RedState Gathering – Nothing Resolved, We All Just Disagree

redstate2016
I attended the RedState Gathering in Denver this weekend, not knowing what to expect, and even prepared for a brawl.  I joked with friends that if I saw talk radio flame-thrower Steve Deace walking by, I would trip him.

The RedState Gathering is an annual political event hosted by RedState, the right-wing media group led in recent years by Erick Erickson.  I have followed Erickson for years and held him in high esteem as a deep thinker and a solid defender of conservative values – small government, free markets, and personal responsibility.  But then Trump happened, and Erickson and I parted ways.

Somehow, out of 17 GOP candidates for president, Trump won.  My first favorite, Carly Fiorina, held on as long as she could, but was never really a contender.  My second favorite, Ted Cruz, put up a good fight that got ugly at the end.  Trump emerged, without the support of the majority of voters, as the only alternative to Hillary.

The right side of the electorate immediately fractured into four groups, deftly described by Guy Benson in the final panel discussion at the Gathering, and only slightly modified below by me.

  1. There are those who were on the Trump train from the start, and will gleefully vote for him in the general election.  They are furious that no one in government has listened to them for a long time, and they want to blow up the Washington DC cartel and start over.  They have no reservations about Trump’s character or ability.
  2. Then there is the group that is not crazy about Trump, but see the election as binary, and are terrified of the inevitable and irreversible harm a Hillary presidency will bring: activist courts shredding the Constitution for decades to come, accelerated immigration that will guarantee liberal domination into perpetuity, unstoppable growth and overreach of government, ridiculous imposition of political correctness, destruction of jobs and the economy, loss of national security, racial and gender disharmony, and Clinton Corruption in every corner.  This group feels compelled to vote for Trump.   I am in this camp, as are most conservative media pundits:  Limbaugh, Ingraham, Hannity, Hewitt, Gallagher, and others.  Hugh Hewitt defended our case admirably to the Gathering.
  3. The third group which includes Erickson and RedState are so disturbed by Trump’s personality, and the perception that he is not a pure conservative, that they are actively campaigning against him. They refuse to vote for or support Trump on principle; they just can’t live with a president who is persistently politically incorrect.  They suspect his motives, even though he has never been in government and has no policy record.  They don’t like Hillary either, but are willing to let her slip into the Oval Office in the hopes that they will be able to re-group and pick up the pieces in four years.Iowa radio talk show host Steve Deace is the most vitriolic Trump critic – you can imagine the blood spurting from his eyes as he rails against Trump on the radio every day.  Other less strident members of this group are radio host Michael Medved and Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard.  Katie Pavlich, TV spokeswoman for Townhall.com, rationalized her opposition to Trump to the Gathering this morning, saying Trump will not beat Hillary anyway, so she is doing no harm.  Erickson, a newly ordained preacher, views the election in biblical terms.  He said, “The weather after November is going to be really bad.  Expect to see houses falling from the sky.”  But Erickson and his followers won’t vote for Trump, or stop criticizing him, under any circumstances. Glenn Beck passionately pleaded with the audience to not vote for Trump, promising an apocalypse if he is elected.  He made the obligatory criticisms of Hillary, but he wasn’t specific about what actions Trump might take that will cause the mountains to crumble and the stars to fall from the sky.
  4. The fourth group is made up of people who claim to be conservatives and have decided they will vote for Hillary.  I agree with Erickson’s observation that these people are mentally ill.

As I said, I didn’t know what to expect, but I still brought home some surprises from the Gathering.  I thought the attendees would be predominantly anti-Trump; they weren’t – most people there will be voting for Trump.  I thought the stridently “NeverTrump” organizers would be unwilling to accept or listen to opposing views; they weren’t – they were patient and understanding of those whose views don’t line up with their own.  And I thought Senator Ben Sasse, who Kristol and Erickson floated as a third-party opponent to Trump, might be a self-serving demagogue; he certainly isn’t.  In fact, his homespun Nebraska common sense, along with his extraordinary speaking skill, makes him a serious contender for leader of the conservative renaissance, if the “right side” survives.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye
There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy
There’s only you and me and we just disagree

We Just Disagree – Dave Mason

 

GOP Anti-Trump Insiders and Pundits – It’s Time to SHUT UP!

network1024Every day, day after day, the anti-Trump insider Republicans wail and moan, louder and longer.  It’s beginning to sound like a teenage summer chainsaw movie.  Or a difficult childbirth.

