I did not grow up in the South, though I have many, many Southerner friends and I really love the region. I went to college in North Carolina and plan to move to Texas within the next year.
Out of curiosity, I have asked numerous Southerner friends over the years how they were taught Civil War history in school. One thing that always stands out is the utterly traumatic nature of Sherman’s March to the Sea in Georgia in 1864—perhaps one of military history’s more symbolically prominent examples of “scorched earth”-style total warfare. My Southern conservative blogger friend Rek LeCounte describes Sherman’s March to me like this:
William Tecumseh Sherman burned his way through decency, humanity, and semblance of concern for the communities. His marauders chose to smite like a vicious horde of devils jealous of the inestimable wrath of God. He said war is hell, and he should know, because he decided to make it so for enemy soldiers and civilians alike.
Metaphorically speaking, the moment is now for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to unleash their inner William Tecumseh Shermans on Donald Trump. We are rapidly approaching the point of no return in the insane phenomenon that is the bloviating non-conservative narcissist Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party apparatus. The undermining of said structural apparatus would be simply devastating for the conservative movement, and quite possibly usher in the end of the two-party system as we know it.
The Cruz and Rubio camps have been savaging each other for months, now. There is plenty of distrust and, indeed, raw anger. One side effect of this is the fact that only 4% of all Super PAC money this cycle has been spent in opposition to Trump, which frankly amounts to such a disgraceful collective-action failure so as to summon to mind the well-known quotation often (perhaps apocryphally) attributed to Sir Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Get over it, for now. If Donald Trump completely dominates on Super Tuesday, this race is likely all but over. Cruz and Rubio, two movement conservatives dedicated to the principles of Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan, surely realize this. Call an immediate ceasefire, for the time being.
Scorch the proverbial earth on Donald Trump. Call him the abattoir lobby’s favorite (nominally) Republican candidate. Call him the America-hating/morally relativistic/Western values-hating Code Pink candidate of choice. Call him out for being the quintessential crony capitalist—the living, breathing embodiment of all that the incipient 2009-2010 Tea Party Movement stood athwart. Call him out for his Leftist sympathies on socialized medicine, reminding the nation how both of you Senators have worked diligently to eviscerate Obamacare. Call him out for literally not knowing what the nuclear triad is. Call him out for his ridiculous claims to “neutral[ity]” between Israel and the kleptocratic Jew-hating jihad-inciters in Ramallah’s Palestinian Authority government. Call out his embarrasssingly petulant and singularly disqualifying demeanor—which belies a transparent lack of self-confidence and, frankly, probably some sort of personality disorder. Hit him again on his disdain for Lockean natural rights principles, as manifested in his terrifying love of eminent domain. Call him out on his basic constitutional ignorance. Remind everyone of his longstanding ties to the Clinton Foundation.
It is pretty astounding that we are at this point, but here we are. For the conservative movement, the stakes at tonight’s debate are very, very high. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio need to unveil Donald Trump, on national television, for the megalomaniacal faux-conservative fraudster that he is. Like General Sherman marching through Georgia, leave no stones unturned. Scorch the earth.