The #NeverTrump movement has become quite vocal in the last few months. As the Republican primary continued forward, it became increasingly clear who the frontrunner was. Senator Rand Paul, the leading libertarian in the race, dropped out. Social conservative hero Dr. Ben Carson dropped out. Original establishment favorite Jeb Bush and the rising star Senator Marco Rubio dropped out.
And everything came down to a defiant and arguably egotistical United States Senator from Texas. Senator Ted Cruz, like the rest, also failed.
Now the push is on for an Independent candidacy. Although former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson secured the Libertarian Party nomination, many moderate and establishment Republicans aren’t biting. It’s time to stop Donald Trump, but not quite enough to support the Libertarians.
So now what?
David French, according to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Next question: Who?
“Who?” is the question on everybody’s mind right now, which is never good at this stage in the game. Given how late it is in the process, ballot access laws are going to become tricky. The only way around this is going to be for a large grassroots movement and a lot of money. Alongside that, it will need a quick forming and fast-paced organization that will tackle deadlines and rally supporters.
The anti-Trump sentiment is there. There’s also an anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment and if and when she secures the nomination over Senator Bernie Sanders, there will be a lot of people looking elsewhere.
But unless there’s someone compelling and groundbreaking running, it’s not going anywhere. French is a constitutional lawyer who writes for the National Review and Weekly Standard.
Neoconservatives and Republican hawks are in a bad place right now. After the Bush Administration’s legacy of global intervention, the Republican Party ran prominent hawk Senator John McCain and former Governor Mitt Romney. Both hawks were defeated easily by a President who was widely considered a political rookie in 2008.
If anyone is going to capture the hearts and minds of the Never Trump crowd, they will have to run someone with a larger name and wider appeal. Gary Johnson will do well this election because he’s a left-leaning libertarian who can attract votes from both parties, while hanging on to a number of libertarians.
Kristol’s candidates, whether it be French or someone else, won’t do well because of associations to the Republican establishment. For Democrats it’s a no-brainer and Republicans are widely rejecting the moderates, hence Trump.
America is ready for new options. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are obviously failing to treat their grassroots fairly, with the established elite becoming far too entrenched in their positions of power. Whether it be a third party or an Independent candidate running without any affiliation, it’s time for someone new to shake things up.
But it’s not going to be David French. And it’s not going to be anyone that neoconservative hawk Bill Kristol is ever going to approve of, either.