Should Conservatives Mount a Third Party Challenge?

It certainly has been a subject on many minds of late – and The Resurgent provides five reasons for doing so. I’ll concentrate on their first reason:

A conservative third party will lay out the principles of the conservative movement of the future – a new Sharon Statement of non-negotiables.

Not only would a third party give us a candidate to rally around, but it would also give us a platform. With the virtual implosion of the “establishment,” this is the opportunity for conservatives to decide what principles and policies are truly important to the cause, and build a constitutional restorationist party platform. Additionally, like the Against Trump issue of National Review, it would provide a line in the sand for future historians, when liberals begin the inevitable attempt to sling the albatross of Trump’s misdeeds around conservatives’ necks.

That last bit would be the most important – not having Trump tagged as a Conservative, and thus splattering his muck on Conservatism. But it is already too late for that – Trump won the nomination of the Republican Party; the party of Conservatism in the public mind. We’ve already got Trump and will just have to deal with his effects going forward. But even supposing we could erase from the public mind the connection between Trump and Conservatism in the face of certain efforts by the left and their MSM megaphone to tie all Conservatism to Trump from now until the crack of doom, it would only work if such a Third Party effort scored at least 10-20% of the vote and was on enough State ballots to have a theoretical possibility of getting to 270 electoral votes…and that boat has already sailed, I think. It is just too late in the game – we’d need at least many hundreds of millions of dollars right away and an organization already in place to secure ballot access. It just isn’t going to happen. Making an ill-funded effort now would just make us, at best, spoilers in a couple States and if we wound up with less than 2% of the vote, it would work out to a repudiation of Conservatism, as a whole.

I’m going to stick with my views already expressed. For 2016, Conservatives will just have to vote their conscience and let the electoral chips fall where they may. Vote for Trump, vote for one of the existing Third Party choices, leave that part blank or cast a vote for Clinton. Take your pick – none of them are good options. In the end, you’ll really just be deciding which is least-bad. For 2017 and beyond, however, things could be different – if Conservatism shakes off the entirety of our corrupt, decaying Progressive system and strikes out on a new path to a Conservative, Constitutional Republic.

The failure of the #NeverTrump movement to stop Trump in the GOP shows how very difficult it is to change a system from within. It was about an 80 year process of slow infiltration by Progressives before the United States became a fully Progressive nation in policy. But for them, it was easy – they were trying to get into government to make it larger and more powerful. We, on the other hand, would like to get into government to make it smaller and less powerful…given this, no one who is currently deeply involved in government – in the overall system, given how deep government reaches into life these days – will just let us do that. We’ll be fought, step by step, all the way. A Progressive can co-opt a Conservative by offering him a job in Big Government…how can we co-opt a Progressive? We’re proposing to throw him out on his ear and force him to get a job in the productive economy where his pay and promotions will be based upon merit.

And this is why I think that Conservatism needs to stand outside the system – vigorously criticizing it, explaining the alternatives and, really, just waiting for the whole thing to collapse. And it will collapse. There is absolutely no doubt about that – you can’t sustain a civilization on debt, fake money and corruption, large and small. It just doesn’t work, folks. It is true that the collapse might entirely sweep the United States away, but I doubt it – and, at all events, Conservatism should proceed on the assumption that while the collapse will be bad, it won’t be bad enough to cause a complete break up of the Union. Whether Trump wins or loses, a Conservative party should be formed in 2017 – a formal break with the status quo and an insistence that the whole system is rotten to the core. We’ll have no part of it – no part, that is, in destroying the United States. But here we are, waiting for the American people to come around to our views – and the force of circumstance will eventually compel them to do so. Let the left be married to their own lousy creation – let a Conservative party demonstrate that the very “solutions” proposed by the Progressives are the reasons for our national collapse. And then reap the electoral reward when things go smash and we are an alternative absolutely innocent of causing the smash.

