A lot of the major Republican donors have decided to sit out this year. Having made billions of dollars, they know a bad investment when they see one. But the unfortunate side effect of sitting on the sidelines is that many of them, disaffected by what they see, are failing to engage in ancillary causes that will be needed after the election.
I continue to run into solid conservative groups and activists who are struggling to fund significant and substantive causes because the donors have grown disgusted with the presidential race. Third party ground game organization in states like Colorado is one such example. There are still voters to get and voters to engage, but we are leaving them behind.
Likewise, some conservative donors need to start laying ground work now to map out a future post Trump. The reality is that many of Trump’s voters have legitimate grievances. While we may have all grown frustrated and angry with what we see as a group of people driving the GOP off a cliff, we must be willing to acknowledge that a lot of these people have been driven to desperate measures by very real concerns.
On top of that, the conservative movement should not abandon millennials to the left. But these conservatives need to get out of the mindset that if only they’d find new and creative ways to talk about the same stale issues that millennials will come their way. Actually, it might be worth spending time actually figuring out what millennials want and how conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise can help.
A lot of conversations need to start taking place. But those conversations cannot happen without the donors stepping forward to facilitate the exchanges. The Trump disaster risks setting back the conservative cause by a decade. Already trust in democracy and democratic institutions is collapsing. But the damage can be mitigated. It will, however, require donors to get off the sidelines now.
It will also require the limited government, social conservatives, and business Republicans to find common ground again. The Chamber of Commerce and the limited government right will either come to an accommodation or the the civil war will continue. It’s time to get around a table and talk.