Thirty-six years ago Ronald Reagan built a conservative coalition that dislodged Democratic control of DC, dismantled Soviet Communism, and reignited America’s culture and economy here at home. Since the Gipper’s transformative presidency, Republicans have generally aspired to be viewed as Reagan Republicans who are fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This coalition of conservatism, cobbled together by President Reagan, fostered a philosophy of constitutional limited government that promotes individual freedom and personal responsibility.
This coalition that has held the Republican Party together, and helped guide a nation, collapsed with Donald Trump’s emergence as the presumptive 2016 GOP nominee tonight. The Republican Party has now, effectively, nominated a candidate who is neither a fiscal nor a social conservative. Mr. Trump’s entire appeal has been securing the border and “bombing the hell out of ISIS,” which, while important, do not make a president. Social and fiscal conservatives are being left on the sidelines and the coalition that elected Reagan, and recently elected a Republican Congress, is fractured.
I sadly believe that Trump’s nomination all but assures a Hillary Clinton presidency, which means that consistent conservatives need now to either rebuild a Republican Party that reunites the Reagan coalition, or an entirely new party that can replace the GOP and rebuild that coalition on its own. The only way for a conservative to become Commander-in-Chief is by rebuilding and reuniting the Reagan coalition and bringing all of its elements back into the fold. It will be my mission over the next several years to rebuild that coalition in South Carolina, as a model for a national conservative comeback.
I love our country, and want to see it return to the conservative Judeo-Christian principles that built it. Sadly, I see neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton leading us there. Perhaps God is leading us into the wilderness for a few more years as we search our national soul to reclaim our first principles. God help America and safe us from ourselves.