While Hillary Clinton continues to disappoint several Democrats as she fights with all her might to win primaries against a 74-year-old Socialist, Bernie Sanders, and Donald J. Trump fights tooth and nail to keep the Republican party, several #nevertrumporhillary voters are not going to vote. In fact, there is enough to consider a legitimate 3rd party candidate that will either stop one, or the other, or both from getting the final nod by Americans come in November.
It may be time to turn to the old-school psychologists of a hundred years back to explain what is happening today. It calls to mind the phrases zeitgeist or participation mystique, which suggest that there is a subtle but ineffable life force within us collectively — an irresistible wave we cannot resist. And we are led by a piper to new realms, to heights which we could not attain by ourselves and likewise spiral to the deep depths of squalor. We are at the beginning of one of those periods now. This time the piper is presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. And today, as Trump goes, so goes the world.
Visualize an immediate world future in a Trump presidency, currently as real and probable of likely outcomes in 2016 as any other. These events would bring an unravelling of “the West” and the end of American influence in Europe and perhaps the world. It has already begun. Unravelling is what we are experiencing today in this dangerous and stabilizing presidential election season. As the Europeans did last year when they followed Britain to the Asia bank, today they go their own way without giving us a moment’s thought.
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I see only one antidote: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee for president. Mitt Romney for president in 2016.
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While he did meet with Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol earlier this month about a third-party challenge, it appears that Romney has passed and is now the one doing the recruiting, talking to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) to see if either might run against Trump. Romney is sticking his neck out and must be admired for doing so. And if Romney winds up the challenger himself, Sasse, the creative young senator, would be his best choice for vice president. Sasse would fully engage the rising generation in the Senate by bringing its best new senator to greater influence, and advance a future for reasoned conservatives and libertarians.
Historically, time may be right for Romney as chaotic times inherently seek a stabilizing leader. Abraham Lincoln followed decades of Jacksonian mayhem, Franklin Roosevelt followed the Roaring Twenties and the Lost Generation, and Ronald Reagan followed the radical Sixties. A singular, standalone, resolutely moral and positive individual like Romney could calm the waters.
This is Romney’s life moment. If he is successful, he will bring a new era or epoch to the American condition and be recalled through the ages as having been fated by destiny to do so like Lincoln and like Roosevelt.
With so much turmoil, and a huge unknown, many Christian Conservatives, and middle of the road, “Ronald Reagan Democrats”, who all have true convictions which may be their morals, ethics, or integrity will stay home, and this could allow the fringe groups to make the decision for the next President of the United States. Republicans are so desperate to stop the insanity that they are seriously considering drafting Mitt Romney to run against Trump and Carson.
Philip Rucker and Robert Costa revealed in the Washington Post:
Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them.
Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands.
According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.
One of the points that the media has consistently overlooked is that the RNC changed their convention rules so that their primaries don’t mean anything. According to the convention rules, delegates are free to change their minds and support whoever they want, which means that a Trump could have the nomination taken away from the at the Republican convention.
Republicans are terrified that a Trump nomination would hand the White House and Senate to Hillary Clinton along with cutting into their House majority and hurting the party down the ballot. The GOP doesn’t want Mitt Romney because he can win the White House. They like a Mitt-like candidate because even if he loses, he won’t take the rest of the party down with him.
Mitt Romney may return because Republicans have no idea how to stop Donald Trump. What the party leaders don’t understand is that the crazy won’t be denied. They can either ride the wave of insanity or be carried out to sea. Either way, Democrats are looking good for 2016.
Politico just ran a story saying “Republican donors want nothing to do with Trump,” meaning that money might be available to go elsewhere. The Never Trump campaign has many friends in the media sphere, including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Erick Ericson, and George Will. Few national political leaders have taken steps to embrace Trump as you’d expect if the party were going to consolidate. The only new endorsement I could find was by Mitch McConnell, who sort of has to since he’s the Republican majority leader.
The media has been reveling in this political circus and would likely provide a lot of free air time to a credible third candidate.
Rubio and Paul have indicated they will hold to their pledge to support the Republican nominee, but can’t bring themselves to say they are supporting Trump just yet. House Speaker Paul Ryan has avoided an endorsement. Sasse is already calling for a credible third-party candidate, and Sen. Lindsay Graham says he can’t vote for Trump or Hillary. There’s even a new ad campaign by famed advertiser Bob Gardner to “unsell Trump.”
