1. The GOP is in worse shape than ever before
This is the myth of those who have not examined the history of a political party that has existed since before the American Civil War. These are high times for Conservatives, times where the Left’s advance under the Obama administration has been rolled back. There have been numerous victories for Conservatives not seen in my own lifetime. We have the most pro-life President in the abortion era. It would be foolish to argue that Trump is the downfall of the GOP but Bush 2 who gave us Roberts, who said that the free market failed, and expanded spending is acceptable. If you are going to be a self-proclaimed purist, then at least take inventory of the George W Bush administration.
The GOP today is not in its worst shape. It’s seen worse days. Teddy Roosevelt was an overt progressive. He was a Democrat by today’s standards, and a Democrat by yesterday’s standards. JFK is more Republican than Teddy Roosevelt. Herbert Hoover was a hardcore progressive who believed that the government should intervene in recessions. He held considerable sway in the GOP and drove the party into the ground for the entirety of the 1930s. Against FDR, the Republicans nominated FDR-lite, Alfred Landon. These were far worse times compared to today for the Republican Party. The GOP today is widely successful at a state level, winning multiple gubernatorial races in Iowa, Florida, and Ohio in 2018. The GOP has its faults but to say that as a whole the GOP is in shambles because of Trump is hyper focusing on the legislative achievements or lack thereof of President Trump, which cannot be blamed, in majority, on the executive branch, in my Constitutional understanding.
Truth: Congress is in worse shape than ever before.
2. Trump’s character disqualifies him
President Trump is a well-documented adulterer, liar, and shrewd, if not entirely shady, businessman. Trump isn’t a Christian. Donald Trump employs religious language; however, I do not believe his use of it is phony, like whenever John Kasich talks about his faith. I believe Trump believes in a sovereign God, but not a sovereign Lord. Righteousness is a biblical construct that Trump does not meet. But, once again, how can we expect the fruits of the Holy Spirit to reside in one who is not a Christian? It’s understandable how lack of Christianity can be a disqualifying factor, for Christians, but if so: how can you justify voting for Mitt Romney? Gary Johnson? It’s easy to hold such private test when quasi-Muslim pantheists like Barrack Obama or corrupt swamp monsters like Hillary Clinton are on the other side. But, being honest, we lower our standards for Republicans as it is.
Now, the question of whether Trump is a good person is fruitless. Being a good person is a social construct. If you ask someone on the right to name a good person, a person on the left will likely disagree. The reverse is likely true as well. One could make a substantial case that the good Trump has done for the country outweighs the bad. If we were to apply a Stannis Baratheon view of justice as it relates to judging a man, would Trump be rewarded more than punished?
A few other notes on Trump’s character are worth mentioning. Since he has been elected, he has not cheated on his wife. He’s not a drinker. He was completely vindicated of hoax Russian collusion allegations. He has donated his Presidential salary. None of his children became perpetual screw-ups like Beto O’Rourke. As a society we need to believe that people can improve over time. Otherwise, what is the point in releasing people from prison after committing serious offenses?
Truth: The ending of Pulp Fiction seems to be an accurate comparison to Trump’s character. Trump is not a “good person” but he’s trying to be.
3. Trump voters were conned
Conman Trump. In order to get elected Donald Trump promised the world, and once elected reneged his promises. The Heritage Foundation reported that 64% of their policy recommendations were accomplished in year one of the Trump Administration. Keep in mind that there were well over 300 policy recommendations and they should not receive equal weight with each other. Thus, this is the shortcoming of statistics.
Trump was very inconsistent with his promises on healthcare, education, and a number of other conservative policy positions during the campaign. I, who did not vote for Trump, believed this to be true at the time. And I don’t begrudge myself or anyone else who believed this at the time. They were in their rights to act on their skepticism.
Fast forward, there are some major policy points Trump has not accomplished. Obamacare was not repealed. The border wall is behind schedule. But the President is not Congress. These two branches are separated. Candidates promise legislative accomplishments. Foolish are you who believe that a President can pass bills. Trump’s first healthcare battle was a confusing disaster. But Congress refused to repeal Obamacare even with a lightweight replacement. Congress refused to fund a border wall. Mitch McConnell sucks. Paul Ryan was even worse.
