I can’t recall a political endorsement in a primary causing such an immediate and heated firestorm. When Trump endorsed Oz, it caused very large numbers of prominent Trump supporters to go absolutely ballistic. They hate the endorsement. To hear many of them speak, this endorsement tears it with Trump: they are done! Going to back DeSantis in 2024. Trump is an embarrassment! He’s always picking terrible people! If he wins in 2024, it’ll be as bad or worse than it was in 2016!
For a moment there, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to Never Trump. I mean, this was astonishing.
And it also lets you know just how very bad at politics our side is. I mean, we are just terrible at it. We don’t understand how it works. We routinely step on our own crank. We hand the Democrats the weapons to attack us with.
Aside: by “we” I mean “everyone but me”. And probably Trump, as well.
First and foremost, in our internal conflicts we have to be careful that in trying to push our preferred person forward, we don’t create a toxic environment. In other words, don’t shred your own side. This is true for any Party primary. Vigorous attack and debate is good – but your primary purpose is to sell your candidate and do it in a way that the supporters of the loser swing enthusiastically behind your guy. Torching Oz as a horribly bad choice is not quite the best way to go. It should be like, “I understand Trump has endorsed Doctor Oz. As we all know, any of our fine candidates will be better than the Democrat. I’m disappointed he didn’t endorse Candidate X instead, but I still believe that Candidate X is our best option and here’s why.” See the difference?
Beyond that sort of tactical operation, there is more to consider here.
I do get the doubts about Oz. Yes, he’s taken pro-choice and anti-gun positions and he has, to put the best face on it, been open to medically transitioning children. He has taken these positions. In the past. That is kinda important because in the past, Trump took some pretty Left positions. And I’ve seen over the past 14 months some very far Left people starting to rethink their views. We’ve all had an education of late, haven’t we? Trump busted down the doors and exposed the rot in the heart of our institutions. Everyone is dealing with that. The Left and Never Trump by sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “I can’t hear you!”. Everyone else…by thinking it over. And very often coming to conclusions very different from before.
I used to be a stalwart defender of the FBI. I believed the CIA was dedicated to defending America. I thought that large corporations were by and large beneficial. But here in 2022, I want both the FBI and the CIA abolished and I’m in favor of breaking up the large, monopolistic corporations. I’ve had an education. It started for me before Trump, but it was the Trump years that showed me how bad it was and how far I had to be prepared to go to fix it. What I’m saying here is that the past is not the present: things change. If you could go back to the our old blog you’d find me vigorously defending the FBI, CIA…Wal Mart, for crying out loud. Are you going to hold me to that? Tell me that because I once held a particular view I can’t hold a different view now that I’ve obtained different information?
But that is the standard we’re being told to judge Oz on – in the days of being in Oprah World, anything he said is permanently binding on him and it all makes him unacceptable. Forever.
Sorry: that is just a stupid, unjust attitude. If the Muslim Oz will pardon, it is also un-Christian. We all get not just second chances, but buckets and buckets of chances. I will not deny Oz a seat at the table because he once said something I don’t like.
So, what is Oz saying now? On the trans issue, nothing: at least, nothing that I have found. He will have to address that directly, I think. That’s up to him. But he now claims to be pro-life. He isn’t running on a gun control platform. His policy positions are secure borders, energy independence, curbing corporate power, school choice. Not a bad list, if you ask me.
To be sure, Doctor Oz translated into Senator Oz could betray us. Like Romney and Murkowski have (Collins hasn’t – she does what she needs to do to stay viable in Purple Maine; she must at times vote against us). But he could also betray us like Barr or like Sessions did. Remember them? Rock ribbed Conservatives. Honest and brave men we could count on. Except they both folded like cheap suits at the first bit of Leftist pressure. And, sure, a Senator Oz could fold just as readily – like, for instance, current Senator Toomey did…he of Tea Party Conservative fame…but when the real test came, he went along with the Democrat’s 1/6 fantasy.
The bottom line is that Oz, no matter how badly he could betray us, cannot do worse than some of those we trusted the most.
And then there’s the chance he won’t betray us. Could happen. Every now and again a person of courage manages to navigate their way into politics. Doesn’t happen often as politics attracts the greedy and the cowardly (the stupid, too: in freaking spades), but it does happen. Right now we’ve got Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in there – both men, I think, we can rely on to stick to their guns no matter. Could Oz be another one? No way to know until it happens. But consider this: the GOP Establishment already hates him. The Donor Class isn’t on his side. His own Liberal media friends are soon to turn quite viciously on him. He only wins and only stays in office – let alone aspires to a different office – if he keeps us on his side.
Oz is worth about $100 million. He’s not just famous: he’s got nearly universal name recognition. So, he isn’t in this for the money and he isn’t in it for the fame. He could have pretty much sat on his a** for the rest of his life raking in money and being on TV any time he wanted. You know, just like Trump in 2015. There is a chance that Oz is running for office – which will impact his money making ability and turn him from universally beloved American personality into a partisan figure – just so once he gets in there he can sell us out to the Democrats. But figure the odds, guys. Unless Oz is the most spineless sort of man, the chances of that happening are billions to one against.
This is not to say that a Senator Oz will always vote the way you want. Pennsylvania is heading towards Red State status, but its a ways away and anyone running Statewide there will have to trim their sails this or that way to retain electoral viability. In short, you can expect a Senator Oz to sometimes go contrary on us – but betray us? Like Toomey did with the impeachment vote? I just don’t see that in the cards. In fact, I see what I believe Trump sees in the man: an ally. Someone who is willing to bite the bullet and enter the sewer of politics because he wants something better for others. He doesn’t need to do this for himself – so, unless he’s some sort of psychopath, he’s doing it for someone else…and the only realistic party that can be is, well, you and me.
It is time, my friends, that we all grow up and start understanding that politics isn’t neat and tidy. It is a mess; mostly because it is run by people…but, worse than that, it is often run by the worst sort of people. But who are the heroes of politics? Those who bucked the trend. The people who stood forth in glorious contradiction of the age. Those who went in it to do something rather than be somebody. People like Lincoln and Churchill at the heights…people like Reagan and Trump on the lower level. Maybe Oz – and a lot of other normal people stepping forward – are just what we need? Maybe it is time for us to think about what we want and how we might get it?
I’m always reminded these days of something my father said to me about 1982 or so. I was 17 and dad was explaining to me how liberty is fought for. One thing really stuck: “I’m telling you, Mark, that when it becomes a real, final fight for liberty in America, some of your best allies will be people you can’t stand. Don’t reject anyone who is willing to stand with you.”