Now we find out if #NeverTrump truly means anything

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After a crushing defeat in a two-man contest that everyone had begged for all year, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign in Indiana, effectively coronating Donald Trump the Republican nominee for president.

“We left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got but the voters chose another path,” Cruz said. “So with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

Though Trump has maintained 50-60% support in most recent primary votes, he is still woefully unpopular among a significant minority of Republicans, many of whom vow to not support him in the general election.

That pledge will now come front and center as the only viable alternative in the primary drops out. #NeverTrump Republicans have a decision to make. Fortunately, they have options.

As I outlined even before the first primary votes were cast, the November election is now almost certain to be between the two most unpopular candidates in modern history.

We will have a new president this time next year, one way or another. But on the current trajectory, he or she will take office hated by most of the country and with no mandate to impose much of a platform. What a waste that would be.

Some in the #NeverTrump movement, like John McCain and Ben Howe, will likely support Hillary Clinton. I advise against that, obviously.

Vote for your usual choices down the ticket and leave the presidential spot blank. Let the major party chips fall where they may. Don’t taint your soul by supporting someone you oppose on every level and have fought against for 30 years just for the potential of future partisan gain.

Howe hasn’t yet endorsed Clinton since Cruz’s exit, but he’s also suggested a conservative write-in campaign might be a preferable alternative.

Although it has worked at the state level, mounting a successful write-in campaign nationally is logistically impossible.

Many Republicans have joked for months (years, really) about fictional candidates like Sweet Meteor of DeathCthulu, and “IDK Not Trump Tho”.

While it’s good for a chuckle, actually spending money on these campaigns when there are still real candidates available for your donation, support, and ultimately vote is almostas nihilistic as Trump himself.

Why do we have to limit our choices to the two major parties, one created on the fly, or throwing our hands up in the air? There are already other parties on the ballot in all 50 states, one or two of which agree with Republicans on most issues.

So far, those other parties have yet to get a full hearing in most horse-race obsessed media. Now that the Republican primary is over, CNN is going to have to find something else to talk about for the next six months.

Might I suggest the party that’s getting double digit support in general election polling?

In the first hypothetical multi-party general election matchup, Monmouth found Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton with 42%, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump with 34%, and Libertarian frontrunner Gary Johnson at 11%. Another 11% weren’t sure.

There are only a few issues where Johnson disagrees with Republicans, though they’re big ones - foreign policy, military spending, drug legalization, LGBT equality. There are almost no issues where Clinton agrees with Republicans.

In 2016 there are no perfect choices, but there are two really, really bad ones. Will #NeverTrump stick to their word now that it will be challenged in the general election, not just the primary?


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