What’s the point of having a conservative movement if Trump is the leader of it?


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I never post someone else’s work in it’s entirety, I’m probably breaking some code of blogger etiquette in doing so, but this more than warrants an exception.

Below is a Facebook post from Matt Walsh, who has become my favorite conservative writer BY FAR in the last 6 months or so, and his ability to tell the truth so forcefully and eloquently is the main reason why.

Like Matt, I too have become disgusted with the conservative movement. When I became politically active around 13 years ago one of the things about conservatism that drove me to never give up on it was that it was better than liberalism. Not merely a differing point of view, but better. From the way conservative activists conducted themselves in the court of public opinion vs. liberalism’s pathological need to silence their opposition to their steadfast resolve to uphold universal moral truths on social issues even as the left controls the puppet strings of society via the news media and pop culture, I believed what I was fighting for was in every way better than the opposition.

This year the GOP has the strongest slate of candidates it probably has ever had, ever…

EVER.

Even the candidates I/we don’t like are eminently qualified to be President, even if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders wasn’t their opponent. Conservatism had a real shot at a serious political comeback (hopefully that’s still true, it’s not too late yet) and it’s getting upset by the sirens call of Donald Trump.

He is not conservative, and conservatives don’t care. The greatest irony of it all is many of Trump’s supporters think Marco Rubio is the RINO in this race.

The only rationale I ever hear is that he would be better than Hillary. Nothing he has said, or the rhetorical tone he takes in debates and in interviews proves that view to be actually true. He’s an egomaniac who is literally saying ANYTHING that will stick in order to get votes. His rhetoric has alarmingly totalitarian undertones to it. It is beyond disappointing to see conservatives elites and the electorate, who pride ourselves in being true believers and defenders of liberty, fall in line with a New York liberal who speaks like this and is truly a Republican In Name Only.

The conservative movement is pointless if Donald Trump becomes its champion.

Every single syllable in the block quote below speaks for me. If you want to give the below passage from Walsh some support on Facebook and you can like or share it here.

If we’ve learned anything from Trumpmania, it’s that principled people are a rare breed. They’re even rarer among the people who make a living defending principles.

This is what most distresses me about Donald Trump. It’s not only about him. Yes, Trump himself is a lying, covetous, big government liberal elitist with a penchant for attempting to silence speech. I strongly dislike him for those reasons, but what I really hate about Donald Trump is what he represents, what he manifests.

Among other things, Trump is a manifestation of hypocrisy. Not his own — although there’s plenty of that — I mean the hypocrisy of so-called conservatives. The lack of principles. The sickening, shameful fraudulence. And although many “everyday American” conservatives have proven themselves to be groupies infatuated with fame and celebrity, I am disgusted by the conservative “leaders” in media more than anyone else. They are the true culprits in this story.

The rise of Trump has been aided, abetted, and fueled by supposed conservative leaders — talk hosts, tv hosts, writers, pundits, bloggers, etc. — who have spent ages blasting any “RINO” who comes along, only to fall in line with Trump immediately. They boldly take stands that are sure to result in deafening applause from their fans, but when the time came to hold firm and stick to their principles even at the risk of being booed or jeered at by those same fans, they shrank away and took cover.

Ann Coulter literally campaigns for Trump. Breitbart has turned into Donald Trump’s defacto campaign website, thoroughly disgracing the memory of Andrew Breitbart. Influential “conservatives” on Fox, like O’Reilly and Hannity, haven’t endorsed Trump necessarily, but they’ve refused to hold his feet to the fire. Hannity talks about Trump like he’s a beloved uncle or long lost brother.

Some of the prominent talk radio voices are now starting to tepidly criticize him, but it’s too little, too late. And even when they do it, you can tell they’re dancing on eggshells. Soft pedaling. Equivocating. Scared.

Sarah Palin, of course, has completely sold out and stabbed the Tea Party in the back. Although I won’t complain about that because I find her embarrassing, insufferable and incoherent, and I’d rather she inflict herself on Trump than a real conservative.

