Seriously, Why Did We Give Up on Replacing Trump on the GOP Ticket?

This is the dumbest election of our lifetimes. It’s true, we all know it. We have spent a week discussing which campaign has a worse sex offender. We have Hillary’s people instigating violence at Trump rallies, and Trump’s people promising “revolution” if the millionaire TV celebrity doesn’t win.

In other words, the candidates are only half the problem. All the rest of us are the other half.

Let me tell you that the vast majority of the time I’ve spent speaking with people since Ted Cruz dropped out of the primary – that means talking online, talking offline, with strangers, with friends, with family – the vast majority of that time has been spent in an endless repetitive argument about how I am committing treason by not voting for Trump. That is not an exaggeration.

But it’s not just people I’m acquainted with. You RedState readers see this everywhere.

When someone writes something critical about Trump, people don’t say “oh that’s not true, he’s not like that, he never said that.” What they say is “why are you talking about this instead of attacking Hillary, you traitor?” It has been a non-stop, relentless onslaught of people who accuse those who won’t support Trump of everything from “moral preening” to wagging our tails for pats on the head from the left.

Nobody says “oh Trump’s ideas about women are awesome” or “I’m a big believer in p*ssy grabbing,” it’s always “you’re just like the MSM, leave Trump alone” and above all, without fail, without surcease, “BUT HILLARY!” To call it tiresome would be a colossal understatement.

And even if you’re likewise writing about Hillary’s deceit, malfeasance, bribery, corruption, and how she is not fit for office, and you are not voting for her, it does not matter, because you don’t write “enough,” or have a good “ratio,” or your heart isn’t in it. Or, and this is my favorite, you’re really just helping her get elected but also don’t matter because you’ve thrown your relevance in the trash and aren’t credible anymore and ha ha you’re done as a conservative.

Yeah, I never said their arguments were logical.

I could name names, but you know who these petty, bitter clingers are, so I don’t have to.

Laura Ingraham. Fine. I said one.

On the question of who should lose, let’s be perfectly clear. I want Hillary Clinton to lose the election. I don’t want her to be the President. I also want Trump to lose the election. I don’t want him to be the President. On the scale of losing, I want her loss even more than I want his. Frankly, in light of the recent email releases, and especially the Project Veritas videos, the “burn the system down” impulse to vote for Trump is sorely tempting. I want Hillary to lose.

It doesn’t matter, though. The two of them are running, only one will lose, and that one will almost certainly be Trump. Since advocating for Trump is a betrayal of the conservative movement, and defending him requires debasing oneself, it is absurd to expect us to do that. Claiming Trump is fit for office requires resorting to flat-out lies. We don’t do that here at RedState. We criticize politicians when they are wrong. Or evil. And both of them are both.

That’s not to say that there aren’t those who are planning to vote for him, and say so, that haven’t maintained their integrity. There are. We have some on the front page at RedState who have publicly stated their intent to vote for Trump. There are radio hosts and writers at other websites, there are people who are making the decision that this is what they can do to stop Hillary. They aren’t, you see, saying “locker room talk.”

I’m not going to bother to disprove the whole “not supporting Trump is a vote for Hillary” crap, since we have destroyed that many times here at RedState. And I’m not going to bother explaining that we at RedState, like the fine folks at Conservative Review and National Review, have held Hillary to account, as we do all politicians, not just this year but every year this site has been online. If you don’t know that then you have selective attention and aren’t honest anyway so there’s no point.

And I’m certainly not going to bother explaining to you the 200 thousand ways that your defense of Donald Trump is illogical, undermines your entire worldview, will ruin your credibility in the next election cycle on all the issues where you defended his anti-conservative points of view, or how you can never again honestly call yourself a “values voter” if you have spent this cycle apologizing for and promoting him.

Jerry Fallwell, Jr. Fine. I said two.

Because we have already been over and over and over that at RedState and if you haven’t bothered to read our hundreds of excellent, accurate, reasonable, and correct articles on the subject, then you’re just a lazy critic and I’m not going to waste my time with you.

What I am going to tell you is two things. Donald Trump doesn’t care about winning this election, and Donald Trump isn’t going to win this election so he should quit.

Trump is not working to win in November, anymore. He’s working to save his reputation. The signs are all there and they are overt. He has already stated that this whole year will have been a colossal waste of time for him if he doesn’t win, and he does not expect to win. So instead of trying anymore, he’s working on shoring up how he will be perceived when he loses. How?

