Foreswear a Third Party Bid? Nah.


Written by J. Robert Smith

At Thursday night’s GOP cattle call, Bret Baier asked for a show of hands.

Gentlemen, we know how much you love hand-raising questions. So we promise, this is the only one tonight: the only one. Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person.

Yeah, of course, the question was aimed squarely at The Donald.  Put him on the spot.  Make the guy squirm.  Except you can’t make a showboat squirm.  Limelight has a photosynthetic quality for The Donalds of the world.  Good publicity, bad — hey, it’s publicity.  It’s about ratings, baby.

This isn’t to take a swipe at The Donald.  He’s shrewdly filled a void created by years of RINOism run amok.  Nowadays, we have one party — the Democratic — with another that’s the equivalent of a suckerfish.  In fact, for much of the GOP’s modern history, save for the Reagan and Gingrich Pauses in the 80s and 90s, it’s pretty much been that way.

Democrats and establishment Republicans aren’t identical twins, but they darn well are fraternal.  “Washington, D.C., First!” is their battle cry.  “Jobs, incomes, and status!” shout Inside-the-Beltway Republicans.  Sure, RINOs want to green-eyeshade government; you know, trim it back some, make it run more efficiently.  Same old, same old.  They yak about doing away with Obamacare (yak while doing next to nothing).  They’re also in cahoots with Democrats who are flooding the nation with illegals, including too many hombres.  The Democrats do it for power.  RINOs do it to serve their big business patrons.  Power, money — different sides, same coin.

Mushy thinking afflicts RINOs like body-wide psoriasis.  This gets us back to an independent run for the presidency.  Whether for or against The Donald, forget the person for a moment.  The reason why it’s critical for conservatives to keep the independent or third party option on the table is that another RINO nominee is a nonstarter.  A RINO won’t win the presidency.  Repeat, a RINO… won’t… win… the… presidency.

We hear this trope every four years: “Well, Dole might not be a true-blue conservative, but he’s better than Clinton.”  Or McCain is better than Obama.  Or Mitt is better than Barack.  Or — fill in the blank.  It’s our side’s definition of insanity.  We keep trying the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  No… different… result.

The Republican Party can flourish if — let’s be brutally honest here — RINOs are shoved to the margins and the GOP becomes a conservative party, but not just for a season.  For the long term.  Conservatism needs a lot of traction to save the country.  The word “save” is used with much deliberation.

Conservative principles need to saturate the GOP from precincts up to party HQs.  Presidential tickets need to be conservative tickets, not conservative-RINO amalgams.  The House speakership and caucus leadership positions can’t be the domains of squishes (Yes, John Boehner, we mean you and your ilk).  McConnell needs a Blue Grass horse farm to retire to (let’s start a collection).

A conservative-led GOP needs to align with main streets, not K Street and Wall Street.  It must get in step with the grassroots on critical issues that RINOs are shunning or just paying election-year lip service to.

That’s reviving free enterprise by booting crony capitalism and taking sledge hammers to big government.  That’s closing our borders and ushering illegals back to their home countries.  That’s returning to an assertive foreign policy and a national defense that backs down our adversaries.  That’s unapologetically embracing American exceptionalism.  That’s unashamedly being for traditional American values.  That’s waging war against leftist jackboots who are in the early stages of persecuting Americans of conscience and faith.

Fight like Marines, damn it.  Fight with audacity and vision.  Push liberty amendments until they happen, even if “happen” is a generation from now.  Talk straight to the American people.  They can’t handle the truth?  At least one day they won’t be able to say that the truth wasn’t told to them.

The left never surrenders.  There’s pit-bull tenacity to the left that our side should acquire.  We’re in a fight for liberty.  There’s no winning this fight in league with compromised, linguini-spined RINOs.  Conservatives need to be the dog, the RINOs the tail — forever more.

Keep this critical consideration in mind, ladies and gentlemen.  A sprawling field of GOP presidential contenders means a dramatically fractured electorate.  The prospect of a significant winnowing of candidates after Iowa and New Hampshire is highly problematic.  Why?  21 state GOPs have opted to conduct primaries/caucuses before March 15.

Republican Party rules require that the division of delegates resulting from pre-March 15 contests is proportional.  Winner-take-all is prohibited.  Other state Republican parties can still opt to move their contests before March 15.  Significant proportional divvying of delegates is a recipe for a brokered convention.  A brokered convention is aces and deuces wild — in other words, it’s anyone’s game.  It’s all wheel and deal, and that means a RINO could well emerge as the Republican nominee, regardless the preponderance of votes for conservative candidates throughout the primary/caucus season. Conservatives need what Donald Trump spoke of the morning after the debate: Leverage.

And if a conservative fails to secure the GOP nomination in 2016, then what?  Will we just fill ourselves up with soothing bromides?  Perhaps cling to some misbegotten sense of virtue, going down with yet another RINO-captained ship?  Too much is at stake for self-delusion, misplaced Boy Scout loyalty, or martyrdom.

Is a third party run for a conservative a viable alternative if the GOP goes soft again?  Heck, yes.  It would be more like a second party bid with ambitions to be America’s first party.  Who etched in stone that the Democratic or Republican parties have claims on our electoral systems in perpetuity?  Can we suppose the early Republicans didn’t get that memo about the Democrats and Whigs?

Liberty’s in the balance.  We conservatives owe the fight for freedom everything we’ve got.  Don’t let Democrats and RINOs dictate the ground we fight on.  That’s up to us.

Originally published at