Conservative Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has been an outspoken critic of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Sasse has gone after Trump, saying that he not only refuses to show up to the GOP Convention in Cleveland, but has floated the possibility of running as a Conservative alternative third party candidate.
2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney has suggested a similar premise, though I doubt his run will sit well with grassroots Conservatives, he may pull votes from the establishment Republicans who support John Boehner.
Now, as many pundits have pointed out, a third party candidate not affiliated with either the Republicans or Democrats or with third parties like the Libertarian Party or Green Party will have a tough time getting on state ballots. Many states close their election filings at the end of June or July, in fact, Texas has already closed.
However, I do think a Conservative alternative to Trump is needed. He is already pivoting to the left, declaring on Fox News, “This is the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party.” Trump and his surrogates do not realize he cannot have it both ways. He cannot say he is pro-life, for religious liberty, friend of Israel, gun rights supporter, while simultaneously burning bridges with American citizens who align with the Conservative movement.
The establishment Republicans created Donald Trump by constantly shoving John McCains, Mitt Romneys, and the Bush family down our throats. Trump brought in independents to the open primaries who are tired of the Democrats shoving the Clintons down their throats and that swung the nomination in his favor. The trouble is, the GOP’s bread is buttered by the Conservatives and we are angry.
Some are throwing their weight behind the Libertarian Party and others are choosing not to vote at all. Those, like me, are holding out for a third party candidate who is Conservative to rise. Whether that is Ben Sasse, or Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen, or someone else, remains to be seen.
Others have said that they will support Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton and then float out until 2020, reshaping the GOP then. I do disagree with that tactic. Let’s remember, until the Reagan Revolution, there was not much difference between the Republicans and Democrats outside of fiscal responsibility and foreign policy. The Republican Party was not necessarily founded on what Conservatives think of when they think liberty. A new party that is founded on values that Conservatives share would be an ideal switch.
What would that look like? There is a Conservative Party of New York that was founded by Conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr, as well as a few other minor state parties. Should we start there or with another Conservative party like the Constitution Party or from scratch? Again, I say we start from scratch. That idea could surge as I am sure that those in the grassroots movements like Dana Loesch, Bill Kristol, Tara Setmayer, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, and others could feed true Conservatism into the party’s platform. Maybe politicians like Texas Senator and former Trump rival Ted Cruz could get on board.
From the beginning, founded on the values that really matter, the establishment GOP could float over and bother the Democrats like the late Senator Arlen Specter did in 2009. There could be greater control over the party platform and on the candidates.
Now, I am not saying this will happen in 2016, but unless the Republican Party learns its lesson from this election cycle, there could be a reckoning with the electorate.
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