Pre-Trump, Conservatism Was a Grift

Back in March of 2017, I was of the opinion that the Never Trumpers were mostly just dismayed by Trump’s personality and that most of them would eventually realize that Conservative victory was more important than hurt feelings. As Trump’s policies have been vigorously Conservative, it would only make sense that anyone who wants Conservative victory would sign on with Trump.

And, man, I hate finding out that I was a sucker.

Today, it was announced that Jonah Goldberg is leaving National Review to found a new outfit with former Weekly Standard Editor-in-Chief Steve Hayes. They say they’ll be Trump-skeptical and opposed to partisan boosterism. So, yeah, they’ll be out there vigorously tearing down anyone who can help Conservatism while helping Democrats in any way they can. They’ll likely still shill for “free trade” agreements and low corporate taxes, but that’s because most liberals are in favor of such things. You can rely on it that over the first six months or so in business, these “Conservatives” will “evolve” on issues like abortion and gun control.

Let’s pause for a moment here and review a bit of what Trump is doing:

1. Remaking the Courts in a solidly conservative manner.
2. Reducing onerous regulations.
3. Tax cuts.
4. Working to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
5. Pushing back against the emerging Trans agenda.
6. Rebuilding our military might.
7. Standing by Israel in deed as well as word.
8. Destroying one after another of the Progressive heroes of our era.
9. Exposing the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the MSM like no one ever has.
10. Reviving the Rule of Law.

As far as I can tell, there’s not much missing there from what Conservatism has said it wants. Now, to be sure, Conservatism is still largely in favor of so-called “free trade” and Trump is obviously against it, but that’s just one thing…and it’s not like he’s trying to erect permanent barriers to trade. His whole thing is using tariffs as a weapon to force our trade partners to be fair: in the end, Trump wants free trade, as well…though he clearly recognizes the national security aspect of the matter: if we could get 100% of our steel cheaper in foreign markets, we’d still want a very large steel industry here at home. But, still, that is just one thing – and we Conservatives are getting so much else, what is there to complain about? Apparently enough to convince Goldberg and Hayes to found a new media outfit to fight Trump…but fight him on what?

That’s the thing: they want to fight Trump and that means they want to fight Conservative victory. I’m not buying some bullsh** story about how Trump is so immoral that we have to stop him. I doubt that Hayes and Goldberg are stupid enough to believe the Trump-Russia drivel (but, hey, maybe they do?). They are fighting Trump while Trump pushes through a Conservative agenda more comprehensive than even Reagan attempted. If you’re fighting Trump, then you simply must not want Conservatism to prevail. And that’s what I think is at the root here: they don’t want Conservatism to prevail. They are revealing themselves as grifters…people who merely said what they figured we wanted to hear as a means to make a buck or two. They never actually wanted Conservatism to win, and that must be because they don’t actually like Conservatism. I’m open to other explanations if anyone has them – but from where I’m sitting, I can only figure that when Goldberg and Hayes and the rest of the Never Trump regiment finished their articles advocating for Conservatism in the past, they smiled and thought to themselves, “that’ll keep the suckers donating for another month”.

For fifty years they’ve been at this. In hindsight, it was probably Nixon who injected the poison into the Conservative movement Buckley founded in the 1950’s. Nixon was not remotely Conservative – he started the EPA, after all – but he knew that he needed Conservative votes to prevail…and he got them. He hired a few high powered Conservative voices, and that was that. Conservative leaders found that there was money and prestige to be had…as long as you sold yourself off to whatever non-Conservative guy was out there willing to pass out the jobs. Reagan, then, was an anomaly: someone who only slipped in because the base loved him so, and Carter collapsed. I think back now on the Reagan years and all the things that didn’t happen. All the things which could have been done to roll back liberalism, and yet none of them were. Reagan, after all, kept Nixon’s EPA, and Carter’s Department of Education. There’s some old video, I think, of Trump ripping into Reagan back in the day – I think I see why he might have done that: Reagan was great and he’ll never be forgotten, but he had a lot of opportunities which slipped by unused. And now I wonder who in the “Conservative” movement helped those opportunities to be lost?

The old movie line goes, “once is an accident; twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action”. Conservatism has blown potential victory many more than three times. We’re not that stupid nor are we that incompetent. The only thing we’ve won on is the gun control issue – but, please note, that wasn’t won by Conservatism, as such, but by gun owners, themselves, fighting it out tooth and nail against the same liberal Establishment which Conservatism gets beaten by day in and day out. We can’t even muster up the grit to keep boys out of the girls’ bathroom. Or, at least, we couldn’t until Trump came along. Prior to Trump, we just kept losing – and looking back on it in hindsight, I can only assume that our defeat was the result of sabotage. This is not to say that we were destined to win, but it is to say that in conflict after conflict with the left, we just kept throwing in the towel. Why? Why give up? Why did we quit?