Paul Ryan calls Trump’s criticism of the Hispanic judge who is clearly politically aligned with Hillary Clinton “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

After his failure floating the hopeless idea of a third-party candidate, Weekly Standard editor and #NeverTrump czar Bill Kristol now suggests that the likelihood of Trump’s impeachment is so great that the GOP insiders should be allowed to choose his running mate.

NewsMax quoted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying, ‘”Trump would make a “terrible commander in chief” and the Republican Party would get “slaughtered” with him as the nominee, while Trump ripped Graham as a “disgrace,” a “nut job” and “one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen.”‘

So-called “conservative” radio pundits like Steve Deace, Michael Medved and Glenn Beck are literally gurgling blood, such is their terror of a Trump presidency.

I have one question for all of you righteously indignant media opportunists who are doing everything humanly possible to damage Trump’s candidacy.  What do you want? 

Do you want Hillary to be elected?  You say you don’t.  You claim to know how calamitous another four or eight years of Democrat rule will be.  You don’t deny the deadly impact that decades of Clinton appointees to the courts will bring.  You know how corrupt the Clintons are, and have been, and can’t doubt that it would get worse – much worse.  You admit Clinton has no clue about the economy and her foreign policy has been a disaster.

So what do you want?

There will not be a third-party candidate.  There will not be an insurrection at the Republican convention that will yield a new nominee.  Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the election, and that is settled.  It’s not good enough to say you just aren’t going to vote, because failure to vote for one is a vote for the other, and that is mathematical, metaphysical fact.

If you have any hope of being taken seriously, or maintaining your relevance in the media and in public life ever again, you have only one choice of action.

SHUT UP.  NOW!

 

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

 

Rockin' On the Right SideHush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry
He said shut up – he said shut up!
Oh God, can’t you keep it down?
Voices carry!
Hush hush, voices carry!

Voices Carry – Til Tuesday

Trump’s Promise to Put “America First” – End of the World?

flag-fireworks1I watched Clarence Mason’s interview on Lou Dobbs tonight.  Mason’s enthusiastic support for preserving our traditional values and way of life was stimulating and inspirational.

Dobbs was reporting on Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, in which Trump said his priority would be to put “America First” in any foreign policy decisions.  Dobbs asked Mason what he thought of Trump’s pro-America stance, and it was like lighting a fuse under a bank of July Fourth fireworks.

“Of course we should put America first!” Mason cheered, explaining that he is tired of everybody blaming America for every problem in the world.  He proclaimed his pride in the USA and his desire to rebuild our economy by taking a fresh look at foreign trade, mass immigration, and one-sided military agreements.  He clearly reveled in what he sees as Trump’s common-sense mix of protectionism and patriotism.

Trump’s proclamation drew immediate scathing rebuke from all directions.  “Trump’s ‘America First’ Has Ugly Echoes From U.S. History”, was the headline slam from CNNReuters piled on with “Trump’s ‘America First’ Speech Alarms U.S. Allies”.  Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of 15 wanna-be presidential candidates who took a butt-whoopin’ by Trump, tweeted “Trump’s speech is pathetic in terms of understanding the role America plays in the world, how to win the War on Terror, and the threats we face.”   (Full disclosure:  I voted for Cruz over Trump in the South Carolina primary, but an enemy of my senator Graham is absolutely a friend of mine!)

But back to Clarence Mason.

I have been listening to pundits from Glenn Beck to Meghan McCain to Steve Deace wailing that Donald Trump’s popularity and ascent to the top of the presidential ticket is the end of the world as we know it.  They insist that Trump will lose to Hillary Clinton because ALL women hate him and ALL Hispanics hate him and ALL blacks hate him.

Here’s a news flash.  Clarence Mason – black guy.  And there are many, many more like him attending Trump rallies and talking politics after church and on coffee break.  Women too.  And Hispanics.  People of every race, gender, and income bracket.  They are tired of the big-promises-no-results Republicans.  They have learned the truth about the we’re-from-the-big-government-and-we’re-here-to-help-you Democrats.  Just like the angry white males that the media claims are Trump’s only supporters, they are not going to get fooled again.

The pundits and the insiders are apoplectic.  They can’t understand how, and they won’t admit, that Donald Trump is very likely to be our next president.  But it’s really so simple.  After years of being told that we are the scum of the Earth, we Americans – white, black, Hispanic, male and female – want a president who puts America first for a change.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine!

It’s The End of the World As We Know It – R.E.M.