It seems Ramesh Ponnuru was a Never Trump person. He wrote an article back in 2016 entitled “Never Trump.” It ends:
In the end, though, the most important reason to back a conservative third-party run if Trump gets the nomination is not to affect the outcome of the November elections. It’s to demonstrate that conservatism stands for something better than Trump. Which is also a reason to strive to keep him from getting the nomination in the first place. [Emphasis added]
Well, it is a muted trumpet but everyone has their own writing style. Because of Ramesh’s history we were interested to read his take on Marco Rubio call for crony capitalism (called Common Good) at NRO titled “Common Ground on Common Good.”
Sidebar: We didn’t see any reference to Never Trump in Common Ground. We wonder if he has changed his mind against Never in general or Never Trump? We don’t know but we are curious. End Sidebar.
Ramesh sets up to play the peacemaker. He reminds us (we already knew) that us capitalistic orphans (people with a priority for free markets, free trade, and rule of law) are really orphans. The left hates us and the right tolerates us but, as Ramesh details, doesn’t take us seriously so we don’t have much of a choice and rarely get what we want. The Donald is far from perfect on economics but he has exceeded our expectations by reducing corporate tax rates and easing regulations.
Ramesh is telling us that Marco is just a little worse than previous GOP presidential nominees. He is looking to find a majority because capitalistic orphans are a small group. There is also a chance that we orphans might convince Marco to be more sensible over time. The 2024 nomination is a long way away.
We shall see if Marco moves in a sensible direction. Currently, we are considering Never Marco because he is opposed to us in principle. He is against capitalism and we are for it. It is going to be hard to split the difference.
In 2016 we voted for The Donald in the general election because he was a dominant choice. He had positions rather than principles. We didn’t like his behavior or position on trade but we would say the same of his opponent. We did like his positions on corporate taxes, regulation, and judges. And after clearing away all the hyperbole, we were closer to him on immigration. So, for us, voting for The Donald did not involve any soul searching. Pulling the lever for Marco looks to be a problem. We think, to paraphrase Ramesh, that conservatism stands for something much better than Marco’s proposed economic policies. Making a decision to vote for either Marco or Josh in the general will be a tough decision because we would rather have the Democrat make those mistakes.
Next time we will talk about Ramesh’s nine questions.