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.