That, of course, begs the question of whether it is right for conservatives to try to stop Trump.
The argument being heard from some quarters is that if Trump is the inevitable winner of the GOP nomination as he and some of his fans think, then anyone who tries to prevent this outcome is doing the Democrats’ dirty work. This falls under the same sort of thinking that blames the Republican establishment for the victories of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 in which mythical millions of conservatives and Reagan Democrats stayed home enabling the election of our most liberal president in decades. Given that the percentage of conservatives voting in those years was the same as it was in 2004, that’s nonsense but a lot of people on the right believe it. Nevertheless, it is fair to ask whether Trump is that far out of the conservative mainstream or that certain a loser that a movement to prevent him from becoming the nominee is defensible.
If Trump were merely a vulgarian and political incorrect while being otherwise a principled conservative, arguments against a movement to stop him would be compelling. But the real problem with Trump is not that he speaks and acts in a manner that is inappropriate for someone who aspires to the mantle of Washington and Lincoln. That is a reason to dislike him and to despair at the collapse of American culture but not to treat him as beyond the pale. Indeed, some think that these qualities give him the viciousness needed to successfully combat the Democrats and their attack machine. But this is also nonsense, since the last Republican to win a national election — George W. Bush — was the polar opposite of Trump’s barroom brawler persona.
Rather, the reason for conservatives to try and unite to prevent his election is because he is not a conservative.