Obviously none of the primary data ultimately determines general election results. Not everyone votes in the primaries. But those who do vote are those most committed their candidates. If Trump doesn’t improve much from his primary total of 10 million, he’s in a heap of trouble come November. Meanwhile, Not Trump has almost 16 million voters, many of whom are experienced in the political process and could turn into the base of volunteers and organizers for the Not Trump candidate.
Who Could Be the #NeverTrump Candidate?
Finding a candidate who could pull this off is not going to be easy. While up-and-coming conservative stars like Justin Amash (R-Michigan), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), and even Rubio and Ted Cruz show much promise for 2020 and beyond, for these potential candidates a 2016 third-party run would be premature and possibly compromise their future prospects.
When 52 percent of voters have preferred someone other than the front-runner, there’s room for a credible third-party run.
Anyone who ran in this cycle who pledged to support the Republican nominee has effectively disqualified himself. Paul, whose “different kind of Republican” status may have made him perfect for such a run, has taken himself out of the running. That pledge was a foolish error in judgement by those that made it and ought not to be repeated.
Any potential candidate needs to be prepared for immense backlash from those Republican leaders who care most about getting an “R” in the White House and those conservative voters who are legitimately afraid a Clinton presidency. They are going to need to make the case, like I do above, that a third-party campaign need not be another Perot spoiler for a Clinton. When 52 percent of voters have preferred someone other than the front-runner, there’s room for a credible third-party run.
In calling for a third-party candidate, Sasse said we can’t have a purity test. While this is true to an extent, the candidate will need to be able to differentiate him or herself from the two major front-runners, and unimpeachable integrity plus a respect for the Constitution and limited government would be the appropriate way to do that. They won’t be able to pull off a third-party run if they can’t get the 16 million “No Trump” voters excited and working for their cause.
So we need someone who cares more for principle than party, cares more for the country than for themselves (because, let’s face it, this probably isn’t going to be a fun ride), and who has the time and credibility to make the case for conservative values. Three names come to mind for the top of the ticket, with one more likely than the other two.
An eminently credible candidate who’s already said he’s on board with supporting a third-party candidate to stop Trump is former senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
An eminently credible candidate who’s already said he’s on board with supporting a third-party candidate to stop Trump is former senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Coburn served three terms in the U.S. House and two terms in the Senate before retiring from political office in 2015. He was seen as a man above partisan politics, refusing to sign the Grover Norquist “No Tax” pledge while willing to call both parties to task for fiscal irresponsibility and partisan obstructionism. He literally wrote the book on how “Washington Turns Outsiders into Insiders,” and claimed fame through his annual “Waste book” reports highlighting frivolous government spending.
He’s known by thousands of activists through his affiliation with “Open the Books” and the “Convention of States” project to amend the Constitution. At a time when people are hungry for someone who stands above the fray, is incorruptible, and desires to change the culture in Washington, Coburn would be a breath of fresh air. While he may benefit from reading Arthur Brook’s new book “The Conservative Heart” to translate some of his budget speech into people-focused rhetoric, no one can say he takes himself too seriously, as evidenced by his rendition of “Rocket Man” that the AP caught on camera.
Other potential candidates include former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, but both men would have to give up their comfortable positions as presidents of Purdue University and the Heritage Foundation, respectively, and the former’s Bush affiliation and the latter’s perceived partisanship may come back to haunt them.
For vice president I’d honestly consider having Carly Fiorina on the ticket. While people joked about her falling off stage or singing a song in her acceptance speech, they tended to ignore her growing popularity and her deftness at slamming Trump and Hillary. She’s got the time, the name ID, and the pizazz to keep the campaign interesting, and her fan base would come out to support her.
They’d want to reach out to minorities, independents, students, and pragmatic Democrats and avoid sectionalism and partisan rhetoric. We don’t have a lot of practice with this, but it’s long overdue we start.
History and present circumstances suggest that a third-party candidate could win, if not a majority, enough states to send the election to the House of Representatives. The candidate would need to be a credible, outside voice who could challenge the two major candidates in demeanor and policy substance, someone like Coburn.
Cruz’s team and Bush’s donors are out there, still opposed to Trump and Hillary, and if there’s a show of support from the people—enough to offer a candidate who didn’t go through the traditional nominating process democratic legitimacy—then such a candidate could very well thrive in this media-saturated environment, qualify for enough statewide ballots, and get into the presidential debates. From there, it would be up to the people to throw off the tyranny of a broken two-party nominating process and elect an adult to the White House. Let’s get to work.
If you are a #nevertrump voter, who would you like to see as winning third party candidate for President and Vice President? The time is now to commit and to make the difference.Tags: 2016 Presidential Election
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