A brokered GOP convention should look to a fresh face
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To understand Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE, it might be useful to try and find a historic parallel.

Trump is "America's avatar of irrationality" and will do grave harm to the party if elected, writes Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington in a piece this week in the Financial Times. Wehner served in the last three Republican administrations. But is Trump a "populist presidential candidate" who "reflects lazy anti-government ideology"? I don't think so. That may be the last three Republican administrations talking. And the first thing to understand is that Trump does not belong to them.

"Something has gone awry in the party," writes Wehner. I'll say. But it did not start with Trump and it will not end with Trump.


How else could this be defined? According to reports, in regard to terrorists, Trump said that "[y]ou have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families."

For that alone, I could not vote for him under any circumstances. But I don't think I’ll have the opportunity. So much else seems to be going on beneath the GOP Establishment curtain these days with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. And hopes are still harbored for a brokered convention to bring in former 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney at the last minute to win the day. These are hopes — wishes, really — to return things to where they used to be. And that won't happen, either. Not for the long run.

This thinking is to misunderstand the times and further stoke the broad anger which has fueled an uprising in the heartland and brought forth Trump. It will not go away with a return to the old Eastern Establishment or, to coin a phrase, the Bush Collective, as we are today at the beginning of a great historic, political turning and strangely enough, conservatives this time have the great advantage.

I would look forward to a brokered convention, but not just to return to the old days. Republicans must start to look and look fast at new blood, especially governors and senators who have come into power since 2014. And a brokered convention should seek and find the woman or man who fits the future and fairly well includes the new thinking that entered with the Tea Party: states' rights, sound money and constitutional government, among other thinking. And the singular best among them should be found.

The Federalist writes that "You don't want to miss what this [s]enator said about the San Bernardino attack: 'Then a megalomaniac strongman steps forward, and he starts screaming about travel bans and deportation, and offering promises to keep all of us safe."

Enter the anti-Trump. Conservatives have today broken with the past. The Democrats are still stuck with the Clintons. But conservatives need to go forward from here and not look back.

Irrationality at political turnings breaks all barriers and enters the crowd into the primordial, there to begin again from scratch. The irrational agent is the Trickster, who awakens the generations again as Trump has awakened his crowds. But as anthropologists tell it, the Trickster soon leaves the field and returns to the forest or, like John Brown, dies an impressive death at the end of rope.

But he leaves behind a shattered Establishment and a changed world; a world unconstrained and able to begin again and make new advances, welcome new themes and bring forth the mature and great leader in the hour of destiny.

When the Tea Party first arose in 2009 to 2011 thereabouts, commentator and political consultant Pat Caddell made the observation that America had entered a "pre-revolutionary" state. I believe that is a correct first assessment. It means there is progress but danger ahead and leadership is key now to our fate.

But who will advance conservatism to its future? Who is, that is, the Lincoln who will follow John Brown's mayhem to ultimate destiny? A brokered convention must look to the new crowd of young and rising senators, governors, pundits and Fox News Robespierres we have seen entering our world since 2014 and earlier. I can think of no one who has the intelligence, grace, wisdom and will to fill those shoes than the dynamic new Republican senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at quigley1985@gmail.com.