Fake Conservatives In The Ranks
On this Tuesday’s installment of the Fox News program “Fox & Friends,” my fellow commentator and radio host Larry Elder addressed Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s recent call to “burn down” the GOP to cleanse it of those who support President Donald Trump. Elder called Rubin’s claim that Trump had somehow perpetrated a hostile takeover of the Republican Party “absurd,” which it most certainly is.
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Elder went on to assert that Rubin and a host of prominent media personalities who claim to be conservatives really aren’t, that their employers are well aware of this, and that their true mission is to undermine conservatism and the Republican Party.
“They hire these columnists who purport to be conservatives,” Elder said, “and they dump on the Republican Party and they dump on Trump.”
We’ve certainly seen a lot of this sort of thing over the last few years, and not just from liberal media outlets that pretend to be fair in reporting by hiring token conservatives who aren’t really conservatives. The frequency of occurrences such as the above and the instance of faux conservatives being outed have increased due to the fear and desperation on the part of establishment progressives – a malady more commonly known as “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
In truth, the last decade has revealed far more in the way of professed conservatives revealing themselves to be progressive establishment hacks than many of us are comfortable with, and these occupy the ranks of politics, media and activism. To be fair, I’m not using one’s status as a Trump detractor as the sole basis for leveling this charge. One can be honestly opposed to aspects of Trump’s policies without being a fake conservative, but it is helpful if one articulates why. If such a person is merely chiming in with unpleasant abstractions, they’re no better than the far-left mouthpieces who call Trump a racist.
Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, founders of the now-defunct Weekly Standard, were once considered stalwarts of the conservative movement. As Reagan conservatives, they talked a great game, occasionally approaching the cerebral tones of William Buckley. If we were going to restore conservative values in politics, these were they guys who’d be at the forefront, many thought.
During America’s “fundamental transformation” that began to take place under Barack Obama, however, many rank-and-file conservatives and commentators began to see far less of a response to his actions and his policies among these stalwarts than was deemed appropriate. Yes, we understood that a lot of Republican politicians were reluctant to offer too much criticism given how readily the race card was being played – but that shouldn’t have mattered to conservative media players and activists. When Kristol became one of the most prominent anti-Trumpers, his fate was sealed as far as many conservatives were concerned.
In 2011, the bona fides of the high-profile conservative icon and activist Grover Norquist came into question when it was revealed that he had ties to parties acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. His status as an advisory board member of GOProud (an organization ostensibly representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender conservatives) and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations didn’t help in supporting his conservative credentials.
We certainly can’t forget former GOP rock stars like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who were once considered the young salvation of the conservative movement (at least on the political side), but whose favor among conservatives quickly diminished when they signed onto causes that had clear establishment interests.
Finally, there’s Jeff Sessions, the former Alabama Republican who for years was practically venerated amongst conservatives. When he was tapped as President Trump’s attorney general, there were high hopes for a Beltway housecleaning, but Sessions torched his conservative credentials, not only by recusing himself from subsequent investigations into Trump’s campaign, but by being essentially invisible as the nation’s top law enforcement official.
There are a lot of rank-and-file conservatives who don’t approve of Donald Trump simply because he’s not a conservative. I acknowledge that he’s not a conservative, and I’ve said that he was on the bottom of my list for the GOP nomination at the outset of the 2016 campaign cycle. There are a lot of conservatives who find Trump’s economic foreign policy questionable, and I certainly understand why.
What I don’t understand in the current climate of intense enmity between leftist radicals and everyone who is not a leftist radical is how some conservatives so easily overlook not only Trump’s accomplishments to date, but his dedication to thwarting the designs of the Beltway establishment, which remains the real enemy of all Americans.
Occasionally, I encounter a professed conservative whose disdain for Trump rivals that of far-left radicals. The problem I have with these folks is they are no more able to articulate specifics with regard to their disapproval of Trump than the leftists who despise the president. The fact that Trump isn’t a traditional conservative appears to be enough cause to disparage him to anyone who will listen.
To these, I would ask: Who among the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls could have galvanized the electorate in the manner in which Trump did and continued to shine a light on the dark machinations of the Deep State as president? Rick Santorum – who told me to my face in 2011 that if there had been anything sketchy about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the press would have uncovered it? John Kasich? Chris Christie? Jeb Bush?
Given the stakes we currently face, “because he’s not a conservative” just isn’t a sufficiently damning charge against a president who has consistently championed the rule of law and a preponderance of conservative values.
Article posted with permission from Erik Rush