Conservatives who want to stop Donald Trump should start by admitting they aren’t all that interested in stopping him.
They should begin by admitting that their strategy, once they realize it has little chance of succeeding, is more likely to cause them more harm than good.
That’s the conclusion of two experts in conservative policy analysis who, along with National Review, have released a new report called, “Stop Trump: The Conservative Case Against Trump,” which they say is “more comprehensive and comprehensive than the conventional wisdom” that has dominated much of the media and political landscape for months.
“The conventional wisdom is that if you’re not on the right side of the argument, you’re off the right track,” said James Davis, a professor of politics at the University of Notre Dame and the author of “A Short History of Conservatism.”
The conventional wisdom, Davis told The Daily Beast, “is that if we just say ‘we’re going to let him get away with it’ then he’ll go away.”
The new report argues that the conventional strategy is actually counterproductive.
“This approach is not going to stop Trump,” Davis said.
“We don’t want him to win.
We want him in a position where he doesn’t have to do any of the things that he’s doing now, and so we’re going against him.”
The strategy is designed to help Republicans stop Trump, the authors argue, because if they don’t stop Trump they risk alienating moderates and conservatives who are critical of the president, and to the point that he might actually be more likely than not to win the election.
But that strategy, they say, could actually lead to a Trump presidency in 2020.
“If you’re going after Trump in 2020 and you don’t get his nomination, you’ve already lost,” Davis told the Daily Beast.
“You’ve already ruined yourself.”
For the report, Davis and fellow National Review contributor Mike Whitney surveyed voters in the three most important swing states of Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and found that the strategy was working.
Only in Pennsylvania, where voters were less likely to support Trump in 2016, did the strategy result in a win.
And in Iowa, where Trump won the most votes in 2016 but where he won only 4 percent of the vote in 2016 and where Trump has an approval rating of less than 50 percent, the strategy failed to help him in 2020 by a whopping 25 percentage points.
“I don’t think we’re getting anywhere,” Davis explained.
“There’s a sense that we’ve got to stop this president, we’ve already gotten him where we want him, but I don’t believe that’s a strategy that we should be pursuing.”
The report also argues that conservatives should be willing to take on Trump at a lower level of intensity.
“A lot of the anger and the frustration and the dissatisfaction with Trump and the way he’s been running his business is not really directed at the president directly,” Whitney told The Guardian.
“It’s directed at this group of people, this coalition of Republicans, who are so disconnected from the political process and the American people that they have no interest in doing anything to change things,” Whitney said.
This group, Whitney said, includes a growing number of Trump supporters who “do not want to be involved with Trump at all, because they see that he is not their guy.”
The study found that even if Trump won Iowa and Pennsylvania, the Republicans who voted for him in the 2016 election could still end up voting for him.
For instance, if Trump had won both states, he could have been able to convince the electorate that he was a champion of the working class, and that he would bring about the sort of massive tax cuts he’s promised.
But the report found that only one-third of voters who supported Trump in the presidential race in 2020 supported him in office now.
“That is an enormous and massive disappointment,” Whitney explained.
The reason why is that voters in these states have been very cynical about how the political system works.
In Iowa, Iowa caucusgoers are used to seeing a handful of Republican senators in a room with a single vote, which they’re used to.
But Trump has never managed to have a single senator, or even two, in the room with him.
“They just get it, they don-t get it,” Whitney continued.
“And they’re not going back and forth with their party, they’re going back to their home districts and telling their friends and family, ‘Well, I guess that was a good day, and I’m not voting for Donald Trump anymore.'”
Whitney, Davis, and Whitney are not the only scholars who have written about the strategy of “winning over Trump” in the 2018 midterm elections.
The strategy of convincing voters to vote for Republicans who oppose Trump is also a common tactic among the tea party movement and by the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.
But in these cases, the strategies are less about the policies they are advocating and more about the fact that they are