Postmodern Conservative

The Double Nevers and Third-Party Dreaming

The time might be right to try something completely different.

So the studies are showing that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are hugely unpopular. There are millions and millions of Americans who say “never Trump,” and almost as many who say never Hillary. The studies aren’t measuring the “double nevers” yet — those say never about both Trump and Clinton.

When thinking of a third-party candidate (and it’s amazing how many people are brainstorming about that this evening alone), you could go for a “pure conservative” who would get 10 percent of the vote. In thinking in that direction, remember the inconvenient truth that Cruz’s campaign tanked. My predictive powers failed me not because I underestimated Trump, but because I overestimated Cruz.

You could also go with Mitt Romney, whom I’m sure is ready to serve.  But he was sure boring last time, and his word doesn’t seem to carry much weight this year. Still, if Mitt is ready to put his whole heart into it and have the backs of the 47 percent who don’t pay income tax, I say he should go for it.

Or you could think about a more center-right candidate distinguished by both competence and character who could appeal to Democratic, Republican, and independent double nevers. The perfect candidate along those lines might even win.

Eric Taylor – clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose–immediately came to mind for me. He’s so perfect because he’s not real. Yet what we need is a southern Stoic man or woman of honor, intelligence,  anda few carefully chosen words who has an admirable record of service in elevating the lives of people of all races and classes. General Mattis, of course, seems to fit the bill. (He’s not southern, but he sure is Stoic, carrying Marcus Aurelius with him everywhere.)

But he won’t do it. I really don’t have anyone else. I certainly didn’t mean Rick Perry.

So I’m tempted to float the long-shot name of the maverick, truth-telling public intellectual Walter Russell Mead. If you want unrivaled policy expertise, combined with astute judgment, I’d suggest going with our Pete Spiliakos. Or maybe our Mr. Ceaser, if he would just get some fashion counseling. The Postmodern Conservative Party is a brand that will command America’s attention.

I’m also tempted to say that I don’t want the big donors and the usual suspects doing the choosing. But I know well enough I’ll be okay enough with voting for whoever comes forward.

You know I’m not voting for the candidate of the Libertarian party, after all.

And I’m not running myself, unless I’m guaranteed Hillary-level honoraria to console me in the wake of my humiliating defeat. Actually, I’d settle for a Secret Service chauffeur for life.

BREAKING NEWS.  Jim Ceaser is keeping hope alive:  ”Peter. Here is my Stassen-esque response: If nominated I will run, if elected I will serve.”


Peter Augustine LawlerPeter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College. He is executive editor of the acclaimed scholarly quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and served on President George ...


The Latest