Can Conservatives Unite When the Time is Right?

 

DisUnited States of AmericaThe election is more than a year away, but I already have a sinking feeling about it. Why? Heck, people don’t even start voting until Iowa goes the polls on February 1, right? Still I sense what’s coming.

Right now, many candidates and many of my fellow conservatives are going in lots of different directions — and that is fine. But as the 17 candidates are winnowed down, we’ll be left with fewer and fewer, until finally, in 2016, we’ll be left with one. That’s when I worry about what’s to come.

Whoever that candidate is — my choice right now is Ted Cruz; others prefer Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, etc. — needs to receive full, 100-percent support from everyone who supported other candidates. Then we need to come together. And I have a bad feeling right now that we haven’t learned any lessons from the last two presidential elections, when voters who were disappointed by the results of the primaries abstained from voting entirely. As Cruz told Hannity last March, “Republicans need to bring back “the conservatives who stayed home in ’08 and ’12.” If we don’t, he warned, “Hillary Clinton’s the next president.” (And Hillary Clinton might be the optimistic scenario.)

Would I have preferred more conservative candidates in the ’08 and ’12 cycles? Of course. But a President McCain or a President Romney would have been infinitely better than President Obama. Once they became the nominees, I supported and voted for them. Cruz is my choice right now, and I don’t see that changing unless something significant happens between now and March 1, when Georgia goes to the polls. But if Cruz fails to win the nomination, I will fully support the winner. As before, no choice is not a good choice. Our nominee will be better, a lot better, than theirs.

The discussion and debates that get us from 17 to 1 will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to it. Still, do you have any thoughts about how to bring it together after the debating’s done and we’re down to one?

There are 20 comments.

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  1. Augustine Member
    Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Kevin Culpepper:Whomever that candidate ends up being-my top choice right now Ted Cruz, the top choice of many others Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, etc.-needs to receive the full 100 percent support of all the people who supported the other candidates. We need to come together at that point.

    . . . Because as before, the choice is not really a choice. Our nominee will be better, a lot better, than their nominee.

    Indeed, Kevin!

    For my part, there must be one caveat.  Trump has my support over Hillary, Sanders, or Biden.  But I’m going to need some convincing before I can give him 100 percent support.  Can I be convinced?  Should [heaven help us] he be the nominee, let us hope that I can be!

    He certainly has some good points. His pro-life “superstar” remark at the debate was a great start at convincing me.  And the three principles at the beginning of his immigration plan are good.

    • #1
  2. Augustine Member
    Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Hey, did you just join like TODAY?  WELCOME TO RICOCHET!

    • #2
  3. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    I’m not hip on Trump or Jeb but I’ll vote for them.

    • #3
  4. Charles Allen Member
    Charles Allen
    @CharlesAllen

    I think that in some ways conservatives (or at least Republicans/Republican-leaning voters) are already united….

    ~80% of them don’t prefer Donald Trump.

    Despite all the press blather about how he is leading the GOP field, I think that ultimately he has a really low ceiling.  As the also-rans begin to drop out, their support will find its way to other candidates. Rubio, Bush, Cruz, Fiorina.  Soon, that 20-25% Trump has in the polls will not look quite as commanding.  At best I think he has a ceiling of ~30%.

    As I have said in a previous post, I think that if we want a real measure of what this race looks like, poll Trump against every other candidate as an either/or question.

    “If you had to choose, would you prefer Trump or Rubio?”

    That would help solve the polls current dilution problem, and let people figure out who the real contenders are, and how weak (I think) Trump’s actual chances really are.

    • #4
  5. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    The simple answer is no, they won’t come together.

    • #5
  6. Jo Ann Rogers Inactive
    Jo Ann Rogers
    @JoAnnRogers

    People like to back a winner. It is a part of The Donald’s appeal. Whoever is nominated, we need to break out the party atmosphere and decorations. Maybe we could skip the Greek columns, but the idea is the same. More happy warriors please!

    • #6
  7. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    They don’t have to come together, but they do have to vote for the Republican candidate.  So there are two questions,1) will Trump run as a third party candidate if he doesn’t get the nomination, and 2)if he doesn’t win or run, will his supporters back the GOP candidate and which one will they not vote for?  The latter question must have an objective answer, or at least as objective as good polls can determine.

    • #7
  8. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Kevin Culpepper: As Cruz told Hannity last March, “Republicans need to bring back “the conservatives who stayed home in ’08 and ’12.” If we don’t, he warned, “Hillary Clinton’s the next president.” (And Hillary Clinton might be the optimistic scenario.)

    The answer to your overall question “can we unite” is maybe and it depends.  Getting Republicans to unite and to bring back conservatives who staid home, is a function of who gets the nomination.

    For example, I think JEB would be a much better president than Hillary or Bernie. But I do not think that Republicans will unite behind him or that he will “bring back conservatives” in a manner that some of the other candidates could.

    • #8
  9. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    A right of center third party would not bode well.  Otherwise I believe the conservatives are worried enough about the country so as to vote for the GOP nominee whoever he might be.

    And then deal with it afterward.

    • #9
  10. Tom Wilson Inactive
    Tom Wilson
    @TomWilson

    Of the 17 there is only one I couldn’t vote for, and that is Trump. There are others I would have misgivings about, but I would never the less give them my vote.

