The Republican Party is changing. That’s what I’ve been told by all the experts in all the official establishment organizations. Before, I did not give them much credence, especially in Massachusetts. After all, it’s hard to take seriously people proclaiming their vision – of what amounts to a big government, socially liberal Republican Party indistinguishable from the left – when their example of the “right” kind of Republican party stagnates at 10% registration, can’t sustain a gubernatorial veto, and said Governor won’t even stand up for the 2nd Amendment, public safety, or even lower taxes without running it by Maura Healey, Stan Rosenberg, and Bob DeLeo first.
Change I Can Believe In:
After Cleveland I’ll have to eat my words. The Republican Party IS changing, though I happily confess in a direction that neither they want, nor I considered possible. When I surveyed my Facebook feed, people pulled a lot of important policy points away from Trump’s nomination speech. Some thought it was most important he acknowledged the attack on the LGBT community in Orlando, and everyone applauded.
For me personally, it was Trump’s vow to abolish the Johnson Amendment that has been chilling the speech of conservative (and only conservative) churches for a long time. It was an entirely unexpected element and convinced me that Trump is surrounding himself with people who get it.
Let me tie these two things together, because in the establishment way of thinking these two things are an impossible contradiction. Letting churches teach about sin and how their congregation’s political choices stack up against it in the same country that protects the freedom to organize and associate around your sexual orientation? In the old way of thinking for the one to gain, the other must lose. Trump broke that barrier. Trump allows everyone to say “We’re not your enemy. We need to unite to Make America Great Again!”
The Singular-ness of Trump’s Achievement:
And really, only Trump could make that possible for reasons I’ll explain:
Trump is not a traditional Republican. He did not come from the ranks of the activists like Ted Cruz or from the halls of entrenched political families like Jeb Bush. By his own acknowledgement he has been a businessman playing both sides of the aisle to maintain a functioning corporate enterprise. All this was brought out against him in the primary, including his donations to major Democrats. The bottom line: By definition Trump is a political centrist, not a conservative ideologue or a liberal firebrand. Undoubtedly he has a healthy ego – kind of like, uh, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush. I can speculate it may have been his ego that pushed him to enter the race, which is not the most noble reason around to run for president. What I will acknowledge is that Trump has grown as a candidate. Trump has taken the opportunities to meet every major part of the party, from the conservative activists at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies to the National Rifle Association and the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Trump’s personal history is rocky, and yet for all his peccadilloes and failings, the convention in Cleveland was highlighted primarily by all his children who have become able and capable adults. Call it The Trump Show if you like, for a guy who has supposedly done nothing but wronged his family with dumb statements and personal embarrassments, his children all seem to have his back.
Take it for what it is, if Trump has done one thing well it is actually listen to the people who make up the Republican Party. Those people want to reform the establishment. Those people want an America that enforces its laws, which we believe are right and just. Those people want real, actionable liberty on every front, and they want to be able to reject ideologies hostile to liberty and Western Civilization like Shariah law.
Breaking the Old Dichotomy:
So no wonder the people screaming the loudest against Trump have been the principal actors maintaining the last fight, represented by “official conservatism” like National Review and passive-aggressive establishmentarian malice like Mitt Romney. I supported Ted Cruz in the primary. I saw him up at The Barn in Andover very early in the primary season, and watching him interact with the crowd I could tell he truly, passionately wanted to unite the party under his banner. I don’t quite know what to make of his non-endorsement speech. Politics ain’t beanbag – just look at the insults John Adams and Thomas Jefferson slung at each other – and I do think the case needed to be made that parties are bigger than the men that lead them. I still think that conservative movement is a necessary part of leading The Republican Party down the path to a great civilization instead of a declining one, and I will continue to support that mission as a loyal Republican. Speaking of loyalty, the RNC’s loyalty pledge superceded the call of the Republican Party bylaws to do no harm, and every candidate including Trump broke it at some point. Mentioning that now though just seems small-minded.
Conclusion: These Are the Choices:
The general election is upon us. Far from being doomed, I think a real conservative movement that values liberty for all is achievable. The Libertarian Ticket is comprised of a guy who thinks conscience rights are superseded by government morality – you WILL have your labor compelled if government’s official social imperatives demand it – and Bill Weld, the guy who destroyed the Massachusetts Republican Party, backstabbed the Libertarians, and not surprisingly is Governor Baker’s model for governance inside and outside of party politics. What little argument the Libertarians have is that Trump’s agenda is too protectionist, but by the same token I find nothing so sacred about NAFTA that it can’t be revisited. Trade imbalance and foreign currency manipulation are problems that ought to be addressed, and since Trump does not have legislative authority he is merely a catalyst for that very necessary discussion. We always joke that Republicans can’t hold huge rallies because we all have jobs. We ought to re-cast ourselves as the party of the working man and woman, because we already are.
Ultimately there’s No Liberty to be found in the Libertarians, and we just got concrete proof the DNC rigged the system against Bernie Sanders. Therefore, the Democratic Party is Not Democratic. So the Republicans are the only party remaining that is honest about what they promise: A Republic, if you can keep it.
Vote Your Conscience. Vote for Liberty. Vote for Donald Trump.