The major party infomercials have folded up their tents. Just over 100 days now unfold to an election where we will plot the course that will determine American history for decades if not more.
That’s how sharp the differences are between a Donald Trump win and a Hillary Clinton win. Republican Trump-haters will say otherwise, but the week-long assault of the Democrat convention should convince even them that their myths of equivalency are born of a perceptual disorder.
I no longer have the time to diagnose and coddle these people. They are grownups. I will leave it to them to examine the ideas from the DNC that threaten our national future, and snap back to reason about the necessity of preventing Hillary from achieving the presidency.
But as some Never-Trumpers shake awake, I want to offer only grace and gratitude. I will spend a lifetime wondering what bug climbed into their bonnets to lead them to the insanity of ambivalence if not outright support of a Hillary presidency, but my bafflement is irrelevant now.
As much as I disagreed with that crowd and lose patience with those still dwelling among it, no call for unity is aided by an accompanying boot to the head. Let’s save “What were you thinking?” for convivial reminiscences after an inauguration that does not feature another Clinton (and thus another Obama) presidency.
I pray, and actually believe, that the months of August and September will see more skeptics shrug into recognition of what we must do. I also pray that our nominee does not hinder that process with any unforced errors. (This week’s absurd Russian hack story does not apply. Trump sarcasm about the Russians sharing what Hillary never will was a stroke of genius, eating into a day of foul DNC oxygen with free media that forced attention back to the e-mail scandal. For the left to jump at this was predictable; for Republicans to join them was just depressing.)
But to the now indelible list of reasons why anyone with a shred of conservatism must join the fight: We can talk ourselves into multiple dithers about our various concerns about a Trump era. But the truth is that no one knows how those years will go. They could range from a disconcerting mixed bag to a surprisingly successful inspiration. But no point on that spectrum comes remotely close to the damaged America that was dangled before us from that stage in Philadelphia.
A Hillary presidency promises generations of constitutional ruin with the appointment of young, vigorous Supreme Court tyrants who will sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of their collective whims.
That assault will begin with the evisceration of the Second Amendment, the one that gives the rest of the Bill of Rights its shield of required protection.
She will lead a charge of economically ruinous policies based on the fraud of man-made climate change.
She will continue the assault on traditional values, leaning toward a European model featuring the stigmatization and even criminalization of some Biblical beliefs and practices.
She will perpetuate the noxious political correctness that strangles religious freedoms.
She will continue to welcome insufficiently vetted waves of Middle Eastern immigrants, containing within their ranks jihadis sure to wind up in tragic headlines on our own soil.
She will continue to coddle race-baiters like Black Lives Matter, the carriers of the most toxic poison in today’s race relations.
She will spur the growth of an already bloated government, fighting against any trends toward reining in the Nanny State.
She will pay for this expansionist, collectivist nightmare by maintaining confiscatory tax levels that brutalize Americans for their success.
She will saddle American businesses with high taxes and overregulation, stifling the job creation we need for any chance at rediscovered prosperity.
She will expand a culture of dependency that has drained our national work ethic and fostered an idle underclass insufficiently driven to succeed on the fuel of actual effort.
She will obstruct our efforts to escape the shackles of Obamacare, damning us to additional years of its exploding costs and strangled services.
Now, conservatives, please share with me again your jitters about the Trump presidency.
From trade policies to the minimum wage and a few intermittent issues beyond, Trump himself telegraphs that this will not be a down-the-line conservative White House. But if he delivers on Scalia-like Supreme Court justices and thwarts only half of the Hillary sins listed above, we will be grateful every day that we stopped her.
And enough hand-wringing about what is happening to Republicanism or conservatism. The party will be what it wishes to be moving forward, based on voter approval or disapproval of what a Trump presidency brings. And as for conservatism, those of us who bleed its wise tenets will be there every day, making clear what we like and don’t like about his leadership. I’m guessing there may even be congenial differences among conservatives featuring varying reviews. Imagine that.
The fact is that those conversations will be a joy, because they will be conducted in an America that we saved from the clutches of Hillary Clinton.