Why True Conservatives Should Never Be “Never Trump”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The late, great William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review, once advised his fellow conservatives that when deciding on the next president, they should choose the “most right, viable candidate who could win.” Those words – originally spoken in 1967 – are especially fitting for 2016, given how much is at stake this election cycle, and moreover, the relative unorthodox nature of the populist-conservatism Donald Trump has brought to the ticket.

Though I understand many conservatives have been turned off by his rhetoric, Trump has sworn to rollback the Obama agenda of the past eight years — repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, rebuild our military, combat political correctness, instate an across-the-board tax cut, and finally secure our borders.

Even the most alienated Republicans should understand that a gamble on Trump would be substantially more beneficial than an expansion of the same, tired policies of the last eight years.

Though I would argue both major parties are on perilous trajectories that demand serious change if they wish to remain viable moving forward amid major demographic and cultural shifts countrywide, the Grand Old Party has just one election left to prove itself the genuine standard-bearer of ideological conservatism, or risk being completely delegitimized by the tidal forces of the leftism that has rapidly gutted American traditionalism down to a fringe movement, nearly alien to the next generation of Americans.

Woefully, it seems the GOP is headed on the very direction that will guarantee its obsolescence if it continues to wage a crusade against its own candidate for president, doing everything it can to derail his campaign – evidenced by the slew of defectors who jumped ship upon the release of the lewd Trump “hot-mic” video, which further tarnished his image in wake of the string of accusations in the ensuing week made by women with ties to the billionaire over the years who charged him with abuse.

That is not to say Trump’s words should go without punishment, nor is it wrong that many female supports of Trump have been subsequently turned off by the condescending remarks. But the calculated response by the “#NeverTrump” faction of the Republican Party, many of whom have reneged their support for Trump at a critical point in the election cycle to ensure their own chance of electoral victory, should be sickening to any true conservative. If Hillary Clinton’s brand of liberalism is allowed to make its way into the oval office, traditional American conservatism will have become rendered beyond reproach, irrevocably tarnished to the point of being an extinct species.

Clinton envisions the United States as a borderless, cosmopolitan, and in some ways, egalitarian society that will engineer to promulgate the politically correct “new left” which has blossomed at the university level throughout the Obama years and has since extended further into the mainstream. Moreover, her dogmatic adherence to the principles of leftist globalism will certainly imperil the United States’ international standing, which is especially disconcerting at a time in which Russia has worked to effectively reestablish the Cold War paradigm over the last couple of years.

And unlike her predecessor, Clinton will have a chance to mold one of the most liberal Supreme Courts in generations. This will all but promise that any bills signed into law go uncontested, providing her with added flexibility that occasionally dogged some of Obama’s crowning achievements – e.g., the Affordable Care Act – which was twice upheld on two separate cases by narrow 5-4 margins in favor by the Court.

As such, those Republicans who rationalize that they can belabor four years of Clinton, only to nominate a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan come 2020 are positively mistaken if they believe the long term interests of the nation would be better served with a Court that will almost guarantee liberal outcomes on the issues conservatives feel are increasingly under attack – the Second Amendment, right to life, and religious liberty.

Conservatism has been deeply marginalized in this country since Obama took office, and to some, an outsider like Trump as the Republican nominee vindicates the divide between the GOP establishment and general populace. For better or worse, Trump is the only man who can feasibly restore some vigor, given his anti-establishment reputation, into a futile conservative movement at a point in time when Americans, though divided on many issues, are overwhelmingly united in their belief that we’re quickly headed in the wrong direction

In a country rapidly headed left, there is little evidence a gradual revolution akin to what prompted the Reagan revolution from the radical 1960s will reincarnate out of an American public as fragmented as it is today. If conservatives do not vote for Donald Trump, the only candidate who can feasibly swing the pendulum to their favor, they are morally complicit in whatever direction Clinton chooses to steer this country.

About the Author

Paul Ingrassia
Paul Ingrassia (FCRH '17) is enrolled in the interdisciplinary mathematics & economics major on a pre-law track. He also hopes to complete a minor in political science. Paul enjoys writing on a number of subjects including presidential politics, American conservatism, and issues pertaining to economics and public policy. Contact Paul at pingrassia2@fordham.edu.