First a caveat: If you don’t believe that illegal and legal immigration are an existential threat to the conservative movement, nothing that follows will make sense. The analysis below is predicated on the belief that our borders must be restored, immigration must be curtailed, and the philosophy of open borders must be engaged and defeated.
No other conservative issue matters if the electorate is allowed to demographically shift to the Left. In this battle, both Democrats and Establishment Republicans (beholden to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) are our opponents. If they are not defeated, no other issue matters because we won’t have the votes to win on any other issue.
For this reason, we will tolerate a GOP nominee who is not orthodox if that candidate will directly confront the Dem/Establishment GOP on the issue of immigration and dramatically shift us away from the open borders policy of the last few decades.
We like the Club for Growth and have admired their dedication to fiscal issues for many years now. CfG has done a spectacular job of targeting GOP politicians who are not fiscal conservatives and defeating them in their primaries. However, CfG has begun to spearhead a multi-million dollar effort to thwart Trump’s campaign, citing problems with his past fiscal statements and his position on Eminent Domain. The CfG apparently doesn’t see immigration as an existential threat to their fiscally conservative political goals. We do.
In this election, we are taking our cue from Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the most prominent and articulate voice arguing for genuine immigration reform that:
–Reduces and reforms legal immigration;
–Prohibits corporate interests from importing low-wage foreign workers; and
–Eliminates the incentives that draw illegal aliens into the U.S.
Because no other candidate will take a hard stand on these issues, Trump is the only candidate that deserves conservative support. Of course, without a voting history, we can’t know if Trump will follow through on his campaign promises. In addition, we’ve noticed a defect that leads him, from time to time, to tell audiences what they want to hear, even when that may contradict an earlier statement.
However, Trump has also endured significant financial loss as a result of his stand on these issues. His stubbornness in the face of criticism is an argument in his favor. It will take a man with an iron will to overcome the protests, hysterical clamoring (UPDATE: Example) and apocalyptic predictions that have only just begun on this issue. The 50-year status quo on open borders will not die easily.
Probably the best argument for Trump is that he has the right enemies on both sides of the isle. Trump is the GOP’s first populist candidate for President. The GOP won’t stop betraying their base, as they’ve shown in just the last week with their surrender on the budget. Facing a Republican voter revolution that is fueling a Trump insurgency (which they hate), they STILL won’t stop betraying their voters. That’s how dedicated they are to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. GOP leaders show impressive allegiance to that cause, even in the face of electoral defeat. Which proves they will never truly fight for conservative principles.
Which brings us to Dr. Ben Carson. Although he’s an outsider and a genuinely decent person, he is not strong enough in his opposition to immigration (similar to Sen. Ted Cruz) and we don’t believe he has the personality to survive and thrive in the Capitol’s cutthroat environment. Making bold decisions will not be enough. A transformative conservative president will have to be able to sell his actions in the turbulent court of public opinion.
What we like most about Carson is how much of a yin he seems to be to Trump’s yang. Carson is a great compliment to a Trump ticket. While they mostly agree on the issues, they have opposite temperaments–much like Harding and Coolidge. Carson brings a calm dignity to balance off Trump’s energy and bombast.
Carson also brings healthcare expertise and a solid idea for reform with his plan for Health Savings Accounts for all Americans. As Vice President he could lead the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare with a private-sector system that is both sustainable and beautifully aligned with American values.
Carson also connects with the country’s evangelicals and could help to motivate millions of them to show up at the polls in November, like they did in 2004.
To be clear, some GOP voters will refuse to support a ticket that doesn’t reflect their Establishment/Chamber sensibilities. However, a Trump/Carson ticket shifts the demographic turnout for both parties and probably makes it impossible for Democrats to win the Electoral College. Those voters Trump and Carson loose from the upper middle class, they will more than make up for in other voter categories.
There are very few states where the Hispanic vote will change the outcome for either side. Nevada may be one of those states, but contrary to the protestations of self-appointed ethnic leaders, the party preference of the Hispanic vote will not change dramatically enough to effect the outcomes in the states that are usually in play. (UPDATE: “Donald Could Win Over Hispanics“)
Both men would pull more Black votes than the usual GOP candidate. Trump’s personality and lifestyle connect with some Black men, and Carson is Black, obviously. The typical GOP presidential candidate usually garners 6-9% of the Black vote. A Trump/Carson ticket would pull 15-30%. Even at the low end of that estimate, Ohio and North Carolina are lost to the Democrats and a number of other Blue States could come into play including Michigan and Pennsylvania. If these states are open questions, Hillary’s path to victory is eliminated.
One final thought…
A Trump/Carson ticket is so threatening to the established order in both political parties that it will face hysterical opposition at every point along the road to the White House, perhaps including violence. For this reason, we recognize it as a longshot possibility.
Still, it gives us hope for the future.