2016 Republican Presidential Candidates

Republicans, Does Conservatism Matter Anymore?

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


Republicans Should Overwhelmingly and Quickly Reject Donald Trump

Donald Trump

(Photo Credit: Vice)

If Republicans are serious about taking the White House back in 2016, they must make it clear quickly by demonstrating an overwhelming rejection of Donald Trump. Although Dr. Ben Carson is now the leading Republican presidential candidate, and Senator Marco Rubio is the leading Republican presidential establishment candidate, 42% of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will inevitably be the Republican presidential nominee. The reality is Donald Trump will lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton. Trump will perform horribly with Hispanics, women and independent voters. While “Make America Great Again” is a great campaign slogan, it’s not enough to win the presidency in 2016. Mr. Trump is a talented entertainer and businessman but we’ve suffered from enough cruel comedy during President Obama’s tenure in office. Republicans need to coalesce really soon around a candidate who can win. Trump is simply not the right answer.

For the most part, Mr. Trump offers only anger and name-calling. Anger and name-calling are not policies. Yes, Americans should be angry about the state our nation right now. It doesn’t take being loud and offensive to evince that anger. How about presenting a detailed comprehensive plan that reveals how you will bring substantive reform to America? The American people understand we’re facing serious challenges and problems, including increasing national security threats, a struggling economy, a broken immigration system, and ridiculous healthcare costs. The challenges and problems we’re experiencing demand competent and proven leadership. While competent and proven leadership does not have to come from someone with political experience, of course, Republicans need to support a candidate who is providing detailed solutions to the challenges and problems America confronts. In President Obama, we’ve had an opportunity to see the harsh consequences of electing someone not ready to lead. Republican presidential candidates who aren’t focused on detailed solutions to America’s challenges and problems aren’t ready to lead.

Being an effective President of the United States isn’t about who has the best personality or who has the best one-liners. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the person who is best for the job may just be boring and soft-spoken but has an undying commitment to policy matters. Do you really see Donald Trump as a person with a real commitment to policy matters? To this point, he’s not given us any reason to believe he’s devoted to policy. He’s too focused on polls, attacking other Republican presidential candidates, and making the most outrageous statements possible to garner media attention. With this being the case, how can Republicans persuade the American people they’re serious about the White House if they elect Mr. Trump as their presidential nominee?

It’s time for Republican voters and the Republican Party to eliminate the unnecessary division between establishment and anti-establishment; this is complete foolishness. While the division within the Party’s ranks constantly increases, a Democrat continues to occupy the White House. The time has come to narrow down the list of Republican presidential candidates to Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie, Governor John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. How serious are you really about electing a Republican for President in 2016? If you’re really serious, then you will admit that Trump cannot win the White House in 2016.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison