2016-04-26

Should Conservatives Side with Establishment Against the Most Popular Winner?

Should Conservatives side with Ted Cruz even when Donald Trump has won more states?

Many conservatives side with Ted Cruz because he is a conservative. That’s a perfectly good reason. But we are now facing an interesting decision. Earlier I reported that Ted Cruz was close to Trump in the number of delegates he has won. That may be changing in Trump’s favor. The fact that Cruz is working with Kasich demonstrates the shift.

The earlier situation is best illustrated by the way Cruz spoke of Kasich as a “spoiler” who had no path to the White House.

Cruz thought Kasich should drop out back then. Kasich couldn’t win enough delegates to win the nomination.

But now Ted Cruz has reached the point where he admits he can’t get enough delegates to win the nomination at the convention. He is now arguing that “no one” will get enough delegates.

Maybe no one will, but it is still possible for Trump to get there.

My question is: Will conservatives side with a candidate who lost the majority of the state primaries and caucuses and who is able to get nominated only because of a powerful minority within the Republican Party?

Donald Trump is not as good a candidate as Cruz and he is arguably no conservative at all. But would it be a good idea to actively wish to thwart the Democratic-ish process to force the man into the nomination who is a distant second?

Conservatives have made do with John McCain and Mitt Romney as Republican nominees. That wasn’t pleasant and it didn’t end well. But if Cruz manages to get the nomination from a contested convention what sort of mandate can he claim?

Cruz hasn’t done anything illegal or even morally questionable. But if Cruz’s and Trump’s delegate counts were switched, and Trump worked with Kasich to get an open convention where he had a shot of being made the nominee, conservatives would be outraged.

I find Patrick Buchanan’s reasoning rather compelling:

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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