Anyway, that is how I view it – it is not a time to tilt at windmills with a Third Party effort in 2016. If we wanted to do that, we should have started in 2015, when we saw that the GOP – massively rewarded by us with power after the 2014 mid-terms – utterly failed to fight for what we believe. We hung around, sure that among our great crop of Conservative candidates, one would emerge as the 2016 GOP nominee – and then we’d get our way. Well, it didn’t work out like that. And, in hindsight, maybe it never was going to work out that way – after all, why would people like Graham, Jeb and Kasich even get into the race, if this was the Conservative Moment? Trump just happened to come along and wallop them, but suppose Trump hadn’t come along…how much you want to bet we’d be getting ready to nominate Jeb or Kasich at this point?

We’re already outsiders, my friends. We have no friends in there – so, let’s step outside and be ourselves. Let’s found a Conservative Party in 2017 – and even if we ultimately fail, at least we would fail being completely ourselves, rather than failing because others used us for cover as they continued the Progressive destruction of our nation.

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34 thoughts on “Should Conservatives Mount a Third Party Challenge?

  1. Retired Spook May 11, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    how can we co-opt a Progressive?

    We could just shoot them!

  2. Amazona May 11, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Your thread post illustrates the two things that I think define the problems we are now facing, as conservatives. One is the success of Semantic Infiltration, and one is Tunnel Vision. The combination leads to what I call Funnel Vision—where you end up after believing something just because it has been said often enough and becoming focused on a single idea, which then funnels you into a specific belief.

    “But it is already too late for that – Trump won the nomination of the Republican Party…”

    No, he didn’t. I don’t know if you don’t read what I post, or just dismiss it. But the fact is, and this IS a fact, the Republican Party makes all the decisions about how to nominate. It is not bound by the votes in the primaries. No one seems to know the purpose of the primaries—-to actually take the temperature of the party members to see how they are leaning, to create the illusion that they actually have a say in the decision, whatever.

    Before the convention there will be meetings with delegates, and at that time any rule be thrown out, modified, created, etc. I posted this on the 8th:

    “The party has most commonly nominated a “compromise” candidate – not the one who entered with the most delegates:
    1860 – Abraham Lincoln won (entered with 22% of the delegates)
    1876 – Rutherford Hayes (8%)
    1880 – James Garfield (entered with no delegates)
    1884 – James Blaine (41%)
    1888 – Benjamin Harrison (10%)
    1916 – Charles Hughes (25%)
    1920 – Warren Harding (6.7%)
    1948 – Wendell Willkie (11%)
    1952 – Dwight Eisenhower (26%)”

    Here we might take a minute to examine why we are so convinced that a majority of delegates going into the convention is a guarantee that that person is going to be the nominee. Why do we think that? Because we are constantly told so, that’s why. Who tells us this? Mostly the Complicit Agenda Media, but then it gets repeated over and over even by conservatives until it takes on a life of its own—Semantic Infiltration.

    The next “Why?” is “why do the media do this?” The best answer to that is just “duh”. They WANT Trump to be the nominee. He might surprise them by doing well, he might not be doing well but they tell us he is so we will not object to him, but in any case the Complicit Agenda Media never do anything without an ulterior motive, and if anyone can uncover one of those motives that was advancement of the Conservative Movement I would like to hear about it.

    “The failure of the #NeverTrump movement to stop Trump in the GOP shows how very difficult it is to change a system from within.”

    This is based on looking at a static snapshot of today, right this minute. The snapshot consists of what we know, what we think we know but can’t confirm so it is kind of in the what we know category but with an asterisk, what we hear but view with skepticism, and a whole lot of what we don’t know at all. The thing is, we don’t know if Trump is “stopped” or not, because we don’t know what the GOP is going to do.

    What we need to be doing is a version of the big board we see in crime shows, where the super-cops have all these post-its on the board and then move them around as things change during the investigation.

    I think IF Trump is the actual nominee at the convention, and IF the new polls are right when they say he is gaining on or even outscoring Hillary, and IF he can stop being the Solfia of politics and figure out how to buffer the voices in his head instead of blurting out what they tell him, the best thing to do would work to get him elected.

    IF IF IF IF IF

    I agree that based on past experience the GOP will probably go with the flow and nominate Trump. But they might not. We just don’t know what is being discussed behind closed doors. They don’t have to. Right this minute they have plenty of good reasons for not nominating him—the party does not stand for ruling from the Oval Office by Executive Orders if the president can’t get Congress to enact what he wants, the party doesn’t stand for ordering our military to kill the families of combatants, etc. The old fear that he might run as a third party candidate was quite scary when it sent the message that THIS would split the party. Faced with a party that is already split, combined with the need to basically adopt principles and policies that are antithetical to everything the party has claimed to stand for if it nominates Trump, that threat isn’t as daunting as it used to be.

