America under grave, existential threat

So, apparently scaring the hell out of people about America’s very existence is not just good for old Republicans, it is also a recruitment tool for the young.  This is from my son’s recent on-line school newsletter:

​Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity. Do you want to get involved? Do you want to be part of the Solution? Come to Cary High’s Young Republicans Club to discuss current issues our nation is facing. Meetings are every other Tuesday

A weakened defense?  To their credit, that sounds a lot better than “Muslims are gonna get us!”

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Nominating Cruz is the best thing Republicans can do

Really loved this Peter Beinart take, because it’s pretty much the long version of the exact argument I made to my class last week:

Second, and more important, a Cruz defeat at the hands of Clinton this November leaves the GOP in a better position to rebuild than a Trump loss to Clinton does. By conventional standards, Trump isn’t all that conservative. That means, if Trump loses this fall, conservative purists can again make the argument they made after John McCain and Mitt Romney lost: The GOP needs to nominate a true believer. And they’ll have such a true believer waiting in the wings as the early front-runner in 2020: Ted Cruz. After all, losing the nomination to Trump would put Cruz in second place, and the GOP has a history of giving second-place finishers the nomination the next time around (Bob Dole, McCain, Romney). Plus, after building the best grassroots network of all the 2016 candidates, Cruz—who’ll be barely 50 years old in four years—would enter 2020 with a big organizational edge. Thus, the GOP would remain at the mercy of its extreme base…

A Cruz general-election defeat would strengthen the “Reformicons” who are trying to reform the GOP in some of the ways New Democrats reformed their party in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A Trump general-election defeat, on the other hand, would leave them facing a formidable obstacle in 2020: Ted Cruz…

Today’s Republican Party is basically split three ways: There are pragmatic conservatives, who are willing to compromise ideologically in order to win; purist conservatives, who want to make the GOP stand on principle; and populist conservatives, who want to turn the party into a vehicle for insulating white Americans from economic globalization and cultural and racial change. If Cruz beats Trump but then loses to Clinton, groups two and three lose, too. And faction number one—the only faction with any plausible path for reviving the GOP—leaves 2016 with a shot at doing just that. [emphasis mine]

I do especially love that last paragraph.  Short version: clearly the Republican party needs to undergo some major change for their good and the good of the country.  That cannot really happen so long as the purist conservatives keep remaining convinced if only they hadn’t been sold out by squishy moderates like McCain and Romney, etc.  No such argument with Cruz.

That said, a big part of me thinks that even if Cruz goes down in flames (which he likely would) the conservative purists would still blame Trump, or something else, and keep insisting that Republican politicians hew to ideological purity.  I guess we’ll see.  Maybe.

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