Of True Believers and Infidels
Within the past day, Donald Trump has declared DACA “dead,” to fanfare and worshipful genuflection from his cult — the very same cult that bowed in submissive praise at Trump’s offer of citizenship for every registered “dreamer” along with a million more illegals who were not even registered.
One day, it’s “We love Trump because he’s going to deport ’em all.” The next day, it’s “We love Trump because he is a merciful and good chess master.” And on the Third Day, it’s “We love Trump for claiming he’s going to do what we initially voted for him to do, but which he then betrayed us on completely, and which he now says he’ll do only because the Democrats, whom he tried to ‘defeat’ by giving them everything they ever wanted and then some, didn’t jump up to kiss his ring fast enough.”
And of course, when (not if — when) Trump changes his rhetoric again, in response to the slightest changes in the weather or his digestion, the same cult will leap to defend the genius of his strategic maneuvering, and pray, “Thank you, O Lord, for the miracle of throwing our unworthy souls under the bus not once, not twice, but thrice! Amen.”
Long live the cult.
Ben Shapiro has debuted a new syndicated terrestrial radio version of his popular podcast. I have no interest in this fact, per se, and little to no interest in Ben Shapiro. I find him derivative and uninspired as a political commentator, although I confess my judgment is mostly based on his identity of a few years ago, since I honestly don’t know that I’ve heard two continuous minutes of him within the past year or two.
That said, he has been a “rising young star” of the conservative movement for several years, a clever fast talker adept at pushing just the right buttons to build career-boosting controversy around himself on college campuses, and therefore exactly the sort of person the mainstream “conservative media” loves — or rather used to love.
Today, he is approaching persona non grata status among those who would previously have been (or had actually been) his biggest boosters. On Monday, American Thinker’s lead article (later moved down the pecking order) was about Shapiro’s new show. Out of curiosity, I decided to browse the contents, wondering how AT, having long since dived headlong onto the speedily descending Trump train, would handle plugging Shapiro’s show, in light of the awkward fact of his being — Heaven help us! — critical of The Dear Leader.
Not to disappoint my expectations, the article was a none-too-subtle hatchet job on Shapiro, the thrust of which was that although Shapiro has been a popular voice, his anti-Trump stance clearly undermines any chance of his being truly successful, since he is essentially at odds with the Truth. That Shapiro has been playing “good Trump, bad Trump” since the election — that is, willing to praise “the good things Trump does” while lamenting the bad — is ignored by the author, Peter Barry Chowka, which might strike you as dirty pool, until you recall that we are dealing with a cult. Praising “the good things Trump does” — insofar as this implies denying that everything Trump does is inherently good, ingenious, divinely inspired, MAGA! — is an untenable position for the cultist.
Questioning the merit of any Trump act, statement, judgment, contradiction, sell-out, or ungrammatical tweet is, on standards of Trumpian piety, incontrovertible evidence of the dreaded Trump Derangement Syndrome, which, at American Thinker and most of the rest of the big “conservative” websites, is now a hanging offense.
So Shapiro, the ex-wunderkind, is now used goods, an infidel. String him up.
How’s this for damning with faint praise?
What also set Shapiro apart from many other public conservatives – and gained him a lot of notice in the mainstream media, as well – was his loud and consistent opposition to Donald J. Trump during the 2016 campaign and continuing up to the present time. That surprising stance, seemingly counterintuitive for a self-described staunch, non-RINO conservative, singled him out for note by media on both sides of the current ideological divide (see for example über left wing publication Slate’s January 24, 2018 article “Is Ben Shapiro a Conservative Liberals Can Count On”).
You see, opposing Donald J. Trump — Can these fan boys at least stop trying to top each other will über-respectful instantiations of Mr. President Donald J. Trump’s name, for crying out loud? — is a “surprising stance” and “counterintuitive for a self-described [i.e., questionable] staunch, non-RINO conservative.”
Why is opposing Trump counterintuitive in an anti-establishment conservative? Trump is in many ways the perfect embodiment of the Republican establishment: a pure RINO, a progressive at heart, a self-seeking, vainglorious manipulator willing to lie to anyone and everyone to get what he wants, with “what he wants” never seeming to coincide with what the U.S. Constitution demands that a president should want.
In my experience, on the contrary, I’ve yet to come across a single American of my personal acquaintance or public awareness who is both verifiably and consistently a staunch anti-establishment conservative — I mean a principled constitutional republican — and also actively pro-Trump. I honestly can’t think of a single one.
And notice, further, how the author connects Shapiro’s anti-Trump posturing to his having gained some favor with left-wing publications. In other words, the only alleged conservatives who would oppose Trump are actually sell-outs to the progressive left.