It always seemed to me that the choice between voting for either Donald Trump and Joe Biden was a simple one, for a conservative.
You either picked the person who had good policies that reduced the government involvement in your life so that you might prosper, or you picked the guy who was going to intrinsically drag us further left, grabbing more power and control for the increasing radical, left-moving Democratic Party. Everything else in the discussion was just chaff.
It’s an existential question for a conservative in my opinion, and picking the other guy would lead to everything we’re seeing now. If you think about it in these simple terms, none of what has come from Biden — the bad policies, the authoritarianism — is a surprise. All of it should have been fought with every breath from anyone who claimed to believe in the principles of this country, or who claimed to be “conservative.”
That’s why it always seemed to me that the most ridiculous creatures were the professional Never Trump folks — who did it while claiming they were “conserving conservatism” or some such nonsense — while everything they did was centered on Trump and then resulted in pushing the country further to the radical left, despite their claimed beliefs.
So today, when I saw that there was infighting with The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol and Mona Charen blasting The Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg, I thought it was pretty hilarious. What started it was Goldberg had finally stumbled upon an essential truth that seems to have eluded many Never Trump folks like those at The Bulwark and The Lincoln Project, the WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin, even folks at CNN, like Jim Acosta: they are completely defined by their connection to Donald Trump. Even as they whine to get rid of him, he’s essential to their very existence.
— Mona Charen (@monacharen) October 13, 2021
Charen was upset at what Goldberg said. She was miffed that he seemed to be mired in “small differences” between them.
Goldberg isn’t conveying that spirit. Regarding The Bulwark, he said, “If you wake up every morning trying to argue about why Trump is bad and the people who like Trump are evil, you’re just as obsessed with him as the people who wake up every morning wanting to prove that Trump is a glorious statesman and everything he does is great.” Never Trump and pro-Trump publications, he continued, are “two sides of the same Trump-obsessed coin.”
Well. That’s awfully close to accusing The Bulwark of Trump Derangement Syndrome—an accusation that has often been lobbed at Goldberg by people who regard any criticism of El Jefe as treason.
Um, yes, and? It’s a perfect definition of Never Trump. It’s even in the name which only exists with Trump in it.
Charen claims they aren’t just writing about Trump, but they are also inveighing against progressive ideas and urging Biden to tack to the center. Their top-three trending pieces on their site are Trump-related, so such much for that (Sorry, I took the hit for all of us and went to the site).
Now, are there other things? Sure. But here’s the problem with this argument. It isn’t what you say, it’s what you did. You helped Biden. So, if you’re upset he’s been more left than you anticipated, congratulations, here’s a clue. We could have told you that, but you didn’t listen. Anyone with an active brain cell could have told you. If you don’t realize dangerous that was, then you weren’t paying attention.
Do they have any understanding of how Joe Biden or the Democrats have been violating norms over the past nine months? You know, that thing that they were supposedly upset with Trump over? It doesn’t seem so. How do we know? They’re still willing to give Democrats even more power, even urging people vote for a craven character like Terry McAuliffe, who doesn’t seem to believe that parents have a right to have a say in their children’s education.
Let’s look at what else Mona Charen had to say.
Perhaps it comes down to a matter of emphasis. Kristol has said that in light of the Republican party’s lunatic spiral he’s hoping for Biden’s success (while also advising that Biden, you guessed it, tack to the center). I have written that in the Virginia governor’s race, I’m voting Democratic because the Republican is signaling his endorsement of the fiction that our elections are not legitimate. Sometimes you must lean toward one over another, even when it makes you uncomfortable. To attempt to move Democrats toward policies that are centrist and popular and will result in success for the only sane party left at this moment is not to endorse the agenda of Bernie Sanders. Quite the opposite. And it is not a surrender to partisanship.
So, they’re lining up to make the very same mistake right again, making the decision to give Democrats more power, based on a false spin about what Youngkin has said. And if McAuliffe doesn’t believe in parents’ rights and drives the country further left, eh, not their fault, right?
Can we talk about how they didn’t apply this same standard to the Democrats? You had Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams actually questioning the legitimacy of their respective elections.
Not only that, but Clinton and the Democrats did something which should concern anyone who cares about election integrity and this country — weaponizing a false story about Russia collusion and using it to divide the country. They are a large part of the reason that this country has been so divided. That should be a disqualifying thing forever for their party, with the great harm it did. Not to mention the continuing spin and lies.
Yet, the folks who claim they care about preserving norms are all cool with feeding them more power, because Republicans raise questions about elections. Clinton/DNC literally interfered and threw unity under a bus, not giving a darn how much it hurt Americans and the country. Who could ever countenance them after that? To call them the “sane party,” when they would do anything for power, is not to have been watching what’s happened the past four years. It’s ignorant.
And yes, giving them that power IS endorsing the agenda of Bernie Sanders. Do you need any more proof than the past nine months? What is coming to the top under Biden? Is it his alleged “moderate” nature? No, it’s the progressives and Biden’s actual extremism. Not to mention his incredible incompetence — which has cost Americans lives and emboldened our enemies.
So, Goldberg told the folks at The Bulwark a basic truth and they didn’t want to hear it. Methinks they doth protest too much, because it hits too close to home. So here’s another truth for them: you’re not conservatives if you still think you are. Maybe, you never were. If you’re voting for Democrats, you’re a Democrat.
The positions that Never Trump folks are often putting out there — like those of Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin — are Democratic positions. Maybe if they just admitted the truth, then they could finally be rid of Trump because then they could be honest — give up “Never Trump” and just say “Democrat.” It’s really just a “small difference” at this point.