For those who believe in binary elections, 2016 was a choice between Dem and Dem-er (Hillary and Trump). In 2020, it’s a no-win election between a tomayto and a tomahto (Biden and Trump). And while there’s plenty of blame to go around for this sorry state of affairs, a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of faux conservatives in the media.
It’s a tragic reality that many who claim to hold conservative values today are little more that goose-stepping sycophants, convinced that Trumpism equals conservatism. Sadder still, however, is how their embrace of this deception is the direct result of faux conservatives in the media. Evidence of what I mean can be seen in a portion of an email I received some time ago from a radio listener in California:
” David Leach, you are a Left-leaning liberal Democrat. I suggest you get off your soap box and start listening to some real conservatives like Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, or Levine [sic].
“I support Trump because he supports my conservative Christian values. He is the only one out there who really stands up for what is right.”
Obviously, this person isn’t a regular listener of my daily commentaries because as we all know, I’m “always right.”
As frustrating as this is, it’s easy to see why the cult is clueless about what conservatism stands for when you consider who they’re getting their conservative intel from. Their ignorance is a result of mindless, non-critical listening to faux conservative in the media who elected to enter the wide gate of compromise instead of the narrow gate of conviction.
These clickservatives in media use conservative values as a commodity to be bartered for internet clicks and a seat at Trump’s table.
If you’re a regular reader or listener, you know who most of the faux conservatives in media responsible for Trump in 2016 and the no-win election in 2020 are.
Salem Media Group fired all “anti-Trump” writers working for their various online publications in April, 2018, and Salem Radio did likewise with their radio hosts later that year; replacing anti-Trump conservative Michael Medved with former Trump campaign manager Sebastian Gorka and giving Steve Bannon a daily show in November, 2019. This decision to become a Trump propaganda outlet led me to severe my relationship with Salem last year.
BlazeTV became a pro-Trump echo chamber and the home of faux conservatives like Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Steve Deace, all of whom opposed Trump in 2016 but now genuflect at the mere mention of his name.
Erick Erickson, who claims to be the originator of the #neverTrump movement, decided that since “no candidate and no administration is perfect” — cue the Fellowship of the Pharisees — he would endorse Trump’s reelection and donated to his campaign.
In yesterday’s article about some of the things we can expect from Trump after the election, I quoted an excerpt from a Charlie Sykes article on TheBulwark.com, and he used Ben Shapiro as an example of how faux conservatives in media were responsible for the rise of Trumpism and the no-win 2020 election.
In 2016, Shapiro posted a six-minute video on YouTube titled “Donald Trump is a Liar” followed by an article written a month later, “I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump: Here’s Why.” But in 2020, Shapiro will be backing Donald Trump on election day because “Democrats have lost their fucking minds.”
In a follow-up piece on TheBulwark.com, Mona Charen provided what she referred to as “A final look at the intellectual and moral contortions of Trump’s defenders” to demonstrate how faux conservatives in media created this mess, and she also used Ben Shapiro to prove her point.
Ben Shapiro has changed his mind. In 2016, he made a cogent case against Trump. He said he was committed to a conservatism that was “not racist, not sexist, not bigoted… not vulgar and vile to women and the disabled,” in short, not the caricature of what every leftist believed about conservatives. Trump, Shapiro argued, would irreparably tarnish the conservative brand. Accordingly, he would never vote for him.
Until 2020. He explains that he was wrong about where Trump would land on policy, and that he has governed in a more conservative fashion than Shapiro expected. He cites judges, leaving the Paris climate accord, ending the Iran deal, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, “crushing” ISIS, and cutting taxes.
After providing a list of counter-arguments to Shapiro’s claims, Charen concludes that “Being a part of Team Trump, aka a Republican, requires dulling one’s conscience and rationalizing the indefensible.”
When BlazeTV and CRTV merged in December 2018, Glenn Beck assured consumers that “Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and more [would] have a home at Blaze Media.” He further stated, “Our hosts will have differences, but we share a common belief in free expression, honest discourse, and a society founded on the principles of the Bill of Rights.”
Beck never delivered on this promise because Trumpism was more profitable than conservatism. He’s not alone in that department; every other faux conservative in the media has done the same thing.
Instead of standing firm on our values, faux conservatives in the media took their cues from Trump and joined his defacto state-run propaganda machine.
Faux conservatives in the media destroyed conservatism for a seat at Trump’s table, and they’re responsible for the no-win election of 2020.
And we wonder why America is dying.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.