One of the unusual aspects of the Trump presidency is the number of high-visibility, historically conservative Republicans, who fled to the other side. The most notable group created is what was terribly misnamed as the Lincoln Project, falsely intimating that they were somehow still loyal to the Republican Party and conservative principles.
The political apostates included people once considered icons of the conservative movement:
- One-time Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, son of one of the heroes of the conservative movement that led to the election of President Reagan
- Steve Schmidt, a former advisor to Arizona Senator John McCain, whose wife endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden
- Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee
- Susan Del Percio and Rick Wilson, a pair of so-called Republican strategists plying their trade on behalf of political adversaries
- Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a bitter Republican presidential who also-ran in 2016 and endorsed Biden in 2020
- Self-proclaimed conservative columnist George Will
- Ana Navarro, a Republican Latina who parlayed Trump hatred as a media personality on left-wing programming
- George Conway, an obscure activist whose only claim to fame and path to prosperity was being married to – and antagonist of — Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway.
And there are others.
What distinguishes these folks from other conservatives who disliked or distrusted Trump is that they did not remain silent – or limit their criticism to Trump. No. No. No. They fully joined the radical left in attacking and working against all Republican officials and conservative principles.
Despite his flawed personality, the Trump administration was pursuing generally good conservative policies. The courts are a prime example. And Trump strengthened the relationship with Israel with the long-promised move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem — and obtained treaties between the Jewish state and three formerly adversarial nations. In doing that, Trump weakened the hegemony of Iran over the Middle East – and Russian hegemony over Iran.
Trump defended free speech and freedom of religion against the divisive policies of political correctness and identity politics. Trump strengthened the military and improved NATO’s defensive capability by successfully pressing the member nations to commit more funds – even as he was bringing closure to America’s longest wars.
Trump gave full-throated support for the Second Amendment – and stood up to Democrat campaigns to demonize and defund police departments across the nation. The Trump administration advanced school choice with its exceptional benefits for segregated minorities in our many Democrat-run cities.
Trump produced the strongest economy in American history – with record highs in the stock market and the lowest unemployment rate in history – with minorities being the greatest benefactors. He reduced the tax burden on the American people.
Trump brought a semblance of order and legality to our immigration process with both a wall and policies. He reduced the potential of international terror attacks by restricting travel from the most dangerous nations.
By not embracing the anti-energy, anti-jobs programs of the Democrats, Trump made America energy independent. We older conservatives can recall the high gas prices and long lines at the service stations when we had to depend on Middle Eastern, Russian and Venezuelan oil.
True conservatives were celebrating Trumps cancelling of the American-unfriendly Iran nuclear deal and the ridiculously anti-American Paris Climate Accords – not to forget the successful renegotiation of world trade agreements that played against the United States.
Trump was the first President to do more than moan and groan about China’s corrupt trade practices and theft of intellectual property.
Thanks to Senate Republicans, the radical left was thwarted in their plans to bring new levels of socialism – drastically redistributing wealth and transferring more and more power away from we the people and into the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington. Trump and Senate Republicans lifted the burden of excessive regulation that was restraining the powerful American free-market economy.
Republican governors and legislatures across the nation proved that conservative principles work for the people by producing the healthiest state economies in the country when compared to the failed and bankrupt economies of so may Democrat-run states and cities.
These are the conservative values, accomplishments and potential that the aforementioned apostates cast to the gutter in an irrational and visceral hatred for the President personally. These folks were not focused exclusively on Trump.
Their campaigns, advertising, books and media appearances were attacks on all Republican candidates and the very conservative principles they once claimed to embrace.
No principled conservative can face the political battles with the increasingly likely incoming Biden administration with a happy heart. The reprobates who deserted the GOP and conservative principles should forevermore be exiled to the land on the left – where they stood during these past four years. No respectable Republican candidate should ever engage the services of this uniquely dishonest band of so-called strategists.
They have already sold out for fame and fortune to the radical left and the news media that has propped them up as a new class of useful idiots. They should never appear on the program of any Republican or conservative event. Their opinions are of no value any longer. Their sin is not disloyalty to Trump, but disloyalty to the Republican Party and the conservative values it best represents.
Since the left has no more use for them – and conservatives have no need of them – perhaps they will slip into the ignominious shadows of political irrelevancy. One can only hope.
So, there ‘tis.