For as long as I can remember, Christians and conservatives, for the most part, have NEVER been willing to support a third-party candidate–especially for the office of President of the United States. All we usually hear from these people is: “You are wasting your vote. A vote for the third party is a vote for the Democrat. We must support the Republican Party.” And it doesn’t matter how liberal or phony or big-government the GOP candidate is, either.
George H.W. Bush. Bob Dole. John McCain. Mitt Romney. You can’t scrape them from the bottom any lower than these guys. Name the salient freedom issue: these guys were on the wrong side. They no more represented Christian or conservative values than your neighborhood skunk. Yet, the Christian and conservative communities rallied behind them all: in the name of protecting America from the Democrat.
Suddenly, in 2016, all of that has changed. An “outsider,” Donald Trump, is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Trump bypassed the political protocols. He didn’t run for Congress, the Senate, or a governorship first. He didn’t come to the international bankers begging for money. He didn’t meet with Henry Kissinger (that I am aware of). He didn’t kiss the rings of the Republican establishment elite–and the establishment hates him. I’m talking ALL of the mainstream establishments: the political establishment, the media establishment, the business establishment, the international establishment, and yes, the religious establishment.
The establishment hates Trump so much that they are threatening to leave the Republican Party and run one of their establishment toadies as a third-party candidate. And guess what? A sizeable percentage of pastors, Christians, and conservatives are right in there with them.
Notable Neocons from the Republican Party have openly discussed running a Neocon Republican against Trump as a third-party candidate should Trump win the GOP nomination (which he will). I’m talking about such notables as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, George Will, the publishers of National Review and The Weekly Standard, Condoleezza Rice, Tom Coburn, Rick Wilson, Joel Searby, G.W. and Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, Christine Todd Whitman, et al.
Think of it: Christians and conservatives would not support the third-party candidacy of Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul or Howard Phillips or Michael Peroutka or Chuck Baldwin. Instead, they chose to support Dole and Bush and McCain and Romney. Obviously, the “he can’t win” charge levied against the above-mentioned third-party candidates sure looks anemic, because Bush and Dole and McCain and Romney couldn’t win either. Yet, each third-party candidate listed was in almost total agreement with the values and principles held by most evangelical Christians and so-called “conservatives,” while the establishment GOP candidates were NOT. No matter. If he wasn’t a Republican, he wouldn’t (and didn’t) get their support.
Now, we have the consummate liberal Democrat Hillary Clinton as that party’s most likely presidential nominee. But instead of Christians and conservatives coalescing around the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, they are using phrases normally reserved for Democrats.
How many times did I hear people touting the candidacies of John McCain and Mitt Romney say, “Anyone but Barack Obama”? How many times did I hear people touting the candidacies of H.W. Bush and Bob Dole say, “Anyone but Bill Clinton”? But now these same people are saying, “Anyone but Donald Trump.” Really? Are these Christians and conservatives really willing to give the election to Hillary? It appears so.
It has become obvious that all of the talk over these past several decades about electing the lesser evil Republicans to keep the greater evil Democrats from winning the White House was just so much balderdash and poppycock.
Conventional wisdom says, if the Neocons run a third-party candidate against Trump, Hillary would win. (Maybe that’s what the Neocons want. After all, Hillary herself is a Neocon.) But what Kristol and company say in response is they think they can siphon enough votes from both Trump and Clinton to throw the race into the House of Representatives–where Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan could shove an establishment candidate (maybe himself) through the House. It’s only happened twice in U.S. history: in 1800, when the House elected Thomas Jefferson after he and Aaron Burr received an equal number of electoral votes, and in 1824, when Andrew Jackson won the election in a four-man race but failed to win the number of required electoral votes, and subsequently the House elected John Quincy Adams. Ostensibly, that’s what the Neocons would be hoping for with an establishment third-party run in 2016.
And I do not buy all the pious talk from Christians who say they are not supporting Trump because of his morals (or lack thereof). Really? Christians have supported Republican candidates who have had more than their share of questionable character issues for as long as I can remember. The illicit businesses of the Bush family make Trump’s casinos look like Sunday School classrooms in comparison.
And I suppose I need to keep repeating myself, because so many people seem unable to separate objective analysis (which this is) from personal preference (which this is not): I am NOT endorsing Donald Trump. But it has nothing to do with his casinos or divorces or other so-called “moral” issues. Many of the politicians that Christians help elect year after year are moral and spiritual reprobates. Why are “morals” only an issue with Donald Trump?
Jimmy Carter was one of the most moral men to occupy the Oval Office, but in my opinion, he was one of our worst presidents. Jack Kennedy had the morals of an alley cat, but I would rate his presidency higher than Carter’s–and higher than several Republican presidents. And, yes, I realize that Kennedy was not one of our BEST presidents either–although he might have been the last president we had with the guts to resist the globalists, which is probably what got him killed. (This is probably also what got Reagan shot and what ensconced the Bush Neocons in power–power they are still wielding today and power that Trump threatens.)
My concerns about Donald Trump have to do with my perception of how he would faithfully discharge his duties under the Constitution. I think we are dealing with a HUGE unknown with Trump. I honestly think Trump could become one of our country’s best presidents or he could become one of the worst. He says things that make me think he would be a great president. Then he says things that make me think he would be a horrible president. I TRULY DON’T KNOW. But that’s NOT what this column is all about.