    • #10
  11. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Trump is hard to swallow. On the other hand I am incredibly partisan, but on the other other hand I also live in Illinois. I think if it is a Trump v Hillary run Illinois will go 75-24 for Hillary so my vote wont matter anyway.

    Basically I can’t picture Trump wining the presidency. I just can’t do it. I guess it may be a self fulfilling prophecy but that is how it is. For any other candidate I would bother to vote, even Jeb and Rand, but Trump? I feel if he get the nomination it means we have gone of the deep end. But what do I know? Trump still seems to defy all logic. Maybe he can win the whole thing with out me. Maybe President Trump is inevitable. Maybe he will even be one of our great presidents and in 8 years we will all be pretending how much we liked him back in 2015. How he was the only one who really saw things back then. How he was the right man at the right time to lead America to greatness again. I would say stranger things have happened, but I don’t think that is true.

    • #11
  12. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Valiuth: Maybe President Trump is inevitable

    I think (hope) Charles Allen above has it right. The field is large and Trumps support is in the 20s.  At about this point in the race in 2012 Herman Cain was leading the polls with like 27% support. I do not think Trump is inevitable, maybe he could win, but not inevitable. For Trump to win 8-10 other people have to screw up.

    • #12
  13. Michael Sanregret Inactive
    Michael Sanregret
    @TheQuestion

    I agree.  My position is that politics is like war (war is politics by other means, and vice versa).  That means that the important thing is stopping the enemy.  The important thing is that power be kept out of the hands of the worst people.  I think the absolute worst candidate to have the power of the presidency is either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (I’m not sure which is worse: crooked or crazy?).  If you have a choice between giving a gun to a crook, a decent person, or a saint, the important thing is to keep the gun away from the crook.  Whether the gun goes to the decent person or the saint is substantially less important.

    A Mitt Romney presidency would have absolutely been better than a second Obama term.  I’m sure a Jeb Bush presidency would be better than a Clinton or Sanders presidency.  I’m pretty sure a Ted Cruz or Scott Walker presidency would be still better.

    • #13
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Even if conservatives can unite, it would be best for candidates and their consultants to think that they will not.

    • #14
  15. Michael Sanregret Inactive
    Michael Sanregret
    @TheQuestion

    Valiuth:Basically I can’t picture Trump wining the presidency. I just can’t do it. I guess it may be a self fulfilling prophecy but that is how it is. For any other candidate I would bother to vote, even Jeb and Rand, but Trump? I feel if he get the nomination it means we have gone of the deep end. But what do I know? Trump still seems to defy all logic. Maybe he can win the whole thing with out me. Maybe President Trump is inevitable. Maybe he will even be one of our great presidents and in 8 years we will all be pretending how much we liked him back in 2015. How he was the only one who really saw things back then. How he was the right man at the right time to lead America to greatness again. I would say stranger things have happened, but I don’t think that is true.

    I hope and pray that Trump is a good thing, because he gets independent, low information voters to pay attention to the primary process.  This might allow conservative ideas and candidates to get attention they wouldn’t otherwise get.

    • #15
  16. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    The problem with stay-at-home conservatives is they’ve been staying home since at least 1960 (1980 may be the exception).  They’ll probably continue, absent an exceptional candidate.  There seems to be a strong disinterest in actually winning elections across the spectrum in the US–including Dems, sometimes thought to be interested in nothing else.  Accomplishing nothing, moreover, seems to be the whole point of minor parties and flash-in-the-pan popular movements.  As evidence “Occupy Wall Street” and the fact that the Libertarian Party keeps making software engineers their presidential candidates.  But as Daddy used to say:  the right not to vote is implicit in the right to vote.

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    SParker:The problem with stay-at-home conservatives is they’ve been staying home since at least 1960 (1980 may be the exception). They’ll probably continue, absent an exceptional candidate. There seems to be a strong disinterest in actually winning elections across the spectrum in the US–including Dems, sometimes thought to be interested in nothing else. Accomplishing nothing, moreover, seems to be the whole point of minor parties and flash-in-the-pan popular movements. As evidence “Occupy Wall Street” and the fact that the Libertarian Party keeps making software engineers their presidential candidates. But as Daddy used to say: the right not to vote is implicit in the right to vote.

    I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here, but are you somehow conflating “winning elections” with “accomplishing something”?

    • #17
  18. Nealfred Inactive
    Nealfred
    @Nealfred

    I will never vote for Jeb or Trump and that’s just for starters .

    • #18
  19. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Kevin Culpepper: Whoever that candidate is… needs to receive full, 100-percent support from everyone who supported other candidates. …when voters who were disappointed by the results of the primaries abstained from voting entirely.

    The term “Conservatives” in your title interests me…and how this seems to always be presented as a one-way street back to unity.  Both ancient and very recent history point to the others being the bigger problem. See:

    THE SABOTAGE REPUBLICANS

    http://spectator.org/articles/56401/sabotage-republicans

    And if that doesn’t [do] it for you, look into the Republican senatorial primary run-off of 2014 in Mississippi.

    • #19
  20. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    SParker:The problem with stay-at-home conservatives is they’ve been staying home since at least 1960 (1980 may be the exception).

    The problem with stay-at-home conservatives is having to hold their nose to pull the vote lever for cookie-cutter candidates promising pie in the sky and delivering nothing.

    One reason Trump is resonating with the populace is he doesn’t toe the party line.  I understand that, I’m pretty disgusted with the party myself.

    • #20
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