Charisma Caucus

Don't Let the Trump vs. Cruz Fight Destroy the Conservative Movement

Phyllis Schlafly
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly has been criticized for her endorsement of Donald Trump. (Video Screenshot Image)

The Eagle Forum, founded by First Lady of the Conservative Movement and our longtime friend Phyllis Schlafly, has probably generated millions of man hours in support of conservative causes and candidates since its beginning during Mrs. Schlafly's battle to stop the ERA. 

Many conservatives were surprised and disappointed that Mrs. Schlafly was the first national conservative organization leader to endorse Donald Trump. 

Mrs. Schlafly's groundbreaking 1964 book, A Choice Not an Echo, was a foundational text of the modern conservative movement and a prescient analysis of how the Washington Cartel controlled the levers of political power to the detriment of country class Americans and constitutional liberty; 50 years ago the book made the case for the rise of outsider candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

We prefer Sen. Ted Cruz as the Republican nominee for president for the many reasons stated in Mr. Viguerie's endorsement of Sen. Cruz, but we respect Mrs. Schlafly's view. 

Mrs. Schlafly, with her base in St. Louis, Missouri, has long been a powerhouse in state politics in Missouri and Illinois. Her support was likely a major factor, if not the deciding factor, in Trump's narrow win over Senator Cruz in the Missouri Republican Primary.

Now, news has broken that since Mrs. Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump the Eagle Forum has been riven with internal dissension to the point that a group of the organization's directors, outraged by Mrs. Schlafly's endorsement of the decidedly non-conservative Donald Trump, were contemplating an attempt to oust Mrs. Schlafly from the leadership of the organization she founded.

The result has been the abrupt firing of long-time staff, and an internal brawl that has broken the unity of one of the conservative movement's most effective grass-roots organizations, potentially sidelining the Eagle Forum in the most important political cycle since 1980.

Unfortunately, the brawl at the Eagle Forum is playing out in other organizations, from Republican county precinct organizations, to conservative policy organizations and think tanks, to journals and publications conservatives and populists have turned the Trump vs. Cruz primary into a series of vendetta-like bloodlettings more worthy of a Mafia leadership succession battle than the coalition-building necessary to find the best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in November.

The natural beneficiaries of the bloodletting between the conservative and populist wings of the anti-establishment coalition are the Republican establishment and the Far-Left who seek to maintain and expand their power by undermining constitutional liberty and continuing the crony economic policies that have devastated America's country class for two decades.

Our friend Patrick J. Buchanan made this point incisively in his recent column, "Lock Out the Establishment in Cleveland!"

Trump and Cruz, though bitter enemies, are both despised by the establishment. Yet both have a mutual interest: ensuring that one of them, and only one of them, wins the nomination. No one else.

And if they set aside grievances, and act together, they can block any establishment favorite from being imposed on the party.

Pat Buchanan later said of a Trump–Cruz alliance, "I think that ticket would set the country on fire."

Right now, the establishment's goal is to sow as much chaos as possible in the lead-up to the Republican National Convention so that no candidate reaches the magic number of the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot.  

We urge Donald Trump and Ted Cruz delegates to be smart about what is happening, keep their eye on the prize, which is defeating Hillary Clinton and dismantling the establishment stranglehold on our country, and to follow the lead of their compatriots in Tennessee by forming an alliance to ensure that the Republican National Convention nominates a conservative-populist ticket. 

Such an alliance would not guarantee a Republican victory, but like 1980, it would create the most competitive coalition of voters to defeat Hillary Clinton, and with a victory in November it would break the Washington Cartel's stranglehold on America and preserve constitutional liberty for future generations. 

George Rasley is editor of ConservativeHQ, a member of American MENSA and a veteran of over 300 political campaigns, including every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2008. He served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and has served as a staff member, consultant or advance representative for some of America's most recognized conservative Republican political figures, including President Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. He served in policy and communications positions on the House and Senate staff, and during the George H.W. Bush administration he served on the White House staff of Vice President Dan Quayle.

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