I began advocating six months ago for conservatives to start looking for a third party alternative and lay the foundation for that. Most people disagreed, and I suppose I understand that. People who were supporting Cruz or Rubio or Carson or Bush understandably wanted their candidate to prevail. Of course, in the midst of that, each was advocating for the other candidates to drop out, so that their candidate could go one on one with Trump. But I saw the handwriting on the wall. It became obvious that there were more of these Trump cultists than we’d wanted to believe, and they could not be reasoned with. Nothing he said or did would change their minds. Every step of the way I’ve had people say, “Don’t worry, it’s all going to work out. Trump will never get the nomination.” So here we are now with Trump as the only person standing. I’m not going to leave blank a vote for the highest office in the land, but I also don’t want to merely vote symbolically or to write in a name that will become one of hundreds of names written in. I doubt that a third party candidate can win at this point. Maybe they never could, but any hope of that probably ended months ago. But there are substantive reasons for at least making the attempt.
- It gives those of us who are Never Trump someone to vote for in good conscience and aligns us in one direction, rather than having us go off in all kinds of different directions.
- It measures the conservative opposition to Trump. When Trump loses in a landslide I want them to see how many conservatives jumped ship. Of course, they’ll use that to blame us for Hillary’s win, but they’ll need to be reminded that none of those votes were ever going to go for Trump, but they would have gone to a credible nominee.
- If the numbers look significant it could open a door for inclusion in the debates. So many people dislike both Hillary and Trump that perhaps even more could be persuaded to vote for a third option.
- It could be the genesis of a serious conservative party or movement, in the event that the GOP fails to recover from the looming disaster. I am not among those who want to see the GOP destroyed. It was the party of Lincoln and Reagan, after all, and has at least been an alternative to the leftist pull of the Democrat party. But if it comes to be defined by the likes of Donald Trump and his supporters there may be a need for a viable alternative to the Democrats.
I think there are other reasons, but these are the primary ones. At one time Erick Erickson and others were seriously discussing how to put together a third party alternative. That talk died down as the plan shifted to trying to pull Cruz over the finish line. Obviously that didn’t work out for us. I wish they’d tried to balance two balls at once and continued working toward a third party while also working toward a Cruz victory. But we’re now at the point where the Never Trump movement either divides up and goes in all sorts of directions or we start working toward a viable alternative to the disaster that looms. It needs to happen fast, because already a lot of elected officials are swallowing hard and saying they’ll go with Trump. I’m also seeing among friends who have despised him but are now saying they’ll support him to keep Hillary out of the White House (to which I say, “Hillary was elected last night.”) I want someone credible to vote for in November, and I don’t believe I’m alone in that.