Every conservative who has ever engaged in politics on social media has, at one time or another, felt the wrath of a full blown hissy fit from a member of the Left. They’ve been called racists, sexists, Islamophobics, and any other word that liberals can think of as an insult.
Nowhere was this more evident than during the 2016 Presidential election. However, the sources of the online attacks during the 2016 Presidential election were different in that these attacks were also coming from those who claimed to share our ideology and our values. Some of them were new to politics. Others had involved themselves in political debate for years.
Then there were the long-time conservative talk show hosts and writers who, inexplicably, decided to put the full weight of their celebrity behind a life-long Democrat with no accountability record in real politics. They threw their support behind a man who had been a long-time friend of and donor for the woman who he would ultimately face in the general election; a man whose politics had aligned with a plethora of other politicians who didn’t even come close to sharing the values these conservative talk show pundits have claimed to themselves hold.
Of course, the man I’m writing of is Donald Trump: a man who wrote a book named “The Art of the Deal,” (more appropriately titled “The Art of the Con”). In the book, Trump details how he lures people into believing that he will fulfill their fantasies, all the while knowing he never would.
The conservative talk show hosts I speak of began with a correct premise, and that was the allure. They believed that Washington was thoroughly corrupt and that the GOP was really far more aligned with the Democrats than with the GOP’s espoused conservative principles. These hosts weren’t wrong. The problem for the rest of us, however, started when these hosts wanted us to support a lifelong Democrat. To follow their logic: the solution to hollowing out a corrupt GOP who worked for the Democrat agenda was supposed to be a guy who had been a Democrat most of his life. What? They wanted us to support a man whose daughter was close friends with Chelsea Clinton, and a man whose wedding to his current wife was attended by the Clintons? This should have given everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – who had ever listened to these people, a moment of pause.
For some of these “conservatives,” their support of the “latest thing” wasn’t surprising in the least. Take Ann Coulter, for example. She had already sided with every liberal Republican that had come along in a decade: Christy, McConnell, Romney. During the 2014 mid-terms, when asked about Matt Bevin running against McConnell in the primaries on Sean Hannity’s radio shown, she said “This isn’t the time for primaries,” and “McConnell is a conservative.”
Frankly, if you cared at all what she had to say after that statement, then I own a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you.
I could write an entire article breaking down just those two statements and how utterly asinine each statement is, but I’m going to give my readers the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re smart enough to understand this on their own. The only thing I WILL mention is that during that election McConnell had a PAC who’s aim was to destroy conservative opposition to him.
Do you know who donated $50,000 to that PAC? Donald Trump.
What about Lou Dobbs? I certainly hope the Fox Business News host is better at financial analysis than he is at political principle, but that’s obviously not true. His knowledge of Trump came, naturally, from their mutual presence in the business world. Dobbs should have known from this experience alone that Trump was a con man and that Trump didn’t mean a word he said. Yet, Dobbs led his viewers down the primrose path anyway.
As for Rush Limbaugh, the “Mayor of Realville,” he seemed to become completely disconnected from reality as the 2016 election progressed, diving deeper and deeper into the insanity of the inexplicable: Trump popularity within the GOP.
Sean Hannity too. Perhaps no one dove off the deep end more than he. Though he claimed impartiality all throughout the GOP primary process, his manner toward Trump verses the other candidates revealed the fallaciousness of that claim. To anyone who observed Hannity, even casually, it was clear that he was in the bag for Trump. Worse was Hannity’s insistence that anyone who was conservative MUST vote for Trump once he won the nomination. This came after years of arguing with liberal callers to his radio show that “I’m not a Republican, I’m a registered conservative.” Yet, now Hannity had become a mouthpiece for the GOP he had claimed to not be a part of for years.
Hannity, and others, told us we HAD to support Trump just to stop Hillary Clinton. This was a legitimate, yet pointless argument coming from someone like Mark Levin who reluctantly boarded the Trump Train. This argument wasn’t only coming from those like Hannity. On a tray of 17 sandwiches of various appeal, Hannity et al picked the crap sandwich and then expected us to eat it just to avoid eating the crap sandwich the Democrats were serving. No thanks. Those of us who don’t like crap sandwiches decided to keep our integrity and wait for the next meal.
Back to the present, the reactions of all of these pundits to Trump’s recent collusion with Democrats over his signature campaign issue of immigration has been varied, but equally hilarious.
Ann Coulter has tweeted some revisionist history in the last week. She claimed that there was no alternative to Trump, that there was no one who had his ideas and was more trustworthy. This of course was a flat out lie. Rubio, Cruz, Walker – any of these would have been far superior to the lifelong Democrat and Clinton supporter. The truth was that Coulter saw an opportunity to use Trump’s popularity to write and sell books, making herself a quick buck in the process.
