For months, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that I hope Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination. Why? Because for the last two presidential elections, conservatives have been lying to themselves in a way that endangers our country. When John McCain lost a race that no Republican could have won, conservatives said it was because he was a moderate. When Mitt Romney lost, it was because he was a “moderate.” I can’t overstate how much damage this argument has done to our country – it is this thinking that has encouraged ultraconservatives to run primary campaigns against slightly more practical ultraconservatives, creating a climate of fear among elected Republicans and thereby also creating the culture of brinksmanship that was so dominant in the Boehner years. It’s done real harm to our economy, to our most vulnerable citizens, and to our standing in the world.
Well, Ted Cruz is the Movement Conservative platform come to life, in all of its repulsive glory. A Ted Cruz loss would blow the conservative fantasy of their movement’s popularity to smithereens, because no one is more conservative than Ted Cruz. This is a man who attacked Donald Trump not for his open racism but for saying that we shouldn’t let Americans die in the streets. If he wins a nomination and then loses the general (as he almost surely would), the conservative movement may finally, finally lose its stranglehold on the party.
The danger was always that by some horrible circumstance, Cruz might then go on to win the general election. Well, folks, that looks nearly impossible now. In order to win the general, Cruz will first have to win the nomination at the convention despite having far fewer votes and delegates than Donald Trump, and then somehow unite the party. Put simply, that’s not going to happen. If you have some evidence somewhere that Donald Trump and his supporters are graceful losers, show me, because everything I’ve seen in the last months practically screams otherwise. So we’re starting from a place where Ted Cruz essentially steals the nomination from the Trump people, prompting an even greater crackup than a Trump nomination would. Trump has no incentive to play nice, and his supporters aren’t loyal Republican party people. A good third of the party would peel off to either write in “Trump” or stay home altogether, and you can’t win an election with only two thirds of just under half the country.
So this is the scenario I’ve been hoping for all along, and it looks like it may well happen: Ted Cruz is going to steal the nomination at the convention, and then be crushed in the general. The implications down-ballot are enormous. We may well be looking at a solidly Democratic Senate, a House that’s much closer than expected, and a President Clinton empowered to nominate whomever she pleases to the Supreme Court, for however many vacancies open up within the next two to four years. What kind of a person will she likely nominate? Well, let’s see. Last time we had a Clinton in office – the more conservative Clinton, mind you – we ended up with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I’m very happy right now.
N.S. Dolkart is the author of Silent Hall, available for pre-order at any bookstore in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. It’s coming out in June, and it’s really good. You should buy it.