I think we all should have woke up a bit when National Review fired John Derbyshire. To be sure, the offending article by Derbyshire was a bit out there, and I thought so as soon as I read it. But, still, it was just an opinion. It could be countered with other opinions – but no one on the right did that. He was just fired, defined as a racist and never spoken of again. But, we all could be forgiven for not catching on at that point because, as I said, Derbyshire’s article was way outside the norm. But a couple years later, Mark Steyn was also out at National Review and, while the issues were varied, the final trigger was Steyn repeating a couple old jokes from Bob Hope and Dean Martin about homosexuality (Hope: “California just legalized homosexuality; I got out of there before they make it mandatory”; Martin: “How you make a fruit cordial? Be nice to him”). We were shown, right then, that Conservatism was entirely in line with the left when it came to proclaiming certain subjects forbidden territory…and, what, then is the difference between Conservatism and Liberalism? None that I can see.

Well, it is all exposed, now: no one is so blind that they cannot see the truth that the pre-Trump Conservatism was useless, if not deliberately baleful. The grifters are leaving us – well, more accurately, they are packing their bags and getting out as we show them the door. None of us know what will happen going forward – Trump may win or lose in 2020. But we’re done with the Never Trump losers. They are free to break out the kneepads for whomever is paying them to shill for the Establishment. We’re now busy with other things – that whole tearing down the Establishment and winning Conservative victory. It is a relief, actually. At least, now, we know that if we lose, we lose because we got beaten…not because our “leaders” waved a white flag.

17 thoughts on “Pre-Trump, Conservatism Was a Grift

  1. JeremiahTMM February 28, 2019 / 8:11 pm

    Great job on this article, Mark! Awesome!

    We can’t afford to lose another election, and as much as I hate to say it, I’m afraid we will lose, because the demographics just aren’t the same anymore. The Democrats have piled the demographics in their favor with a foreign voting base, coupled with the fact that conservatives have very little to no influence, meaning that the press and journalism are largely controlled by Democrats. It’s good that the President has been instrumental in exposing the biased media, something that you have also done for years on this blog, and that’s good. And, while many have come over to the Right side, the majority of people are are so brainwashed with this unfettered hatred for everything Trump and conservative that it doesn’t even phase them, and the reason they get so much pushed through is because we as patriotic Americans don’t fight them, we don’t go out in numbers to tell them “no, we we’re not going to let you ram your agenda down the throats of Americans anymore.” They just passed more gun control legislation in New York. They turned down a resolution to protect children born alive. They’re ramming through legislation to take down the President’s emergency statute. And they’re not going to stop. They’re gonna keep going until they shut down every conservative voice in this country.

    I guess the only good news I see in all of it, is that things will get better, because Jesus is coming soon.

    • Retired Spook February 28, 2019 / 11:57 pm

      Something for you to ponder, Jeremiah. The Democrats control 90% our education system,90% of the news media, and 90% of the entertainment industry. By all rights they should have complete control of the government and, by extension, everyone in the country, and yet they don’t. There’s only one logical explanation — their ideas suck, and the majority of the American people know it. The Left may win battles now and then, but they will NEVER win the war. We simply won’t let them.

      • JeremiahTMM March 1, 2019 / 12:41 am

        Spook, yes, I agree, that the Left’s ideas don’t resound with a great many folks, there’s no question about it, but I wonder is that number more than the number who agree with the Democrats ideas? How many voters have the same Marxist vision as Bernie Sanders? Or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez? On UC Berkeley campus I’m sure that virtually every person there agrees with them. The other half who voted for and are voting for these candidates are basically voting for themselves generous benefits from the national Treasury. The larger segment of that half being from other countries.
        Think about the 93 Trillion dollars, which comes out to about 90 % worth of every citizen living in the United States, that’s how much it would require to fund this thing called the”green new deal”, what is reaction to that … To laugh hysterically or to roll your eyes? How can people not think when they hear this astronomical number, and then blindly follow in lock-step with every word that their communist handlers tell them? Are they real people? Do they have a mind or a soul? This is why I say that Liberals are the number one danger that America faces. They are enemy number one.

        But, I hope you’re right, Spook, I hope that you are right for the sake of united families who just want to work, and watch their children grow up into hard-working citizens, and be able to see their grandchildren.

  2. Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 10:50 am

    And, man, I hate finding out that I was a sucker.