    There is just too much we don’t know right now to even come close to making a decision. We don’t know how far off the rails Trump is going to go. In less than a week he has already come out in favor of raising the minimum wage, run backwards on his tax plan, and said HE would change the party stance on abortion. Who knows how far off the reservation he is going to go in the next few weeks?

    We don’t know if it is a fact that more than half of those who are planning to vote for Hillary don’t like her but will vote for her JUST to defeat Trump. If that is true, or even partly true, this is something that would have to be evaluated—would removing Trump remove a lot of Hillary votes? We just don’t know yet. We don’t know if he is really gaining on her.

    But I think we absolutely HAVE to stop drinking the KoolAid and announcing, over and over again, that Trump is the nominee, it is a done deal, and because of that we have to line up behind him.

  3. Amazona May 11, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    “…it would only work if such a Third Party effort scored at least 10-20% of the vote and was on enough State ballots to have a theoretical possibility of getting to 270 electoral votes..”

    Wrong. It would work if this third party merely kept both Trump and Hillary from getting a majority of the Electoral College votes. It would not be a guarantee of victory, as the final result would be decided in the House of Representatives, but at that point Hillary would stand a very very very slight hell-freezing-over chance, given the makeup of the House.

    At that point it would be Trump vs The Conservative. If Trump is the GOP nominee and The Conservative is a new-party candidate, the Republicans in the House would probably vote with the party and Trump would be the president. If the GOP does not nominate Trump, and runs its own Conservative candidate, and the vote ends up in the House, party loyalty would probably give the election to him or her.

    Tunnel Vision/Funnel Vision

    • M. Noonan May 12, 2016 / 12:06 am

      That is the argument some are making – and it is a valid argument. I just happen to think it incorrect. I worry that such an effort would be not just a failure to get our guy elected (which everyone concedes would be the most likely outcome), but that Conservatism, as a thing, would appear vindictive and absurd in the public mind. Politics is the art of the possible and even absurd views, if they are held by enough people, cannot lightly be set aside.

      But even to get enough Electoral Votes to throw it to the House would take a huge amount of money and a very strong organization all set to go – and it should have got going about two months ago. I don’t think that in purely logistic terms it can be accomplished at this late a date.

      • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 8:37 am

        “But even to get enough Electoral Votes to throw it to the House would take a huge amount of money and a very strong organization all set to go – and it should have got going about two months ago. I don’t think that in purely logistic terms it can be accomplished at this late a date.”

        Which is precisely why I think the best if not only chance would be to do what I keep suggesting, and have the GOP nominate someone other than Trump so he, the disruptor, would be the one who has to put together a third party effort and get it funded, while the conservative candidate would have the backing of the already-existing, already-funded, infrastructure-intact Republican Party. It is, I believe, “…a very strong organization all set to go..” and it has “…a huge amount of money…”

        Perhaps I should have made that clear a few posts ago.

        Oh, right………. 😉

      • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 8:39 am

        Any time we conclude that standing up for what is right and having the courage of our convictions is “vindictive” and, worse, “absurd” we might as well pack it in and walk off the field.

        I thank God the Founders didn’t have that attitude when they staked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on their convictions.

  4. dbschmidt May 11, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Due to Amendment 12 or 13 (can’t remember right now) — if the it goes to House to decide they can only choose from the top three candidates by number of votes attained that ran for President that cycle. Not good.

    It is and has been a two-party system for a reason (I will look up) and is the same reason / overtake between the Republicans and Whigs. We need to reclaim our party and not think 3rd rail.

    Just my humble opinion.

    • Amazona May 11, 2016 / 11:22 pm

      ” If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote.”

      By my count, 33 states have more Republican Representatives than Democrat Representatives and three are tied with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. That means that if a state’s single vote for the presidency is decided by a majority of its members of the House of Representatives, and all Republican-led states decline to vote for the Democrat candidate, those 33 votes will be split between the other two parties, and a tossup with the three states with equal R/D numbers. Assuming some party pressure to vote according to party loyalty, these votes are most likely to go to the Republican candidate, rather than the third party candidate.