Last night I watched some Evangelical leaders on Fox — Robert Jeffress was one of them — explaining that Evangelicals might want to support Trump, the pro-choice liberal, because he sticks it to “The Establishment.” It was a pathetic and painfully unconvincing attempt at rationalization. But there’s been a lot of that going on lately.

Across the board, there’s been hardly any consistent opposition to Donald Trump from our conservative “heroes” in the media. They have almost all kissed his ring, to one extent or another.

There are exceptions. Glenn Beck. Some of the writers at National Review. A handful of others. A few prominent conservative figures have had the guts and the character to scrutinize Trump with the same vigor that every conservative scrutinizes any other politician or candidate who lacks sufficient conservative credentials. A select few have not given Trump a free pass to lie, posture, manipulate, exploit, and advance liberal ideas. A few.

Everyone else? They threw their principles in the gutter and ran for the hills, or to the nearest Donald Trump campaign rally. They sensed, obviously, that Trump is a media sensation and aligning themselves with him would be good for business. Ann Coulter was selling a book about immigration right around the time that Trump came out and called Mexicans rapists. That was her cue to become a Trump surrogate. To sell books. In the process, she’s shed every conservative value that doesn’t help advance Trump (and her book), even going so far as to call pro-lifers “p*ssies” and say she doesn’t care if Trump performs abortions in the White House.

Others noticed that Trump was popular among some in their audience and they figured it wasn’t worth upsetting their own fans for the sake of being honest about Trump.

See, every blogger/talk radio or tv host/pundit/whatever understands that the best case scenario is to be hated by the “other side” and loved by ours. Being hated by the other side is easy, it requires no courage. Rush Limbaugh isn’t brave because he attacks liberals. He’s expected to attack liberals. It pays to attack liberals. Attacking liberals is fun and profitable. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, or there isn’t value in it, I’m just saying it isn’t courageous. He isn’t brave for doing it, and neither am I.

The real courage is in criticizing your own sacred cows. Upsetting people on your side of the fence. And I don’t mean “The Establishment.” Again, everyone goes after them. Everyone hates The Establishment. The Establishment even hates The Establishment. And the best thing about The Establishment is that nobody knows what it is, exactly, so you can criticize it without really criticizing anyone.

So these conservative “champions” who are so very brave and strong when going after Barack Obama or John Boehnor suddenly lost their nerve with Donald Trump. And what that tells me is that they never had any nerve at all.

Rule of thumb: if your principles evaporate the moment courage is required to defend them, you have no principles. You’re a panderer, not a warrior.

I’m not perfect myself. I wrote a couple of posts criticizing Trump back in July and August, and the backlash was so severe and overwhelming that I considered leaving the subject alone. Hundreds of my readers told me in no uncertain terms that they would stop reading me. Suddenly I was a “liberal” and a “RINO” and a bunch of other names that nobody has ever called me in my life. It was kind of a scary thing, to be honest, because my livelihood depends on you guys reading.

I started to wonder, is this worth it? I don’t gain readers by opposing Trump, I only lose them. What’s the point, then?

Ultimately, I decided that I had to stand by what I believe and let the chips fall as they may, but that doesn’t make me courageous. It just makes me not as much of a coward as a lot of the conservative media figures you watch, listen to, or read. But I don’t deserve credit for being “not as much of a coward.” I’m getting over a very low bar here, that’s my point.

So, yes, the lesson is that principled people are a rare breed. The other lesson is to be careful who you hoist up as a warrior for your cause. Just because we have readers, followers, and fans doesn’t mean we’re true defenders of truth and liberty. It could just be that we like the money and the attention.

When push comes to shove, many of my conservative pundit compatriots fall down without a struggle. So don’t put us on a pedestal. The people who are really fighting to reclaim our culture aren’t the gasbags, like myself, babbling on radio or TV or the internet. They’re the people who are raising families and going to church and living humble lives of service down in trenches. They’re doing and saying the right things without being rewarded with applause and a cut of the ad revenue.

They’re the fighters. They’re the champions. Not us.

I’m just telling you the truth here, because you should know it, and because I’m nothing if I won’t at least do that.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore

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