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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Make no mistake, America will not recover from four years of Crooked Hillary

In addition to the satisfaction derived from relentlessly bashing Donald Trump for every little perceived inconsistency or misstatement he makes on the campaign trail, the forces of #NeverTrump seem consoled by the notion that they can ignore the binary choice in this year’s election and everything will continue on just swimmingly in America in the next four years’ time.

In other words, it doesn’t make a bit of difference to them whether their holdout leads to Hillary Clinton’s election. They comfort themselves by arguing America will still be the Shining City on a Hill regardless and Crooked Hillarythey’ll get another bite at the apple in 2020.

Leon H. Wolf at RedState writes, “When it's all said and done, America will still be a place of impressive natural resources, abundant skilled human capital, and an economy that is buoyed by the relative stability of our governmental system.

“Again, I'm not trying to suggest that both Clinton and Trump cannot do significant damage to particular sectors of the economy, or to specific areas of the globe with misguided and misinformed foreign policy, but America's fundamentals are strong enough that four or even eight years of mismanagement won't be able to permanently alter that.”

I think Wolf can logically make the argument that the economy will “survive” virtually any kind of political leadership the country offers as long as there is some means for people to invest their capital and use their talents to further themselves. Those economic opportunities will presumably still exist (though heavily dragged down by government policies) in America no matter who occupies the Oval Office.

Not even Barack Obama has been able to completely choke off the American Dream, though he’s certainly given it a Grade A-effort. So would Hillary. But there’s also no doubt many, many people would continue to suffer under the Democrats’ policies.

Yes, the sun will still rise in the east if Hillary wins and each day won’t look markedly worse than the one before. I like to tell my teenage kids that America will still be the best place in the world to live outside of politics, but everything will just be more expensive in the future. Unfettered immigration will also make it harder for them to get good jobs and we’re not even talking about the heightened terrorist threat here.

And, of course, the national debt must be addressed. I don’t see much hope in this respect unless the congressional leadership of both parties should experience full turnover.

But no, America will not “survive” four years of Hillary Clinton on top of eight years of Barack Obama in many areas that will ultimately affect the economy down the road. And needless to say, the erosion of precious constitutional liberties that conservatives hold dear will be severe under Clinton’s stewardship, because she will appoint Justices and judges that will gut any and all legislative attempts at either the national or state levels to stop it.

When you have an executive who doesn’t care about the separation of powers and a judiciary that values ideological and social advancement more than it does restraining the powers of the government, you’ve got a lethal combination.

And that’s precisely what will happen if Hillary Clinton is elected.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt writes in the Washington Examiner, “So it is with most of the #NeverTrump folks. Point out to them that the Supreme Court is the headwaters of the rule of law and once those headwaters are poisoned with a ‘living Constitution’ jurisprudence, that's all we are ever going to drink, and they avert their eyes. They don't really answer.

“I don't think the ‘the saving the Supreme Court isn't enough’ school of #NeverTrump die-hards has fully or accurately counted the cost of losing the court and I ask — with genuine respect and interest — that they for a moment stop denying Trump's list and/or the Senate's authority to enforce it, and instead fully deal with the reality of the fork in the road ahead.”

Hewitt was following up on a piece he wrote last week on the Supreme Court and this year’s election. Together with yesterday’s story, Hewitt has presented the single most compelling arguments against #NeverTrump and their pie-in-the-sky “America’s going to be fine” feel good predictions that justify taking a pass on the 2016 election.

In his article, Hewitt touches on the standard First and Second Amendment protections that would be out the door under a Clinton appointed Supreme Court. But as I’ve said in the past, our abilities to exercise our rights of conscience or personal protection pale in comparison to the right to Life that would be extinguished under Hillary’s unelected judge junta.

Someone has to speak up for the voices of the future unborn in this regard. They can’t file petitions with the government to redress their grievances. They can’t assemble to demonstrate any kind of political power. They can’t write editorials presenting their case. And no media microphone will offer their point-of-view.

If they have no Life, they have no freedoms and no protections whatsoever. With no exaggeration, millions of lives are at stake with a Hillary Clinton presidency and I’m not even talking about the wars she’ll get the country involved in overseas with her aggressive foreign policy agenda.