      Which is why, if there is a strong feeling that there MUST be a third party candidate, based on the evolution of the campaign showing Trump to be increasingly erratic, increasingly espousing policies that are not consistent with stated Republican policies, etc. then the logical route would be for the GOP itself to nominate someone else than Trump and let HIM mount a third party candidacy, outside the GOP.

      This would, BTW, be taking back the party. It would require the party to find a backbone, make some painful decisions, and recommit to conservative ideology—that is, governance according to the Constitution. I would recommend actually acting according to this philosophy, and removing the “social conservative” things that should be left up to the states from the national platform, with a statement explaining why. I think it would open up the party to more voters, and make a strong statement that people who vote for the Dems based on issues are voting to ignore the Constitution. It would be a step toward educating the populace about what “constitutional governance” really means.

      And I think the end result, after things shake out, would be a return to a two-party system, with the same outliers we have now—Libertarian, Socialist, etc.

    • M. Noonan May 11, 2016 / 11:58 pm

      I can see the point – but my point is that we’re so stuck in the rut of Progressivism that we can’t stop it until it reaches its final, disastrous destination…it would be easier for Conservatism to triumph at that point if it is clean of the mess than if it was identified with it.

      • Retired Spook May 12, 2016 / 9:50 am

        but my point is that we’re so stuck in the rut of Progressivism that we can’t stop it until it reaches its final, disastrous destination…it would be easier for Conservatism to triumph at that point if it is clean of the mess than if it was identified with it.

        Like Amazona, I don’t agree with that as a deliberate strategy, (I like the weeds analogy) but unlike Amazona, I do see it as likely inevitable unless the country changes directions during this election cycle. And since none of us are invited to any of the high level, closed door meetings where the direction of the GOP is being discussed, we can only wait and see and vote accordingly. Personally I don’t see the movers and shakers in the GOP having the cajones to do anything other than what seems to be the most politically expedient at any particular moment, but that’s just me. I think the Republican Party is irreparably broken. There is no probable scenario, even the one Amazona suggests (GOP nominates a Conservative forcing Trump to run third party) that I can see during this cycle that saves the GOP in its current incarnation.

        Which leads us to the same old question—when every “reason” for supporting Trump is proved false, why do these people still support Trump?

        As you and I discussed off-blog, it’s the French Revolution mentality on full display, and the ramifications are rabidly dangerous. And unlike Liberals, Trump supporters are very well armed — at least the ones I know. You had to know that the support for Trump was completely irrational when he said last fall that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, and not lose any support.

      • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 10:08 am

        Actually, as I have said here over the past week or so, I think the GOP “in its present incarnation” is dead. Or at least in its death throes. It will either Trumperize itself, if it caves in to Trump and makes Trump the official leader of the party, which will mean a change, or it will shake Trump off and move to the right, rediscovering its roots and energizing itself as the true conservative party.

        The GOP as it is now has signed its own death warrant. The only question I can see is whether it will continue as a zombie, the Walking Dead of the political arena, with an inevitable rise of a new party, or if it will revitalize itself and actually stand for something.

        I don’t see how we can avoid the prospect of a new party, unless the GOP were to nominate someone else and Trump were to decide it isn’t worth it to him to fund a few more months of narcissistic pursuit of political adoration. I predict that if there is a President Trump there will be a calm, serious, focused movement to start a new Conservative Party, no matter what it might be called.

        UNLESS….Trump fools us all and declines to act like the fool we have seen so far. I think I would be more comfortable asking a two-year-old to carry a bowl of raw eggs across a room that asking Donald Trump to hold the fate of the Republican Party and possibly the conservative movement in his hands, but this seems to be where we are now.

        And yes, i am still thoroughly ticked off at those who brought us here.

    • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Mark, have you ever skied? If you have, you might be able to relate to this metaphor. Imagine yourself standing, immobile, on your skis. Now turn. Oh, it can be done, but it is laborious and it is awkward. And is dangerous, as you are off balance while you are doing it.

      The only easy way to change direction is while you are moving.