Hannity and Limbaugh blame Congressional Republican leadership. While, yes, men like McConnell and Ryan definitely share the blame for not pushing a conservative agenda, Trump has hardly had the laser like focus it takes to push through an agenda opposed by nearly half the country and most of the mainstream media.
Fourth rate commentators like Bill Mitchell and Mark Simone have maintained the fiction that Trump is a genius who is luring Pelosi and Schumer into a false sense of security, and that this is all part of an amazing strategy we’re all just too stupid to understand.
Then, there is Mark Levin and a few others who feel like they have been betrayed. I, and others like me, have no sympathy for them. They have not been betrayed in any way. Trump made no secret of who and what he was. Yet, Levin, after reluctantly throwing his support behind Trump following the GOP convention, became hostile toward those who would not follow him in supporting Trump.
We knew who and what Trump was. It wasn’t difficult to know. You didn’t need to listen to hypocritical Left-wing media types going on and on about his womanizing while ignoring Hillary’s enabling of her husband’s sexual assaults. You didn’t need to listen to hilarious ramblings about how Trump wasn’t a real Republican from Jeb Bush and Lindsay Graham, two politicians who have only just barely held a conservative position their whole lives.
Really, you only needed to listen to Trump himself. “Everyone is going to be covered and the government is going to pay for it,” Trump said of healthcare. His protectionist trade policies sounded good on paper. So too did Bernie Sanders’ policies. They were exactly the same, after all.
Hannity, Ingraham, Dobbs, Coulter, Limbaugh – All of them, and more, were wrong from the start and, now, they are desperately trying to place blame elsewhere in the hopes that you won’t notice how wrong they’ve been.
So, here’s my recommendation: Don’t be fooled. When the next set of elections comes around, figure out who was right last time and listen to them. Plenty of great political opinions are out there who didn’t sell their souls for Trump. Ben Shapiro, Erick Erickson, Glenn Beck, Kimberly Ross, and, dare I say, many of those who are now staff writers here at NOQReport, were right about Trump from the start. Decide for yourselves who might be worthy of listening to and stop listening to those who just want your money, but who lack the conservative principles to back them.
I understand why some might have been fooled by some of these voices in 2016. Those who, like Coulter, have been wrong for so long deserve no benefit of the doubt. Then again, given the display that many of the others have put on since 2016, they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt either. Why would you want to listen to those who have been so horribly wrong, especially when it was so obvious? That’s for you to decide, readers.
I, for one, don’t watch or listen to any of them anymore. I see their tweets and that’s enough to know they’ve lost their minds and their principles, assuming they ever had any. Oddly, even people who have recognized that these pundits are wrong seem still to continually give them attention by watching and listening to their programs, even if it’s just to hate on them. Why do it? That’s what they want. Attention. Attention equals advertising, which equals money in their pockets regardless of what kind of attention it is. That’s all they really care about. That much, they’ve proven.
It’s unreasonable to ask people who have jobs (often more than one), families to raise, and houses requiring upkeep to fully know the details of every politician. We all need reliable political analysis to make informed decisions. Everyone now knows, or at least should know, that some of the biggest names in political commentary, and plenty of people you never heard of before Trump (looking at you Bill Mitchell) aren’t the ones to listen to the next time an election comes ‘round.
It isn’t Never-Trump or Always-Trump destroying conservatism, it’s Sometimes-Trump
One of the craziest—or should I say laziest—accusations leveled against me by Trump’s die-hard loyalists whenever I dare to call him out for breaking a campaign promise, getting caught in a lie, or promoting unconstitutional non-conservative ideas, is that I’m a liberal. Sometimes, they go so far as to accuse me of working for George Soros.
As I’ve said many times in response, I don’t work for Mr. Soros, but since money’s been a little tight at the Strident Conservative lately, if anyone has his number, I’d appreciate it if you’d send it my way.
It’s a sad reality that these pathetic taunts are what passes for political discourse in the Age of Trump. Gone are the days when differences could be civilly discussed based on facts instead of emotion.
Another sad reality of this behavior is that it’s a sign that the end of conservatism is near, as Trump’s small army of loyal followers attempt to rebrand conservatism by spreading the lie that he is a conservative and, using binary logic, accusing anyone who opposes him of being a liberal.
This rebranding effort has had an impact. Last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel warned Republican hopefuls that anyone who opposed Trump’s agenda would be “making a mistake.”