Simply put, there is no justification for sitting this one out. And despite what the #NeverTrumpers say, there’s no useful purpose to be served by withdrawing public support for Trump, either.

#NeverTrumper Bill Kristol writes in the Weekly Standard, “[T]hey should get no credit for whining to the press and complaining to their peers so long as they continue to support for president the individual who is the very cause of their whining, their complaining, and their panic. The only act they should get credit for is withdrawing their support for the candidate. If they were to do so, as late in the day as we are, many things are still possible.

“Absent a withdrawal of support, each of the panicking Trump-supporting Republicans will deserve his fate as ‘an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.’”

Nonsense. What good comes from dividing the Republican cause even further? I think Kristol needs to read Hewitt’s article.

One last thought for #NeverTrump. As suggested by one of Colonial Williamsburg’s finest (the gentleman who plays printer Alexander Purdie), if you’re one of those folks who says you won’t vote because you can’t stand either candidate, here’s what you should do:

On a piece of paper, write down each candidate’s name. Under their names, jot down all the things you don’t like about that candidate. The one that has the least amount of reasons to vote against, you should vote for him.

It’s an exercise that every #NeverTrumper should take to heart.

No joke: pollsters see a “secret” Trump vote in online versus telephone surveys

If you’re one of those whose personal experience in talking with people about the 2016 election differs somewhat from the narrative you’re getting from the media and in the polls, it turns out you might be on to something.

It turns out there could be a Trump “underground” that we’re not seeing reflected in the hard polling data.

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reports, “They're not exactly the Nixon era ‘silent majority,’ but both Republican and Democratic pollsters claim that there is a secret vote for Donald Trump showing up in some polls…

“Longtime Republican pollster and Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway explained on the Today show that the hidden vote is seen when anonymous online polls are compared to phone call interview polls where people have to be more public in stating who they support.”

I have long suspected this is the case. Just from personal conversations with friends and acquaintances about the election, many people seem quite hesitant to voice enthusiasm for Trump but have absolutely no qualms about stating how much they can’t stand Hillary Clinton.

People seem flat-out afraid of being viewed as for Trump because of the negative stigma that the media, #NeverTrumpers and Democrats have attached to backing him. If you listen to these people, not only are you intellectually inferior for supporting Trump, but it also means you are a racist, sexist, homophobe, anti-Semite and a hero-worshipping member of the Trump cult.

It’s almost like if you say you favor Trump they’ll hand you a cup of cyanide laced orange Kool-Aid and expect you to take a fatal gulp in their presence.

The fact that reputable Democrat pollsters see the same phenomena as Conway gives credence to her theory. We saw the “secret” factor show up numerous times during the Republican primaries, especially when the race narrowed to two candidates (I don’t count John Kasich as a serious contender).

The real question in all of this is how big is the “secret vote”? I’m not sure it matters at this point except for people who live and die with the horse race element in the polls.

We’re still three months away from Election Day and there will be many more peaks and valleys in the weeks in between. Trump’s apparent decision to stop courting controversy will lead to fewer negative blasts in the media and I speculate his poll numbers will rise accordingly.

The “secret vote” can then come out of the shadows and you’ll start seeing more Trump bumper stickers and yard signs.

“Make America Great Again” really is a catchy campaign slogan, isn’t it?

The nature of the 2016 election and its unusual candidates defies predictions

We’ll likely have to wait awhile to see exactly how many “secret” Trump voters there might be and whether the polls will readjust if and when they start revealing their candidate preference; for now, there is much speculation on where Trump really stands and if a “comeback” is possible.

After arguing that Trump had a horrible several days last week which resulted in a precipitous drop in the polls, political analyst Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics writes, “[A]s a general matter, we wouldn’t count out a challenging candidate who is down seven points this soon after the incumbent party’s convention.  It’s certainly possible to come back from such a disadvantage. With that said, a normal challenger would surely be disfavored at this point, especially since many of the above races involved blowouts, where we would expect some type of regression to mean…

“Regardless of your view of how this contest will go, there’s little doubt that Clinton is in a strong electoral position right now, and that it is Trump who needs a significant shift in the playing field if he is to win.”

Trende talked about various elections where leads evaporated or grew after the party conventions, but he also pointed out that 2016 is looking to defy conventional wisdom and is therefore unpredictable.

