Bill Kristol at 2011 CPAC Florida
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Former Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) pledged to back the Democratic nominates even if it’s socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Walsh is the latest in many prominent #NeverTrump Republicans to declare that he’ll back the Democratic nominee. Former Dan Quayle Advisor Bill Kristol recently proclaimed, “… But for the time being, one has to say: We are all Democrats now.”  

Walsh, Kristol, and many other #NeverTrump conservative leaders have been willing to take a hard stand in opposing President Trump’s many misdeeds and his debasing of American institutions. I respect that. However, I disagree with backing the Democrats for the following four reasons. 

1) Outsourcing Opposition to Trump Has Failed 

Many of us have decided against remaining in the GOP. I’ve been saying our country needs a new political party for some time. #NeverTrump leaders like Kristol hung onto the GOP label so they could undermine the president and criticize the president as members of the president’s party. They didn’t seek to wrest control of positions within State and Federal parties. They just saw to use the affiliation to give credence to their criticisms with groups like Republicans for the Rule of Law. 

Republicans for the Rule of Law began as an effort to push the Mueller Investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. Trump-opposing Republicans like Kristol saw the Mueller investigation as the vehicle that dispose of Trump or at least weaken him to the point that a primary challenge might have a chance. This failed mainly due to the over-hyping of potential findings by Mueller. The Mueller investigation may have found several possible obstructions of justice, but it couldn’t match the over the top hype that Trump was directly working for the Kremlin.

Also, Trump-skeptical Republican leaders began to back Democrats. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie took a Trump-like turn when running for Governor of Virginia, engaging in a healthy amount of race-baiting in the 2017 Virginia Governor’s race, and Kristol backed his opponent. Trump critics like columnist George Will urged for voters to hand control of Congress to the Democrats. Both strategies “succeeded” as Ralph Northam was elected Governor of Virginia, and Democrats took the House. 

On the plus side, House Democrats have made efforts to hold the president accountable.  

However, their partisan motives undermined the credibility of their investigations. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) took the lead on impeaching President Trump. Schiff was skating on thin ice credibility-wise due to his overselling of the Mueller and Russia investigations. Even many conservatives who favored impeachment thought the Democrats flawed processed doomed it. The Democrats botched the investigation of Ukraine due to a politically driven “Impeachment by Christmas” timeframe. This led to an impeachment case whose only hope of success was Republican Senators having a sense of honor and duty that exceeded House Democrats. Of course, Senate Republicans showed they didn’t. 

Also, the Democrats’ political gains have driven more conservatives into the arms of Trump. Ralph Northam pushed a radical pro-abortion agenda that countenanced infanticide despite being touted as a moderate. With the new Democratic Majority in the House, we saw the rise of the radical squad of four far-left Democratic Congresswomen. Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed helpless to reign them in. Pelosi has refused to stand up Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over Omar’s bigotry. Stopantisemetism.org named Omar Anti-Semite of the Year. Well done, House Democrats, and those who helped bring you to power. 

For three years, those on the right who opposed Trump have spent their influence on a strategy that leaves challenging Trump to prosecutors and Democrats. It’s time to ask that classic Doctor Phil question: “How’s that working for you?” 

2) The Democrats are Likely to Nominate a Trump-like Candidate 

Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won the popular vote in Iowa and New Hampshire. However, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg won more delegates and therefore won the Iowa caucus. Former Vice-President Joe Biden’s campaign is on life support as he finished fourth and fifth in the first two contests. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is fading, and neither Buttigieg nor Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has jumped into the lead anywhere based on their early state performances. The most likely candidate to stop Sanders is a late entry, billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

At present, there’s an eighty percent chance the Democratic nominee will be either Bloomberg or Sanders. Both candidates are comparable to Trump in their own ways.

The definition of a race between Trump and Bloomberg is as follows: One candidate is a wealthy New York oligarch with authoritarian tendencies, a history of racially insensitive remarksproblems respecting women, and who defended Russia’s invasion of the Crimea. The other candidate is Donald Trump.  

One of Bloomberg’s supporters said, at an event this weekend, that she was aware of his issues with women, but he should be given a “bye” because the alternative is four more years of Trump. Republicans used the same argument in 2016 to back Trump.

Sanders has a long history of backing authoritarian regimes in places like Cuba and Nicaragua. He even spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. Many #NeverTrumpers have been shocked at the hatefulness of Trump-supporting groups like Turning Point USA, as well as the many racist and alt-right groups that embraced Trump. Bernie’s most extreme backers, known as Bernie Bros, are just as bad.  

You can make an argument over whether Trump is worse than either candidate. However, that is a debate over degrees, not a debate over kind. If you’re concerned by the type of person Donald Trump is, Michael Bloomberg is the same kind of person. If you’re worried about the type of anger and hatred that Trump inspires in others, Sanders is the same kind of candidate. Supporting either Bloomberg or Sanders in the name of getting rid of Trump damages the credibility of anti-Trump conservatives.

3) Democrats are Unlikely to Beat Trump 

With two men who are older than the president being the Democratic frontrunners, President Trump’s re-election chances look good. The best opportunity for either Bloomberg or Sanders to win is an economic collapse or foreign policy fiasco. Barring that, with prosperity at home and relative piece abroad, I see little chance that the country will vote for either Bloomberg or Sanders. 

So Walsh and Kristol are not only asking Trump-opposing conservatives to compromise our values and our credibility to stop Trump, they’re asking us to do it in what’s most likely a doomed effort. While there’s an 80 percent chance that Bloomberg or Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, there’s a 20 percent chance that someone else does. Biden may make a comeback. All those editorial board endorsements could do more for Amy Klobuchar than they did for John Kasich four years ago. A brokered convention might nominate Michelle Obama even though she doesn’t want to be president. These would still not be great outcomes, but at least they wouldn’t be bad in the same way Trump is. Kristol and others are trying to influence the Democrats to such a result.

It was equally possible after Donald Trump won three of the first four contests in 2016, that #NeverTrump Republicans could stop Trump. In the case of 2016, I felt obliged to try to save my then-party from Donald Trump against all the odds. As an independent, it’s not my job to protect the Democrats from themselves, and efforts to do so are likely pointless.

4) America Needs Positive Change 

To some, Donald Trump’s political career is the white whale; they are determined to kill at all costs. However, Trump is only a symptom of much larger problems in American politics. Voting for either Trump or his opponent will only make these problems worse. Spending the next eight months bickering over who would make America worse is like debating which venomous snake you want to bite you.  

In his famous “Give Me Liberty” speech, Patrick Henry said the battle didn’t belong only to the strong, but to “the vigilant, the active, the brave.” America needs a conservative Independent challenger to inspire voters to reject all venomous partisans. An excellent independent showing could serve as the foundation of a new major party and would be far healthier than trying to pick which of two evils is worth supporting.  

1 comment
  1. I don’t consider fidelity to Donald Trump as a measure of conservatism (obviously), but I don’t think either Walsh or Kristol can still accurately be considered conservative. Moderate perhaps, but conservative no. They both have jettisoned their principles over their opposition to Trump which is just as bad as jettisoning them over loyalty to him.

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