Complacency is our enemy. Anyone that does not embrace the @realDonaldTrump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 14, 2018
McDaniel’s threat was issued following the GOP primary defeat in South Carolina by conservative Mark Sanford after he was personally targeted by Trump himself. Sanford’s crime? Disloyalty to the NY Liberal.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Another source of damage to conservatism has come from evangelicals and the so-called conservative media. In the name of self-preservation, they choose to surrender their principles by promoting the lie that Trump is a conservative. Some of these voices have taken to labelling conservatives who oppose Trump as Never-Trump conservatives, or worse, branding them as liberals and/or Democrats, as was recently written in a piece at TheFederalist.com:
“Trump may be an unattractive and deeply flawed messenger for contemporary conservatism. But loathe though they might be to admit it, what’s left of the Never-Trump movement needs to come to grips with the fact that the only words that currently describe them are liberals and Democrats.”
Then there are those who have adopted a Sometimes-Trump attitude about the president, where everything Trump does is measured using a good Trump/bad Trump barometer. While it has become fashionable for Sometimes-Trump conservatives to stand on their soap boxes condemning both Never-Trump conservatives and Always-Trump faux conservatives, I believe that this politically bipolar approach to Trump is the greatest threat of all to Constitutional conservatism in America.
Sometimes-Trump conservatives have accepted the lie that it’s okay to do a little evil in exchange for a greater good. Though they may fly a conservative banner, their lukewarm attitude about Trump is much like the attitude we see in the Laodicean church mentioned in the Book of Revelations (3:15-16).
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Trump is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). When lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives choose to overlook this reality, they end up watering-down conservatism to the point that it has no value or power to change America’s course.
As lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives point to the Always-Trump and Never-Trump factions as the reason for today’s conservative divide, remember that it’s the unenthusiastic, noncommittal, indifferent, half-hearted, apathetic, uninterested, unconcerned, lackadaisical, passionless, laid back, couldn’t-care-less conservative imposters in the middle who are really responsible.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.
Conservative Picks for the Nevada Primary
Nevada is full of competition. There are no shortage of quality candidates in Nevada, only quality politicians. Nevada isn’t a strong blue state or red state. It usually sides with the winner in a presidential election. In fact, given Trump’s upset, it was surprising Nevada wasn’t one of the states where polling was wholly inaccurate. Nevada is home of Las Vegas, the country’s fastest growing metropolitan area. So the future political leanings of the state are up in the air. This primary features vacancies which offer a nice opportunity to grow conservative ideals among the population.
Best Picks: Danny Tarkanian, Joel Beck
Worst Picks: Mark Amodei, Cresent Hardy
Best Race: District 3
Worst Race: District 4
Dean Heller is an incumbent Republican and in all likelihood will keep his nomination. Heller is running on a rather unimpressive Senate record showing that he is part of the problem, not the solution. There are four challengers but only a few are worth talking about. The first is Sarah Gazala. She is somewhat running as a conservative, but her emphasis on education shows that she isn’t the right fit for the Senate. A local office would be a better calling. Then there’s Vic Harrell. The only discernible fact about Harrell is his devotion to Trump. This zeal isn’t wrong but it doesn’t make him a good candidate. The strongest challenger is Tom Heck. Heck ran and lost in 2016 in a tight race. It’s very possible Heck could maintain the seat, and probable that he would do a superior job.
Conservative Pick: Tom Heck
Two challengers seek to red pill this district. The first, Joyce Bentley, has a decent platform and is like to side with Trump on several key issues. The issue is whether she will deviate when necessary. The second is Freddy Horne. He is likely the more viable candidate here having a history of running a campaign, but its a moot point in this district.
Conservative Pick: Joyce Bentley
Mark Amodei has held the seat for a while and is a RINO. He faces three challengers. Sharron Angel is the first. She was a failed Senate candidate in 2016 losing to Heck. She seems as though a strong Conservative. But she may be a weak candidate. Joel Beck is a veteran running on a solid small government platform. He has a more thorough understanding of veterans issues and immigration than most. Beck would be an outstanding defender of the Constitution.
Conservative Pick: Joel Beck
This vacated seat has caused a feeding frenzy of an election. but this race is between Scott Hammond and Danny Tarkanian. Hammond is a State Senator with a decent record and the backing of the NRA. But from this article which he promoted, he doesn’t seem to be a strong defender of liberty, though its hard to get a clear picture with the bias writing. In a rare instance of strategic planning by the Trump administration with regards to the 2018 race, Team Trump convinced Tarkanian to seek the House as opposed to the Senate. Danny Tarkanian, being a team player, obliged. Nothing wrong with that. Playing along earned him a Trump endorsement. And while Heller gets by with one less challenger from the right, Tarkanian has a better chance at reducing government spending as he campaigns heavily on. Overall, Tarkanian may be a sycophant, but Hammond is more likely a RINO climbing the ladder.
