Are too many Republicans stuck on stupid? No, literally stuck on stupid: Donald Trump. Are you using Donald Trump to reflect your disenchantment with the last two presidential outcomes? Have you simply surrendered all hope of winning the White House? The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is turning to Trump? Really? Although the time left to change course is waning, a strong window of opportunity still remains. President Ronald Reagan worked tirelessly to advance principled conservatism, resulting in a powerful conservative revolution: the Reagan Revolution. This passionate commitment to conservatism has defined the Republican Party for decades. Unfortunately, this storied history of the Republican Party is being threatened and hijacked by a megalomaniac, Donald Trump. The real blame for the meteoric ascendancy of Mr. Trump rests with the 70% of Republicans not voting for him; your failure to coalesce around a single candidate has made him the front-runner.
The conservative alternative to Trump who can win the presidency in 2016 is Senator Marco Rubio. Yes, a number of conservatives have problems with Rubio’s past support of comprehensive immigration reform, although he no longer supports it until the border is secured. Senator Rubio has a proven conservative record, and for those who are looking for a political outsider, remember he was elected as the Tea Party’s favorite in Florida. Rubio isn’t a part of “the establishment.” He represents a new generation of Republicans, a generation vastly expanding the number of new Republican voters. This new generation of Republican voters will run far away from the Party if Trump is the nominee.
Senator Cruz, Governor Kasich and Dr. Carson all claim President Reagan as their conservative idol. The time has come to prove it: suspend your campaigns and support Rubio. Don’t allow your egos to harm the collective good of your Party. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Trump is really a Democrat. He supports abortion, high tariffs, high taxes, neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, universal (single-payer) health care, and other liberal Democrat positions.
Conservatives, do you really trust Mr. Trump to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices? If so, what gives you confidence that a liberal Trump would nominate conservative Supreme Court justices?
If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, the Party will be viewed forever as a joke. People will say, “This is the Party that nominated Donald Trump. Yes, Donald Trump.” Why should voters take the Party serious with Mr. Trump as the nominee?
Anger is not a policy. Mature, principled conservatives transform anger into meaningful, results-oriented policy. Trump transforms anger into rage—not policy. Why aren’t Republican voters demanding him to proffer thorough and thoughtful policies? Pure ignorance. He’s taking advantage of this ignorance too. Trump recently stated, “I love the poorly educated.” He’s playing a huge joke on the Republican Party, and the harsh reality is numerous Republicans are too ignorant to recognize it.
The next President will appoint one to four Supreme Court justices. Should the American people trust this important responsibility to the mind (or lack thereof) of Mr. Trump? No. It would be better for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to win than to have the Republican Party’s legacy destroyed by the recklessness of a President Trump.
Our young American experiment with democracy is only about 230 years old. The American citizens are assessing Republicans’ contribution to our democratic experiment, and they will be asking, “Is Trump the best Republicans can offer to this democratic experiment?” By nominating Trump, the wrong response will be communicated: “yes.”
Wise up, Republicans. You have a candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and a candidate who can attract numerous new and diverse voters to the Republican Party: Senator Marco Rubio. Republicans, return to being conservatives. Nominate a true conservative who can win: Senator Marco Rubio. Aren’t you tired of losing? With Trump, you’ll suffer another 4 or 8 years with a Democrat in the White House. It’s your choice, though.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison