The Borg are the best villain to come out of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even people that didn’t watch the show know the name. The Borg assimilate the uniqueness of others into their collective, in order to achieve their own view of perfection. Resistance is futile, they say.
The Borg have become part of our cultural language, a shorthand for a variety of complex ideas that generally can be summed up in the notion of being assimilated; forced into compliance and conformity through some type of pressure or force. There is no doubt that the Trump campaign is 2016’s “The Borg.”
I have written before about the “NEVER Never Trump” folks. They are the anti-never Trumps. They seem to exist solely to attack other Republicans who fail to endorse or otherwise support Donald Trump. They punish the ones who won’t assimilate. The ways in which this unhealthy obsession is antithetical to treasured American and conservative principles are as myriad as the ways that Trump himself is antithetical to the same, but what we often fail to mention is how utterly short-sighted they are.
I remember, back in the days of George W. Bush, when RedState would criticize him we got a lot of criticism in the comments and diaries and by email. When Erick and Leon went on offense over Harriet Miers, there were those who attacked them as betrayers of the party, as enablers of the Democrats and more. I’ll never forget the best defense I saw, other than forgetting who said it. They said, “if we don’t tell him no, then how does he know he’s wrong?”
It sounds arrogant, but this is what activism and blogging are all about. It’s the reason we and tea partiers and voters brag about “primarying” somebody. The simple idea is that you hold a politician accountable so that they behave as they ought to. If you give them license to run roughshod, they will. They need someone telling them “NO.”
Trump must be told no. Without those who hold him accountable for his many left turns, how much more “progressive” would he be right now? With nothing but a chorus of “yes” no matter what, he, like a lot of politicians, would take the wrong roads.
Resistance, you see, is in no way futile. In fact it can be quite productive.
Now that is not to say that’s why someone like myself is never going to vote for Donald Trump, but it is a consequence of opposition nevertheless. And before you Trump fans get too all-fired up about it, just remember your side has done the same with him on at least one occassion. Led by Coulter, there was minor Trumpian revolt over his going soft on immigration. Consequently he pretended not to be going soft anymore. See? Not futile. And not a complicated or new principle.
Again, that’s not why I oppose him, but it is a consequence of his having opposition from the right. (If you want to know why I and others oppose him, search the site. Or better yet, listen to him when his mouth is open.)
Resistance serves another purpose too. Conservatives refusing to endorse Trump’s anti-Republican, anti-conservative agenda are keeping the political ideas our side used to support in the conversation. Trumpists often say “nobody was talking about immigration until Trump.” Well there are a lot of things that nobody is talking about since Trump. In the same way that Trump fans saw value in bringing that issue to the fore, so there is value in keeping other issues from being lost. Things like personal liberty, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms.
Let’s be frank, if the people on the right opposing Trump suddenly endorsed him, it would probably not change the outcome of the election. The Borg miss this point. It doesn’t mean those people don’t have influential voices, many do. But it’s not going to change what happens in November if they suddenly give up and start lying about him being fit for office. Resistance isn’t futile, but at this point, assimilation pretty much is.
Of course, the other thing the Borg miss is that our criticisms of Trump are true and accurate. I remember when truth and accuracy were something of value, not a reason to spend your days ranting and raving like a lunatic on Twitter about conspiracies against the object of your worship. Vaguely, but I remember them.
That truth does matter to me. I’m not going to say “Trump is a good choice for President” when I know very well that he isn’t. And I’m certainly not going to pretend that he doesn’t say the things he says, do the things he does, or believe the things he believes. Not every Trump voter lies for him. But a lot do. And those principled Trump voters who do not lie for him also don’t spend their time attacking fellow conservatives who have not converted. They focus on Hillary, not #NeverTrump. Think about that.
Yesterday, Leon said his goodbye as Editor of RedState, and he wrote “if you stick by your principles, more often than not, the rest will take care of itself.” At RedState, our principles are generally simple. Smaller, less intrusive government. The protection of unborn life. The importance of religious liberty. The sanctity of personal liberty. And above all, facing and telling the truth about politicians. That has always been what we do here.
We don’t have an editorial stance on the election, despite the histrionics you see from the Borg. Each writer here has an equal platform to say what their opinion is, including opinions that do not agree. We have those who will never vote for Trump. We have those who have already stated publicly that they will vote for him. We have relentlessly pursued every story about Hillary Clinton’s malfeasance, her ill intent, her deceitfulness, her betrayals of the American people and the public trust, her duplicity, and her unfitness for the highest office. Search the site if you doubt it. We have done the same with Donald Trump, and for pretty much the same reasons.
Which is to say that your complaints about attacking Trump have been noted and dismissed. We will continue to state what we think, report things that are true, and advocate for the issues that we consider to be important. Whether you agree or not.
And if you don’t agree, don’t forget we have a lively community where diarists can post their own content saying exactly what they think. Many of those diaries get shared far and wide, even when they disagree with something on the front page. It’s a community. I think you should participate. You might be surprised how welcoming it is.
We are not the Borg. Resistance is welcome. You will be reasoned with.
As the new Managing Editor, I welcome you to this latest iteration of RedState. Stick around. If nothing else, there are going to be a lot more photoshops.