Ace takes Jonah Goldberg to task over an article Goldberg wrote in 2013 – an article arguing that GOP voters should ignore Mark Sanford’s adultery and vote for him, anyway, because the Democrat candidate was so liberal that it wasn’t worth, in 2013, standing by an absolute condemnation of adultery to the detriment of the overall political cause. There are, of course, strengths and weaknesses to such an argument, but Ace’s main point is that for some, weird reason in the middle of 2015, Goldberg (and the rest of Never Trump) suddenly decided adultery was such a hideous sin that it’d be better if Hillary were elected President. Because the lady who helped cover up her husband’s adultery is morally superior to a guy who committed adultery, or something.
And the “or something” is this, in my view: the people who make up Never Trump never wanted Conservatism to win. What such people wanted was the entirely of liberal social policy combined with low taxes (especially on corporations, and especially in the form of so-called “free trade” agreements). Oh, and drop a few bombs every now and again on poor foreigners and send Flyover Americans out to fight from time to time – always on the understanding they’d never be allowed to win and they could face criminal charges if their actions upset some DoD lawyer.
What we have to do here is to realize we were suckers. Conned. Yokels who were taken in by city slickers. No shame in it, because the con artist is still the bad guy. But, we were stupid: we paid and we voted and we waited and waited and waited for decades for the Great Conservative Victory…and even when we had power (including total power under Bush from 2003 to 2007) nothing Conservative ever happened. Even after that, we still didn’t put two and two together. It wasn’t until Trump came along that the mask was ripped off – and it was ripped off because Trump not only said he’d do conservative things, but he actually started doing them.
Now, to be sure, the original Never Trump objections to Trump had some validity. I know people who were Trumpsters from Day One (my brother is one of them) but there were a lot – a lot – of people, like me, who went for Anybody But Trump until there was no one left but Trump. I even know some people who, faced with the choice between Hillary and Trump, decided to not vote for President, or vote for some Third Party candidate as a protest. The bottom line is that in 2016, there were plenty of solid reasons to not want Trump – not least of which was what I feared the most: that if he got in, he’d strike a deal with the left and leave us high and dry. But, still, I voted for Trump – because I saw clearly that there was a moral issue at stake here and no matter what Trump had done, it wasn’t remotely as bad as Hillary had done and in policy, with Trump, I might at least get something I wanted from time to time. But then Trump won and started to govern. Lo and behold, within months of taking office, he was accomplishing more solid, conservative things than even Reagan had done. In short, by about July of 2017, if you were conservative, you made your peace with Trump because, as it turns out, his victory was a good thing.
Now it became crunch time, as it were. I wrote, I think shortly after the election, that anyone who remained Never Trump for a long period of time would eventually become left. I was a bit wrong about that. They didn’t become, they already were. There is plenty of evidence of this – most notably in how so many Never Trump people have jettisoned their beliefs nearly entirely. They no longer offer conservative criticism of Trump because you can’t conservatively oppose the conservative policies of Trump’s Administration (small exception is on trade: you can be a conservative free trader…I’ll disagree with you on that, but because you want Free Trade and I want Protection doesn’t mean either of us are liberal). To me, this just isn’t really possible, outside of a religious conversion. And while liberalism is like a religion (more like a cult, these days), it isn’t exactly like that. But we do have people who are becoming liberal and just baldly asserting things as truth which yesterday they said were lies.
I can only work from the assumption that they never believed a word of what they said before. I don’t know (and don’t care) if they believe what they are saying, now. But that rapid a 180 by such a large number of people – supposedly educated people – is just too unlikely except as a result of cynical dishonesty. They were dishonestly and cynically parroting Conservatism when it punched the ticket (and had no chance of winning and thus no chance of forcing them to do something they didn’t want to do) and are now parroting Liberalism because that is now punching the ticket. I wish the liberals a lot of luck with them (and some liberals are on to the scam and are disgusted by the embrace of these people by the left…no decent person likes a traitor. Ever.). As for me, I’m just glad we are rid of them – we still might lose, but at least now we’ll lose after a fight, and that allows you to rest easy, no matter what the outcome.