Yet Trump managed to repeal the Obamacare mandate which, for now, seems to be the legal undoing of the ACA. Trump declared a national emergency to fight for a wall. He is fighting more for Conservative agenda than most Republicans in the swamp, and certainly more than any President with Bush in their name. If we want to talk about reneged promises, the “Read my lips: no new tax promise” destroyed George H W Bush’s reelection campaign. That’s a broken promise and a con. Trump may have underdelivered on a number of promises, but he has not shattered them.
Truth: The only people conned were people with unrealistic expectations.
4. Republicans are better off replacing Trump in 2020
I highly doubt that dumping Trump in the primaries is a winning strategy in the general. Historically speaking, incumbents win. Trump showed Republicans in 2016 that they can run on culture issues and win, something the establishment said could not be done. Trump ran on immigration. The immigration issue isn’t getting better, but the Democrats aren’t exactly reasonable on the issue. Their rhetoric wins the day in California unless Trump makes them uncomfortable enough to change, but it does not win in Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin. Another historical trend. Every President won reelection by a larger margin except one. That one was Obama against a Republican who did not try. Therefore it’s should not be considered impossible for Trump to win 2020 by a larger margin. The Democrats are poised to run a socialist and Trump has, in that regard, stepped up his anti-socialist game. This is where the Trump campaign wants to fight. When it comes to American elections, incumbents win. This is true over 90% of the time in federal elections.
Now there have been considerations of Nikki Haley, Allen West, or Justin Amash. But Nikki Haley is untested in the swamp, and seems more akin to a Marco Rubio than a Ben Shapiro, though we can hope this is untrue. The latter two don’t seem to have the capacity to run a campaign, Justin Amash doesn’t know how to turn opponents into allies. How can he win? It’s delusional. Nikki Haley seems most formidable in a general, but her conservatism is dubious. She won’t be a culture warrior like a Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or even a Dan Crenshaw.
One last thing we must consider is the coalition that Trump built in 2016. This coalition may have come at a cost, but to forgo Trump in 2020 would cause resentment among Trump supporters likely to a greater number than voters gained by changing course, even if it were a Nikki Haley. After all a number of Never-Trumpers outed themselves as being no more than progressive neocons (cough) Bill Kristol and Rick Wilson.
Truth: Trump has the highest odds for Republicans in 2020
5. The Republican Party will be better once Trump is gone
This is a stretch. Trump has failed to push GOP establishments who want nothing more than cheap labor and corporatist progressive policies. This lie requires you to forget the GOP Civil War Conservatives wrote about for years. The war is quiet with Trump in office. It will not stay quiet when he’s gone. The Conservatives will once again battle the Establishment for every seat; this hasn’t changed even with Trump. But the Establishment is quiet about it. Without Trump, they will vocalize their disdain for Conservatives, similar to how they blamed Conservatives for Mitt Romney’s pathetic showing in 2012 and subsequently sacked the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race with a much more winnable candidate than what the GOP ran with in 2017, whose campaign could not or did not uncover blackface yearbook photos of Ralph Northam, instead some little known publication called Big League Politics broke the story. Virginia is simply one example.
With Trump, Conservatives have consolidated, gaining seats within Congress. Dan Crenshaw, Debbie Lesko, Chip Roy, the surprising Josh Hawley, and even more surprising Mike Braun, have all been solid additions to the movement in Congress from the 2018 midterms. There’s no more John McCain but there is a Mitt Romney. The GOP civil war is ongoing, but this next phase, however high you would number it, will have another round of new faces fighting under Mitch McConnell and fighting under the Conservative grassroots banner. The Establishment will strike back as the Empire did in Star Wars. Trump’s presence delays their offensive. As long as Fox News is the number one news source for Republicans, Republicans are focused on Fox News when OANN, Daily Wire, BlazeTV and other Conservatives outlets are all more Conservative, the Conservative side of this ideological war is still at a disadvantage. Because it’s not good enough to be anti-Democrat. And that’s all Fox News is. The Right needs to be Conservative. Maybe this lie is true, but it’s not a guarantee. A lot can happen in 2 or 6 years.
Truth: Conservatives will continually have to fight tooth and nail for the soul of the GOP.
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