It appears likely that Donald Trump may be the Republican Party’s nominee.   GOP establishment attempts to stop Trump at all cost may affect the general election by subverting the will of a large number of voters  including some new voters willing to support a Republican.  How do these attempts help Republicans when they close the door to Trump’s voters and to populism in general?

Efforts to stop Trump will alienate blue-collar Americans who are concerned about immigration, trade and foreign policy and leave Republicans preaching their narrow doctrine to a smaller and smaller audience.

Trump’s supporters are pushing for three big things:

  • A return to traditional GOP law and order practices when it comes to illegal immigration.
  • A return to a more traditional GOP foreign policy that would put the national interest ahead of globalism.
  • A return to a more traditional GOP trade policy that would analyze trade deals from the perspective of the nation’s interest – not the interest of multi-national corporations.

Shutting out these voters contradicts the big tent philosophy of Ronald Reagan. There should be room for all voices in the GOP including relative newcomers like Trump, who has garnered a huge following.

Pat Buchanan has described Trump as the future of the Republican Party.  Bush’s, Rubio’s and others’ affection for the “Washington Cartel” agenda – more foreign military engagements, more globalist trade deals and open orders – seems to make them more compatible with the Republicanism of the recent past.  Rubio pretends his ideas don’t relate to Bush’s because they come from different centuries.

If Republicans continue to defend and expand the Bush/Clinton/Bush legacy – a New World Order – it will come at the expense of the country and their party.   It should be obvious by now that the Cartel’s agenda does not work for the average American. It is also clear that their agenda has almost no support within the rank and file of the GOP, much less within the country as a whole.  If the Republican Party devotes itself to defending the globalist agenda at all costs, it will become irrelevant to the debate over how to make things better for most Americans.

So what’s a Republican voter to do?

  • Vote for the Republican candidate even though he/she can’t fathom a Cruz/ Trump presidency?
  • Stay home and count as a ½ vote for the Democrat candidate?
  • Register a protest vote for divided government again by supporting the other party?

It is easy for one to get caught up in the emotion of campaigns and this one seems to stir up more than most.  A better approach might be to think about our system of governance – a Constitutional Republic – and realize that any president, with an extreme views, won’t pass his agenda thru Congress.

Our forefathers were wise to make sure the nation was governed by a consensus of the majority of Americans.  Candidates Clinton, Kasich and Trump have all indicated they plan to govern with consensus in mind, calling on leadership in both parties to contribute to solutions.  Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan have both stated on several occasions their desire to return the two chambers of Congress to regular order and to govern from the bottom up.  This should return power to the people as our constitution dictates.  These are all positive signs for a fully functioning government answerable to the voters.  An early test of whether or not Congressional leaders hold true to this will be the early vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership.  The public is against this deal by huge majorities.  The Washington Cartel wants it passed.

Another thing in considering your vote is whether it is better to vote for the person or for a party.  Personally, I come down on the side of voting for a party.  Candidates come and go, but party philosophy is more enduring.  The power to govern lies with party, NOT with individuals, including the President.  Parties decide who will chair committees and what legislation is offered for consideration and debate.  When there isn’t consensus, legislation dies.  And yes, consensus implies compromise, so both parties get something and neither party gets everything, but the national interest is best served.

Maybe we should look at both parties and decide which one matches most closely to our views and then vote party.  It takes all of the emotion out of voting for a particular candidate and it is consistent with how our government is supposed to work.

This election I am eager to see if the result will allow our government to function as intended again.

Frank Shannon served in the U.S. Army, was an engineering/operations manager for AT&T for 27 years, was the owner of a small manufacturing business for 23 years, served as Colorado Chair of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and moved to Mesquite in 2013.