Is there anything more laughable than all the former members of the George W. Bush brain trust torching conservatives for getting behind Donald Trump? The stale complaint is that conservatives are tossing overboard their “core principles” when they get behind the fairly elected Republican nominee.
I won’t mention names, but here is the latest offensive rant of one longtime Bush aide who wrote in — where else — that bastion of conservative thought, The Washington Post:
“Now loyalty to party is causing many to abandon their ideals. Conservatism is not misogyny. Conservatism is not nativism and protectionism. Conservatism is not religious bigotry and conspiracy theories. Conservatism is not anti-intellectual and anti-science. For the sake of partisanship — for a mess of pottage — some conservatives are surrendering their identity.”
This from the Bushies who shoved down our throats the biggest expansion in Medicare in decades and the No Child Left Behind buildup of the Department of Education, who spent money at twice the pace of Bill Clinton, who wrote Hank Paulson and the Treasury Department a $700 billion check to bail out financial companies, who sent American troops into Afghanistan for the Wilsonian purpose of “nation-building” with no apparent result, and who passed the worst energy bill in American history — a bill that regulates every electrical appliance in your home, from the light bulbs you put in your bedroom to the energy efficiency of your refrigerator.
Trump supporters have to listen to holier-than-thou sermons from these people? Really? This is like being lectured to by Snoop Dog about smut on the radio.
I more or less gave up on Rush Limbaugh back in 2000 when Dubya became the nominee and Limbaugh started pimping him as a “true conservative” when anybody could see he was no such thing—all amid the most vehement denials from Rush that he was any kind of “party shill,” no less—and have only in the last year or two started occasionally listening to him again. It just annoyed the hell out of me, and went right on annoying me, and still does, even though I ended up rallying around Bush myself after 9/11.
And now, as Moore says, those of us whose main concern is seeing the business-as-usual nature of our National Election Shows taken by the scruff of the neck and shaken a bit have to listen to lectures about conservative purity? Um, sad for them and all, but…no. Not listening; not interested, not even slightly. Put another way:
You can disagree with the priorities or even the values of Trump voters. But to call them misogynists, bigots, anti-intellectuals and anti-science? Shameful. What’s next: calling Trump voters fascists? No wonder the grass roots thumb their noses at the Republicans’ intellectual leadership. They’re just returning the favor.
Like it or not, the times, they have a-changed, while the Republican Party went right on hitting the snooze button. To adapt a quote from 1635: The Tangled Web: the current Republican approach—to Trump alone, and never to phony “severe conservatives” like Romney or McCain or, yes, Bush—falls into “the category of the pursuit of the perfect driving out the ‘good enough for the current circumstances,’ leaving us with the ‘nothing at all.'”
It’s sometimes said that some group or other would rather have a prospective adversary “inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.” Well, Trump is outside pissing ON the tent. Because it’s on fire. And the people inside seem to be intent on sleeping right through the whole thing.
It’s all well and good to be concerned about Trump not being a “true conservative.” I get that, I really do, and to some degree I even sympathize with it. But “true conservative” ain’t on the menu, and it never was except—perhaps—in the person of a too-slippery-by-half professional politician who never did stand a chance of being elected to any higher office than the one he already has, and whose “true conservative” approach has proven to be entirely ineffective.
So Americans have suffered in silence for over a quarter-century by now. But what is it we’ve suffered? You, Kevin, wrote an internet boogeyman article a while back. The idea was that Americans are bent, and the reason we’re bent is because we think the Mexicans stole all our jobs, made our communities crumble, and left us economically worse off. You then went on to demonstrate that Americans haven’t really suffered economically on average, so we’ve got no real reason to be bent. We’re just a bunch of selfish whiners and losers. QED.
Equating economics with happiness is a leftish mistake, by the way. But I’ll grant that Americans are bent. Why are Americans bent? Because shitty stuff is happening to our country, and the perpetrators are not only getting away with it, they’re living high because of it. Here’s the short list of what Americans see happening (the long list would suck the rest of this letter into a black hole):
- Fast and furious: ATF perpetrates a fraud to get people killed and pin the blame on Americans.
