not a 20% traitor. Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the other hand, is a 100% enemy.
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