Since last week, when I wrote that it all comes down to Indiana, the situation has become desperate. According to reliable reports, internal polls, which seemed merely shaky when I wrote my piece, have since gone into free-fall. Public polls of Indiana, which finally became frequent enough to become reliable after April 26th, have gone from bad to catastrophic. FiveThirtyEight now rates Trump as having a 90% chance to win. I have long maintained that we must fight on against Trump, even if Indiana is lost. I have said that we have a small chance even with a narrow loss in Indiana. Well, I still say we must fight on. But, if Trump wins by the vast margins suggested by the polls, it won’t be narrow, and we won’t have a chance.
The conservative movement, which has made its home in the Republican Party for decades, faces the abyss. Trumpism, a philosophy based on thuggery, resentment, and complete epistemic closure, is poised to take its place in a new coalition with the East Coast Establishment… leaving conservatism in the wilderness.
One imagines Ted Cruz touring his Indiana headquarters tonight, preparing for what may be the final battle against Donald Trump, and reflecting on the future, as Captain Picard once did before the Enterprise‘s great battle against the Borg:
PICARD: Captain’s log, stardate 43996.2. The Enterprise remains concealed in the dust cloud. And, to my surprise, the Borg have maintained their position, waiting for us to come out of hiding. I have no explanation for their special interest in me or this ship. We continue to prepare our defences for the inevitable confrontation, but… I must admit, on this night, I contemplate the distinct possibility that no defence may be adequate against this enemy.
(Picard enters Ten Forward, which is dark and apparently empty, and stares out the window. But then his confidant, Guinan, emerges from the shadows.)
GUINAN: Trouble sleeping?
PICARD: Something of a tradition, Guinan. The captain touring the ship before a battle.
GUINAN: Before a hopeless battle, if I remember the tradition correctly.
PICARD: Not necessarily! Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar.
GUINAN: Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?
PICARD: No, but the battle was won.
GUINAN: Do you expect this battle to be won?
PICARD: We may yet prevail.
That’s a conceit, but… it’s a healthy one.
I wonder if the Emperor Honorious, watching the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill, truly realised that the Roman Empire was about to fall.
This is just another page in history, isn’t it? Will this be the end of our civilization? Turn the page.
GUINAN: This isn’t the end.
PICARD: You say that with remarkable assuredness.
GUINAN: With experience. When the Borg destroyed my world, my people scattered throughout the universe. We survived. As will humanity survive. As long as there’s a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail. Even if it takes a millennium.
Thanks to Chakoteya.net.
We will prevail, conservatives. Even if it takes a millennium.
And, hey, don’t forget: the Enterprise defeated the Borg at the end of this two-parter, and they were facing much longer odds than Cruz faces in Indiana. Even the hopeless battles are sometimes won!
And, if not… well, the Republican Party is not the same as conservatism. The Party is not conservatism’s last hope. On the contrary, conservatism is the Party’s. There will be other possibilities in a post-Trump world:
For now, like a thousand other commanders on a thousand other battlefields… I wait for the dawn.