The coming conservative crack-up?

Philosophically speaking, at least two of the three wings (fiscal and social conservatives) have every reason to oppose Trump, and the third wing (national defense hawks) should probably favor Marco Rubio or Lindsey Graham.

By my count, Trump should be 0-for-3. The fact that Trump is surging in the polls — despite this — suggests something is up.

But I don’t want to brush aside these assertions without going into some detail. Let’s start with the fiscally conservative wing. It’s easy to accuse free marketers of merely wanting to support “Wall Street” and big business — but this is to suggest that free markets and big business are synonymous (they aren’t) and that pecuniary interests — not philosophical beliefs — are their primary driving force (it’s insulting to suggest these deeply-held political beliefs are solely based on making fat cats richer). Most fiscal conservatives really want entitlement reform (meanwhile Trump is playing the “Mediscare” game and pandering to those who want to “keep government out of my Medicare”). And many libertarians actually believe in open borders and free trade — that more people equals more good ideas and innovation (Trump, of course, is playing the anti-immigration card)…

What is all this “ruling class” talk if not a form of class warfare? Personally, my political philosophy is very much at home in a conservative movement that finds social conservatism and classical liberalism to be compatible and coherent.

Dougherty isn’t the first to spot this trend. Over at The Federalist, Ben Domenech penned a terrific post the other week, asking “Are Republicans For Freedom Or White Identity Politics?” When I asked him how this might personally impact us, he responded: “Sometimes parties die. Not there yet.”