Establishment Republicans’ Best Option? Establish Elsewhere.

The site of the 2008 Republican national convention. This election cycle, many prominent Republican's won't attend the nominating convention because of their distaste for Trump.

image courtesy of Flickr user relux.

The site of the 2008 Republican national convention. This election cycle, many prominent Republican's won't attend the nominating convention because of their distaste for Trump.

Madeline Old, Staff writer

Imagine you’re a moderate Republican supporting government deregulation and low taxes. The 2016 election must be rough- watching Donald Trump erect a terrible gazebo of bigotry and extremism around you, and then watching the whole thing burn to the ground. Since Cruz and Kasich dropped out, Trump has the nomination. At least action movies have taught you the best thing about an explosion: the opportunity to walk dramatically away without looking back.

Instead of awkwardly attempting to reconcile hatred for Trump with party loyalty, I think establishment Republicans should opt for the political equivalent of passive-aggressively getting up and moving when someone you don’t like sits down next to you. Several prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney and both George Bushes, as well as many less high-profile delegates, have already announced that they’re skipping the Republican convention this July. The hole in their hearts of their former party definitely isn’t unfillable, and if I was them I’d consider moving on for good.

The “List of political parties in the United States” page on Wikipedia provides a buffet of affiliations to choose from. There’s a Communist Party USA, seven parties with “socialist” in the name, and even a Pirate Party centered around copyright law reform. Perhaps Jeb Bush could find a place in the Transhumanist Party, awaiting the day he can upload his brain into a computer. The Prohibition Party has the attraction of not having to worry about wining-and-dining your donors. I’m sure the establishment Republicans could agree on a new party to join- or start their own.

There’s no shame in starting from scratch. Perhaps this is the clean slate Republicans need to revamp their image. There are so many possibilities for picking a new name! Maybe they can set up a sponsorship deal and sell naming rights to the highest bidder. The Koch brothers would probably be interested.

Some people might argue that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Hillary Clinton, or that it’s cowardly to abandon a sinking ship. Politics is the most cynical industry on earth. There’s no room for clinging to tradition- unless, of course, you’re holding a town hall meeting in pre-distressed jeans. Voting for a third party candidate has the same effect on Trump and Clinton’s chances as staying home would- unless said third party candidate gets enough votes to be serious competition, in which case they’re just that.

My point is, parties and party loyalty are arbitrary. The Constitution doesn’t mention political parties. George Washington famously disapproved of them. The first major political parties were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, and we’ve gone through more than a few others since. If enough current Republicans join a third party, it won’t be a third party anymore- just the United States’ best chance of moving on and forgetting that Donald Trump ever happened.