95% of the time, I completely agree with conservative radio host Erick Erickson. I disagreed when he chose not to endorse Ted Cruz over Marco Rubio early enough to make a difference. Now that I think of it, that may be the only time I disagreed with him until now.
The #NeverTrump movement that he essentially started is even more righteous today than it was before Donald Trump was the presumptive nominee. We failed to stop the party from laying forth an imbecile to go up against the worst Democratic candidate in three decades, but the fight cannot end. On that, I agree with Erickson. On this particular methodology that he proposed, I have to object.
He would have the delegates choose to unbind themselves. They have the power and could select a different nominee at the convention even if Trump gets to 1,237. It would require some wrangling of the rules, but as a private organization, there are definitely ways to make it happen. Short of a complete meltdown by Trump before the convention, the coup that Erickson proposes is the only way to prevent the most disastrous nomination choice in modern history.
“Stealing” the nomination would do one thing: prevent Trump from being the Republican nominee. That’s it. Hillary Clinton would likely win the election unless she has her own career-ending scandal, something that she’s miraculously been able to avoid for decades. The Republicans would suffer from a retribution vote; we would still lose the House, Senate, and some governors. Then, there’s the worst case scenario: Trump the victor would become Trump the victim and could very possibly mount the first successful 3rd-party win.
In other words, the short-term results of a Trump nomination would be nearly identical to the effects of a coup against him. The difference would be that conservatives would be blamed in the coup scenario and regardless of what happens in the general election, the Establishment will be in firm control of the party by 2020 if it even still exists at that point.
Believe me, I understand Erickson’s desperation. I will not be voting for Trump. I will not be voting for Clinton. I am very hopeful of a third-party conservative, but based upon the fact that Erickson is very likely talking to other pundits about that very option, his call to play the delegate power card is troubling. It may mean that a third-party candidate is not materializing. It may mean that a weak third-party candidate like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush is being discussed. It may mean that Ben Sasse isn’t resonating, J.C. Watts isn’t biting, and Tom Coburn isn’t physically ready.
Hopefully, this is just Erickson preparing plan C, but if it’s the only plan available, I can’t support it. A delegate play would betray the last semblance of trust that the people have in the process. It would accelerate the collapse of the party while eliminating any potential for a conservative rebound in 2020.
I’m not nearly as connected as Erickson but I do know this: if the party is to burn down, it cannot be the conservatives lighting the match. We need to maintain faith in God’s plan which means that we must continue to fight as we’re compelled. Right now, I’m compelled to explore every option based upon a long-term perspective. The fear that we will not survive as a country long-term is real, but the Republican party has failed by nominating Trump. Now, we have to prepare the most secure safety net that we can in order to catch the remnants of the party and the country after the fall that is sure to come.
We should fight Trump AND Clinton until one is eliminated. Then, we must do everything we can to defend the Constitution and the nation if one of them sits in the White House. What we cannot do is participate in the destruction. We must be part of the solution rather than creating a different type of problem.