“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.” William F. Buckley, Jr.
Contrary to the staunch anti-Trump pundits still basking in the (fading) glow of retweets, likes, and follows gained from their unrelenting Trump hate, if conservative Idealism had won out in the primaries, Cruz would have been the nominee and we’d be saying “President-elect Clinton” today. I know, Cruz was my guy, but the facts remain. I’m a big girl, I can take it.
Trump is a pragmatist. He ran his campaign as a pragmatist. And given that the Republicans now have control in D.C., I’d say a pragmatist is exactly what this country needed. Cruz, or any other Conservative of his stripe, could not have beaten Hillary in our current culture. Period.
For hard-core Conservatives still dry heaving over Trump’s victory and lamenting over how he’ll obliterate Conservatism, I would ask you to take a moment and define what you call Conservatism. If you consider yourself a Reagan fan, then I’m here to tell you that, based on his own writings and policies, Trump wouldn’t have been a big problem for The Gipper. Nor would The Don have caused Buckley (the lauded Father of American Conservatism) to sit out this election.
And for those Conservative pundits who have pulled an etymological move on par with the Libs by labeling Trump supporters as the “Alt-right” and who continue to foment the Trump hate by declaring that they’ll “be damned” if they’ll hand the keys to Conservatism over to Trump, I’d like to remind them that those keys were never theirs to hand over in the first place.
Trump is far from ideal, that’s a given, but to be a divisive element in a party while holding out for a candidate who will usher in some kind of “ConservaTopia” is (if we’re honest) a sort of Marxist-style pendulum swinging wildly to the right. Think about it.
Idealism is based in unrealistic expectations. A perfect Conservative candidate (Again, what would that look like? Who gets to decide?), will never exist.