Awful #NeverTrump Arguments, Part 1: Steve Deace

The intense disgust Donald Trump inspires in most conservatives is unquestionably valid, seeing that he’s a loathsome, unqualified buffoon who ruined the best chance we’ve had since 1984 to put a truly worthy movement conservative, Ted Cruz, in the White House. The emotional difficulty of looking past his offenses and weaknesses is understandable, and there are legitimate concerns about Trump’s fitness for office, chances against Hillary Clinton, and representation of the Republican Party.

However, it’s increasingly apparent that Trump Derangement Syndrome has so consumed most of the #NeverTrump movement that they’ve lost the ability to objectively evaluate both Trump’s weaknesses and the consequences of another Clinton presidency. Not only are opposing arguments ignored without serious consideration, many NeverTrumpers hurl indignation and condescension at any suggestion there are opposing arguments. Ugly though it sounds, it’s hard not to conclude that some have decided that the future of their country is less important than projecting their self-image as morally and ideologically purer than the rest of us.

It’s time to start calling out this arrogant negligence. The following is the first in a series of posts calling out the shoddy logic and irresponsible flippancy dominating #NeverTrump arguments. To be clear, not everyone we’ll discuss is guilty of all the sins described above, but all display a distinct lack of seriousness unworthy of the future generations who will suffer if they get their way and Hillary wins. Continue reading

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New at American Clarion – Trump Won Because Conservatives Let Him

Now that we’re stuck with the ugly choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, we’re long overdue for a chat about just how easily this mess could have been avoided. Shocking though it may be that such a cartoonishly unqualified and un-conservative figure could sweep the Republican nomination, it was inevitable that the mistakes and blind spots that establishmentarians and conservatives allowed to fester for years would eventually blow up in our faces.

Most agree on the first cause: feckless Republican leaders, whose record of surrender has made their base desperate for someone to take a wrecking ball to Capitol Hill, and doubtful that anyone from within the party could suffice. So when Trump swept in sounding like that someone—and making immigration, the issue on which party and base are most divided, his centerpiece—of course he forged an emotional bond impervious to subsequent reviews of his record.

It’s not Trump’s fault nobody stepped in to fill that demand first—even Ted Cruz, who fought the establishment from day one, underestimated the stridency he needed to project, or how moves like his poison pill amendments to the Gang of 8 bill would backfire.

Read the rest at American Clarion.

The GOP Predicament: Outraged by Conservatism while Indifferent to Evil

Former House speaker John Boehner recently came up in two items that, taken together, powerfully illustrate why the national GOP has been such a joke.

First, he denounced Ted Cruz as “Lucifer” and a “miserable son of a b****.”  Second, he joined Barack Obama in a cutesy video skit about how the outgoing president will pass the time after stepping down.  They laugh, watch Toy Story 3 together (yes, really), and joke about being able to drink and smoke in private life.

Previously, Boehner has gushed that he “absolutely” trusts Obama.  Since he broached the subject of comparing politicians to demons, note that Boehner’s buddy is so devoted to slaughtering babies that he repeatedly voted to let hospitals starve newborns to death and routinely demonizes Boehner’s pro-life constituents.

What is Cruz’s sin?  Preferring a more aggressive strategy to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and executive amnesty through the appropriations process.  That’s it.  He’s “Lucifer” for refusing to follow Boehner’s fear of getting blamed for a government shutdown…never mind that blame easily could have been pinned on Obama, or that past Republicans successfully did the same thing to get Bill Clinton to accept their budget.

Read the rest at American Thinker.

Should You Vote for Donald Trump?

After decades of lackluster presidential nominees who embodied various diluted forms of center-right thought, this year we finally had an authentic, passionate movement conservative to rally around in Ted Cruz. Finally we had an opportunity to restore the Constitution, liberty, and prosperity; to take real steps toward ending the massacre of abortion, to shrink government rather than slow its growth, to turn the tide of America’s culture war and put the Left on the defensive for a change. Finally we had our chance to vindicate conservatism against the cancerous moderation espoused by the Republican establishment.

And we blew it. Thanks to a perfect storm of primary voters letting themselves be conned by a clown and divided among a half-dozen mediocrities and vanity candidates, and too few conservative leaders willing to show leadership and make clear that Cruz was the only serious choice, instead we’re now stuck with Donald Trump as the GOP nominee for President of the United States. A choice so manifestly terrible that it seemed inconceivable a year ago. Yet here we are.

