Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Republicans must unite behind Cruz


Waukesha Freeman Thursday, 03/24/2016 Pg.A06 Opinion

Republicans must unite behind Cruz

Trump must be stopped here

The great scheduling gods decreed that the Wisconsin presidential primary should coincide with our spring elections on April 5. There are no more Republican primaries until then, there will be no other presidential primaries that day, and the next Republican primary is not until April 19. We are alone in the world and the whole world is watching.

Delegates in the Republican primary are not allocated proportionally. There are really nine separate winner-take-all contests. Eighteen delegates are awarded to the statewide winner. Each congressional district also allocates three delegates to whomever gets the most vote in that district. With forty-two delegates on the line, all three of the Republican campaigns will be coming to southeastern Wisconsin. The WOW counties, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington, are the big vote generators for Republicans and a strong showing here can mean victory statewide.

If Republicans are going to take a stand against Donald Trump’s takeover of the party, it has to be here and now. If Trump wins Wisconsin, he will have two weeks unchallenged as the leader carrying that momentum into delegate-rich New York, his home state.

If the Republican Party nomination goes to Trump, the Republican Party will be fundamentally changed. It took decades for the party to become a vehicle of modern American conservatism, the post-World War movement forged by William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. The consensus of free-market ideas and a vigorous foreign policy will be dashed on the rocks of economic, cultural and security isolation. The party will be led by an egoist, a crony capitalist, who would (if given the chance) build a wall, abrogate our treaty obligations on everything from trade to security, and refuse to deal with the long-term costs of our country’s entitlement programs.

If someone told you in 2012 that a major party candidate would campaign against free trade, would praise Planned Parenthood and would defend saying former President George W. Bush should have been impeached, you would have thought it a description of Hillary Clinton moving to the left, not the statements of the leader for the Republican nomination.

But aside from Trump’s stated political positions which tend to be revised as needed, either by the candidate or his staff, the conduct of Trump during the campaign is especially troubling. He encourages and excuses violence at his rallies against protesters. He calls for the revision of libel laws to make it easier to sue his critics. His campaign manager and his campaign security have allegedly been rough with reporters at his events. Trump threatened political opponents, including donors to campaigns against him. He even threatened blackmail of Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife because Trump did not like something said about his own wife, Melania. Finally, there was Trump’s threat that if he did not get the nomination, there would be riots at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

We can set aside the childish antics, the name-calling and even Trump’s statement at a debate about the size of his penis. What is unforgivable is the threats of violence and blackmail against political opponents. These statements make Trump unfit for the office he seeks. Coupled with his admiration for the tactics of dictators, Trumpism has the dark tones of fascism. In the off chance Trump is elected president of the United States he will be a threat to the constitutional order that we have enjoyed since 1788.

The one Republican candidate remaining that can stop Trump is Cruz. I understand the misgivings about the senator. Cruz is a grandstander who raised the expectations of what can be accomplished by Congress beyond reason. He had no regard for the consequences, only for the attention controversy brought him. Egged on by a sensationalist conservative media and conservative organizations eager to fundraise on the controversies, Cruz helped produce the schism between the congressional Republican Party and the party’s base that contributed to Trump’s rise.

However, Cruz is also a man of sound conservative principles. While we may nitpick on this or that point, there is no questioning that Cruz will be a conservative nominee, and a conservative president if elected. More important, he has none of the anti-democratic tendencies of Trump.

Some misguided Wisconsin Republicans, including former Congressman Mark Neumann and former Gov. Tommy Thompson, are backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich cannot win. He can only draw votes away from Cruz and deprive him of victory in each of the congressional districts and possibly statewide.

I rarely endorse candidates for public office, but this time I must. For the Republican Party to be rescued from Trump, for the conservative movement to survive, for the good of the country, Republicans must unite behind Cruz. That is why I will cast my ballot for Cruz on April 5.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

If Republicans are going to take a stand against Donald Trump’s takeover of the party, it has to be here and now.




Thursday, 03/24/2016 Pag.A06 Copyright © 2016 Conley Group. All rights reserved 3/24/2016

On April 5th, which presidential candidate will get your vote?

  • Ted Cruz (54%, 206 Votes)
  • Donald Trump (21%, 81 Votes)
  • John Kasich (10%, 40 Votes)
  • Bernie Sanders (9%, 34 Votes)
  • Hilary Clinton (6%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 383

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