In a Federalist post, David Harsanyi notes that while a Hillary Clinton presidency would be bad, a Trump presidency would be much worse:
The myth that Democrats get everything will persist. But despite plenty of well-earned criticism, the GOP has been a more effective minority party than constituents give them credit for. People are frustrated, but the idealists have (had?) been gaining ground since the Tea Party emerged. Their presence has put a stop to an array of progressive reform efforts that the pre-2010 GOP would surely have gone along with.
With a Trump presidency this dynamic disintegrates.
Just as some Republicans are already warming to the idea of his candidacy, the temptation in Congress to follow Trumpism — a philosophy based on the vagaries of one man — will be strong. Trump’s inclination is never to free Americans from the state (“we’re gonna take care of everybody!”) but rather to do a better job administering the state through great deals and assertive leadership. Or, everything the Founders didn’t want the presidency to be.
So while gridlock will still hold up most issues conservatives do care about, chances are high, considering his long history of supporting big government, that Trump would try and cobble together a populist coalition for polices they hate. This will end up marginalizing ideological conservatism from within the party.
This is a key point. If Hillary were president, and she were faced with a GOP House and Senate, the result would be gridlock. Yes, she could get some things done, but for the most part she would be hampered. Everyone complains about Obama and his excesses, but the truth is that he hasn’t really been able to get much done since the Democrats lost the House and Senate. Meanwhile, the conservative movement has been invigorated by the sharp contrast between conservatism and Obama, and this has resulted in a sea change in state and local governments throughout the US. This dynamic would still be true, and may even be stronger, if Hillary became president.
On the other hand, the squishy beltway leadership of the GOP has already signaled that it would prefer Trump over Cruz, because Trump is malleable to their wishes. Instead of gridlock, then, we would have the worst case scenario of liberal, big government policies being passed, but under the claim that these policies are not liberal, but conservative in nature. To use an old Marxist term, conservatism will have found itself co-opted by a toxic blend of liberalism, strongman rule, and mob power.
This does not mean that we should support Hillary or vote for her in the next election. Rather, instead of bankrupting ourselves by supporting Trump as though he were some sort of valid alternative to Hillary, it would make more sense to focus on local elections where we can make a difference, support a third party candidate if one exists who is a viable conservative, and stand firmly in opposition to both Hillary and Trump, biding our time until the country comes to its senses once again.