There’s been an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A Stepford Wife transformation in Tea Party Land. There are humans among us who look normal (“normal” as in the same as they always were) but aren’t… Like really, REALLY aren’t.
We conservatives have experienced a kind of human earthquake. Fellow conservatives we thought were terra-firma conservatives have revealed themselves to be subject to liquefaction when nudged by a Trump on the richter scale. Think of it this way:
Having lived in San Francisco for five years, I can tell you one of the phrases you don’t want to hear, but is uttered too often for comfort is, “Did you feel that?” One of the most profound betrayals there is is an earthquake: when the earth itself betrays you. Where do you go? Aside from the superficial advice about doorways, you’re still, quite literally on earth. Terra-Not-So-Firma. You can’t FLOAT. You can’t all of a sudden DEFY GRAVITY. That’s why it’s so terrifying, on a primal, indeed cellular level. I’ve been through a big earthquake and I can tell you, it’s a transformative experience. There’s your life before the earthquake and your life after. You don’t ever feel quite the same about the brown on our little blue dot on the Milky Way. You don’t ever trust it – the very ground beneath your feet – with the same confidence ever again.
Thus has been the great culling of conservatives lo these last months. People we thought were solid, bedrock conservatives, have given way. Sarah Palin was one of the first, and the hardest. Many of us have spent years defending her. Until a few months ago, I can’t think of a single thing she ever said I disagreed with on the merits. Sure, you can mock her God-awful speaking voice, but the substance of what she said was true, in the truest sense of the word: she meant it, and it was consistent with the conservative principles she articulated, well, consistently! That’s the thing about principles: they don’t require a degree, or noble birth. They’re free. Accessible to all. If only you will claim them. And she did, bravely. There were millions of us who were horrified at how she was treated by the media (and even fellow conservatives) and came to her aid on blogs, social media, and comments sections, etc.
Then she endorsed Trump. To be stringently accurate, the first tremor was when she endorsed Newt in 2012, a progressive Republican. We hated it when she endorsed McCain for Senate in 2010 but we understood it. She was being loyal to the man who plucked her from obscurity and made her a household name, such as it was. But Trump…? What? Why? When she endorsed and campaigned for Cruz for Senate in 2012? With full-throated support, having clearly thought about it, and articulated her reasoning? She knows him. Knows him well. What happened to her?
Person after person after person has given way, so when I read this post at Red State, I thought I’d post it here as a kind of plea to her and all the victims of Trump liquefaction. It’s addressed to Sean Hannity but is applicable widely. If you call yourself “conservative” or “Tea Party” please spend a few minutes with it take it on bravely and fairly and honestly.
We’re supposed to be better than this…
RED STATE: Dear Sean Hannity: Are You REALLY a Conservative?
Consider me your conscience. Your real conscience, not the one in which you are temporarily blinded by the campaign of one Donald J. Trump.
First of all, you claim you are a conservative. In fact, I don’t doubt that you are, and have been all of your life. In fact, you are a member of the Conservative Party, which means you are a practitioner of its tenets. You have professed you want a limited government, strong national defense, lower taxes, real spending cuts, and a return to American values through individuals, not mandated by government. That type of government can only be presided by a limited government executive. The last such chief executive was Ronald Reagan, and you have constantly wished for someone like that to run and win in the primaries.
You have also espoused a strong dislike for the GOP Establishment. You, just like I and every other conservative that I know, have been horrified to see the leadership of the GOP sell out to the Democrats. You are tired of special deals being given to some corporate cronies of both the left and the GOP establishment, and you want it to stop, starting from the top.
So during the current campaign, we have two candidates running in the GOP primary who are left with a chance at the nomination. One of those candidates has stood out, displaying the conservative tenets that you yourself have craved. A candidate who has stood up to the establishment, not just rhetorically but through his actions. He is running against a candidate who, by any objective manner, is more in line with Establishment cronyism, shows a preference for making deals rather than using his core convictions to guide his decisions in line with his ideology.
In short, you have a no-brainer decision. One that you, a conservative, should not hesitate to make. And certainly not one that you can show ambivilance.
