Let me say up front that I am a life-long Republican and conservative. I have never voted for a Democrat in my life and have voted in every presidential and midterm election since 1988. I have never in my life considered myself anything but a conservative. I am pained to admit that the conservative media and many conservatives’ reaction to Donald Trump has caused me to no longer consider myself part of the movement. I would suggest to you that if you have lost people like me, and I am not alone, you might want to reconsider your reaction to Donald Trump. Let me explain why.TL;DR: He is an American nationalist who rejects cuckservatism.
First, I spent the last 20 years watching the conservative media in Washington endorse and urge me to vote for one candidate after another who made a mockery of conservative principles and values. Everyone talks about how thankful we are for the Citizens’ United decision but seems to have forgotten how we were urged to vote for the coauthor of the law that the decision overturned. In 2012, we were told to vote for Mitt Romney, a Massachusetts liberal who proudly signed an individual insurance mandate into law and refused to repudiate the decision. Before that, there was George W. Bush, the man who decided it was America’s duty to bring democracy to the Middle East (more about him later). And before that, there was Bob Dole, the man who gave us the Americans with Disabilities Act. I, of course, voted for those candidates and do not regret doing so. I, however, am self-aware enough to realize I voted for them because I will vote for virtually anyone to keep the Left out of power and not because I thought them to be the best or even really a conservative choice. Given this history, the conservative media’s claims that the Republican party must reject Donald Trump because he is not a “conservative” are pathetic and ridiculous to those of us who are old enough to remember the last 25 years.
Second, it doesn’t appear to me that conservatives calling on people to reject Trump have any idea what it actually means to be a “conservative.” The word seems to have become a brand that some people attach to a set of partisan policy preferences, rather than the set of underlying principles about government and society it once was. Conservatism has become a dog’s breakfast of Wilsonian internationalism brought over from the Democratic Party after the New Left took it over, coupled with fanatical libertarian economics and religiously-driven positions on various culture war issues. No one seems to have any idea or concern for how these positions are consistent or reflect anything other than a general hatred for Democrats and the Left.
For many years, people on both sides of the political spectrum have repeatedly tried to label me a conservative. If you look back to the very beginning, to my first column on WND after 9/11, I have steadfastly resisted that label because I have always known that I do not share an outlook with those who proudly wear it.
I am a nationalist, I am a traditionalist, I am a Christian, and I am right-wing, but I am most definitely not a conservative. I never was and I never will be.
The reason is this: conservatives are nothing more than progressives in slow motion.
The author, a veteran, proceeds to address the neoconning of conservatism, as reflected in conservatism's newfound enthusiasm for violently exporting what it deceptively calls "democracy" around the world:
Third, there is the issue of the war on Islamic extremism. Let me say upfront that, as a veteran of two foreign deployments in this war, I speak with some moral authority on it. So please do not lecture me on the need to sacrifice for one’s country or the nature of the threat that we face. I have gotten on that plane twice and have the medals and t-shirt to prove it. And, as a member of the one percent who have actually put my life on the line in these wars movement conservatives consider so vital, my question for you and every other conservatives is just when the hell did being conservative mean thinking the US has some kind of a duty to save foreign nations from themselves or bring our form of democratic republicanism to them by force? I fully understand the sad necessity to fight wars and I do not believe in “blow back” or any of the other nonsense that says the world will leave us alone if only we will do that same. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand how conservatives of all people convinced themselves that the solution to the 9-11 attacks was to forcibly create democracy in the Islamic world. I have even less explanations for how — 15 years and 10,000 plus lives later — conservatives refuse to examine their actions and expect the country to send more of its young to bleed and die over there to save the Iraqis who are clearly too slovenly and corrupt to save themselves.Devastating. Absolutely devastating.
The lowest moment of the election was when Trump said what everyone in the country knows: that invading Iraq was a mistake. Rather than engaging the question with honest self-reflection, all of the so called “conservatives” responded with the usual “How dare he?” Worse, they let Jeb Bush claim that Bush “kept us safe.” I can assure you that President Bush didn’t keep me safe. Do I and the other people in the military not count? Sure, we signed up to give our lives for our country and I will never regret doing so. But doesn’t our commitment require a corresponding responsibility on the part of the president to only expect us to do so when it is both necessary and in the national interest?
And since when is bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan so much in the national interest that it is worth killing or maiming 50,000 Americans to try and achieve?