      The idea that we have to allow Progressivism to reach its logical conclusion, drag the nation into absolute economic misery, finish the destruction of the educational system, demolish any right to freedom of worship, disarm the populace, make open borders our official stance on immigration, and expose ourselves without defense to the dangers of the world, before we can then start to REBUILD simply makes no sense to me at all.

      As a matter of fact it strikes me as defeatist, nihilistic, and destructive.

      You pull weeds as they come up. If you fall behind and you have a lot of weeds, you work harder. If you are working away and you look up and you see that you still have 80% of your garden left to weed, you can either be glad you have at least some part cleared, work that part of the garden and keep it clear of weeds while you plan how you will tackle the rest even if it can’t all be done at once, or you can shrug your shoulders and say “Too many weeds. I give up. Maybe someday when it is ALL weeds I’ll come back and burn it all and start over.”

      • M. Noonan May 12, 2016 / 11:33 pm

        Weeding is what I’ve been doing my adult life – hasn’t worked. Thinking back on it, even Reagan wasn’t able to do it…remember, part of his campaign platform was to abolish the Department of Education, which was only founded during Carter’s Administration. People, I think, don’t yet “see” that Big Government is inherently destructive – you and I do, because we’re paying close attention…but most people don’t pay close attention. They are still largely convinced that what the government does – or at least intends to do – is good. If they are mad, they are only mad at particular failures which come to light but are not yet at the level of understanding that government failure rather baked in…the government daren’t solve a problem because if it did, there would be no need for that part of government any longer. And this is presuming that everyone in government is honest – when we know that is not the case. Add in deliberate malfeasance to a system which cannot allow for final success and, well, you get what we have now.

        I’m not saying your wrong for wanting to keep up on the weeding effort – I just don’t think it’ll work.

      • Amazona May 13, 2016 / 10:17 am

        But I am talking, for now, about weeding out PEOPLE. Remember, this started off talking about that big bad bogey-man, the GOP ESTABLISHMENT. As I said, it seems to be a blank canvas upon which people paint their gripes, and often the gripes are as vague as the identity of this “ESTABLISHMENT”.

        I am saying we need to get rid of the speed bumps first. We have identified some of them—Boehner, McConnell, Graham, to start with. We will never change any structure within the government without changing the party, and we will never change the party without changing its leaders—-and bullying the rest into staying in line when the temptations to take the easy route seem too strong.

        Any war is won one battle at a time, and any battle is won one skirmish at a time. I think we have failed because we have wanted to start with the wrong end of the creature. This is one area where the Left is so much smarter than we are—-they didn’t go after the government, they went after the schools and the unions. When they were established there, with their propaganda part of the accepted ‘knowledge’ of so many, they went after government, but even then they did it one step at a time—one mayor, one Representative, one Senator, one governor, one county, one state, till they got into the White House. Only then did they work on changing policy, but then it was easy because the perceptions upon which the policies were based were already in place.

  5. Amazona May 12, 2016 / 9:05 am

    Another reason for some people joining the Trump Parade turns out to be just more hot air. Like the “Deport ’em all” rant that got so many fired up, the “Keep the Muslims out” rallying call was just that—-a calculated pandering to a specific demographic, with no serious intent behind it. It was not a plan, it was not a policy, it turns out it was never really a plan for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S”. It was just a “suggestion”.

    At least the deportation thing was recast as an effort to “open up negotiations”.

    Which leads us to the same old question—when every “reason” for supporting Trump is proved false, why do these people still support Trump?

    “Flashback:

    Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

    Now:

    The planned ban, Trump said on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends,” is only “temporary.”
    “It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it,” the presumptive Republican nominee said.
    “This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

    “It hasn’t been called for yet…?” Huh? Of course it was “called for”, and the “calling for” resulted in millions willing to kick the only true conservative overboard because they liked hearing it “called for”. Now he says it didn’t count because…why? Because he didn’t have the authority to actually DO it so it was just hot air and bluster and raw red meat to throw to the mob? Is he now playing semantics and saying it didn’t count because no one actually acted on it?

    Is it even possible to know what he means, or more to the point what he wants us to think he means, from one moment to the next?

    More to the point, does that even matter to rabid Trumpster Divers?

