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July 18, 2016

If #NeverTrump Prevailed, Who Would They Nominate?

There are two principal objections to Trump -- personal, and policy-oriented.

Many are put off by Trump's low-class, anti-intellectual known-nothing approach and mercurial (and vulgar) temperament. That's the personal objection, obviously.

Many are also put off by his repudiation of "Business Class Republicanism."

If #NeverTrump had its way, would we get a candidate without Trump's personal flaws who nevertheless represented the break from Business Class Republicanism most voters voted for?

Unlikely in the extreme, says Peter Spilakos -- they'd put up the kind of candidate the base has expressly rejected.

Whether they were a governor, or a senator – whether they were white, black, Hispanic, or Asian — whether they were male or female — any candidate that emerged from a contested convention brokered among the party’s elites would almost certainly be part of the elite Republican consensus.

Many of the most determined NeverTrumpers in political journalism are among the harshest critics of the arrogant, and entitled Republican establishment, but a NeverTrump convention coup would most likely have produced a candidacy that would be based on the smug, business class Republicanism that was explicitly rejected by two-thirds of the party electorate. Trump is the wrong answer, but I don’t think rebuilding a broad-based conservatism starts with explaining why Trump is bad. It starts with Republican leaders (and aspirant leaders) understanding all the ways that the Republicanism of the George W. Bush administration, and the Romney campaign, and the 2012 Republican National Committee autopsy were insufficient to the needs of the moment. It starts with saying to Trump supporters (and Bernie supporters, and Clinton supporters) “This is where we got it wrong, and this is how we can get it right.” It starts with humility rather than self-righteousness.

NeverHappen?

One of the great things about being among the self-declared elite is that you are, definitionally, #NeverWrong. That's what makes you elite, after all. If you're ever wrong, you're not elite, therefore elites are always right.


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posted by Ace at 12:26 PM

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