In December last year, The People’s Republic of Vermont, the only state that sends a self-described socialist to the U.S. Senate, rejected a proposal from Democrats for a single payer health care system, because it was just too expensive.

They had ignored a basic economic principle: socialism doesn’t work because, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady,” you always run out of other people’s money.

 

Donald Trump apparently missed that class at business school.

Sunday on “60 Minutes,” he made it clear that he supports the government takeover of health care and wants to give free care to every American.

Donald Trump is not a conservative. If he has a political philosophy at all, it is plutocratic hypocrisy. He inherited a fortune, used American capitalism to turn that into mega-wealth and now lectures everyone else that we need the government to take care of us.

He announced he will “…take care of everybody…” promising that “…the government’s gonna pay for it.”

Putting aside the implications of "TrumpCare" for our taxes, economic growth and the national debt, the implications for conservatism are deadly.

The Republican presidential primary is being dominated by someone who agrees with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about the defining domestic policy issue of our time.

The problem is this: Donald Trump is not a conservative. If he has a political philosophy at all, it is plutocratic hypocrisy. He inherited a fortune, used American capitalism to turn that into mega-wealth and now lectures everyone else that we need the government to take care of us.

The danger is, if he persuades Americans that government controlled health care is acceptable, he will have opened the door for a nanny state and made the Republican Party irrelevant.

It would hand the Left a rationale for interference in every aspect of our lives. If government pays for your health care, they will claim it should have a say in your lifestyle: whether you smoke or drink, your salt and sugar intake, how you exercise and even whether you own a firearm. It would be former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s big gulp campaign -- supersized.

Since our country’s founding, the bulwark against socialism’s empty promises and this kind of state control, has been the good sense of the American people and the steel spines of conservatives.

Yet almost eight years of the Obama presidency and the passage of ObamaCare has put that defense in jeopardy. Not because Democrats are suddenly winning the argument, but because Republicans have stopped fighting.

The Washington establishment is telling us that we must accept a ‘post-ObamaCare reality,' that the government should ensure coverage for every American.

Now the establishment is enabling Donald Trump with their silence and making him think his position is acceptable.

Even conservative senators like Ted Cruz are complicit. He has distinguished himself by praising Trump’s positions and clinging to his events, in the hope of picking up his votes when he eventually fades.

He and others are putting short term political expedience above principle.

Perhaps this explains why I am the only presidential candidate to have published an alternative to ObamaCare. The reason no one else has done it is because they have no intention of actually repealing and replacing the law.

But if they won’t do it, I will.

My plan removes the individual and employer mandates, lowers costs through price transparency for consumers and allows providers to compete in open markets.

It rescinds every single word of ObamaCare and replaces it with a free-market alternative.

It represents a return to the principles of liberty and self-reliance for which conservatism has long stood.

Health care policy on the Right determines whether we will simply be cheaper Democrats, offering a cost-effective version of their world view, or whether we represent a truly alternative vision for the future.

If we capitulate on this issue, we lose our rationale as a political force. This is conservatism’s last redoubt. Health care is our Alamo.

It will either be the gateway through which the forces of corruption and socialism ride, or it will become emblematic of the conservative revolution which takes back our country.

Texans like to tell the tale of Colonel Travis drawing a line in the sand before the battle. He asked his men to choose to defend something worth fighting for, or flee.

Today, I’m offering Republicans the same choice. The good senator from the great state of Texas can be conservatism’s modern day Moses Rose and quietly sneak out the back door, or he can denounce Donald Trump and stand with conservatives.

In turn, conservative voters have a responsibility to declare that anyone who supports single payer health care has no place in our movement.

Make no mistake, this is no side issue.

The road to liberalism’s false utopia is built on territory ceded by conservatives. To halt its advance, we must embrace our own principles and nominate a candidate who is intellectually and morally capable of standing their ground.

It is time for Republicans to pick a side of the line. It is time for conservatives to say that the circus is over. It is time to Dump Trump.

Republican Bobby Jindal is governor of Louisiana and a former Republican candidate for president of the United States.