America is approaching yet another presidential election and we must consider what happened only a few years back. Trump faced off against a heap of lackluster competitors. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio stood out but, as no wing of the right could coalesce behind either, the two succumbed to infighting and Trump came out on top.
Now, the left is in a similar position, fighting a gentle civil war with itself. On the radical end, we have recommendations for gun buybacks, support for the Green New Deal, reparations, restructuring the Supreme Court, the abolition of the Electoral College, single-payer health care, and free college, among other extremities. On the moderate end, we have not that. We should hope for not that.
The current Democratic debacle resembles the right in 2020 in that there is a relatively unpopular frontrunner benefiting from a split amongst all the other candidates. However, whereas Trump was considered the radical and his competitors the moderates, in the case of the Democrats, the frontrunner Joe Biden is the moderate and everyone else is radical.
Talking with a student, I learned that her Democratic father had registered as a Republican in 2016 so he could cast a vote in favor of Trump during the primaries. So confident was he that the radical Trump would lose in the general election, he took it upon himself to get Trump chosen as the nominee. After the primaries in 2016, the media cast Trump as the lunatic destined to lose against the moderate Hilary Clinton. Some offices even cracked champagne bottles in honor of Hilary before any conclusive win or loss came through. In the end, as we all know, Trump won.
Many Republicans now find themselves in the same place as that student’s father in 2016. They are rooting for a radical to win the primary. Trump may not be the ideal candidate, they say, but put him next to a Warren or Sanders and he becomes the sane option. After criminal justice reform and tax cuts, he can portray himself as a standard Republican—at least policy-wise—and win back moderate voters.
However, we must remember that Trump won in 2016. Brexit passed a vote that same year. Both unexpected victories. Similar right-wing political wins came across Europe, Latin America, and South America in that same period, each one surprising the world. If there’s anything we learned from that round of elections, it’s that we shouldn’t have been surprised by unexpected results.
There’s a famous quote credited to Teddy Roosevelt:
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Let’s rephrase that a bit. The best thing right now would be a traditional conservative with federalist, free-market, small-government ideals in the oval office. The next best thing would be a populist goon largely stymied by Congress and the Courts. An unideal but acceptable thing would be a moderate Democrat set on expanding the government but within some sort of reason. The worst thing would be a socialist committed to late-term abortions and unbridled government expansion. We cannot risk that last option. If a Democrat is set to win, let’s at least hope it’s Biden.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.