- Obamacare: obviously unconstitutional with its individual mandate, and wrecks the healthcare system
- Massive bailouts and spending initiatives from a drunken, insolvent government
- EPA out of control, DOE sadly in control
- The Feds going to some trouble and expense to make government shutdowns exceptionally painful for Americans
- Bungled, interminable wars
- The Benghazi debacle and coverup
- The Secretary of State conducting illegal business on an illegal email server, greatly to the benefit of a hostile foreign power
- The creeping normalization of NSA snooping on Americans not involved in any official investigation
- The OPM hack: A strategic defeat both devastating and historically unique. Agents of a hostile foreign power were put in charge of securing our most sensitive information, with predictable results.
- The VA scandal: veterans dying while bureaucrats falsify records and collect bonuses
- The transmutation of our institutions of learning into hotbeds of mental illness and hysteria
- A general “can’t do” attitude as regards securing our border with Mexico
- The President, in negotiation with Iran over nuclear weapons, actively and energetically represents Iranian interests, without trying to win even the most marginal concessions for America.
This kind of thing makes Americans feel sick with rage. And the perps prosper, instead of swinging on the end of a rope. It’s intolerable.
Enter Donald Trump. Now, nobody really knows what kind of President Trump will be. It’s pretty clear that he himself hasn’t worked out the details. Trump’s ideological integrity is an unknown, and he has a streak of violence and unpredictability.
But Trump’s social identity is clearly American: crass but competent, vulgar but victorious. And when you look at that list up there, it’s hard to picture Donald J. Trump being the perp in any of those cases. Can you imagine him getting as raw a deal as Obama did with the Iranians? (By the way, a touch of violence and unpredictability is a huge asset in those kinds of negotiations.) Do you suppose Trump would smile benignly on the incompetence and corruption that led to the VA scandal and the OPM hack? Would Trump be tempted by bribes from the enemies of America? Trump has already pledged, in writing, to secure the southern border and repeal the individual mandate. Are these bad things?
According to GAGA Republican hysterics and Democrat-Socialist Benedict Arnolds alike (with apologies to the shade of Arnold for the grievous insult), they most certainly are. But note the common theme in that list above: in every case, what you see is either the Ruling Class or the federal gummint itself united in opposition to the best interests of ordinary Americans. In some of them, outright working with enemies of the former Republic against a clear and easily definable American interest. And the Republicans, far from stopping it, did nothing meaningful even to oppose it—despite gaining absolute control over the purse strings for the last six years.
When considered all at once like this, one can easily see that we’re well past being “governed against the will of the people,” as the saying goes. In truth, you can’t even see the will of the people from where we are, and nobody governing us, Republicrat or Demican, is much interested in looking for it anyway.
If you’re still baffled and discombobulated about the Trump Thing, well, I don’t think there’s anything more I can say to put you wise. One more excerpt from the esteemed FNG:
We Americans tend to be vulgar. It’s fun. America really was a better place when you could make “Blazing Saddles” in it.
…And in the meantime, you talked quietly amongst yourselves about classical liberalism. But the real vessel of classical liberalism is the USA, not the GOP. And if we’re serious about classical liberalism, that means big dramatic things will have to happen, very soon. Classical liberalism is utterly incompatible with the bloated, incompetent, and fraudulent government which Republicans have so effectively shielded against reform.
Americans do not want a soft-spoken, beta-male, non-threatening, baby-steps executive. There are some people we definitely want to feel threatened, like our geopolitical enemies and the traitors and bed-featherers currently thriving in the Deep State.
What will President Trump do? I have my doubts. But any doubt is preferable to the certainties that come with, say, Jeb Bush. And the possibilities on the upside are YUGE.
Yes indeed. Trump amounts to the last throw of the dice for a great many of us. If we come up craps, well, how are we any worse off than we would’ve been with ¡Yeb! or Rubio or any of the other pre-approved losers? At this point, we’re in a war, and we’re going to war with the army we have, with the intention of living on our feet rather than dying on our knees, to mix and mingle a few fine old slogans.
And given this, I don’t think there can be a whole lot of serious doubt about the outcome.