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Consider this my official endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
I certainly didn’t think it would come to this. Endorse Hillary? Gross! What on Earth is happening?
The 2016 presidential election has been one of the most anticipated elections in my life. The possibility of the first female running as the Democratic Party headliner is an enticing choice to most progressive Americans, as well as to a vast majority of media outlets. In contrast, the prospects of conservatives retaining majorities in both chambers with an actual conservative president have made even the most pro-Reagan curmudgeon gleefully clap in joy.
For several years, however, I sensed looming trouble on the horizon. The right candidate would be needed to oppose Hillary’s turn in history. Not just anyone would do.
Here in Wisconsin, I wrote emphatically that Scott Walker was not that candidate. It needed to be someone highly educated that could neutralize Hillary’s voting impact with minorities and women. I felt the best conservative candidate would be someone that turned the election into a math problem and not a "War on Women" problem. The path to genuine conservative federal reforms was narrow, but it was realistic. Instead, principled conservatives woke up Wednesday morning with Donald Trump as the nominee. Now what?
Trump and Clinton are both New York liberals with nearly identical positions on a vast majority of issues. While Clinton has lurched left to gain support of the liberal base, Trump has lurched right to gain the support of conservatives. If you strip away the pandering, they are essentially the same candidate. They will say and do anything to get elected because nearly every position they profess to hold is malleable.
The short-term conservative thinker looks at Hillary as a vulnerable candidate and will unite behind Trump for the coveted White House prize. They will overlook the fact that a New York liberal, very similar in makeup to Hillary Clinton, will have boundless input on the future Republican Party platform. They will ignore what the political party will ultimately look like fueled with Trump Conservatism. Instead, short-term conservatives cling to their emotional attachments of delusion that a president will change what is wrong with their lives.
The long-term conservative thinker sees an inevitable conclusion leading from two similar choices. They will agonizingly concede the Supreme Court because without a true conservative platform, the Supreme Court is most assured lost to liberalism either way. If Trump conservatism rebrands the Republican Party, then you can eventually say goodbye to Congressional majorities, many or all gun rights, Citizens United, free speech rights, religious freedom, Voter ID, Right to Work and any other type of union limiting legislation.
The long-term thinker knows that all of these principles will be lost because they aren’t things New York liberals support or value, from a conservative perspective. The only possible way to stop this from happening is to reject Trump conservatism. They must ride out the next four years of Obama’s third term and regroup with a modern message that rejects the short-sighted principles that seem to elate bigots all over this country.
In short, I fear four years of Hillary’s presidency less than I fear four years of a Trump presidency. While there is little doubt that the Trump movement will have devastating effects down-ballot for conservatives, at the end of four Clinton years there will still be a viable conservative party. The failure to reject Trump conservatism will render the GOP as a second liberal political party stripped of all of the values and economic principles that have defined the conservative movement for decades.
Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that simply tossing away my vote with a third-party choice isn't going to be enough repudiation of Trump conservatism. In order to save the conservative movement, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. I would encourage my fellow conservatives to do some critical thinking, look at the long-term ramifications of a Donald Trump vote and follow my lead.
Yes, it will mean being called a traitor. Yes, it means you will endure lectures on conservatism from Trump supporters that can’t name five of the eight U.S. Supreme Court justices. Yes, it will also mean you will be listening to Trump supporters discuss his trade agreement proposals while they, themselves, are not able to identify three active U.S. trade agreements.
I welcome that scorn from people ultimately looking to government deities to solve their problems. That’s what conservatives used to fight for and that’s what they can fight for again by rejecting Donald Trump and casting a vote for Hillary Clinton.
John Mumper is married with two young daughters. He was born in Wisconsin and grew up on various types of farms throughout the state. John was educated at UW-Whitewater with degrees in Political Science and History and has traveled extensively throughout the world.
Today, he works closely with various types and sizes of manufacturers and building products suppliers as an outside salesman. In his spare time, he enjoys the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, politics and brewing his own powerful beers.