So patriots have a decision to make: hold our nose and vote for Trump to protect the country from Hillary Clinton, or stay home to protest Trump’s lack of character, competence, and conservatism? My answer has wavered back and forth over the past year, so I hope this review of all the arguments for and against will help similarly conflicted conservatives find a definitive answer.

Before diving in, let’s dismiss two unserious options out of hand: voting for Hillary Clinton (such a despicable, asinine idea that those who’ve written and published it should be ashamed of themselves), and voting for a third-party or independent candidate (no, not even that obnoxious imbecile Austin Petersen who gives Glenn Beck such a tingle up his leg). It’s simply delusional to believe the latter could actually become president, so if you’re doing it for the symbolism it’s functionally no different than staying home. If you absolutely must put down another name at the ballot box, at least choose a deserving and likely future nominee by writing in Ted Cruz.

(Caveat: if by some bizarre, infinitesimal, miraculous twist of fate a quality conservative somehow uncovers the secret path for an independent candidate to reach the White House, I of course reserve the right to take that back and revise the conclusion of this post.)

That said, let’s begin. Continue reading

Gee, Why Would Anyone Think John McCain Didn’t Support Reagan?

John McCain is throwing a hissy fit because Ted Cruz had the temerity to suggest that McCain didn’t support Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign. “It’s an outright lie,” McCain fumed to CNN.

Cruz’s actual comments weren’t as inflammatory as —he simply said in a speech, “Do you know if you define as a Reaganite anyone who supported Ronald Reagan in the 1980 primary, do you know that the Republican Party has never once nominated a Reaganite to be president since 1984?”—but okay, McCain was (tragically) among those nominees. McCain says he “worshipped” the Gipper at the time, but was prohibited from public endorsements prior to his 1981 retirement from the Navy.

I’ll take the Arizona senator at his word, but to hyperventilate that this was an “outright lie” or willful dishonesty on Cruz’s part requires one to ignore, well, everything else about McCain’s political career. Continue reading

Donald Trump: Amnesty Shill

Donald Trump Meets DREAMersOne of the reasons attacks on Donald Trump such as National Review’s recent symposium have been ineffective is because they don’t speak to the factors that could actually change his supporters’ minds. Among Trump fans who read conservative commentary, The Donald’s various political heresies, temperamental deficiencies, and personal failings are already priced into their decision—they aren’t prioritizing a full-spectrum conservative, they just want someone who’ll finally shut the border and get our immigration system under control once and for all, and don’t trust anyone else to do it.

So don’t waste space reiterating what they already know and don’t care about. Instead, focus the bulk of your energy dismantling the only good pro-Trump argument—his perceived strength as an immigration hawk—and publicize the truth that, beyond the tough talk about building walls and deporting rapists, he’s as wobbly and inconsistent on the issue as anyone. Continue reading

Ann Coulter Has Sold Her Soul to Donald Trump

YAF 2009 - Meeting Ann Coulter 1For fifteen years, I was an enthusiastic, unapologetic Ann Coulter fan. I’ve expressed my share of disagreements with her, but on balance have supported and defended her many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, times—from Left and Right alike—as one of the most fearless and principled assets to the conservative movement. Her books were defining influences on my own political development. She regularly raised devastating, critical points that more than a few conservatives were too meek to say or too conventional to notice. Meeting her in 2009 (above) was one of the biggest thrills of my political career, and I counted my autographed copy of Slander as one of my most prized possessions.

So when I say that Ann Coulter has officially lost me, know that I didn’t reach this conclusion lightly.

For the better part of 2015, Coulter’s aggressive support for Donald Trump has been a source of major consternation on the Right. Contrary to what some demagogic charlatans would have you believe, her underlying rationale is entirely correct: the next president’s level of conservatism on other issues will be irrelevant if he allows mass immigration and amnesty to give the Democrats enough new voters to guarantee them a permanent national majority. If this were, say, a two-man race between him and Marco Rubio, it would be perfectly reasonable to conclude that Trump is more likely to do the right thing on the issue.

Where Coulter’s conclusion breaks down is that Trump isn’t the candidate with the most credibility on fighting amnesty—Ted Cruz is. Conservatives don’t have to make a last-resort choice between an immigration hawk and a conservative; we can get both. Continue reading