The following comes from a May 8 Stream article by Jason Scott Jones:
As pro-lifers and defenders of religious liberty, and citizens sincerely worried about the direction our nation is taking, we are faced with the question of how to deal with the triumph of Donald Trump in the GOP.
Should we stand fast with the #NeverTrump movement, holding to the devastating criticisms which conservatives have made of Trump’s ideology, honesty, and character — and be ready to face the consequences if Hillary Clinton wins? Should we jump on the GOP bandwagon as fast as we possibly can, wagging our tails and panting for favors? Is the prospect of Hillary Clinton winning so terrifying to us that we will take any scrap of hope which the Trump campaign might toss us?
Here’s where we can learn something from Donald Trump himself. His most famous book, The Art of the Deal, is a kind of devil’s dictionary, predicated on the idea that any negotiation is finally zero sum: there’s a winner and a loser, and you want to come out the winner. There’s a fixed, limited pie of money, privilege, and status, and their distribution depends on who can grab the power. That need not be true of business, but it is part of the essence of politics. When you hold an election, one side really loses, and the winning side wields more power.
And now each of us as conservative voters, and the movements that speak for our interests, are forced to negotiate with Donald Trump — one way or the other. That doesn’t mean we endorse him, or even vote for him. Walking away from the table also counts as negotiating. Some deals just aren’t worth making. But if our decision to do that is to mean anything at all, we will need to make a public case for it. And that case will be stronger if we are clear about exactly what we are doing.
Pro-life leaders had some leverage over Trump early on in the campaign, and they managed to squeeze out of him a promise that he’d offer a list of judicial candidates, vetted by the Heritage Foundation. That was to reassure us after he talked about appointing his pro-choice sister to the U.S. Supreme Court. So where’s the list? Trump forgot about it, and so it seems has everyone else.
I wrote once before, in “The Pro-Life Art of War,” that we must see our movement as a special interest group, whose sole concern is preserving the unborn by force of law. It’s our duty as prudent defenders of the helpless to fight hard on their behalf, and to fight smart. To do that, we must play hardball. And we still do have some leverage.
With Trump’s overpowering negatives among so many demographics, he relies more than most GOP candidates on a mighty conservative turnout. He really would be crippled by a potent third-party challenge. He needs to present the front of a mostly unified party. And so he will respond if we approach him with strength and integrity. Notice how he reacted when House Speaker Paul Ryan wouldn’t endorse him: he arranged a face to face meeting. How much face time does Chris Christie get with Donald Trump? How much influence will Rick Perry exercise?
Trump must know — because we know — that we’re free to walk away. If we see that a Trump presidency wouldn’t really be markedly better for unborn Americans than a Hillary win, but that we would have besmeared ourselves with all Trump’s other negatives, then we simply shouldn’t support him. We should count the presidential election as already lost — in Indiana — and pour every drop of blood, sweat, and tears into electing conservatives to Congress. We need to make Trump see that we are perfectly willing to do this. It’s the only way to deal with a man who prides himself on ruthlessness.