  6. fieldingclaymore May 12, 2016 / 5:08 pm

    The 3rd party candidate that would throw the election to the house is not a conservative it is Bernie Sanders. What states does a conservative with Trump take away from Clinton? This is just fantasy anyway. The #NeverTrump people are falling to line. He might win.

    • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 5:50 pm

      I would love to see Bernie come out with his own race against Hillary. The end result would be the same one I posited with a three way race ending up in the House among Hillary, Trump, and Mystery Conservative Candidate. The 33 states with Republican majorities in the House would probably all vote for the Republican.

      I don’t know what you mean by “…a conservative with Trump…”

      The #NeverTrump people are not falling into any line. And yes, he might win.

      Quite an analysis.

      • fieldingclaymore May 13, 2016 / 12:44 pm

        How does a race with X conservative, Trump and Clinton throw the race to the house? What states do either the X conservative or Trump take away from Clinton in a three way race?

      • Amazona May 13, 2016 / 1:43 pm

        OK, let’s try this one more time.

        IF Trump appears to have a shot at beating Hillary, based on actual impartial polls and not what I call “herding polls” designed to herd voters into voting one way or another, I say let it go, vote for him, and try to work with him.

        IF accurate polls support the CNN poll I cited, which says that more than half of those planning to vote for Hillary don’t really like her but are going to vote for her only to stop Trump because they HATE Trump, an analysis of the numbers and other data might indicate that a third party would draw the voters who don’t like either Trump or Hillary. OR that a GOP candidate who is not Trump would do the same.

        Any speculation about any course demands more information than the distorted snapshot we have now. What do I mean by “distorted”? Well, we have claims coming from every direction that Trump IS the nominee, which is wrong. Then we have claims that people who say they will vote for Trump IF he IS the nominee are really saying they “support Trump”, which falsely implies that they have decided he is a good guy and they are happy about “supporting” him. That is wrong. Then we have the same claim of “support” describing the very vague and very tepid comments that someone will simply support whoever is nominated, which is spun full circle to mean they are really “supporting” Trump The Person, not whoever the party puts up.

        This is all BS. None of it is accurate, but it all shapes perceptions and perceptions shape decisions. These are the actual claims.

        Then we have the implications. For example, we are told that Trump is “drawing in Democrats”. That needs a closer look. How many of these Dems he is allegedly luring into his camp are there for Trump The Person and how many are there because they can’t stomach Hillary? No one knows, or if someone does know he’s not telling, but that would be a really important piece of information. This could provide an additional source of votes for a less offensive third party candidate, another component of # 2, above. I call this group and the # 2 group, above, the Scared Spitless Groups—scared spitless of Hillary, scared spitless of Trump, and possibly amenable to a more attractive choice.

        There seems to be an assumption, based on #1, above, that any third party run will be run by the conservative, not by Trump, because after all we keep getting told that Trump IS the GOP candidate, hands down, done deal, carved in stone. Kind of linked with this is the assumption that if Trump does not get the GOP nomination he will run his own third party candidacy. Did you notice that your “good analysis” is dependent on Trump being the GOP nominee?

        Trump does love to brag about how rich he is, and how he has been “self funding”. It is true that so far he HAS dumped a lot of his own money into his campaign, several million though there is really no way to know how much because of his creative accounting practices. He has donated some. He has loaned some, counting on GOP funding and donations to pay him back. Without GOP funding as the GOP candidate, he would be dependent on his supporters to bail him out and make him whole. But without GOP money, Trump would be facing a whole new ball game. He would be out the money he has already spent, and would be wholly dependent on donations to not only repay his loans but to fund the rest of his campaign. And he would be looking at this with the full realization that he would never become president. He might destroy the GOP chance and get Hillary elected, or he might get enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House, but if he were to do that as the outsider he would have to have a lot of people in the House ready to turn their backs on their parties to vote for him. “Parties”, plural.

        So why is there this conviction that he would run his own personal campaign because of his massive support ? We believed him back when he first made the threat, but it’s an old threat now, and getting kind of toothless. IMO. Partly because now Trump has pretty much shown us his playbook, while Cruz or any other GOP candidate would be coming in fresh. One example: Trump got a lot of support for several of his promises about what he would do. Now he has run backwards on every one of them, while Cruz said nearly the same things Trump did but without the hoopla and trash talk and appeals to the WWE crowd. Who knows how many of the original Trumpbots would follow him to a third party which could only hand the election to Hillary, after having had time to think it over and seeing that Trump never meant any of the things he said to get them all excited about him, especially when Cruz (or anyone else) finally has enough media time to remind them that he or whoever is basically on the same page Trump claimed, just with more legality and understanding of the problems and the processes.

