Somehow, being conservative now means denying the obvious and saying idiotic fantasies like ‘Islam is always peaceful’ or ‘Our war is not with a radical strain of Islam.’ Uh, sorry, but no it is not, and yes it is. And if getting a president who at least understands that means voting for Trump, then I guess I am not a conservative.—John Kluge
A conservative attorney and veteran of failed, unconstitutional wars the kind Rubio/Cruz would continue, motivates his support for Trump and his disgust for “con-servatives.” (Doff of the hat to Jack Kerwick for sending this). He does seem confused about the genesis of our un-American foreign policy, blaming Democrats (Wilson), not incorrectly, but not considering the neoconservative interlopers who’ve hijacked conservatism. The parts I like:
* “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.”
* “Lost in all of this is the older strain of conservatism. The one I grew up with and thought was reflective of the movement. This strain of conservatism believed in the free market and capitalism but did not fetishize them the way so many libertarians do. … This strain understood that a government’s first loyalty was to its citizens and the national interest. And also understood that the preservation of our culture and our civil institutions was a necessity.”
* “Conservatives have become some sort of schizophrenic sect of libertarians who love freedom (but hate potheads and abortion) and feel the US should be the policeman of the world.”
* “… 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?”
* “… 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?’”
* “I do not care that Donald Trump is in favor of big government. That is certainly not a virtue but it is not a meaningful vice, since the same can be said of every single Republican in the race. I am sorry, but the ‘We are just one more Republican victory from small government’ card is maxed out. We are not getting small government no matter who wins. So Trump being big government is a wash.
* Sixth, Trump offers at least the chance that he might act in the American interest instead of the world’s interest or in the blind pursuit of some fantasy ideological goals. There is more to economic policy than cutting taxes, sham free-trade agreements and hollow appeals to “cutting government” and the free market. Trump may not be good, but he at least understands that. In contrast, the rest of the GOP and everyone in Washington or the media who calls themselves a conservative has no understanding of this.”
* “Our country is going broke, half its working-age population isn’t even looking for work, faces the real threat of massive Islamic terrorist attack and has a government incapable of doing even basic functions. Meanwhile, conservatives act like cutting Planned Parenthood funding or stopping gays from getting marriage licenses are the great issues of the day and then have the gumption to call Donald Trump a clown. It would be downright funny if it wasn’t so sad and the situation so serious.”
* “Some of us are pretty serious people and once considered ourselves conservatives. Even if you still hate Trump, you owe it to conservatism to ask yourself how exactly conservatism managed to alienate so many of its supporters such that they are now willing to vote for someone you loathe as much as Trump.”
Via New York Post.
John Kluge is an attorney living in Washington. He served in the US Army for nine years, including two deployments in Iraq and Kuwait. This essay first appeared on Ricochet.com.