If Donald Trump is a true conservative, then there is no danger at all in electing him to be president. Trump might, in fact, introduce a new and dynamic electoral element to conservatism, as he noted when observing that he might carry New York and other traditionally leftist states in the northeast part of our nation. If Trump is a true conservative, then he could be the best thing that happened to conservatives in America since Reagan.
His dealing-making prowess, his willingness to tweak the delicate noses of political correctness, his willingness to take on the Republican Establishment – all these are great advantages that Trump would have over most Republican nominees or Republican presidents…if Trump is a true conservative. We all ought to hope that Donald Trump is just that – a conservative who cherishes the values of conservatives and wants to restore the moral greatness of America (the other so-called “greatness” of wealth and power don’t really matter).
What, though, if Donald Trump is not just a RINO, but a CINO – a “conservative in name only”? What if Trump really does see the problems of politics today that we do not negotiate tough enough deals or that we do not manage government well enough? What if Trump believes that he can save America by producing business growth (without also constraining federal courts, reducing presidential power, and re-asserting the only true greatness of our nation: its moral greatness)?
This does not mean Trump is insincere or phony, but just that he honestly believes that muscle and money make everything right. What is the danger to that? If Trump is President Trump, he is also the leader of the Republican Party, and Congress will have no real chance of stopping much of what he proposes.
Suppose, for example, that Trump nominated Brian Sandoval to replace Justice Scalia. Sandoval is a “moderate” who would sometimes rule with the leftist side of the court. What if Trump then appointed Chris Christie to the next vacancy? The Supreme Court would move sharply left without any true leftist being appointed, and Senate Republicans could do nothing about it.
What if Trump, anxious to “get things done,” decided that the vast arrogation of executive power by Obama, while wrong in theory, was just what he needed to implement his agenda? If Trump is “results oriented” instead of “rights oriented,” then, like leftists, Trump might take the attitude that the ends justify the means, and what, exactly, could Republicans in Congress do about that?
Furthermore, what if Trump intended to reform health care “sensibly” but still embrace a single-payer plan? He might construct something better than Obamacare, but the underlying principle of keeping government out of health care would be lost, perhaps forever, in American politics. In one sense, an Obamacare that is wildly unpopular is better, in the long run, than a Trumpcare favorably received.
This assumes, of course, that Trump really does fancy himself a conservative who joined the Republican Party recently as the best way of implementing his particular conservative program. What if Trump is really more of a moderate who is trying to temper the conservative movement, even as he kicks out an incompetent and corrupt Democrat administration?
Talk of “bringing Americans together” is always scary stuff – very much the glop of true RINOs. We need, instead, to split America apart and produce victory for conservatives over leftists and their tapioca moderate friends. While trying to do the right thing, Trump may so divide conservatives and so splinter Republicans in Congress that we can do nothing, except what Trump feels is good policy, for at least four years.
Conservatives are always weakest with a Republican president like Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Bush, or Bush as the titular head of the only reservoir of conservative political power. Except for Nixon, the other four of those Republican presidents were honorable and decent men. But all were disasters for conservative policies in America.
Indeed, most of the awful programs since World War Two were brought to us with RINO presidents whipping conservatives in Congress into supporting their “reforms.” The opportunity for good things if Trump is a true conservative are great, but the dangers to conservatives if he is not truly conservative are monumental.