How to stop Trump? That’s the collective mantra of the mass media. It’s a natural question to ask of a man curiously portrayed as some sort of Republican juggernaut, which he’s not. I sat in speechless befuddlement and amusement as I watched Fox News analysts on Saturday night marvel at a proclaimed political superman who corralled not even one-third of the South Carolina vote.
Donald Trump is actually consistently drawing a lower percentage of Republican votes than Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are drawing Democrat votes. The very revealing reason, at least to anyone who understands math, is easy to add up: Hillary and Bernie are in a two-person race, whereas Trump has been in everything from a six-person to, gee, even a dozen-person race. Trump grabs a third of Republican votes, while the other Republicans split the remaining two thirds.
This is a political colossus? A one-thirder? Are the math skills of Americans really this challenged? Another triumph of our public schools.
Either way, with too many Republicans in the race, the Donald is top dog until the number of legitimate GOP candidates narrows. It will remain this way, with Trump winning race after race, until the politically dead Republicans in the race prove they’re not brain-dead and pull the plug on their futile campaigns—as Jeb Bush, God bless him, smartly did on Saturday. The Republican race has been and remains a three-man race between Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Nobody but one of those three will win the crown. Jeb Bush grasped that, and now John Kasich and Ben Carson need to as well. I’m concerned they will not. (Kasich is still living off the false hope of 16% in New Hampshire, handed to him compliments of Captain Destruction, a.k.a., Chris Christie, elector of Democratic presidents, blowing up Rubio there, before quietly retiring back to New Jersey.)
An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey last week showed Cruz and Rubio both overwhelmingly taking Republican voters in head-to-head contests with Trump. Each gets around 57%, with Trump—the supposed juggernaut—about 40%. (Rubio takes Trump 57-41% and Cruz takes him 56-40%.) This is no surprise. Trump caps out at 40%, with (amazingly) an even higher unlikability percentage, which is why he would lose the general election and hand the nation to Hillary Clinton in November. That is the disastrous course America is set upon, and it means that Cruz and Rubio (absent Kasich and Carson not leaving) need to make a big move, taking an action they should be planning anyway: They need to come together on the same ticket, pooling their support.
Yes, a Cruz-Rubio Compact is needed, leading to a Cruz-Rubio or Rubio-Cruz ticket.
I have been making the case for such a Republican super-ticket for some time. Consider what it would offer:
First, it would be an ideological tour de force for conservatives, with two men whose American Conservative Union rating has always been not just reliably conservative but staunchly so. Despite the misgivings of many conservatives with Rubio over immigration, the man is a rock-solid conservative. Conservatives will not find a conservative as generally electable and acceptable to so many Democrats and independents (not to mention moderate and establishment Republicans) as Marco Rubio. The demands of absolute, 100% perfect ideological purity among individual conservatives for their candidates (a definition of purity that, impossibly, differs among individual conservatives) is a fit of political insanity that kills conservative unity and their candidates—and which the left never makes the mistake of doing. For too many conservatives, if you don’t agree with them on 100 out of 100 issues (99 isn’t good enough), you’re impure and unworthy of their enlightened support. That is a recipe for political failure, and it’s rearing its ugly head right now among conservatives who have decided to label Rubio everything from a pariah to a closet communist because they don’t like one of his immigration votes. That is foolish. Marco Rubio is a rare complete conservative who has the cross-over ability to attract Democrats unlike any Republican since Ronald Reagan.
Second, a Cruz-Rubio ticket would bring together the “outsider”/Tea Party candidate, Cruz, with a Rubio supported by the establishment, and who can pick up the Jeb Bush-Kasich-Christie vote. And at the same time, Rubio is no establishment Republican in the Rockefeller mold of a John McCain, Bob Dole, or Mitt Romney.
Third, it would balance Cruz’s lower likability (including among the wider electorate) with Rubio’s very high likability that extends to Democrats and independents.
Fourth, it would coalesce the evangelical vote (Cruz) and the Catholic vote (Rubio).
Five, it would win Texas, of course, but also Florida. Most remarkable, these two Latino conservatives on the same ticket might even bring into play a state like California, totally banished from Republican possibilities since Reagan.
Six, it would solve Rubio’s immigration problem by bringing in Cruz, who does not have one. It balances them both on immigration.
Seven, it would trump Trump. Speaking of whom, a Cruz-Rubio ticket not only wouldn’t repel Latinos in droves, but draw them. More than that, such a Latino ticket could single-handedly save the Republican Party for not just a generation or two but for much of the 21st century and beyond (I’m serious) by making a huge number of Hispanics (probably even a majority) Republicans.
This point is crucial, and especially imperative amid the Trump factor, the nomination of whom would send probably upwards of 90% of Latinos further into the arms of the Democratic Party, where they do not belong. I have long argued that Latinos, especially because of their social conservatism, work ethic, and devout Roman Catholicism, are a much more natural fit in the conservative movement than in the liberal-secular asylum that dominates today’s Democratic Party.
Yes, I know that some voices on the right see Latino immigration as the end of the Republican Party. What I’ve long liked about Marco Rubio is that he understands the inevitability of Latino voters. They are irreversibly the future of the country. They are the largest immigration group and the fastest growing demographic. Their presence and growth is a done deal. Rubio, with a Reagan-like optimism, realizes that you must persuade them rather than alienate them. You must win them over. You must create a party and movement that appeals to them. You cannot truck them all out of the country. At some point, you need to convince them, not banish them.
If white Republicans want white Europeans to dominate the American landscape once again, then they better start reproducing themselves. If they’re not making babies (they’ve sent their kids to liberal universities where they are systematically brainwashed), then they will be out-voted by Latino voters.
Cruz and Rubio on the ticket in one fell-swoop would obliterate the image of the GOP as the party of old white guys. And it would undercut the Democrats’ attempt to draw Hispanics four to eight years from now, post-Hillary, as they will, given the Democrats’ infatuation with identity politics. This time, however, Democrats are stuck with Hillary, an un-dynamic and un-exciting candidate who offers little new and interesting.
That speaks to another Cruz-Rubio ticket advantage: It will appeal to young people in a way that Hillary Clinton absolutely does not. This time, unlike in a while, the Republicans could be the party offering the much more youthful, energetic, and fresh and new faces.
Both Cruz and Rubio are competitive in a direct general election against Hillary Clinton. In fact, Rubio is the one and only Republican who consistently and easily defeats Clinton by an impressive margin.
Finally, these two men both eloquently communicate the American dream because they and their family experiences truly embody it. Rubio in particular understands America and American opportunity in a uniquely Reaganesque way that I haven’t heard from any Republican presidential contender since Reagan. He has that American exceptionalism understanding in the gut, because his family lived it. Ditto for Cruz. The stories of Rubio’s and Cruz’s fathers alone, let alone their own stories, are very moving.
Alas, should it be a Cruz-Rubio ticket or Rubio-Cruz? Who’s at the top of the ticket? Resolving that is fairly simple (math again): It depends on which of the two ends up with more primary votes.
Again, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio need to be on the same ticket anyway. So, better to do it now to stump Trump. The only question is precisely when it should be done. There is still time. But without Kasich and Carson getting out of the race, the time becomes more imperative quicker and quicker.
It is time for a Cruz-Rubio Compact. Without it, my fellow conservatives, Donald Trump wins the Republican primaries, and then Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States of America.