screengrab from https://youtu.be/0MMGmSijqro?t=207
Yesterday, former RedState managing editor Erick Erickson wrote a post at his The Resurgent site that I’d encourage everyone to read. It is titled Trump 2020?
I have long been critical of Republicans who abandoned principles to stand with Trump and I am as critical of Republicans who abandon principles to oppose Trump. Principle should stay because people go. The Kavanaugh nomination has been clarifying in this regard. Seeing some conservatives willing to aid and abet character assassins because Trump nominated Kavanaugh is disgusting.
Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.
Erick, as you know, was one of the original NeverTrump pundits on the right. But, unlike many of that group, like Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson and Tom Nichols and others you can name, Erick never made opposition to Trump a religious practice. And it was gratifying to see that Erick has made the same trip that many of us have also made. Erick’s revulsion at the grotesque spectacle of Kavanaugh’s reputation being used as a chew toy by the Democrats and their AstroTurf legions is a linear descendant of a warning we all received in September 2016.
On September 5, 2016, Michael Anton wrote an essay in the Claremont Review of Books called the Flight 93 Election. His premise was that 2016 was a crucial election and that the republic, as we know it, would have difficulty surviving four to eight years of a Hillary Clinton administration. We were, he said, like the passengers of Flight 93 that charged the cockpit on September 11, 2001.
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.
It’s absurd to assume that any of this would stop or slow—would do anything other than massively intensify—in a Hillary administration. It’s even more ridiculous to expect that hitherto useless conservative opposition would suddenly become effective. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label. There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left. But also wholly unnecessary: sauce for the goose. The Left was calling us Nazis long before any pro-Trumpers tweeted Holocaust denial memes. And how does one deal with a Nazi—that is, with an enemy one is convinced intends your destruction? You don’t compromise with him or leave him alone. You crush him.
So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys—and paychecks. But those are going away anyway. Among the many things the “Right” still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on. They don’t think they need a foil anymore and would rather dispense with the whole bother of staging these phony contests in which each side ostensibly has a shot.
The 2016 election was a tough one for a lot of us. I don’t think a lot of politically active Republicans or conservatives really wanted Trump as the candidate, but you don’t always get what you want. The lines really started to be drawn after May 3, when Ted Cruz lost the Indiana primary and dropped out of the race, and June 19, when he became the official candidate of the GOP. After Trump’s win, a lot–and by a lot, I mean nearly all–of the conservative opposition to Trump was visceral and reflexive. Trump was evil, he was the devil, he could do no good. They claimed they’d cheerfully praise Trump if he did anything praiseworthy, but they could never quite identify such an event. He threatened war with North Korea—he avoided war with North Korea. He was too slow to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem—he was too quick to move. His badgering of NATO to increase defense spending would never work—NATO was increasing defense spending anyway. If Trump cured cancer, these people would have been complaining that he was destroying Social Security by enabling people to live longer. They made a joke of Trump’s willingness to fight—sometimes just for the sake of fighting—(“he fights” was the catcall) and they mocked the fact that Trump had nominated to the Supreme Court a guy who could very well become the intellectual replacement of Antonin Scalia (“but Gorsuch” was perceived to be the ultimate put down). They swallowed the bogus Russia collusion story hook, line, and sinker. Pointing out what would have happened under a Clinton presidency, or what did happen under Obama, became immediately labeled as “whataboutism.”
I’m encouraged at the drift home that started to happen when Kavanaugh was hit by Ford’s bogus claims. By the end of last week, the drift seemed to acquire the shape of an avalanche as estranged Republicans and conservatives realized that the left were not merely wrong on policy but that most of them were people without even the semblance of a scruple.
Now is not the time for gloating or self-congratulation. We are still aboard Fight 93. A fight is still raging in the cockpit. And we need every man, woman, and child to join us in steering our nation to a safe landing.
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