As conservatives we are supposedly attempting to conserve things.
Things that are predetermined by nature and nature’s God — so they are, by definition, reality. Things that history has proven are what are best for the human condition this side of eternity. And the things that gave birth to American Exceptionalism.
When your ideology is based on such objectively defined criteria, there really shouldn’t be as much disagreement among us as there is. After all, shouldn’t the Left—with its self-centered emphasis—be the side constantly arguing among itself? Unfortunately, that all too often doesn’t seem to be the case. This column is about one of the main reasons that happens.
Our movement is so driven by what we’re against we have forgotten to conserve what we’re actually for. Even to the point of allowing our opponents to determine for us what/who is shrewd, noble, and virtuous for us to support and pursue. Now, why you’d ever want to trust the words of those who cry “racist” every time you dare to disagree with them is beyond me, but here we are.
I swear, if I hear someone allegedly smart on our side say one more time “since the Left hates it/him/her that must be good,” I’m gonna pull a Waiting for Guffman and go home and bite my pillow in a fit of frustration.
Permit me to share a recent example of this foolishness to drive my point home.
A month ago I conducted an interview here at CR with Andy Schlafly from Eagle Forum, based on his research into the judicial records of several judges known to be on Donald Trump’s short list once he becomes president. While I obviously think enough of Schlafly’s work on such an important subject to highlight it, and think it’s something conservatives should definitely consider, I also think there’s certainly room for conservatives to disagree with his assessment.
I’ve even read some on our side who disagree with Schlafly’s conclusions, and that’s healthy for our movement. Didn’t a best-selling book once say something about there being “wisdom in a multitude of counsel”?
So this week in response to my interview with Schlafly, a conservative activist with more than 10,000 Twitter followers contacted me on social media. He was incredulous that Schlafly would dare to deem some on Trump’s wish-list as not true conservatives in the Antonin Scalia mold. That’s fine, I love a good back-and-forth, but before I could respond to him he had sent me a follow-up tweet. This one included the source of his incredulity. Can you guess what it was?
Was it Ed Whelan at National Review, who is a Schlafly critic? No.
Was it the Federalist Society standing up for its own? No.
Was it anything all that analyzes such matters from a conservative viewpoint? No.
His source was none-other than the paid, leftist trolls at Think Progress. Because, of course, since they think these potential Trump judges are going to create internment camps for trannies they must be just grand.
Before you laugh, please realize this is how much of our movement thinks and/or communicates—including some very big names. Why? Some of it is intellectual laziness, sure, but most of it is the oldest motivation of them all.
It’s heavy lifting advocating for conservatism given the spirit of the age. Especially because just as there are lots of people who have never given their lives to Christ, but think they’re Christians because they went to an Easter service once and know a few of the Ten Commandments. There are also plenty in our movement who, because they hate the nanny state, believe they are conservatives when they don’t even know what we’re trying to conserve.
However, just because you’re against what we’re against doesn’t mean you’re for what we’re for.
Yet in this day and age it’s much easier to click-bait those who still nurse on intellectual milk and aren’t ready for such solid food. Low-hanging fruit such as easily-debunked conspiracy nitwitism and straw men arguments draw an audience and generate traffic. Like when Drudge fired his siren on Tuesday night after noted Trump shill Roger Stone claimed to Alex “what makes the friggin frogs gay” Jones he was poisoned by his political enemies.
Low information, it’s not just for the liberals anymore.
Let’s face it, too many people on our team are really just clock-punchers and check cashers. So when you’re selling something you don’t really believe in, you peddle infantile tripe such as “this makes (fill-in-the-blank liberal) really mad, so it must be good.” And you help train a generation of earnest activists hanging on your every word, like this one who contacted me on Twitter.
For the critical thinker would realize there are people on both sides who are simply compensated to gaslight and demagogue the other. That if Trump gave the Rainbow Jihad everything it wants, and even offered to undergo gender re-assignment surgery himself, the dutiful trolls at Think Progress would still call him a bigot. Because in their eyes Trump’s chief crime isn’t what he stands for, it’s that he’s a Republican.
Which is the same reason race-baiters like Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. (F, 22%) boycott the inaugurations of George W. Bush and Trump, even though each man’s approaches and messaging as it pertains to minorities couldn’t be much different. For Lewis has himself transitioned from civil rights icon to Democrat Party hack, who has attempted to label every GOP standard-bearer in my lifetime a racist.
If Trump tried to appoint Obama’s pick Merrick Garland to replace Scalia, Garland would suddenly become “the most anti-reproductive choice judge ever” according to the likes of the George Soros funded Think Progress. This is the way this gaslighting game of demagoguery is played. I can’t believe I have to spell this out, but apparently I do.
We must cease and desist allowing phony outrage from the perpetually grieved fake victims on the Left determine who or what is conservatism. But that will be hard, because although reactionaryism isn’t conservatism, it sure pays well.