Knowing what we know about Hillary Clinton and her plans for America, and the importance of the Supreme Court, we conservatives have a moral obligation to both oppose her and support Donald Trump.
That’s the choice the NeverTrumpers have made — a decision to do nothing.
This is the sentiment I expressed on Sean Hannity’s television show Thursday that has sent some #NeverTrump conservatives into a tizzy. Ben Shapiro is the latest in a long line of mostly Acela-corridor Republicans who spend much of their days “see-I-told-you-so’ing” about Trump.
Shapiro responded on behalf of Team #NeverTrump Friday in a piece titled “Hannity, Ingraham Say It’s Immoral Not to Vote Trump. Here Are 3 Reasons They’re Wrong,” published in the Daily Wire.
Here are his three arguments, none of which is persuasive:
1. Electing Trump as president will do more damage to the country in the long run because a Trump presidency would be the end of conservatism.
Really? What conservatism is that? The conservatism that ran up huge deficits in the 2000s? The conservatism that encouraged illegal immigration? The conservatism that pushed trade policies that led to the rise of China? The conservatism that rolled over for Obama on issue after issue? The conservatism that does whatever The Wall Street Journal editorial page wants? The conservatism of Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain? That conservatism won’t be around anymore? Good.
Those are reasons to support Trump, not reasons to fear him. Over the last 25 years, the conservative movement has failed to win a single election against Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. They failed to stop social liberalism. They failed to stop the rise of China. They failed to shrink the federal government, balance the federal budget, return power to the states, or generally do any of the things that GOP voters wanted them to do.
Now, peeved and spiteful that the base no longer trusts them to do almost anything, they are supporting Hillary Clinton — a radical liberal whose 25 years on the national stage have been an absolute disaster for the average American.
If ending this record of failure, and launching a new conservatism that actually tries to help working-class Americans, is one of the consequences of the Trump campaign, then that campaign will have been well worth it.
2. There are costs to supporting Trump if he loses.
They’re worried about conservatism being tainted by Trump? Were they there when the housing bubble collapsed in 2008, and the nation watched in horror as a Republican president struggled to explain why the U.S. economy was in free fall? Were they there when the Bush administration disbanded the Iraqi military, which made stabilizing that sectarian quicksand impossible? Were they there when Republicans were crushed in the 2006 and 2008 elections — in large part because they could make no defense of the Bush administration? Of course they were.
To this day, conservatism is tainted by its association with the Bush administration — and yet the GOP re-took the House in 2010, and re-gained the Senate in 2014. If conservatives can overcome eight years of disastrous policies that left this country crying out for Barack Obama, of all people, they can certainly overcome Donald Trump.
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3. Your vote is a moral instrument, not just an instrument of policy.
Yes, it is. Voting for Trump means that when your country had been in decline for almost two decades, and you had the chance to set the country on a different course, you took it.
Voting for Trump means that when you finally had the chance to end the corrupt and decadent Clinton machine, you took it.
Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to write in the history books that the country had rejected the last eight years of President Obama, you took it.
Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to save the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment, and to restore the proper checks and balances that are at risk from another Clinton administration, you took it.
Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to stand up to pro-China billionaires who make money off of a global system that is rigged in favor of a Chinese dictatorship, and rigged against the American worker, you took it.
Voting for Trump means saying yes to a 15 percent top corporate tax rate, which will boost American wages and jobs.
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Voting for Trump means that we know how critical the Supreme Court is and if we lose it, game’s over on many of the policies and principles we’ve been fighting for decades.
Is Trump perfect? Of course not. Do you know how many perfect presidents we’ve had? Zero. In the real world, if you want to be a citizen — and have the responsibilities of a citizen — you have to be a grown-up, and you have to recognize that life presents us with difficult choices.
Voting for Trump means fighting against the ennui and decline that is destroying this country.
Voting for Trump does not mean that you agree with everything he says, or that you never criticize him. It does not mean giving up your right to disagree with him — or even oppose him — when he does something you think is wrong. Does anyone think that Paul Ryan — who is supporting Trump — will simply be a rubber stamp for Trump’s policies? Does anyone think that the numerous GOP Senators who support Trump will blindly follow wherever he leads? Of course not.
The NeverTrumpers like to pretend that Trump’s supporters are weak-minded simpletons who don’t understand how politics works. But the truth is that those of us who support Trump understand all too well the reality of the choice that faces us, and are doing the best we can to save this country.
On the other hand, not voting for Trump — and hoping that he loses — also represents a moral choice:
It means being worried every time you hear a story suggesting that Hillary still faces real hurdles before Election Day and could still lose this.
It means aligning yourself, at least temporarily, with left-wing nightmares Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and all the other radicals who want Trump to lose.
It means turning a deaf ear to your fellow Americans who can’t take four more years of decline, and who are desperate for new leadership.
It means allowing another four or eight years of flatlining wages and growth, and high taxes on American businesses.
It means hardening your heart against people those who have spent 40 years trying to stop abortion.
It means rejecting the advice of Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and the vast majority of elected Republican officials — all of whom are supporting Trump.
It means doing nothing when The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and every other left-wing outlet mocks and ridicules the Trump supporters as racists and bigots.
It means cheering (silently or not) along with every smear and every snide comment that Hollywood and the media can use to attack Trump’s voters.
That’s the choice the NeverTrumpers have made — a decision to do nothing, to wash their hands of the election, of the Republican Party, of the country itself.
That may represent some people’s version of morality. But it’s not mine.