Oh, the horrors!!! Steve Schmidt has left the “vile” and “corrupt” Republican Party over the “horrors” of enforcing the law at the border. This is the same Steve Schmidt who oversaw numerous losing Republican campaigns at the state and national level, the most recent of which was John McCain’s campaign in 2008 which lost to a do-nothing Senator and community organizer named Barack Obama. But, to the NeverTrumper, he is speaking truth to power and taking a principled stand. If one goes over to Resurgent, one can read the gleeful editorial of a wackadoodle with the initials S.W. singing the praises of Schmidt to justify their own deranged hatred of Trump.
Of course, crying kids at the border have been pushed off the front pages ever since Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and conservatives and Republicans are now going to nationalize the uterus of every female of child-bearing age. Instead, President Trump has the potential to become one of the most consequential Presidents of the modern political era with his next Supreme Court choice. That’s right- not Jeb, John, Marco or Ted. And that has to scare the living poop out of the NeverTrump crowd.
When you have a sense of self-importance, nothing dies easily. Bill Kristol, in particular, does not seem to have gotten the message and so he lashes out accusing Tucker Carlson, for example, of embracing racism and ethno-nationalism. He’ll still find a home on Twitter, MSNBC and NBC, but other than that, no one really listens to him anymore. He joins a long list of allegedly conservative voices in the Hall on Inconsequence that include: Jennifer Rubin and George Will of the Washington Post, Brett Stephens at the Wall Street Journal, David Brooks and Russ Douthat at the New York Times, and David French at the National Review. Others, like David Frum and Anna Navarro were charter members of the hall for their endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
So what happened? If they were so influential in conservative circles, why didn’t anyone listen to them then and even less now? The answer is simple: the conservative elites did not speak for Republican voters, as Ramesh Ponurru previously has noted. Instead, the elite focused on Trump’s vices and analyzed them more than Caligula’s. In 2017, they were warning about Trump’s fascism. By 2018, he was too disorganized and chaotic to become the next Mussolini; he became a buffoon. Yet every publication these so-called guardians of conservatism write for has come to begrudgingly admit the “buffoon” accomplished a lot in 500 days. Of course, Kristol’s Weekly Standard tempers that with questions about his character.
It becomes obvious that these elite conservatives were seriously out of touch with the electorate. How many of them wrote articles about the opioid crisis decimating small communities? How many wrote about illegal immigration without parroting the lines of liberals and the Chamber of Commerce? How many wrote about the abuses under NAFTA and other trade agreements? As others have noted, it is why Hillbilly Elegy was the must-read book of 2017. The elite did not have to come out of their bubble to understand what was going on in rural America and flyover country. God forbid they visit North or South Dakota or Kentucky.
Then again, when you spend the bulk of your time pontificating from the Acela corridor, how would you really know the concerns of real voters? Instead, they preferred to argue the talking points of think tanks as if that would somehow overcome the reality facing many Americans. While Trump was blasting the corrupt Clinton machine, these elites were arguing for accommodations with that machine. While Trump’s base was fighting a war, the elitists were sitting about drinking tea and contemplating appeasement. These were the Chamberlain conservatives.
People wondered why evangelicals supported Trump. The reason is simple: the elitists cared less about religious liberty. They had capitulated to a world of pollsters who told us that fighting gay marriage would cost Republicans the millennial vote, or that it was time to enter into some unholy alliance with the pro-death crowd on abortion because X percentage of the population of the female electorate supports Roe. Wade. The fact is they cared squat about religion. The bottom line: the conservative elite has been enormously wrong!
So now conservative voters are being lectured by a group of losers for supporting a President who is proving himself to be quite conservative because that support is now somehow bad for conservatism. What a friggin’ twisting of logic! Only an elitist can come up with that argument.
The daily news cycle has proven the NeverTrumpers have been wrong about practically everything. How can you be elite when you are constantly wrong? Bathed in self-importance, writing from liberal bastions, they mistook their policy positions for principle. Jeff Flake in Time magazine: “We have to get back to our basic principles- free trade, immigration.” Those are policies, not principles. Trump, through his conservative actions, has proven them to be the fools they are. If you cannot even clearly articulate what they wish to conserve, how can one call oneself a conservative?
The problem is they can’t. So instead, you have people like George Will actually imploring conservatives to elect Democrats in the fall in order to save conservatism. Yes- what can be more conservative than voting for a liberal Democrat? This is the depths that the so-called conservative establishment and NeverTrumpers have sunk. Yet, they’re the smart ones and everyone else is a rube.
And what are these conservative principles allegedly being run over by Trump? A smaller, more limited government with less regulations? Lower taxes so that wage earners keep more of what they earn? A respect for the rule of law? A Supreme Court that interprets the law and Constitution and that doesn’t write law or believe in a “living Constitution?” What exactly are the tenets of conservatism that President Trump has violated? The unprincipled are now lecturing us about principles. How Orwellian… and Leftist.
Personally, this writer would rather have one buffoon enacting a conservative agenda than a panel of conservative elites lecturing me on what conservatism should be, or whether Trump is the wrong man to enact that agenda. That is all that is left for the arguments of the NeverTrumpers- the man himself. It is certainly sad that they would sacrifice action in order to justify their self-importance, the status quo, and continued martyrdom at the hands of the Left. And it places them squarely in the same boat as #TheResistance. Actually, #TheResistance is better; at least their real differences are ideological as well personal.
These past 500 days of the Trump presidency have proven one thing: NeverTrumpers are effeminate talkers who would rather capitulate to the Left rather than take a stand and fight. Is that what you want “fighting” for conservatism? Trump does not play “surrender” and at this point, and barring some massive adjustment, he’ll get my vote in 2020 should he decide to run.