        Now we are to your second question, which is which states would vote for Trump (if he had his own campaign) or the conservative candidate (if Trump is the GOP nominee) in large enough numbers to pull enough electoral votes to make sure no one gets a majority.

        My answer is, I have no idea. I have no idea because that would be then and this is now. None of the questions posed above have been answered, and the snapshot of today is not going to look like the snapshot the day of the GOP convention or any other day for that matter.

        One shift I think is really significant is that supporting Trump is no longer based on the claim that he is a great choice, but much more on the fact that as awful as he is he is still better than Hillary. It seems kind of early to concede the claim of “best” to merely a half-hearted “better”, especially when that “better” is really more of a “better—kind of” or, worse, a “better—maybe”.

        We are in mid-May, we have no idea what is going on in the heart of the GOP, we have no idea how much Trump is going to self-destruct, we have no idea what is going to happen with Hillary, and aside from my position of liking to look way out to the horizon to see things coming from a long way off while keeping my peripheral vision open there really isn’t much to be gained now by speculation or acting as if ANY decision can be made right now. We do know that it appears the GOP leadership took Trump to the woodshed yesterday and told him how what will be expected of him if he wants its support. Reading the polite but purposely vague comment about being a little closer to “unity” the real messages I got were that if Trump does not commit to toeing the GOP line he risks being bounced, and that the GOP will ask Republicans to unite behind whoever they choose. In the meantime Cruz is still working for delegates, and Rubio still has his and is highly unlikely to give them to Trump. Kasich, the peevish political whore, is predictable only in that we know he will do what he thinks is best for Kasich but I think even his delegates would be unbound after a first ballot.

    • M. Noonan May 12, 2016 / 11:27 pm

      I’ve always said that he might – well, always since it was clear he was no polling flash-in-the-pan (say, by October of last year). To be sure, it will be difficult for him to win because the only way he wins is by bringing to the polls large numbers of people who normally don’t vote…we’ll see if he can manage that trick.

      • Amazona May 13, 2016 / 4:08 pm

        Another pithy comment.

        Just curious—is your new nom de blog a reference to a land mine? Because what we seem to get is just fragments, kind of like verbal shrapnel.

        It might be possible to try to assemble some of them to see if there ever was a coherent shape. If one cared. It’s entirely possible that the outcome would just generate “…all that for I don’t know, eeesh..”

  7. casper3031 May 12, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    I doubt that Bernie would ever run against Hilary. I could see him running with her as her VP.

  8. Retired Spook May 12, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    Something we haven’t talked about much is what a third party might look like. We (Constitutional Conservatives) know what we want it to look like, but not everyone agrees. I was talking to one of the guys in our Oath Keepers group yesterday about the possibility of a third party, and he said, “we already have a third party — the Libertarian Party. Turns out he was a big Ron Paul supporter in 2012. It’s a conversation we’re going to have to have if a “strong” third party is ever to materialize, and I think the case can be made that Libertarians, at least in their current state, are never going to be a major political party in the United States, and yet a lot of their ideas and principles could easily be incorporated into a constitutionalist, small government party.

    • Amazona May 12, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      I have wondered if the Libertarians would be willing to combine with the Constitutional Conservatives. It is an established party, it has a great name that implies Americanism at its best, and my only real difference from them is their isolationist point of view. A small tweak, unlikely because unlike “conservatives” Libertarians seem to have a pretty well-defined political philosophy, but I have thought for a long time it would be a logical move.

      Mary Matilin just left the Republican Party to register as a Libertarian.

      • Retired Spook May 12, 2016 / 10:03 pm

        Yeah, she was on Glenn Beck’s radio show a few days ago talking about it.

