I have nothing whatsoever against people who do not support Trump, who think he’s not a real conservative, who thinks he’s bad for the GOP, who thinks a Trump nomination will guarantee a loss in 2016.
I myself am absolutely not a Trump supporter. I believe that Donald Trump will not deliver on the promises he is making, that he is actually making unrealistic promises. I believe that he, at least for me, doesn’t go nearly far enough in challenging the power of the Federal government, that a Trump presidency might very well see an increase in Federal power, not a decrease, and I am concerned that his foreign policy might be extremely nationalistic and get us involved in wars which could directly threaten the lives of my family and friends at fighting age.
I do not, however, believe the supporters of Trump are idiots, are undesirables, are part of a conservative coalition that everyone in that coalition would be better off not having in the coalition. These folks are not crazy, they are not uninformed, they are not un-serious.
I take them very seriously and I recognize that if conservatives wish to win in 2016, they will need ALL HANDS ON DECK to have a chance to stop a candidate that, in my opinion, is far more dangerous than Trump, than even Bush. Perhaps only Lindsey Graham might fairly give Hillary a run for her money in the dangerous department.
Mind you, for military folks and for the nations of the world, Trump might actually be more dangerous than Hillary, but he’s far more interested in the world’s stuff than he is in our stuff.
Do you recall the way many conservatives embraced Vladimir Putin when he began to butt heads with Obama, especially in the Syria chemical weapons debacle? Facebook was filled with Putin is awesome memes, contrasting Obama, the girls’ bicycle rider, with Putin, the T-rex ridin’, no shirt wearin’ tough guy.
Putin is not afraid of the PC crowd, not afraid of Obama, not afraid of zombies even. Putin is unapologetically pro-Russia. On the world stage, he cares little for niceties, he fights for Mother Russia. He will crush states for the sake of Mother Russia.
Think of the GOP Presidents we have had since Bush I. Tepid, apologetic, UN-approval seeking, refusing to even battle the progressives squarely, ruthlessly, without mercy. The progressives have in Obama a strongman, a leader who will do whatever it takes, who will lie, cheat, steal, crush ANYONE who stands between him and his Mother Russia, the progressive party. On the world stage, even, he serves Mother Progressive over Mother America, and decisively so.
Of all the GOP contenders, who among them is willing to look a progressive in the eye and say, “You’re a murderer, you’re an evil person who should have no place in the public square.” Now, I’m not saying they SHOULD say that, but I will tell you there is a significant portion of folks in the conservative coalition who are desperate for someone to say such things.
Do they want this because they are stupid or bad people? No, they want this because, like many of us, they feel beaten, worn down, always defeated, betrayed by their own leaders. They want their own Obama, or, more accurately, their own Putin. Donald Trump is the GOP’s Putin.
They don’t care about the test for conservative purity. They don’t give two plug nickels for what Trump did or said in the past. They don’t even care if he insulted McCain and POWs. Those days are done for them. There have been far too many equivocators, soft negotiators telling them they need to get along to go along to get along, only to watch progressives win battle after battle with the HELP of their own party leaders.
They only care that here and now he is actually doing something NO GOP LEADER has done since Reagan, defiantly and unapolgetically standing up against the enemy. This is not to suggest that Trump is Reagan. No, unlike Trump, Reagan could essentially call you a thief and an adulterer and have you walk away still liking him. Trump does not have the gifts of Reagan, but he does have Reagan’s passion and unflinching resoluteness.
Like many of you, I too hope to see Donald Trump go the way of the Dodo bird, metaphorically, but I believe that there is a much smarter way to bring about that reality, and it’s not by using Alinksy-like tactics against Trump or by constantly eviscerating his supporters, or by seizing on his every gaff, or by digging up all the dirt you can about his ‘draft dodging’ past (I think that’s the latest Alinsky tactic being deployed by conservatives against Trump).
If I am right, none of these tactics will do anything but solidify his hard-core supporters and ensure that, come the summer of 2016, those Trump supporters, if their guy is not in it, won’t be knocking on doors, sending in money, and, in November, might not even show up to vote.
