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Twitter Rants and Rebranding
I returned home from my Turkey hunt to discover many of my erstwhile allies did not share common cause with my values as I thought they had.
After a much-needed week-and-a-half break in the mountains chasing turkeys, I’d like to welcome you to the return of Self-Evident. Today, I’ll be sharing a few of my “Twitter rants” that gave voice to the frustration I have felt after learning that Amash has dropped out of the presidential race as well as the ways in which the Amash episode has shined a light on just how much #NeverTrump has lost its way.
I’m No Longer #NeverTrump
I left the Republican Party to stand on principle.
I didn't do so to elect a Democrat and definitely not to shoot down a principled candidate because he threatened the Democrat.
Even Trump, despite his crass lack of character and unserious mind, presented some form of contractual agreement with conservative goals.
Biden presents nothing, the Democrats grant us nothing, the progressives not only refuse to moderate their vision (which created the imperial presidency in the first place) but have demonstrated every intention to double and triple down on it.
#NeverTrump has become so deranged by their hatred of Donald Trump, they have become willing to give the country to Democrats and aid in delivering a historic progressive mandate on an exclusively non-contractual basis.
I first used the hashtag #NeverTrump in 2016 and continued to do so because it meant, for me, that I would put principles first, vote my conscience, and stand for conservative ideals win, lose, or draw.
If the Amash episode has taught me anything, it's that many of my fellow #NeverTrump travelers did not share common cause with my values as I thought they had, in a disturbingly similar way the broader Republican Party and conservative movement did not.
I am no longer #NeverTrump, not because I am ever going to support Trump, but because this movement, allegedly founded on principles, has become just as cultish in their opposition to Trump as #MAGA is in support of him.
If there is no place for a viable, principled candidate in this election, then the nation faces a threat far more pressing than who sits in the White House and the salvation of America requires far more than anything that can be accomplished at the ballot box.
I wash my hands of this election and of the complete dysfunction of current electoral politics. I will not vote if there is no one who reflects my values to vote for and I will not participate nor grant legitimacy to a process whose only outcome can be an assault on my values.
Moving forward, my sole purpose shall be to champion and affirm the first principles of our republic, to rise above the cacophony of the cults of personality and anti-personality, and to stand athwart this political moment and shout "stop!" to everyone.
This All But Assures Trump’s Re-Election
The sick joke about all of this is that the absence of a principled conservative on the presidential ballot all but assures Trump's re-election.
Conservatives and Republicans who could have been persuaded to support a viable alternative will now either stay at home or vote for Trump. These votes were never in Biden's camp in the first place.
It's absurd to berate those who support Trump when the only other alternative you give them is a candidate that effectively represents a third Obama term.
By fully accomplishing a true "lesser of two evils" proposition to the American electorate, the game has been set in Donald Trump's favor. The strongest card in his hand is that conservative voters have no other alternative but him in the face of progressive Democrats.
Donald Trump was only going to lose in 2020 if he truly faced a referendum on his governing style and the direction he's taken the country from someone who could speak to conservatives and center-right voters who uncomfortably support him.
The Democrats have demonstrated, time and time again, that they cannot make this argument. In fact, everything they've done, impeachment included, has only managed to shore up Trump's base of support. They want a revolution of their own, not a return to normalcy.
Of course, anything can happen, but I can comfortably predict a Trump victory this fall. The Democrats and Joe Biden are not an off-ramp from Trumpism. Donald Trump remains the lesser of two evils for over half the country, and that's the choice that's been recreated.
Even if, by some miracle, Biden stumbles through the finish line and becomes President. All that will have been accomplished is to recreate the progressive atmosphere of the Obama presidency, the very atmosphere that stoked the nationalist flames and led to Trump's rise.
And you won't be taking away Trump's Twitter account, you can't make him go away from the national scene, and you won't take away his screaming supporters who will never believe he lost fairly. (Neither can you take away his ability to run again in 2024)
Further, any purported "conservatives" who helped get Biden over the finish line will simply have confirmed what Trump and his supporters have said they were all along: RINOs willing to vote for Democrats. Their ex-communication from the conservative world will be complete and permanent.
The defeat of Donald Trump would not represent a defeat of Trumpism. In fact, if done in a way that sacrifices the principles of those few conservatives who have not been tainted by Trumpism, it removes whatever principled remnant might have remained.
And absent a principled remnant, Trumpism will be doubled down on by Republicans and conservatives in response to a progressive presidency that will feed their growing siege mentality and sense of victimhood that has made them nationalists and Trumpists.
I have always said Trumpism will be defeated in the hearts and minds of American conservatives, not at the ballot box. Absent someone who can stand on the national stage and wage the fight for conservative hearts & minds, Trumpism will remain intact no matter who's president.
The Untimely End of the New Centrist Podcast
The premise upon which my New Centrist podcast was founded has proven to be overly optimistic. Instead of two extreme parties leaving a traditionally-minded political center without a voice, I have instead discovered general political dysfunction across the board.
If there is a constituency for founding principles, or a "new center" as I had envisioned, it is shockingly small in the face of the anxieties and agitations presented by presidential electoral politics in what has clearly become a Progressive Democracy.
The Imperial Presidency has become the most consequential of political footballs, and the passions of the general electorate seem too hotly stoked by the contest for its control for principles, ideals, or values to be a present consideration.
The self-evident truths of classically liberal governance have become all but forgotten.
Specifically, anxieties have become so centralized in the specific person of Donald Trump, few have demonstrated the broader vision necessary to understand that nationalism and populism, the embryos of totalitarianism and fascism, are the inevitable results of central planning.
Our present dysfunction is the inevitable state of dystopia and decay that represents the final result of a century-long doomed attempt to create a progressive utopia.
It has been my woeful observation that there is simply no constituency for a "return to normal" in terms of the health of our Constitutional Republic because there are relatively few who understand what normal actually looks like.
We are fallen from the founding ideals of the republic in heart, mind, and soul.
And so, I am forced to retire the short-lived "New Centrist" podcast.
In its place, I must embark on a new project to reassert and reaffirm the first principles of our republic we have forgotten and communicate to a lost generation the values, ideals, and principles of the republic they have inherited.
Stay tuned for the launch of Self-Evident: A Podcast Discussing the First Principles of Limited Government and Free Society.
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