This election is about America’s future, not conservatism’s.
Sunday’s presidential debate got me thinking about a twitter conversation I had this weekend with Jonah Goldberg, a columnist for National Review and other publications. I like Jonah. He’s what I would call an ideological conservative purist. But I break with him on the most critical issue of this election cycle. Jonah and like-minded conservatives refuse to stop trying to help elect Hillary Rodham Clinton president by trashing her opponent.
In his defense, he sees it as standing up for principles and values, which is a good thing. But this conversation made me realize that it is not the left which is threatening to sink America this year; it is the conservative purist who may actually send this country swirling down the crapper.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Goldberg’s position. In fact, I use to think much like him, so much so that I declared myself a libertarian or, more appropriate, in the words of the National Review Online editor Charles C.W. Cooke, a “conservatorial.” However, over the past eight years, and upon deep reflection on the Clinton years, I have realized that this is war which means we have to be focused on winning.
Many conservative purists like to say they are Americans first, conservatives next, and Republicans third. However, the political left does not make that distinction. It focuses on winning. Look at Bernie Sanders. This self-described socialist stood for fighting entrenched interests on Wall Street but he is not clinging to his liberal purism in light of hacked emails detailing some of Hillary Clinton’s secret speeches to Wall Street. Instead, he is on the stump for Hillary because he knows that she is closer to his dream than Donald Trump, and one step closer to his socialist vision is better than no steps.
Hillary Clinton and the left understand how to win and win big. They have little scruples. They launch repeated false attacks on the Republican presidential nominee every time and every chance they get in every election. We saw this ethos reflected in the description of the Affordable Care Act whose MIT-educated architect, Jonathan Gruber, plainly said (after the fact) that he and others deliberately sought to fool the “stupid” American people.
The left is so good at winning they got a supposedly conservative Chief Justice John Roberts to twist himself into a legal pretzel and rule in favor of Obamacare. Let that sink in for a moment. Do you get that? Something happened in the halls of the Supreme Court to get Roberts on their side.
Then we have the exoneration of Hillary Clinton by the Federal Bureau of Investigation whose director, a Republican, ignored the law and not only refused to recommend an indictment of Hillary for even a misdemeanor but went the extra mile in granting immunity to many of her closest advisors and other underlings, publicly inoculating her from future investigation.
Given this successful track record of manipulating its political opposition, consider for a moment what the left would do enact the agenda of a second Clinton administration. We know from her Wall Street speeches that she has a dream of open borders in the western Hemisphere. What machinations would Hillary undertake to make that dream a reality?
Consider other serious aspects of Hillary Clinton’s agenda; more power to the United Nations, Supreme Court nominations of people who can run roughshod over the Bill of Rights, restrictions on religious liberty, the erosion of our Second Amendment rights, stifling the emergence of 21st century commerce like Uber and AirBnB, which are less easily hamstrung by federal regulations, even muzzling the press if they do not echo the liberal line, like Jonah Goldberg’s National Review.
I do not advocate lying or abandoning moral scruples to achieve political ends. I do not believe in betraying my constitutional beliefs. I also do not believe in sacrificing the future of generations of Americans forced to live with the results of another Clinton presidency on the altar of ideological purity.
I do believe in winning and one way to do that is to coalesce behind the person who can best reflect our ideals in the absence of a candidate who reflects all of our ideals. The message to conservative purists who think of themselves as so intellectually high and mighty is simple; stop supporting Hillary Clinton via your continued attacks on the Republican presidential nominee. You don’t have to support Donald Trump but you also don’t have to keep trying to tamp down support for him.
This election is about more than Republican versus Democrat, Trump versus Clinton. It is about whether our nation will continue to be a beacon of liberty, individualism, and free enterprise. To my friends who spend so much time fretting over the future of American conservatism, I ask them to spend a bit more time fretting over the future of America.
This article originally appeared on spectator.org