We have a unique opportunity as conservatives. Donald Trump is new to politics. He’s malleable or, as he puts it, capable of changing his mind whenever he wants. This is the chance we haven’t had in our lifetimes – to mold Presidential policy by using our voices to let him know what we expect.
Trump supporters may argue that doing so is a sign of disunity and therefore any opposition to his policies is going to help Hillary Clinton win. There are two flaws to this argument. First, no Presidential candidate should be given a free pass to implement their whims without hearing the voice of the people even if such criticism may be viewed poorly by others who are still considering the options. Second, if criticism from the right is enough to make him lose to Hillary, he wasn’t cut out for the nomination in the first place.
Hillary Clinton is the worst Democratic candidate in decades. Even Walter Mondale was better; Ronald Reagan would have won Minnesota and completed the 50 state sweep had he been running against Clinton, though DC would have still probably gone to the Democrats. She has been clearly demonstrated to be a liar, corrupt, and unexceptional in every way. Any GOP candidate with a pulse and conservative policies would be pulverizing her in the polls. Trump needs to step up (and lately, it seems that he’s been doing just that).
Trump is a new to political campaigning. He’s new to conservatism. He’s a “baby Christian” as some have called him. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and that can be viewed as either a weakness or an opportunity. I choose to see it as a grand opportunity to point him in the right direction… to the right.
We’ve already seen examples of this. When attempting his leftward lurch on immigration, better known as “the softening,” he received push back from some of his supporters. Frankly, I didn’t think he received enough push back, but it worked. Within a week, he abandoned his toe-dipping into the realm of amnesty-that-shall-not-be-called-amnesty and returned to his original stance. Lately, he’s been hinting at a return to the left on the issue, for which we must continue to apply the pressure.
One does not have to join the #NeverTrump camp in order to oppose some of his policies, nor does one have to support all of his policies if they want him to win. It is imperative that we agree when he’s right and disagree when he’s wrong. He will be wrong on many issues; at heart, he’s still left-leaning and it shows in his proposed policies. If he is to be President, he cannot go down the road of big government and dramatically increased spending. If we say nothing, who will? The left? The Establishment? Only the grassroots and truly conservative politicians will be able to sway him away from any lingering liberal tendencies that are tugging at his heart.
Another major concern is the Supreme Court. Many who are reluctant supporters attribute the SCOTUS as their primary reason for supporting him over Clinton. There’s a problem that is so drastically under-reported that one might consider it to be a conspiracy. Shortly after releasing his amazing list of conservative judges he’d consider for the Supreme Court, he declared that it was just a starting point. Then, during the Republican National Convention in a closed-door meeting, he declared that he had many other names, “fabulous people,” as he put it, who were now on his list. Currently, there is one spot open. There’s a chance that as many as three more will come open in span of his Presidency. Why does he need more than the original 11? Why won’t he release those names? Why won’t he commit to appointing only conservative justices? Is he hedging his bets in case the Democrats take control of the Senate? Is he preparing to use SCOTUS nominations as bargaining chips? We don’t know and currently nobody is willing to ask.
Mark Levin might be the prototype for the type of conservative voice that can support Trump while still holding his feet to the conservative fire. He’s denounced Trump’s $7 trillion retreat on tax cuts. He’s called out his plans to expand government and dramatically increase the national debt. He’s highlighted nearly every liberal policy that Trump has proposed, a large list which seems to be getting bigger. However, he praised him on immigration. He praised the wall. He praised his willingness to act against terrorism and confront the Islamic State. He was #NeverTrump. Now, he’s voting for Trump. In lieu of the example set by so many Trump supporters from average voters to television pundits, Levin has chosen to endorse him with his vote while keeping his leftist policies in view.
Trump’s supporters have a dual-purpose this election year. They need to get him elected and they need to keep pushing him to the right against his leftward lurches. To do one and not the other is inviting the worst-case scenario: a “Republican” President who, in the name of bipartisanship and without the dissent of his constituents, pushes a liberal agenda without opposition.