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May 26, 2016

Quick Explanation and Apology

Some people, like JackStraw and Chique d'Afrique, are objecting to my post yesterday saying #NeverTrumpers, now having no other vehicle but Hillary F'n' Clinton, should go "radio silent."

I got myself into trouble here by disguising who I was talking about. No matter how many times I do this -- attempting to obscure the people I mean -- and no matter how many times it winds up burning me because people then assume I meant them, I keep doing it.

So, let me be clear:

I was prompted to write that post after reading Charles Murray's Hate-Trump piece at NRO, seeing Ben Shapiro's here's-how-a-Trump-presidency-could-go-wrong piece, and dozen other #NeverTrump pieces.

Then I saw Brad Thor praising Andrew Sullivan for noting that Trump -- not Obama, but Trump -- was the vehicle by which fascism would come to America, and Bill Kristol yet again pushing some Phantom Candidate who could be anyone but who sure looks a lot like Hillary Clinton.

Then I clicked over to Red State, a site I never read, just to see if they were continuing their wall-to-wall #NeverTrump coverage, and they were.

I thought I should write about this. It wasn't just one piece -- I could give a shit about one piece. It was the welter of so many pieces making the same claims.

And apparently the 100% unanimity among the self-proclaimed Thought Leaders of the right, without even noting that Trump has the support of something like 87% of Republicans.

How can such a disconnect not even be noted? Doesn't anyone feel like they should have a guest poster to make the opposite case just to do some minimal due diligence in reflecting the 87% of the party which apparently supports Trump?

I find this kind of unanimity of official opinion repulsive, as I always do. It always makes me angry. I don't know why. I just always has.

But I certainly didn't mean that ordinary citizens should stop expressing themselves.

However, it does seem strange to me that people all over the right are not only continuing to demolish the candidate, even though we no longer have any other avenue by which to challenge a third Obama term, but that this is now apparently unchallengeable Received Wisdom among major right-side outlets and among major right-side thinkers.

Look, I don't like Trump. Most of you know that.

But you know why I'm even political at all? Because of Bill Clinton and his repulsive Lady Macbeth wife.

So the idea that it would now be the bog-standard, vanilla, uncontroversial, and indeed nigh-unopposed position among so many organs of the right that we're now kind of in the electing-Hillary-Clinton business seemed to me to be a rather bad one, and worthy of challenge.

No, I didn't mean you should stop debating this issue yourself.

But I sure would like to see some diversity of thought on the question from the communcative organs of the right. It seems to me that it should not be a settled question -- unworthy of even a moment's consideration -- that we are now all #WithHer.

So yeah, I was suggesting, maybe, a time-out among these outlets, and maybe a choice of topics -- like legislation or the GOP's sell-out on transgendered bathrooms made in the dead of night last night -- rather than simply destroying the only person actually running against Hillary Clinton.

It occurs to me that the frenetic Stop Trump movement began too late -- and now is ending too late as well.

Timing.

In 2002, after the Republicans won (unexpectedly) more seats in Congress, Bill Kristol observed of the Democrats and their increasingly extremist rhetoric: "They're driving themselves crazy."

By which he meant that, in response to an unexpected set-back, the party was going bananas in emotional spiralling.

Let me suggest that we take a few seconds and a few deep breaths to consider if something like that is going on in our party at the current moment.

We're a little bit angry now. But the thing is, the more you repeat something, the more invested you become in it -- ego is now on the line. You said it, so it's reality!

I can't tell you how many people answered my question "Are we now all on Team Hillary?" with the ego-based reasoning, "Yeah, well maybe when we said #NeverTrump we really meant it."

Oh? You said it, ergo it is binding forever? Well that's a terrifically reasoned position that certainly has nothing to do with ego, emotion, wounded pride, and an affront to one's tribal privileges.

I understand Trump is a brutish know-nothing. But perhaps we could all do well to take a pause and a breath to get some perspective -- are we really now on Team Hillary?

By the way, my special podcast guest today is Ben Shapiro. I'll be discussing this issue with him in an hour.

At the Risk of Poking the Hornet's Nest... I would also call for what I've been calling for for two years: A little introspection from people who have lost the public's trust as to why they lost the public's trust, instead of retreating to the comfortable but counterproductive Obama-like position of "We're too good for them" or "Our pearls are lost before such swine" and "We only failed in our messaging in explaining how wonderful we are."

There's a reason the "conservative movement," such as it is, failed.

And it did fail. Let me propose, to the stunned silence of the crowd, that maybe conservatism is not at the moment an electorally-winning set of policies, and needs some fine-tuning and even some general rethinking.

It would be a useful inquiry to discover why that occurred, instead of just saying, as liberals do, "Republicans are stupid, racist, and afraid of The Other."


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posted by Ace at 02:57 PM

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