Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Never Trump Republicans: Spoilers or Saviors?

 By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
If enough of them decide that Hillary’s corruption is too much to take, she could be finished, at last.
Will there be an eleventh-hour Never/Against/No Trump Reconsideration?
The question gains new relevance as a Hillary Clinton landslide, widely predicted until recently, now seems unlikely.
We are back to the razor’s edge, a likelihood of a close one- to three-point victory either way, and an even closer vote in the Electoral College. Once again, eyes focus on the Never Trump camp. It is at a crux, no doubt feeling schadenfreude that in extremis Donald Trump would beckon to them, of all people, with his “come home” campaign, while they are uneasy that his home-stretch themes, despite all the scary talk of a new exclusionary nationalism, nonetheless reflect most of the positions of their own mainstream conservatism.

The more inept Clinton, Inc. — shrill, ad hominem, and conspiratorial — becomes on the stump, oddly, the calmer Trump finally campaigns — again, prompting the question of whether enough Never or Against Trumpers will have second thoughts that might help Trump win close swing states such as North Carolina, Colorado, or Nevada. In other words, will watching the spiraling Clinton criminality and shamelessness finally drive some anti-Trump conservatives to hold their nose and vote Trump? Will enough conclude that a conservative in a swing state sitting out or voting for a symbolic candidate is a de facto sanction of an agenda that they have spent most of their lives opposing?
Trump and Pence both have recently given impressive issues-orientated speeches. In contrast, an exasperated Hillary Clinton keeps resorting to Jimmy Carter’s 1980 tactic of demonizing the Republican nominee as dangerous, ill-tempered, and existentially reckless — without much interest in reminding supporters of the supposed benefits of her own progressive agenda. Her campaign is being reduced to unimaginative but familiar Clinton boilerplate: Trump is a bad guy, and the formerly sterling FBI director, James Comey, is now a corrupt Trump partisan. At the end, who thought that Trump would be subdued and campaigning on the issues, and the supposedly cool professional politico Clinton reduced to frenetic smears and conspiracies? Otherwise, Clinton apparently believes that, after her motor blew up this past weekend, the Democratic campaign boat can still coast to shore just ahead of a rapidly closing Trump. She could be right.
For all the talk of buffoonery versus criminality, the divide, at least in November 2016, is over issues and ostensibly could not be clearer for both conservatives and liberals.
On the Supreme Court, Obamacare, the debt, rebuilding the military, the Second Amendment, school choice, abortion, reforming the tax code, reexamining regulation, energy exploration and production, illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, and a host of other issues, the Republican ticket is the antithesis of Clinton/Kaine — and is recognized as such by nearly all progressives. Unlike the Democratic prospect, the conservative message oddly still has the chance of being empowered by both Houses of Congress and eventually a Supreme Court.
WikiLeaks, the DNC revelations, the FBI investigations, the Podesta trove, etc., all remind voters in this lowball campaign that Clinton is not a more moral and ethical candidate than Trump, whatever his flaws and shortcomings. And the world we glimpse in John Podesta e-mails is an accurate reflection of the values and interests that created and enriched the Clintons and that would continue their insidious influence in a second Clinton presidency. Remember that the Clinton remorse, such as it is, is not over graft and sabotage of the law and high office but merely over having their habitual corruption exposed. The weird case of Anthony Weiner’s e-mails completed the Clinton circle from immorality to farce, as hubris earned Nemesis — who, remember, always arrives late and in strange incarnations.
It is said that the election poses risks. In fact, in the sense of uncertainty, it does not, at least in the case of Hillary Clinton: There is no mystery at all. Her long record, campaign, published platform, and solidarity with Barack Obama would ensure a twelve-year era of continuing left-wing court appointees, as well as a likely single-payer rescue for the failed Obamacare, more debt incurred for entitlements, a shrinking and more politicized military, more efforts to prune the Second Amendment, no to school choice, expansion of abortion opportunities, more hidden higher taxes on the middle classes and more overt higher taxes on the upper-middle classes, more regulations on small business, more tribal divisiveness, open borders, sanctuary cities and amnesties, crony-green capitalism, and a continued war on fossil fuels. And, of course, there will be endless investigations, more ruined lives of obsequious subordinates, more attacks on prosecutors and the FBI, plea bargains, and scandals as leaks just keep leaking — and always more white lies like her recent false assertion that James Comey wrote his reinvestigation letter only to Republicans.
Clinton’s only remaining advantage is Democratic unity in comparison with the minority party’s fragmentation. Strangely, the supposedly idealist Bernie Sanders, who is the victim of deliberate Clinton-inspired sabotage and subterfuge, in a way that was not paralleled during the Republican primaries, has no compunction about rallying his base to support Hillary. In contrast, Trump’s uncouthness has turned off his rivals and their supporters, who still in large part insist that they will not support him despite the transparency of the primaries and the long-ago oath of fealty of the Republican candidates to the eventual nominee.
The election could depend on how many center-right Republican moderates and independents decide that Hillary’s left-wing visions of a 21st-century America and her innate criminality finally become too much to endure, and how many at last demand her retirement from politics.

If 300,000 to 400,00 apostates in three or four swing states feel that way over the weekend, and come home, she would be finished.

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