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Once upon a time, there was a party that believed in free trade, free minds, free speech, and a free society.

That party was the Republican Party — the party that gave us Goldwater, Reagan, and Paul.

Donald Trump exemplifies nothing of the Reagan Revolution that the rest of us grew up with, fought for, and believed in.  The revolution that brought down Soviet Communism and set us on the path of a two-decade reign of the Pax Americana.  What drove us forward was the example of American exceptionalism — that a coalition of free men and women, of small business owners and middle class entrepreneurs fed by an intellectual movement spearheaded by lights such as Russell Kirk, William Buckley Jr., Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, and so many others.

Today, the conservative movement is under siege from within its own party.  The Democrats are currently struggling with their own civil war between the progressive left and the liberal left… but you can bet that they are beyond pleased with the re-emergence of populism on the right.

Tonight, Cruz has bowed out of the contest.  This does not preclude the slim possibility of a contested convention, but in all likelihood the Republican nomination contest is over.

Frankly, I do not know how I will vote in November.  I do know this.  I will never vote for Donald Trump.

When I said I would not vote for Donald Trump, I meant it. As a Catholic, my conscience cannot assent to Donald Trump’s platform.  As a conservative, my conscience inimically resists the idea of supporting someone who opposes everything Reagan believed in, fought for, sacrificed for.  What Trump wants is not the shining city on a hill; it is Fortress America.

Trump supporters will no doubt insist that their selection guarantees the election of Hillary Clinton to the White House without the help of the conservatives they have attacked for the last two years.  So be it.  This has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton… it has everything to do with whether others will join Trump in driving a stake through the heart of Reagan’s legacy — or whether we as conservatives will stand up and fight for it.

For eight years, we have been presented with the rise of class warfare and social democracy.  As folks have been knocked off the fence, not all of them have fallen to the left.  Some have fallen to the right, and in that trip they have supported the monsters they have sought to destroy.  To combat big government, rather than reduce its size and scope, they would rather put it to their own use, fashion it in their own image.

My friends… that is dangerous.

We do not destroy class socialism with national socialism — we destroy it with freedom, because that’s how Reagan did it.

…it’s gotta start somewhere.  Stay tuned.