    I say this halfway tongue-in-cheek, but what took you so long? It became pretty obvious within a month or two of inauguration that so-called “Conservatives” who were still vehemently anti-Trump were not really Conservatives. And the more conservative things Trump accomplished, the more evident it became. The final proof, though, will be when the shooting starts. My guess is guys like Goldberg and Hayes will come hat in hand, begging on their knees for us to take them back. If we’re smart we’ll shoot them in the head (metaphorical, not an actual threat).

  3. Cluster March 1, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Great article Mark. I always liked Steve Hayes too so this is disappointing. I realized the depth of fraudulent conservatives however when Trump did what every president has promised to do and failed to act on – and that was moving the Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. That has been a centerpiece to most “conservative” candidates campaigns and yet when Trump actually did it, it was met with indifference and some hostility. That told me right there that that issue was nothing more than a talking point to mollify the base. We were played. And now in the last 2 years we have found out that we have been played much more than we would like to admit. We elected people who we thought would uphold our ideals and values, yet when we put our heads back down and went back to work, they neglected our agenda in favor of big government, special interests, and lobbyists. And they are still doing it. Stay vigilant. Conservatism is winning.

    • Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 11:38 am

      I know I’m riding this horse into the ground, but I’m hoping if the Left is constantly reminded of it they won’t do something stupid. Regardless of the number of referees they accumulate on their side, they can never implement their goals without force, and that’s a problem on two levels: (a) in Conservative America the flame of liberty burns as bright or brighter than in any other country in the world; and (b) WE OWN ALL THE GUNS!!

      • Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 1:00 pm

        Have you ever noticed how simplistic most Liberal arguments are? It’s like they were never taught “how” to think — oh, wait.

        I was on another forum a couple days ago, and one of the resident Lefties reiterated the claim that Trump declaring a national emergency at the border will only open the door for a future Democrat president to declare a gun violence emergency (never mind that they will do that anyway) and confiscate all guns. My response was, “well, they could try.”

        Virtually any Democrat policy requiring the declaration of a national emergency revolves around forcing a large segment of the population to give up something or participate in something they don’t believe in. And, of course, FORCE as well as a direct violation of the Constitution are major ingredients. None of that is true with Trump declaring a national emergency WRT the border. In fact, one of the President’s main imperatives is the security of the country, and protection of the American people.

  4. Amazona March 1, 2019 / 12:04 pm

    As soon as, as in the first ten minutes, of Trump’s nomination, when alleged “conservatives” started trying to undermine him and tear him down, I knew they were not conservatives at all.

    Oh, they might have been fair-weather conservatives, actually believing in Constitutional governance as long as the opposition was sufficiently awful to make it easy. But when the rubber met the road, when they had to act on actual political philosophy and not just cruise along in their comfort zone, they were not up to it. They modified the demand to “put up or shut up” to “put up, shut up or whine” and we can see what they chose.

    The very moment alleged conservatives started trying to make a Trump victory an uphill battle, I wrote them off as fakes. Their political masks fell off, showing nothing but Identity Politics phonies underneath.

    The basic conversation went:
    True Conservatives: “But Trump, imperfect as he is, is the only chance we have to dodge the bullet of moving even farther to the Left.”
    Goldberg, HW Bush, et al, in ear-piercing falsettos: “BUT I DON’T LIIIIIIIKE HIM!!!!”

    And then the reasons for not liking him started to pour in. And they were all valid reasons to not like him. However, among all the tear-stained Post-Its covered with scrawls of ADULTERY BAD HAIR TALKS FUNNY WAS A DEMOCRAT JUST KIND OF CREEPY they papered the media with to explain/justify their angst, there was never a word, not a single word, about how any of their efforts to defeat him would make the United States stronger, safer or less vulnerable to what had been creeping Socialism and was turning into high-speed turbo-charged Socialism. That is because when it came to venting their outrage at being ignored and their personal animosity toward the man, the actual welfare of the country was not even a consideration. At that moment, what was going on in each of their heads was a version of “You’re damned right! It IS all about me!”

    George HW Bush actually voted for Hillary Clinton! And he used to be the poster boy for the conservative movement! But he liked Hillary, and he hated Trump, and that was all that mattered. That is how deep his “conservatism” went. That’s how deep the alleged POLITICAL beliefs of Goldberg, et al have been.

    And that is why I have become an annoying scold about the need to step away from personality and issues and focus on pure political philosophy. Feelings don’t count, or at least they shouldn’t. Television and the Internet have trivialized politics to little more than a contest of which candidate you’d like to hang out with, while behind the scenes the Right is just being the Right, bumbling along with no coordination,no plan, and what appears to be no concept of what is even going on, and the Left is its same old hard-eyed long-range-planning calculating machine pulling levers and moving people around like pieces on a chessboard.

