If The Choice Is Between Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, I'll Take Ryan

There are 27 days until the election. Donald Trump has decided the best course of action at this time is to pick a fight with Paul Ryan. Trump is bothered Paul Ryan basically told the House GOP caucus to worry about their own electoral races and ignore Trump if they so chose.

Trump, never one to dismiss a personal slight, naturally went after Ryan on Twitter, calling him “very weak” and “ineffective.” Granted, Ryan himself is somewhat to blame for these troubles. After succumbing to party pressure after first saying he might endorse Trump, he finally did. The release of the “grab them by the p**sy” tape wasn’t so much the last straw for some Republicans to rescind endorsements, but rather an acknowledgement they knew this was likely not the last of it.

So now Trump is back to taking advice from campaign CEO, Steve Bannon. As Patterico wrote last night, Bannon believes Paul Ryan is part of some left wing globalist cabal that wants to usurp American sovereignty. He refers to Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States of America, as “the enemy.”

Is it any wonder Paul Ryan’s primary opponent, Paul Nehlen, is tweeting garbage like this:

Nehlen is comparing Ryan to Vidkun Quisling who essentially sold out his home country of Norway to the Nazis and was executed for it. Nice comparison. Nehlen lost to Speaker Ryan by nearly 70 points in the primary race.

Katrina Pierson, Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, along with a select group of Trump cultists are actually encouraging people to support Trump, but not down ballot candidates.

The media is naturally framing all of this incorrectly. In a Politico piece, reporters Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan write:

The split between Trump and GOP congressional leaders has created a political dynamic without precedent in recent decades. It shows once again the widening gulf between the Republican establishment and the hard-line conservative wing that’s taken over the party.

This idea that everybody in the GOP opposed to Trump represents the “establishment”, as Trump and his supporters represent “conservatism,” is poppycock. There is nothing conservative about prattling on about “globalism” or promising to undo trade deals where the benefits have far outweighed any negatives. Supporting immigration reform and border security can be accomplished without the rank nationalism that emanates from Trump and his supporters. Finally, conservatives do not appeal to the lowest common denominator by promising to be an authoritarian who will “alone” solve problems.

Paul Ryan on the other hand, does encapsulate what it means to be a conservative. William F. Buckley defined conservatism this way:

Conservatism aims to maintain in working order the loyalties of the community to perceived truths and also to those truths which in their judgment have earned universal recognition.

Examples of conservatism would be:

  • The right to life.
  • Familial and social stability.
  • Prudent administration and governance
  • Liberty
  • Free enterprise.
  • Respect for the law and the dignity of the human person.

All of these are debatable at a macro level, but it’s what somebody like Paul Ryan represents in the overall. It is that vision of conservatism, not Trump’s spittle-flecked authoritarian power grab vision of “conservatism” that will lead the GOP back to national victory.

I’ll take Paul Ryan’s vision of conservatism and leadership over that of Donald Trump any day.