One well-respected conservative writer (whose name will be withheld) even stated he wanted to destroy Trump AND his supporters. That’s right, conservatives out there want to hack off a significant part of the coalition because they hate Trump and they can’t imagine how everyone else doesn’t hate him as well.
For this next part, I will be borrowing heavily from Felecia Cravens’ excellent article that appeared on Liberty Juice.
Felecia really captures what I have been saying for some time now, as this Trump feud has gotten nastier and nastier:
“The real question then is how to make that an easier decision for those supporters of the losing candidates when the time comes. That actually means planning far in advance of the primary result, strategically preparing the ground for the unity and cooperation you want to see. That means fostering the conditions that will make it more than possible; that will make it INEVITABLE.”
If Trump does, in fact, actually lose (and I am inclined still to believe he will), you should be prepared, well in advance, for how you welcome back those family members you may have been in disagreement with earlier. If the fights get to be too nasty (I’ve seen conservatives block each other on Facebook over Trump), you may not have a family member at all when the dust settles.
Felecia goes on to outline some clear steps we should take when advocating for our candidate and challenging supporters of another candidate.
1.) Pitch Your Guy – We don’t respond well to the people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down in our personal lives, and any candidate making that a primary tactic will ultimately turn people off. Sure, the other candidates have failings – some too numerous to mention – but your first job as a supporter of your candidate is to SELL THAT CANDIDATE…..
2.) Target the Real Enemy – The GOP primary is a horserace, sure. But it’s actually just Phase I in a two-part job interview. Phase II is all about winning the general election; convincing the apolitical, the independents, the casual voters that both your team (GOP) and your candidate (who just won the primary, of course) are better for the country than the person the Democrats field…..
Keep an eye open for opportunities to attack Democrat policies that are hurting the country. Draw strong contrasts between those policies and the ones your candidate will be running on. Connect the dots for people so that they see your candidate has better policies and actual solutions for problems we face…..
3.) Be Gracious – …..Sure, there’s going to be some blood drawn in the coming months, but at the same time, conservative values and issues are going to be front and center in a way they haven’t in a long time. The more we focus on articulating those issues and promoting them, the less opportunity the media will have to make the conversation about infighting, personalities, and candidate conflicts…..
4.) Think ‘Family’ – Andy Peth of The Party of Choice draws a great contrast between the Left and our coalition on the right. “Collectives control people; we free them. Collectives thrive on conformity; we thrive on challenge. Thus, while control rallies the Left, it only splinters the Right. To defeat the Collective, we must unify as something empowering to individuals: We must be a family.”
I highly recommend you read this whole article by going here.
I want to end my article, adding to what Felecia said above, by calling on some basic biblical standards. You don’t have to be a Christian to use these standards, so, if you are not a Christian, bear with me while I quote bible verses.
First, this is from 1st Corinthians 13-
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The people who support Trump ARE part of your conservative family. You will desperately need them. You need to practice these standards of love when you approach them. Yes, love rejoices with the truth, but it is also PATIENT, kind. As Felicia said, you don’t need to invalidate people to make the case for your candidate, or (and I’ll add this) AGAINST their candidate.
Lastly, I want to share 1st peter 3-
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
The key phrase in this passage is this, “do this with gentleness and respect.” This is a basic tenet of good apologetics. If your words are invalidating, if they are being used to demean your opponent, then your effectiveness at actually sharing truth ends. You will drive them further away and closer to what you think is not the truth.
Author George MacDonald once said, “To give truth to him who loves it not is only to give him more plentiful reasons for misinterpretation.”
Theodore Roosevelt said, “‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ If you want to have standing to speak to people about why you think Trump is not the right choice, why your candidate of choice is a better one, you better not start off the conversation by saying, “Trump is an idiot and anyone who follows him is nuts.” More often than not, all you’ve done is permanently shut a door and created an even more committed Trump supporter.
Whether you stick with Trump or not, I will continue to welcome you and accept you as a member of the coalition to stop the progressive party from controlling the White House and the Executive branch for another four years, of stopping a progressive, a hard-core progressive, from having the chance to replace moderate and/or conservative Judges on the Supreme Court.
It is time to act like officers in an army and not high school kids in the cafeteria. It is time to think, right now, about November 2016.