“It is inevitable that Donald Trump will face a primary,” former New Hampshire GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn said in a recent New York Magazine piece. “It certainly remains to be seen who, and how strong, how credible, that challenge will be.”
The piece in the magazine, written by Gabriel Debenedetti, was centered around this primary prospect facing the president; the conclusion among Republican analysts and professionals within the system is that Horn is absolutely right. The NeverTrump movement is still out there, waiting and watching and biding its time until the 2020 election season gets under way. At that point, one or more “true” conservatives will make their bid for the Republican nomination and, in the process, unnecessarily exploit divisions within the party and make our shot at defeating the Democrats that much tougher.
To put it plainly, any Republican who runs against Trump in the 2020 primaries is a disgrace to conservatism. We don’t care if it’s John Kasich, Jeff Flake, or the risen ghost of William F. Buckley himself. This is about something much larger than faithful adherence to conservative principles; this is about a singular choice: Trump…or the Democrats. Because let’s be really clear: There ARE NO Republicans who stand a snowball’s chance in hell of knocking Trump off the top of the ticket. Thus, this race becomes an exercise in ego and nothing else.
Kasich and Flake are seen as the two most likely challengers. The Ohio governor has been a non-stop critic of Trump and the Republican Party in Washington since losing in his bid to win the nomination in 2016. Flake, too, has been a constant thorn in the president’s side, at one point comparing him to a figure no less vile than Joseph Stalin while grandstanding in the Senate. Another dark horse contender – NeverTrump Senator Ben Sasse – has been quieter and more thoughtful in his criticism of the administration and has quite a bit more conservative clout than the aforementioned gentlemen. And then there’s Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who doesn’t miss a chance to go on TV and bash President Trump.
None of these men have any chance whatsoever of taking down the incumbent president, who is one of the most popular Republican leaders in modern history. All they can do is weaken him and serve him up to whatever loon the Democrats choose at the convention. And we’ll say it again: Whatever you might think of Trump and his fidelity to by-the-book conservative principles, who can argue that he is not FAR preferable to the increasingly-extreme Democratic Party?
Our country is not being ruined by mean tweets or angry tirades against the media, despite what these misguided NeverTrumpers would have us believe. It WILL be ruined, however, by a White House that takes its marching orders from the fringe left. If any Republican sets the stage for that to happen, they will share in the blame.