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How Many Divisions Has The Beltway Right?
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May 22, 2016, 06:12 PM
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How many divisions has the Beltway Right?—to paraphrase Stalin’s famous question about the Pope. Or, to paraphrase an equally famous philosophical question, if a National Review columnist announces he isn’t voting for Trump, does anyone care?

Jonah Goldberg [Email him] answered the question no one asked by declaring “Sorry, I Still Won’t Ever Vote for Trump” [May 21, 2016]. Goldberg says it’s about his “conscience.” Evidently, the nightmarish policies President Hillary Clinton will unleash and the continuing suffering inflicted on Americans from murderous illegals don’t trouble Goldberg’s sleep, but the prospect of a candidate who gives joy to the Alt Right keeps him up at night.

Erick Erickson is begging Mitt Romney to run for President. [Perhaps Erick Erickson should just let Mitt retire, by Jazz Shaw, HotAir, May 21, 2016] Bill Kristol [Email him] is trying to recruit people for his “Renegade Party,” which presumably will be an independent, populist, grassroots movement dedicated to open borders, outsourcing, and foreign interventions.  And PJ O’Rourke, apparently still alive, is endorsing Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump is full of “bigoted, rude, and vulgar crap”. [PJ O’Rourke: I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton, the Devil We Know, The Daily Beast, May 8, 2016]. And who better to whine at us whatorourkeabout decorum and politeness when our country is being destroyed than the author of “Foreigners Around the World?” [National Lampoon May 1976, sample at right]

But does anyone care about these people? Erickson is pleading for Romney to run himself because the former presidential candidate has already abandoned trying to find someone else to volunteer for a suicide mission. [Mitt Romney ends recruiting efforts for an independent candidate, by Eric Bradner and Jim Acosta, CNN, May 19, 2016] Rick Perry, who once called Trump a “cancer” and was spoken of as an independent challenger, has already endorsed Trump for president and has even volunteered himself as a vice presidential pick [Rick Perry endorses Donald Trump, whom he once called a ‘cancer’ to conservatism, by Mark Abadi, Business Insider, May 5, 2016]

The National Rifle Association endorsed Trump, as did Congressman Trey Gowdy. [Donald Trump goes after Hillary Clinton on guns, by Jeremy Diamond, CNN, May 20, 2016] A recent poll shows eight in ten Republicans say their leaders should support Trump even if they disagree with him on important issues, and Trump’s unfavorability ratings among Republicans have declined. [Republicans Want Their Party to Unify Behind Donald Trump, Poll Shows, by Jonathan Martin and Dalia Sussman, New York Times, May 19, 2016]  And while the same New York Times poll shows Trump losing by six points to Hillary Clinton, other recent polls shows Trump with a small lead. The #NeverTrump talking point that Trump “can’t win” seems more unconvincing than ever.

Meanwhile, as Republicans unite around the frontrunner, the Democrats are divided. In the last week, there’s been a striking outbreak of Main Stream Media hostility against Bernie Sanders and his (mostly white) supporters.

Sanders has not backed down, repeating his (largely truthful!) accusations the DNC has been biased throughout the primary. He is even supporting a primary challenger to DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz and publicly stating he would remove her as head of the party if he is elected. [Bernie Sanders Says Debbie Wasserman Schultz Will Be Gone From DNC If He’s President, by Sam Levine, Huffington Post, May 21, 2016]

Contrast this with the businesslike approach of RNC head Reince Priebus, who, while hardly a Trump supporter, is doing what a party head is supposed to and working to unite the party around the nominee and organize for the general election. [Three Cheers for Reince Priebus, by Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator, May 20, 2016]

Which party is divided again? And in what universe is #NeverTrump a force within the GOP, let alone one capable of sustaining an independent candidate?

From the beginning, the decision by National Review and certain conservative pundits militantly to oppose Trump in the name of vague “principles” lacked credibility. These were the same people who told grassroots Republicans to suck it up and pull the lever for Bush (twice), Mitt Romney and (shudder) John McCain. And Bill Kristol speaking as an authority on American conservatism is self-discrediting. [The True Con(s) by Gregory Hood, Radix Journal, May 18, 2016]

What this is really about is securing market share.  On an individual basis, it makes sense for someone to declare themselves a “conservative,” often based on no evidence, and then have a profitable career endlessly attacking to their Right. (They usually, like PJ O’Rourke, end up writing for The Daily Beast.)

In every other movement in history, the leaders are more dedicated and extreme than the grassroots. In American conservatism, the so-called leaders actually serve as a check on their own supporters. The intellectual output of Conservatism Inc., such as it is, is simply an endless series of rationalizations about why conservatism’s mostly European-American constituents are not allowed to pursue their own interests.

This includes accepting Left wing leadership of the culture and media, as we see with Facebook. We already know Facebook is working with Germany to censor the speech of anyone who complains about migrant crime in Europe. A recent study from WorldNetDaily incorporating four months of data showed readers’ ability to engage with major conservative sites on Facebook has plummeted on EVERY major site. And new reports from inside the company say Facebook is deliberately censoring right wing news. [Facebook Bias: It’s Baked Into the Algorithms, WND, May 15, 2016].

Nonetheless, a number of supposedly “conservative” media leaders made the pilgrimage to Facebook headquarters, met with Mark Zuckerberg, and then promptly began attacking the grassroots Right. SE Cupp, last seen on television crying about how great gay marriage is, talked about how wonderful the trip was and how despicable the Alt Right and Trump supporters are [SE Cupp: I’m sick of ‘cuckservative’… and Trump supporters, by Allum Bokhari, Breitbart, May 20, 2016]. Meanwhile, Glenn Beck acted as if he was trying to be Zuckerberg’s “manservant,” in the phrase of Tucker Carlson [Carlson: Glenn Beck ‘acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg’s manservant’ at Facebook meeting, by Hadas Gold, Politico, May 20, 2016]. Beck promptly told everyone not to worry about Zuckerberg.

But news just broke yet another conservative activist and Trump supporters was just censored for simply pointing out Facebook’s record of censorship. [Facebook Censors Conservative Lauren Southern for Mentioning Censorship, by Louise Mensch, Heat Street, May 21, 2016]

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion the same conservatives so eager to resist Trump are willing to surrender to Zuckerberg in order to get more clicks. No wonder provocateur and media critic Milo Yiannopoulos has called the currently leaders of the Beltway Right “embarrassing” . [Cucked by Zuck: Establishment Conservatives Rock Up For Pointless Meeting With Facebook, Breitbart, May 18, 2016]

The Beltway Right is all chiefs and no Indians. What’s shocking is not the rise of Nationalism and the Alt Right. What’s shocking is how much they have accomplished with so few resources.

If anything, National Conservatives and the Alt Right are massively underrepresented because there are so few pundits and public intellectuals representing what is now the dominant tendency within the Republican Party. And that’s not an accident, because every time one emerges, both the Respectable Right and the Cultural Marxist Left move to purge him or her into the outer darkness.

Even Trump’s victory hasn’t led to intellectual freedom within the American Right. (When’s the last time Ann Coulter was on Fox News?)

The #NeverTrump movement is not about maintaining control of the GOP. They lost that battle. But that battle isn’t that important to them.

What these empty-headed pundits really want is to maintain control of the institutions that comprise the Beltway Right. That way, the same people who have been so embarrassingly wrong over the last year can keep appearing on television, lecturing normal Americans on what they are and are not allowed to believe.

As Donald Trump shows, even one figure delivering “one speech” can transform electoral politics. Unfortunately, exiling the cuckservatives to public access television where they belong will be a far harder struggle.

James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.