by Boyd D. Cathey, The Unz Review:
Much of the talk recently among the “conservative chattering class” has been about how the “movement” must somehow “move on” from Donald Trump (without overly alienating his base) and take a serious look at alternatives, most notably Governor Ron DiSantis of Florida, with lesser—and far less distinguished—papabile such as the incredibly ambitious Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, and even the discredited buffoon Chris Christie of New Jersey, in tow.
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Building up to President Trump’s announcement of another run for the White House on November 15, and then with a crescendo effect afterwards, Republican politicos, consultants, congressmen, and the Murdoch media (through its voices the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, with less strident flurries on Fox News) echoed the same mantra: “Trump is not the man for the GOP in 2024!” And it was up to the “party” (read=elites) to select someone more—how should we say it?—more smooth and agreeable, less confrontational, less likely to “shoot-from-the-hip,” and more apt to bring over those brainless soccer moms, while reducing the unrelenting attacks spewed forth by the legacy media. In other words, what the Republican Party needed was a nicer, quieter, better groomed and mannered figure who could essentially get us back to more halcyon times. Essentially, the GOP needed to go back to its now traditional role of perfunctory opposition to the Leftist tsunami, while, in effect, only slightly impeding the Left’s inevitable advances in and capture of all our social, cultural and political institutions.
Examples of this pusillanimous political posture within the GOP abound plentifully, most recently in the vote on the absurdly-called Respect for Marriage Act to enshrine same sex marriage nationally requiring the federal government to recognize a marriage between two people if the marriage is valid in the state where it was performed and guaranteeing that such a marriage is given full faith and credit, regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. Leading up to the US Supreme Court’s outrageous and unprecedented Obergefell decision in 2015, the Republican Party supposedly opposed such an aberrant constitutional view. Indeed, various GOP elected leaders pledged that they would strongly support the traditional moral view of their constituents, the overwhelming opinion of a majority of Americans. Thirty states had already adopted constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman, including my home state, North Carolina, in 2012, where the vote was 61% to 39%.
But since Obergefell, not hardly a peep. Mostly just acceptance.
And indeed, in the recent vote, twelve Republican senators crossed over and insured easy passage, with such unprincipled chameleons like Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) defending staunchly his vote by declaring ingenuously that the act “maintains the status quo with respect to same-sex marriage that was set forth by the Supreme Court….”
Same sex marriage is just one such issue; there are countless others where “conservative” opposition has proven to be little more than a paper tiger, engaged in shadow boxing, while ceding the way clear for an advancing, all-encompassing radicalism.
Public education? It has been taken over, literally, by the radically “woke” left, as have most colleges and universities. And the reaction of conservatives? Complain and grouse about, talk and write about the insanity which has captured academia and our children. And the solution? In addition to remaining motionless as if blinded by headlights, maybe just throw more money at the problem! Here in North Carolina where the General Assembly is dominated by Republicans, just name a few more political/financial cronies to the board of governors for the university system who will…do nothing!
Where are the fearless Republicans to at last arise and state the obvious: that our public education system has failed miserably, and that the schools (physical plants) need to be sold off to consortia of parents and private organizations, with the appropriate tax monies going directly to the parents who must have complete school choice? Such a program would, certainly, require time to implement, but can anyone think of a better way to stanch the destruction of public education?
Where are the conservative/Republican voices advocating radical reform? Again, mostly silence.
Illegal immigration? Republicans promise to do something, perhaps even impeaching Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, for his utterly disastrous “open door” approach and his de facto support for porous American borders. But does anyone think that Kevin McCarthy and congressional Republicans will actually go through with that threat? After all, this is the same party that desperately attempted to find a compromise with the radical Dems over “dreamer” citizenship. Does anyone seriously believe “conservatives” will, once in power, actually begin to expel illegal aliens now situated here in the US? Oh, yes, Governors DiSantis and Gregg Abbott have staged a few highly publicized transferals of a few illegals to places like Martha’s Vineyard, which were, of course, experiments in symbolism. But where is the firm promise to remove those several millions who have come in since Donald Trump left office?
The silence is deafening.
The list of conservative promises, followed then by conservative collapse and full acceptance of those very positions once so strongly denounced is appalling.
What more evidence do we need to confirm the verdict, rendered nearly 150 years ago, by great Southern writer Robert Lewis Dabney on the “conservative” party:
“This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.
“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it he salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious, for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always—when about to enter a protest—very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its ‘bark is worse than its bite,’ and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent rôle of resistance.
“The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it ‘in wind,’ and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip….”
Which brings me back to Donald Trump and 2024.
I have a friend who is fairly-well acquainted with GOP politics. Although he supported Trump in 2016, like some establishment Republicans he is dead set against another Trump campaign. When I questioned him, he responded with the usual complaints:
“Trump is a walking time-bomb.” “He shoots from the hip and says crazy things.” “His mannerisms and language will not attract ‘independents’ and suburban voters.”
Then, the clencher from my friend: “Trump’s endorsed candidates lost big in 2022, and he will carry the GOP down to defeat in 2024.” Yet, as Bloomberg admitted on November 15, 2022: “The record of Trump’s endorsed candidates who were on the ballot last Tuesday was 236-38, with eight races still being decided….” Not a bad record at all for a walking time-bomb!