Leaving the GOP behind for a new conservative party
There are a number of conservatives who simply cannot, and will not, support presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. They are working on a plan -- and searching for a candidate -- they hope can save the nation from Mr. Trump. But they also have something else in mind -- creating a new political home for conservatives instead of the GOP:
As Trump's rise to presumptive-nominee status has accelerated, the strategy has shifted to an effort "to find a third-party candidate who would be viable as a challenger on two paths," said the group's spokesman, who did not wish to be named.
"The first is to win. The second is to give Republicans an incentive to show up in November when many of them would otherwise stay home," he said, noting that protecting Republican House and Senate candidates, who may be in danger of losing if Trump's campaign falters, "is a necessary part of the strategy."
If Trump "does co-opt the Republican Party, conservatives will need a new home even if a third party cannot win this year," the spokesman said. "Much like the Republicans did not win in 1856, but did in 1860. If Trump continues on his present course, we may want an exodus from the GOP."
Political parties are vehicles for ideas, not ends in themselves. If a group decides a particular political party no longer shares its principles, they have ever right, and reason, to leave that party and seek (or create) another.
We're not sure whether a purely conservative, national party could surive on its own. But we're going to be watching this story closely in the weeks to come. Because this group just might be on to something revolutionary.