I started reading The National Review last summer. It’s not a publication aimed at me — I’m actually just fine with the idea of taking all the guns away, and I think abortion should be legitimately possible if a woman needs it, not just theoretically legal. I’m addicted to the site now for a few reasons: their hatred for Hillary is beyond rational at this point and that’s sort of interesting to read; their hatred for Obama started off bordering on the personal but they’ve scaled back a bit to focus on policies, and they f*cking hate Donald Trump.
(Foreshadowing: reason 2 is 100% related to reason 3.)
The third reason is what drew me to the site originally. When Charles C. W. Cookie would point out that Trump is pretty damn thin-skinned for someone running for President, the responses would all be variations of “GET USED TO IT TRUMP 2016.” Others would explain that Trump isn’t a real conservative, and again the response would be “TRUMP 2016 MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” The responses would be littered with spelling mistakes, but that’s not surprising. Trump supporters tend to have terrible grammar.
A major political party is imploding on itself. I’m imagining history students learning about this situation 50 years from now, and I want desperately to have that objectivity. Unfortunately, the GOP Establishment and conservative intellectuals cannot contain the beast they themselves created (as much as they may deny it), and now the Trump Train is heading for all of us.
Ideologically, what does it even mean to be “conservative” anymore?
There’s been a split happening within the GOP for some time. Libertarians have no objection to gay marriage, they don’t want to take away abortion rights, and are fairly vocal about police brutality. Tea Party members want us to be a Christian nation before anything else and believe literally anything that comes out of a police officer’s mouth, no matter how ridiculous it gets.
The obstructionism shows itself in full force when it comes to President Barack Obama (hey look, reason #2 coming back up!). In an effort to discredit him, Republican elites — and Donald Trump and even Hillary Clinton — have eluded to him being a Muslim and have questioned his birth records, and it manages to come up literally every time Obama does anything. John McCain notably refused to play that game, but he was an exception. Of course the GOP Establishment doesn’t actually think Obama is an un-American Muslim traitor who hates America — but they’ll ask questions in the hopes that less educated people will draw their own racist conclusions.
If they believed in fairness and the conservative values they espouse, the Establishment and conservative intellectuals would have shut that sh*t down immediately. They would focus on disagreeing with Obama’s policies, and say, under no uncertain terms, that Obama is American, that Obama is a Christian (which, honestly, shouldn’t matter), and that Obama is not a goddamn traitor. People hated George W. Bush, but even after starting an illegal war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and in the long run weakened the United States and helped launch the rise of ISIS, I don’t see anybody calling him a “traitor.”
Now that Trump, a clown candidate who makes the GOP look like a joke, is gaining traction, the GOP Establishment’s attitude towards Obama has changed just a bit. It’s an effort to distance themselves from the racist rhetoric Trump is spewing, but it’s way too little and absolutely too late.
The arguments the National Review uses at this point are pretty much garbage too. “Trump isn’t a real conservative; he used to support Planned Parenthood.” Okay! Fine! That makes sense if the conservative ideology is an important factor in choosing your next President. But do Trump supporters give a damn if Trump used to be liberal? No! They didn’t care when you explained it last summer and they sure as shit don’t care right now. Put that card back in the deck and try something else.
I don’t see any footage of the violence at Trump rallies on The Blaze or the National Review. I don’t hear major party elites discussing how having this bad of a relationship with the press when you’re President is totally contradictory to the 1st Amendment — how can they, after the amount of time they’ve lambasted the “mainstream media”?
Trump is the devil the GOP has created. And because they didn’t understand his rise, and they tried to shut him down in all the wrong ways, Trump has now become a problem for the rest of us too.
It’s up to us, I guess, to make sure President Trump doesn’t happen. Thanks a lot, GOP Establishment. You’ve been so focused on taking down Obama that you’ve completely f*cked the rest of us.