Tom Krannawitter shares a few thoughts on Conservative angst and Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party. As Krannawitter reminds us, “The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”
It’s hard not to find it mildly amusing as high-minded conservatives continue to lament Donald Trump.
Is Trump a conservative? Of course not. Is he a Constitutionalist? I doubt he’s ever looked at much less studied the Constitution.
The deep and wide frustration into which Mr. Trump has tapped is the frustration of empty, meaningless conservative promises.
For decades — yes, decades! — conservatives have offered images of the ideal “shining city on a hill” (that’s how conservatives talk, for those not in the know).
Conservative groups, schools, think tanks, celebrities, and others, have promised that they can and will make that shiny city real — if only we send more money to them. Which we do. Over and over and over and over. The conservative movement has become, literally, a multi-billion dollar industry.
Yet what are the results? WHERE are the results?
There’s always been some quiet, implied, tacit assumption that conservatives would implement their policies through the Republican Party.
But the Republican Party is not the same thing as the conservative movement. And conservatives never did the hard work needed to take control of the levers of power inside the Republican Party.
The truth is that the modern conservative movement is far-flung and suffers from massive internal divisions. More, the conservative movement is a movement without a political party.
So while conservatives have been making promises and offers that at least half of Americans and sometimes more want, the reality is that Americans have been stuck with two political parties that are almost indistinguishable in their practices.
The only significant difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties over the last half century is the way they talk. It’s a difference of rhetoric.
Republicans attract the interest and support of conservatives by talking like conservatives. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to talk about tradition, the Constitution, property, freedom. They even talk about Jesus more than Democrats do. These terms are like siren songs for conservatives. Irresistible.
But the Republican Party is not the conservative movement. The Republican Party is more accurately described as a minor, and somewhat confused, player in the progressive movement.
This has led to wide and deep frustration with the political class among many loosely-described “conservative” Americans. And that’s why many conservative Americans are looking for someone, anyone, who seems to be outside the crony political establishment.
The fact that Mr. Trump is a political crony himself doesn’t matter. He talks as if he’s not. And as we’ve learned from the conservative movement and the Republican Party, empty rhetoric is enough to get people fired up. For a long time. Maybe even decades. Until they start to feel betrayed. And then they’ll go looking for their next “non-establishment” political savior.