By Nick Stolte || Contributing Writer
The 2016 Republican Presidential Primary was a battle for the soul of both the Republican Party and the United States. The Republicans made massive gains in state legislatures, Governor’s mansions, the House, and the Senate. Republicans had the opportunity to pass a conservative New Deal.
Immediately, the party seemed to abandon policy as candidates like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush were ignored for the populism, nationalism, and bluster of Donald Trump.
The so called Never Trump movement formed and did everything in its power to stop Trump, and yet they never even came close to victory. The battle for the soul of the Republican Party was lost, and now even Trump’s greatest foes have embraced him.
Just this week Mitt Romney graciously accepted Trump’s Senate endorsement, after two years of feuding with the President over his behavior.
Romney was a voice of reason for the party during the primaries and eloquently refuted Trump after Charlottesville. Romney accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012, but promised that he would not accept his endorsement after seeing the policies and rhetoric Trump supported in 2016. Romney apparently lied to the American people and Utahns, as he accepted Trump’s endorsement with a smile and a wave.
As Trump rose in popularity among Republicans, each Republican politician seems to have decided that fighting with Trump for the soul of the party is not a wise political calculation. Look no further than Senator Jeff Flake to see what happens to those that oppose the President. Trump’s party would rather support the recently pardoned lunatic sheriff Joe Arpaio than Senator Flake.
In the age of Trump, the Joe Arpaio’s of the Republican Party are beginning to become the rule rather than the exception. The movement that nearly gave you Senator Roy Moore is far from finished, yet there are few Republicans willing to stand up against the madness.
Without decent Republicans to articulate the conservative message, the GOP will become dominated by fringe losers who are more likely to believe in chemtrails than the conservative movement.
The Never Trump movement has been an unmitigated disaster from its inception and party leaders have ceded the Republican Party to President Trump. There seems to be no man or woman in the party with the audacity to stand up to the President and it is not like there is a lack of reasons to do so.
If the future of the conservative movement is defending ridiculous late night tweets from a man who does not take his office seriously, there is no point to being a conservative or Republican any longer.
If Republicans continue their embrace of Trump, many will see their careers end after the midterms, and deservedly so. The party of Trump has no future, but there is still a chance to reclaim the conservative movement and the Republican Party however slim it may be.
Junior Nick Stolte is a contributing writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.