    Shifting the discourse away from personality to discussions of the best blueprint for governing the country would push the fake conservatives into a corner, and make a lot of those in the middle who are not hateful hard-core Libs but who are truly scared of the Invented Other bogeyman of the Right created by the Left and planted into their subconscious minds feel less threatened.

    • M. Noonan March 1, 2019 / 10:47 pm

      We do need to call them out – so we can get rid of the last of the fair-weather Conservatives. Whatever we do, it should always be geared to fighting the left/advancing the right. If it doesn’t do one or both of those things, leave it alone. I got in a Twitter tiff yesterday with some Blue Check Never Trumps on this very issue – I kept hammering the theme of “what does it profit the right for you to attack Trump?” and I never did get a straight answer. My surmise: they don’t really want the right to win. I can see not liking Trump – ok, fine. But is it helping the cause to attack him? We’ve got a mile long line of Democrats busily attacking him. He’s being sufficiently attacked. Any deficiency in policy or personality is being diligently exposed. The Democrats need no help in this area: seriously, they got it covered. And, so, if you don’t like Trump – but you do like Conservatism – then you can spend your time being quiet about Trump and attacking Democrats. It is a target-rich environment, after all. You can spend the next two to six years simply ignoring who is President…and still help the cause of Conservatism.

      They refuse – they want to take down Trump, which they all know would result in a disastrous 2020 and 2022 for the GOP (at least), ushering in a far-left Democrat party which might, in 2 to 4 years, so completely re-make America that we simply never have a chance, short of civil war, to gain power again.

      • Amazona March 2, 2019 / 11:30 am

        Mark, here you explore something that I think is percolating to the surface of the thinking of a lot of true conservatives. That is, that the welfare of the nation is not the highest priority of the Never Trumpers—-never has been and probably never will be.

        The question that rose in my mind every single time I heard a alleged conservative bash Trump was “And just how is what you are saying good for the country?”

        I go back to what I have been saying all along about any “meddling” Russia might have done in the election—it was not get any one person elected, but to use the election to stir up as much anger and resentment as possible. to generate social unrest and promote internal conflicts and divisiveness. True, electing Trump did make their job easier, as if Hillary had been elected the Right would not be doing ANY of the crap the Left is doing day in and day out. A Dem president would aid the Left as much as a Republican president and the inevitable riots and smear campaigns and hate campaigns of the Left, and a Republican president would enable the Left to engage in its game of fragmenting a society, splintering it into groups it can then turn against each other to foment internal chaos. So while the Left has been howling about “Trump doing the bidding of his Kremlin masters” it has been the Left doing this and Trump fighting them.

        Then we add the backstabbing from the putative Right, the self-identified conservatives who are so petty and surly they have eagerly jumped on that bandwagon of Bring Down Trump and we can’t see them as anything more or less than Leftists, with a little flag lapel and an “R” next to it but without any real political spine or interest in what is best for the country.

        It hurts me to put Paul Ryan in that group, but I gotta call it like I see it. 45 Republicans walked away from Congress out of pique, didn’t resign early so replacements could be appointed and the seats could be defended by incumbents but timed their departures to weaken the party, and by extension the conservative cause, as much as possible.

        Let’s just say if Paul Ryan strolled across the road in front of me you would not see skid marks.

  5. Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    This is just funny beyond words.

    Donald Harris, the father of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), revealed that his presidential hopeful daughter is descended from Jamaican plantation slave owners. (emphasis – mine)

    If anyone should have to pay reparations it’s Senator Harris.

  6. Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    Looks like House Republicans are beginning to learn how to play hardball.

    So 90% of House Democrats voted FOR illegal aliens being able to buy a firearm. Let that sink in for a second. And, of course, the next step will be for Pelosi and Company to punish the 26 Democrats who voted for the amendment.

    • M. Noonan March 1, 2019 / 10:42 pm

      Word is that AOC is taking a list of anyone who refuses to vote the Progressive agenda and is promising primary battles for them in 2020.

      I think I see the House swinging back our way – even without getting back those stolen seats in CA.

  7. Retired Spook March 1, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    And the latest from the YCMTSU file: Bernie Sanders’ new Press Secretary can’t vote for him. Why? Because she’s an illegal alien.

    Memo to self — order more popcorn.

    • M. Noonan March 1, 2019 / 10:40 pm

      Supposing he wins, how are we to obey the laws when the chief law enforcement officer of our nation is flouting it? I hate to say it: but his election would justify open rebellion.

      • Amazona March 2, 2019 / 11:16 am

        Now, what was that I said about making the oath of office binding?


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