He is trying to foster the impression that he is way ahead in the polls and that the pollsters are being dishonest. He does this by pointing to online polls, Drudge polls and the like, and esoteric measures like the size of his rallies compared to those of Hillary. The better to say later that he was screwed.

He is saying he’s being screwed. All this “rigged” election talk is so that he won’t have to take the blame when he’s humiliated. It’s not even good “rigged” talk. It’s a mix between vote fraud, which there’s no evidence could swing this election, and the disgusting behavior of the DNC and the media, which is not anything new to Republicans (not that he would know) and is not the same as a “rigged” election.

Democrats were wrong when they said Bush stole the election. And Trump is wrong to say that Hillary is “stealing” it. It’s that simple.

(Not for nothing, but they don’t even have to rig this election. People despise Trump. This illusion that he has some huge majority of Americans behind him is just that, an illusion. And the lack of enthusiasm for Hillary is no measure at all. People voting for her just to stop Trump aren’t going to go to a rally. Think of the reluctant Trump supporters that you know, the ones who say they just want to stop Hillary but don’t like him. Are they going to his rallies? Of course not.)

As for the quitting part, this came to a head over the weekend of the second debate when the tape where Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women was leaked. (Let’s be clear, nobody cared that he was being “vulgar” [even though so-called values voters have complained for years about the vulgarity of the left. Rahm Emanuel anybody?]. It wasn’t vulgarity and it wasn’t “locker room talk,” it’s the fact that he bragged about groping strange women and getting away with it because he’s rich and powerful) That weekend, dozens of Republicans rescinded their endorsements. There was a concerted, apparently last-ditch effort to usher this charlatan out the door at last. To replace him at the top of the ticket. But the party folded like cowards, and his committed supporters, most of whom claim they don’t like him so much as they hate Hillary, stood by him the whole time with their fake “locker room talk” lie.

But we shouldn’t have backed down. He should have stepped down. Several Republicans, including Senator Mike Lee, made the very excellent point that, if defeating Hillary is really the most vital concern, then we should make the best effort to do that, and Trump is not our best effort. I can’t say it better than National Review’s John O’Sullivan, in (I stress) an article advocating voting for Donald Trump.

If Trump were to make an even colder calculating examination of his personal self-interest, however, he would probably decide to announce that he was withdrawing from the campaign in favor of Mike Pence, the GOP, and the country because the media had made a fair campaign involving him impossible. He was sacrificing himself to save the nation from Hillary, Bill, and the corrupt Clinton machine. He might throw in some mild self-criticism to ensure that Pence praised his nobility in return. But that would happen anyway. His main consideration would be that a decision to withdraw, made in the face of likely defeat, would protect him from the dramatic erosion of his own brand. His problem is that his political brand and his commercial brand are seriously at odds. Only an unlikely big victory could reconcile them at this point. His political brand is downscale, his commercial brand is aspiring upscale. If he loses badly amid sleaze and scandal, who will want to stay in the Trump Tower, wear clothing with the Trump insignia, or eat in restaurants recommended by him? But a dramatic announcement to withdraw, especially if made after a triumphant debate, would have the flavor of gallantry and patriotism. Most negative attention would then be directed not to Pence but to Clinton whose sins would not have been washed away by a noble self-sacrifice. (Try to imagine Hillary in a self-sacrificial role. You can’t do it. Nor, probably, Trump either.)

(The argument for voting for Trump in that article presumes a hostility toward Trump that is undermined by all of my above-mentioned bad actors, including the cowardly GOP.)

I would vote for Mike Pence. I’m currently planning to vote for Gary Johnson, who I think would bring the argument of liberty back into the center of political debate, but I would switch to vote for Pence if Trump were out. Others would, too.

All Donald has to do is step down. It’s in his own interest. And hey, too late for a Pence October surprise, so .. bonus. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

In my view, the problem here is that some reluctant Trump voters still think they can salvage something with him. They still have this idea it will save the Supreme Court, the military, or the America they know. They want a silver lining.

There isn’t one. Those desires and goals died on the day Donald Trump won the primary. There’s nothing to be done except something radical. And some of what you want to save doesn’t even need saving.

If you can’t give up, at least make your last effort valiant and noble. Don’t debase yourself with Trump. Go out fighting to replace him at the top of the ticket, go out trying to face Hillary with someone worth standing behind. Be a real conservative American Republican, ascend from the sewer where Trump lives, and stand in the daylight again.

Die with your boots on.

And Mr. Trump, go out like a hero. Don’t divide America further. Don’t destroy the conservative movement further. Don’t undermine our electoral process further. I mean, unless a Hillary victory is really what you wanted all along. It isn’t … is it?

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