RedState Gathering – Nothing Resolved, We All Just Disagree

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, 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


Laura Ingraham Rocks the Convention!

laura ingraham

In case you missed it, Laura Ingraham gave the stemwinder speech of the year Wednesday night at the 2016 Republican national convention.  Her beaming smile made her tenacity all the more electric as she grabbed the delegates, and millions watching on TV, by the throat with her conservative common sense and razor wit.  Here are some highlights:

“My dad enlisted in the Navy in WWII.  My mom waited tables until she was 73 years old.  My dad worked at his car wash.  My parents flew the flag at our house, and not just on the fourth of July.  They scrapped and saved.  My mother made my clothes.  She wore the same winter coat for 40 years. Any extra money in our house went into the bank for our education. And we learned that there is dignity in every job.  Every job!  No matter what you do.  You see, my parents didn’t believe there were jobs that Americans wouldn’t do!”

“Respect is in decline in America once again. The people don’t respect the government. The government doesn’t respect the people, not even our veterans.  Politicians don’t respect the Constitution.  Many do not respect the life of the infant in the womb or the elderly who languish alone.  Others don’t respect the police . . . and many in public office don’t enforce or respect the rule of law.  Isn’t that right, Mrs. Clinton?”

“We should all – even all you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos (and we love you!) – you must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump now.  Tonight!”

“We need a president who believes in the Constitution and will fight for us, not against us.  Treat us like an ally, not an enemy.  Fight alongside with us.  We are not the enemy, we’re the people!  We’re not your servants, you’re ours!”

“And to all my friends up there, in the press.  You all know why, in your heart, Donald Trump won the nomination.  Because he dared to call out the phonies, the frauds, and the corruption that has gone unexposed and uncovered for too long.  Too long!  Do your job!”

“Donald Trump respects us enough to tell us the hard truth about what has happened to our country.”

Laura was so hot, so spot on, that the left immediately peed their pants, and proceeded to make up a cartoonish tweet accusing her of giving her audience a Nazi salute – which was, of course, scooped up by the breathless lamestream media.  You can’t make this stuff up!  A single mother of three adopted kids who rose from humble beginnings to graduate from Dartmouth and then become a clerk for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, a defense attorney, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, a best-selling author, a radio and TV superstar – is a Nazi, according to the desperate left.

Maybe there’s hope for common sense, grass roots, patriotic, hard-working Americans after all. Rock on, Laura!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hey kid, rock and roll
Rock on, ooh, my soul!
Hey kid, boogey too, did ya?
Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey kid, rock and roll, rock on!
Well, ole Dave still sounds like he did back in 1974, but he has um, aged a bit.  Unlike the rest of us!