    • M. Noonan May 12, 2016 / 11:25 pm

      Have to say I just don’t trust the Libertarians – and it is upon their commitment to defending liberty where I mistrust them. They are all fine and dandy about making sure marijuana is legalized, but I just never see them in the fight to defend property rights and free exercise of religion. Where are Libertarians when some Liberal Fascist is out there suing to get a cross removed from a war monument? Maybe they do join the battle, but I never see them doing it. To be sure, any conceivable form of Conservative Party will have elements to please a Libertarian…but, also, some things to displease them. Successful political parties are parties who can cobble together diverse coalitions (the GOP was originally an grouping of Free Soil Whigs, some Democrats and a large dash of Know Nothings – all united against Rum, Romanism and Rebellion). So, there will never be a truly “pure” Conservative Party…but if we went that route, we’d have to make sure that at least 75% of what is going on is Conservatism…

      • Amazona May 13, 2016 / 11:19 am

        I agree that “…Successful political parties are parties who can cobble together diverse coalitions ..” and it seems to me that the Conservative Movement and the Libertarians are closer together (less diverse) than most.

        At this point I see most Libertarians as tightly focused on one or two pet issues and not really representing a political system as such. However, the political system represented by our Constitution happens to be the only one that actually does stand for most if not all of what Libertarians claim to stand for.

        Once again, shifting the focus from issues to ideology would show the very close relationship already in place between the Conservative Movement and the overall philosophy of most Libertarians, whether or not they actually do step up to support all causes based in liberty.

        The only Libertarian positions I can think of offhand that I don’t agree with are pro-“choice”, which I think is based on the concept that the freedom to legally kill inconvenient children is really just an element of “liberty”, and isolationism.

        I am firmly against abortion and do not see anti-abortion sentiments as anti-freedom any more than I see any other law that prohibits infringing upon the liberty of others, whether it be murder or theft or fraud or drunken driving, and I think this is an argument that could be made.

        As far as isolationism goes, I am in agreement up to a point. I think we need to have a very stout, very accomplished, very deadly military in place for the defense of this country. I also think we need to make it clear to the world that we will defend Americans in other countries. We don’t just swat away a wasp or two, we take out the nest. Beyond that, I think that training of our military would best be done when we are acting as good neighbors, protecting the vulnerable from predation. I believe that sending our best and brightest abroad to use the power of this country to protect people, such as those in Sudan, and peoples experiencing genocide, such as Christians around the world in Muslim countries. is the best way to teach our young people the reality of life outside the privileged bubble that is the United States. We have learned, I think, that the nation-building we did in postwar Japan isn’t really possible today, and we should avoid interfering in political matters, but we should use our might to do good in humanitarian efforts. Again, this is for many reasons, including the ability to use these efforts to provide advanced training to keep our military occupied and ready. We can’t have a standing army that just stands. It has to be doing something. Just make that “something” moral, and productive, and educational.

      • M. Noonan May 13, 2016 / 11:01 pm

        I’m not all that upset about Libertarians being pro-choice – I mean, I don’t like it and I pray they come to their senses on it, but it is at least partially consistent with Libertarian ideology…but if you’re for maximized freedom, then the hill to die on these days isn’t legalized dope, but property rights and free exercise.

      • Amazona May 14, 2016 / 9:33 am

        Question: Do we have to petition the Libertarian Party to make changes that would make it more acceptable to Constitutional Conservatives—admittedly fairly small changes—-or would the party just change as grows if the new growth is from Constitutional Conservatives?

        After all, it’s not as if the socialists went to the Dem Party hierarchy and asked for permission to move the party even farther to the left. A neighborhood changes according to who moves in.

      • Amazona May 14, 2016 / 1:03 pm

        Let me put it this way—if the GOP nominates Trump I will, that day or the next, change my party affiliation to the Libertarian Party. I will not register as an Independent because I think that is just another word for “I don’t know enough to be able to make up my mind about a system of government so I am just hanging around waiting for a PERSON who appeals to me”.

        The day the GOP decides to nominate someone other than Trump I will donate a thousand dollars to the RNC and actively support and campaign for that candidate. That is not to say I would not vote for Trump, if that is the only option open to me, but i can do that as a Libertarian, and I will support Congressional races but after the election my energies would go toward building up the Conservative Movement branch of the Libertarian Party.

        The LP is already telegraphing that the door is open and they have coffee and cookies.

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