So why in heavens name are you promoting Donald J. Trump, a candidate with no core beliefs, a candidate who espouses not just moderate positions, but positions from every point of the political spectrum? And how can you NOT promote Ted Cruz, a man who checks EVERY box that a constitutional conservative could want?
To be honest, I am flummoxed. I don’t know if it’s your personal association with Donald Trump, your feeling that if you support Cruz that you will suffer a loss of ratings, or other reasons. But one thing I do know: You are NOT true to your professed conservative beliefs if you actively promote Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
How do you do this? First, you let Donald Trump set the agenda for your interaction with Ted Cruz. When you interview Trump, you defer to his agenda, you don’t hit him hard on many issues as you would other candidates, you don’t call him out on his many flip-flops, and you aren’t even concerned about his lack of decorum.
Do this. Picture Donald Trump as a liberal. You would be constantly reminding the voters how we cannot elect such a candidate who has absolutely no core beliefs. One who constantly demeans his opponents. One who is ABSOLUTELY AFRAID of debating with his primary opponent without the filter of at 7 other people on stage. Seriously, Sean. Step back out of the fog and seriously rate Trump not as an anti-establishment champion of the “little guy,” but as someone who cannot even converse in a manner without sounding like a repetitive macaw.
So why are you dissing Ted Cruz? He matches your positions, every single one of them, more than Donald Trump, based upon your historical conservative position. In addition, you usually don’t fall for the diversional trick of callers claiming to be an independent, then trashing the conservative position. Donald Trump callers have mastered this art. They argue by criticizing everything Cruz has done, without arguing substance, and you fall for it. Every time. But when Cruz supporters try to call you out, you come out with that tired, worn out reply: “Well, if you lose, will you support Trump over Hillary? You won’t? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?”
Finally, your ignorance of how the GOP convention with regard to the nomination of the party reprentative for president is disappointing. Very disappointing. You don’t understand that nominating a president is a process that is not just about the popular elections. Yes, popular elections are important, but just as important is knowing the rules of all 57 states and territories with regard to delegates. You listen to Trump’s claim that Cruz is stealing delegates that Trump “won,” which is an ABSOLUTE falsehood. All (well, most) delegates are bound to the delegate allotment on rules for the first round, and Donald Trump has all of them. What he doesn’t have is the subsequent round support of those delegates. And you don’t think it’s fair that Cruz is getting them to vote for him if Trump doesn’t have the majority on the first round.
Then let me ask you this: Why even HAVE a convention? Why even have delegates? Well, you ignore the obvious reason: That a plurality is NOT a majority. For instance, Cruz split the vote with Rubio, Carson, Bush, and Kasich, of which added with his votes constituted 65-70% of the entire vote. So why does someone with a large minority of votes get the nomination? In addition, some voters aren’t even Republican, yet their votes factor in the delegates. How can that even be FAIR? Finally, the delegates are the epitome of grass roots activists.
Now, Sean, I can see your confusion. Since Ronald Reagan, we’ve not had a primary where the Establishment candidate was not the runaway choice as the nominee starting from March 15. Therefore, the Establishment candidate usually got his delegates to be selected or voted on by the state conventions, and those delegates were on the rulemaking committee. In turn, those delegates usually worked with the National GOP leadership, which was establishment.
But make no mistake: The DELEGATES are the rulemakers. And Cruz has been working the hardest to EARN…NOT “steal”…those delegates, while Trump has been sitting on the sidelines. Again, this is the epitome of grass roots activism, and in fact results in a candidate that is more conducive to all the voters at convention time.
For you to be ignorant of this process, Sean, is inexcusable for a constitutional conservative. There is so much more, and I’m sure others will add to this list of observations.
I doubt you will be making any changes, but this letter will be here after the convention. Then, after the general election. It will be here for me to remind you of your own ignorance. At least until the FCC shuts RedState down.
One word of advice: Have a long, long talk with your friend Mark Levin. Listen to his reasons. You’ve had countless meetings and discussions with him before, but you and he are as far apart as Levin is with Bernie Sanders. Well, now I’m being rhetorical, but seriously: Play the audio of your show and compare it with Mark. The contrast is stunning.
Sean, please come back. Before it’s too late.