Conservative Pick: Danny Tarkanian
Congressman Ruben Kihuen will not seek reelection as the result of a sexual harassment scandal. This presents a golden opportunity to flip this blue seat. Many Republicans have entered but there is no clear frontrunner. First up is Jeff Miller. He’s running to prevent Nevada from becoming East California. With all the candidates, the Las Vegas Review-Journal made this one easy. The former Congressman refused to answer. If Cresent Hardy believes he’s too big to answer yes or no questions, he probably thinks he’s too good to talk to his constituents. The only thing that is concerning is the question on DACA recipients.
Conservative Pick: Jeff Miller
Conservative Picks in the South Carolina Primary
South Carolina is one of the nation strongest overall states for Conservatism. Out of nine representatives, eight of which Republican, only two are complete RINOs (Joe Wilson and Lindsey Graham). Conservatism is strong in South Carolina just as it is in North Carolina. This primary presents a good opportunity to maintain and grow. Trey Gowdy is exiting, presenting a good chance for an upgrade at the position. Since the GOP took the Whitehouse, Gowdy stopped being fiscally Conservative, and is an unfortunate voice of support for the expensive Mueller investigation.
Best Pick: Mark Sanford
Worst Pick: Katie Arrington
Best Race: District 4
Worst Race: District 7
After five years, Mark Sanford has been a solid Conservative. He is being challenged. His main opponent is Katie Arrington. Arrington is a full blown Trumpist. If she had a shred of Conservatism in her she would be satisfied with the performance of Sanford. But instead she is challenging him because he, like most decent Conservatives, has been reasonably critical of Trump. Arrington’s fanaticism is not worth the risk of losing Sanford.
Conservative Pick: Mark Sanford
Joe Wilson is an unchallenged product of the swamp. He is running to complete his second decade.
Jeff Duncan is a steadfast Conservative who didn’t compromise under Obama and has remained strong under Trump. He is unchallenged.
There are numerous candidates seeking to fill Trey Gowdy’s shoes. The first of which was written about back in February, Mark Burns. I had a lot to say about Trump’s top pastor:
I remain optimistic about Mark Burns joining the ranks of Congress. Previously, Burns announced he was praying about challenging Lindsey Graham, a notorious warmongering RINO. But it appears either prayer or opportunism has landed him in a different race. Due to his political amateurism, not many of his positions are clear. Oddly enough, he has suggested Federal takeover of public school security. Though his heart seems in the right place, his position shows a lack of localism which small government believes in. It’s safe to speculate that Mark Burns isn’t all that fiscal conservative which isn’t unfamiliar.
On social issues, however, Pastor Mark Burns could be a strong tool for conservatives, so long as he can graduate from being a Trump surrogate. Burns has a more unifying persona than a lot of Republicans adding the possibility of broadening the base. On the issues of race and abortion, Pastor Mark Burns is a powerful voice. Though a strong personality does not make one the best candidate, Burn has tremendous potential to make a difference in DC.
I have a poll under Zakrey Bissell poll for June 7th 2018 to June 12th 2018 for #SC01 Republican Mark Sanford 70% Republican Katie Arrington 30% and poll for #SC04 Republican Lee Bright 50% Republican Mark Burns 30% Republican William Timmons 15% Republican Dan Hamilton 5%
— Zakrey Bissell (@BissellZakrey) June 8, 2018
Another formidable candidate is Lee Bright. He has the backing of Steve King (IA) and Thomas Massie (KY). Massie is a strong Conservative so this endorsement means something. Bright’s political career was put on hold when he got primaried in 2016. To be frank, he got voted out probably for being a nutjob. This guy is all rhetoric and no substance. He will maybe vote the right way, but he is not a leader on Conservative legislation. Furthermore he is a weaker candidate due to his propensity to act a fool. Bright isn’t likable but he at the end of the day, he wouldn’t be a RINO.
Then there’s William Timmons. He has the endorsement of Marco Rubio which indicate that he is the RINO in this race. Timmons campaigns on fiscal responsibility but champions Trump for it who has not been fiscally responsible this year. Either he’s pandering or misinformed. Either way, it’s an indication he will e a big spender. His attack ads on Dan Hamilton are baseless, though he is likely correct that Hamilton is not that Conservative. But Timmons record isn’t Conservative either.
Conservative Pick: Mark Burns
Ralph Norman is unopposed. He’s actually been solid in his brief tenure.
Gerhard Gressmann is the only Republican running.
Tom Rice has been a halfway decent Congressman but not without fault. He is being challenged by Larry Guy Hammond. Hammond is running from the right but not with a level head. Tom Rice isn’t fantastic, but populism won’t do the job better. And Hammond is more populist than Conservative. His website offers no real solutions. It merely trashes the state and asks for money.