The other day I turned on Fox News and was presented with Britt Hume opining on the state of conservatism and where it goes after the election. I’m going from memory, but he said something like, “The Conservative Movement was about low taxes, small government, muscular foreign policy and opposition to abortion, among other things.” He then went on to point out that Trump is none of those things and that those issues are not featured in his campaign.
What struck me about what he said is there was no trace of self-awareness. No mention of the fact that the Conservative Movement lost on all but the foreign policy stuff, and that has been a disaster. The tax bite has not changed very much since the 50’s, despite endless rounds of tax cuts and tax reform. Government has grown like a weed and social issues have all moved in one direction, with amazing speed at times.
A theme here over the years has been the fact that the Conservative Movement has managed to conserve nothing. The reason they are in a crisis is the same reason a losing ball coach finds himself in jeopardy. People will tolerate only so much losing. A salesman, who cannot close deals, gets fired, even if he is the nicest guy in the world. What’s happening today is Official Conservatism™ is being fired.
There’s something else, I think. A useful tool for understanding the world is this. You can learn a great deal about someone by looking at who he hates. The same is true of groups of people. Yankee fans, for example, are indifferent to Mets fans, but they detest Red Sox fans. The reason for that is the Mets are always terrible and pose no threat to the wellbeing of Yankee fans. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are almost always a problem.
Official Conservatism™ hates Donald Trump and they hate the people voting for him. That’s been a bit of an eye-opener for people. When Hume detailed Trump’s deviationism, he was dismissive and condescending. He then had that gold plated phony George Will come in and dismiss Trump and the people supporting him as knaves and fools. The segment was ostensibly about Official Conservatism™, but it was really just an excuse for the two of them to bash Trump.
Take a look at this column from Mona Charen the other day.
If she wins (a bigger “if” today than a week ago), it will be due only to the Republican Party’s suicidal decision to nominate and support a pathological narcissist/con man — a figure utterly outside the parameters of acceptability for public office. Any public office. So as culpable as Democrats are for nominating a person who ought to have been disqualified, Republicans are even more irresponsible for risking the terrible powers of commander in chief to someone most elementary school kids would regard as emotionally unstable.
Just look at the language used here. If she were describing Hitler, would she use a different tone? More important, is it anything like the tone and language used to describe Clinton? Clearly not and that’s the tell. These are people driven purely by hatred of Trump and by extension those who support him. Hillary Clinton could probably promise to revive the Holocaust and Charen would support her, simply because she hates Trump.
The question is why do they hate Trump and his voters so intensely?
I don’t think there is a single answer, but a big part of it is purely personal. No one likes to see their mistakes and failures made public. The people at the core of NeverTrump are the same people who sold us neo-conservatism in the Bush years. What is happening now is a delayed reaction to the massive failures under George W. Bush. Trump made his mark in the primary by humiliating Jeb Bush and that was not an accident. Trump is the repudiation of Bush and the neo-cons.
There’s another bit here too. The Official Right™ has defined itself to the Left by who it hates. Purging people from their ranks has been an integral part of how modern conservatives define their thing. Naturally, when challenged, they fall back on the old ways. The trouble is all their name calling and threats have been met with jeers and laughter. They lost all of their moral authority so they can no longer simply scold the dissenters into silence.
Finally, there’s the creeping realization that their brand of conservatism is all hat and no cattle. Their moral preening and appeals to as yet undefined principles are just postures. In the end, their thing was just a jobs program for people unable to do productive work. As one of the moonbats at the post points out, it is a movement with no base. No matter what happens Tuesday, the pro-Trump people will never forget these traitors or welcome them back.
After liberation, French women guilty of “collaboration horizontale” were dragged into the street to have their heads shaved. It was punishment for betrayal of their people. The Dutch did the same, but they also sent their collaborators to work camps in New Guinea. Many were simply shot, of course. Immediately after the liberation, almost 200.000 Dutch citizens were interned in camps and prisons and put on trial. Sadly, this is not what awaits the traitors of NeverTrump, but at some level they know they will never be “us” again.