I’m merely trying to point out the hypocrisy of the so-called “Christians” and “conservatives” who are unwilling to support the man who is the presumptive Republican nominee for president after decades and decades of voting for pathetic Republican candidates strictly on the basis of stopping the Democrat. And there could be no worse candidate for president than Hillary Clinton. Yet, these “Christians” and “conservatives” are willing to do what they have NEVER been willing to do before: support a third-party candidate and perhaps help elect a Democrat.
I scratch my head. Why? Why are they willing to support a third-party candidate NOW? Why are they willing to abandon the Republican Party NOW? I think I have the answer.
The people who are supporting Donald Trump are people who are not necessarily party people. In fact, they are sick and tired of both major parties. They are sick of the establishment. They are sick of business as usual. They are sick of elitism. They are sick of the Neocons in politics and the media manipulating their choices for president. They are sick of illegal immigration. They are sick of our jobs going overseas. They are sick of the Warfare State. They are sick of the Welfare State. They are sick of the way the Federal Reserve manipulates our economy for the benefit of the 1%.
Whatever else Donald Trump is or isn’t, he isn’t controlled by the establishment. He isn’t controlled by Wall Street or the military-industrial complex. He isn’t beholden to Jewish bankers or the Neocon war machine. But this isn’t true of the Republicans who are saying, “Never Trump.”
When push comes to shove, which is exactly what is happening RIGHT NOW, the Cruz-Republicans (who are the ones leading the “Never Trump” crusade) would rather support an establishment candidate than they would an anti-establishment candidate. All their rhetoric about Cruz being anti-establishment is just talk. Now that it comes down to it, they are willing to support an establishment candidate to keep the quintessential anti-establishment candidate, Donald Trump, from winning. This proves that these people are in reality establishment themselves.
I will say it straight out: it appears that many of our so-called “Christians” and “conservatives” are in truth ESTABLISHMENT NEOCONS THEMSELVES.
How many of our so-called “Christians” and “conservatives” are themselves living off of the public dole? How many of them are cheerleaders for our endless wars of aggression in the Middle East? How many of them are looking to Washington, D.C., instead of our states and local communities, to solve our problems? How many of them will shun the anti-establishment, non-501c3 fellowships and give their undying support to the establishment 501c3 churches and religious institutions? The answer: MOST of them.
In the final analysis, many of these “Never Trump” Christians and conservatives are simply proving that they are pro-establishment Neocons masquerading as Christians and conservatives.
Again, I am NOT talking about people who aren’t supporting Donald Trump out of genuine conviction. These people have been voting third party FOREVER. I am talking about the millions of Christians and conservatives out there who have held their proverbial noses for the last umpteen years and voted for all kinds of despicable Republican candidates, but who now feign self-righteousness in their refusal to vote for Trump. And not only that, but who are willing to support an establishment third-party Neocon candidate–even if it means electing Hillary Clinton.
And I’ll say this again, too: when it comes to foreign policy, Ted Cruz is as much of a Neocon as Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. And I suspect that so are the vast majority of Ted’s supporters. In fact, if we really knew the foundational reason why so many Christians and conservatives love Ted (and hate The Donald), we might find that it could be summarized in one word: ISRAEL. It’s not about abortion, or the U.S. economy, or constitutional government, or future Supreme Court appointments (think who Hillary will appoint), or jobs, or the Second Amendment, or illegal immigration, or homosexual marriage, or anything of the sort. These people are all about ONE ISSUE, and the issue is ISRAEL. Ted Cruz is a toady for the state of Israel, and Donald Trump is NOT (at least he doesn’t appear to be at this point). And THAT, my friends, is why many of the Cruz people are shouting, “Never Trump.” (Come to think about it, NONE of the aforementioned third-party candidates were toadies for Israel, either. Are you not starting to see a pattern here, folks?)
Whether the Neocon establishment actually follows through with the effort to launch a third-party movement against Trump in November is yet to be seen, of course. More likely, they will try to do to him what they did to Ronald Reagan: convince him that he needs a Neocon vice president in order to win the general election. But Reagan needed George Bush as much as a 747 jet needs helium. Reagan could have picked Humpty Dumpty and would have won the general election. He was that popular. And Donald Trump has exceeded Reagan’s primary totals. In fact, Trump is on track to break all previous Republican primary records.
But an even higher likelihood is that the Bill Kristols of the world will probably wind up doing what Ron Paul predicts: simply supporting Hillary Clinton. (So, would these establishment Christians and conservatives join Kristol in voting for Hillary? Some of them probably would.) See the report:
Ron Paul: Third-Party Candidate ‘Purely A Dream,’ Kristol And The Neocons Will Vote For Hillary
But Trump has been beating the establishment all season long, and there is no reason to think that he cannot continue to beat them. The only thing Trump could do to hurt himself is listen to the Neocons and pick an establishment vice president. That would cast doubt in the minds of his supporters as to just how dedicated he is about his anti-establishment campaign rhetoric.
And, seriously, if all of these professing Christians and conservatives really want to vote for a third-party candidate that truly shares the vast majority of the principles and values that they profess to believe, they would vote for the Constitution Party nominee Darrell Castle. But to say they are willing to support an establishment Neocon third-party candidate only proves that, at their core, THEY are more establishment Neocon than they are Christian or conservative.
© Chuck Baldwin