Well, if you believe what you read in the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton was the “obvious” winner of Monday night’s debate. In fact, she was so far and away the victor that Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidency vanished in a cloud of white smoke in front of 100 million viewers. Hell, she should just get a jump start on January and begin moving her things (back) into the White House. Trump’s toast.
And to be fair, they might be right. Trump had some brilliant moments in Monday night’s debate, but he had some not-so-brilliant moments as well. Hillary was as dull as dishwater – the combination of relentless preparation and sub-par charisma will have that effect – but she was polished and consistent. No one can accuse her of incompetence, at least as far as the debate is concerned. And of course, turning in a C+ performance is not that hard when the moderator is basically rooting for you out loud – Was there even a single mention of the word “Benghazi”?
So let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s assume for a moment that Hillary’s media is right. Let’s assume that she’s going to ultimately pull out a win. It’s now the 9th of November and the election has been decided. The post-mortem begins.
And the first question is:
Did we, the nation’s Republicans and conservatives, make a huge mistake by nominating Donald Trump?
The “NeverTrump” people will be happy to tell us the answer. Your Bill Kristols and your Mitt Romneys and your Erick Ericksons and your Glenn Becks will be gloating obnoxiously (while pretending to be so very sad about the Hillary Clinton victory they helped facilitate). Get ready for a lot of “I told you so’s.”
But hey, if Trump loses, they will have been validated right? Well, not so fast. Here are two things to remember when all of this is over:
Firstly, you’re going to hear a lot of people proclaim as FACT that another Republican nominee could have beaten her. But no matter how many statistics they use or how many historical precedents they cite, it will not be the truth. It’s speculation. Maybe Jeb Bush would have won. Maybe Ted Cruz would have won. Maybe Marco, maybe Christie, maybe maybe maybe maybe. It is just as possible that of all the candidates, Trump had the best chance of winning. His loss will not mean that another candidate could have won. At all.
Second, what happened this year had to happen. In all facets – as an opposition party, as the keepers of conservatism, as the representatives of the American people – the Republican Party has been drifting away from the core mission for too long. Even when they get the message right, the follow-through has been pathetic. Enforcing our immigration laws should not be a controversial position. Trump spoke to and for the average American in a way that no Republican has done in ages. We used him to send a clear message this year, and the party would be wise to remember it.
One final note: The Trump phenomenon has been an absolute blast. When was the last time you saw people this excited about a Republican nominee? Trump made the GOP cool again, and that matters more than you might want to admit. That fire will not be extinguished by a loss in November.
And hopefully, future Republican candidates will remember that it’s okay to go against the mainstream media narrative, no matter how entrenched it is. It’s okay to get rowdy. It’s okay to be un-PC. The New York Times may not like it, but there are millions of Americans who have been waiting for a politician who isn’t scared of their own shadow. Courage breeds courage, and liberalism cannot survive in the light of that energy.
Don’t get us wrong; we’re not even close to throwing in the towel. Trump can still do this.
But if he doesn’t, we’re still better off for having tried.