As I’ve argued a number of times, it’s very difficult for pollsters to assess the size and makeup of this year’s electorate because of the unique person of Donald Trump, but also because Hillary Clinton is so different from Barack Obama.

Much was written late last week about Trump’s good fundraising month in July, with the balance of the money haul being collected from small donors online.

Raising money in such a way reflects strength at the grassroots level. If you care enough to contribute money, you care enough to help that candidate get elected.

But the bigger question in my mind is how well traditional Democrat constituencies will react to Crooked Hillary in comparison to Obama. Will union members favor her over the pro-American trade Trump? Will black voters turnout in sufficient numbers to elect Hillary like they did for Obama? Can Hispanic voters be counted on to buy Hillary’s blather on “keeping families together” over their poor economic prospects?

I can’t help but think many minority voters who are packed into inner cities with squalid living conditions, lack of jobs and failing schools would be receptive to Trump’s economic message.

And once again, school choice is a proven winning issue for these groups.

(Note: Here is a link to Trump’s speech on economics delivered on Monday in Detroit.)

Can Trump comeback? Almost certainly, yes. Too much remains unknown about this year’s race. Nothing can be written off until after the election.

At least one Bush family member openly advocates for a Trump victory in November

Finally today, it’s well-known by now what the Bush family thinks of Donald Trump. Both George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush have failed to endorse The Donald and former First Lady Barbara Bush has openly questioned how any woman could even think of voting for the Republican nominee because of what he’s said about women.

Then there’s Jeb, who appears to take every opportunity to bash Trump, perhaps trying to salvage some semblance of pride after being crushed by the conservative/populist wave that overwhelmed his traditional establishment Republican candidacy earlier this year.

But one Bush family member has apparently fallen off the anti-Trump bandwagon.

Louis Nelson of Politico reports, “Jeb Bush has said he will not vote for Donald Trump this November, but the former Florida governor’s son is urging fellow Republicans to fall in line behind their party’s nominee.

“Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who is also serving as the state GOP’s victory chairman, stopped short of offering a full endorsement of the Manhattan billionaire. But he told a gathering of Texas Republicans that it is important to back Trump, if only to block Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.”

That must be one heck of a quandary for George P. – doing your job and supporting the party versus making your dad, uncle and grandfather furious.

Or possibly it could signal that the Bush family is giving tacit approval of the Republican ticket. After all, despite outward appearances, they can’t have a lot of real warm feelings for the Clintons. Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 started the downward slide for the Bush family’s reputation and it wasn’t exactly revived during George W.’s presidency.

At any rate, it’s good to see that at least one member of the Bush family recognizes the threat imposed by Hillary Clinton. Even if you don’t like Trump, he’ll still have many, many good Republicans and conservatives with him in Washington if he wins.

But I can’t help but think there will be a lot of silence at the Bush family Thanksgiving dinner table this year.

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Political Pendulum Mitigates Predictions of Doom

There is much to commend about Rendall’s articles, especially for his references to other political writers. But he lacks a degree of circumspection that could make him great.

One thing he lacks is an appreciation for the political pendulum; the one where people go to a relative extreme in one direction and see the error in their ways due to the natural consequences, so then they make corrections, starting the move back away from the one extreme, but the corrections are taken too far into the other extreme, and when the natural consequences there begin to bite, they make corrections away from that extreme. And, on it goes, back and forth.

One example of the pendulum is seen in the abortion issue. Where a few generations found they needed abortion to eliminate the oppression of women, the succeeding generations see in abortion the murder of their fully dependent children, now that women have gotten out from under male domination.

The pendulum is undeniably a part of politics, and is an antidote for the kind of predictions that say the country will never recover from a Republican loss. Sure, it would be nice to avoid the suffering and hardship that comes with bad choices. But, it is nearly unavoidable, since it requires the repeal of human nature.

The pendulum works best when the consequences are immediate and attributable to particular policies such as immigration and trade. It works worst when the consequences are slow in coming.

The #NeverTrump folks are immune to unsubstantiated claims of the country’s demise, since they understand the work of the political pendulum, unlike Rendall. They are willing to suffer a little pain for the ultimate good of the nation.