A few days ago Mark Levin, on his syndicated radio program, asked an interesting yet likely rhetorical question of several conservative stalwarts. It was simple and succinct. “Where were you?” Mark quizzed and with which I firmly agree. This was in response to the growing number of well respected conservative media brainiacs, like George Will, Charles Krauthammer and particularly, Charles Murray of the conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, coming out against Trump.
Levin was responding to a quite lengthy article Murray wrote for National Review Online entitled, “Why ‘Hillary Is Even Worse’ Doesn’t Cut It.”
To the title, “Hillary is Even Worse” and a no vote for Trump equals a vote for Hillary, he does have a point. We constitutionalists are all tired of hearing these refrains, but that’s not the point of Mark’s on-air remarks.
Levin says that Murray attempts to make the case that “if you are truly a principled conservative, you really have a moral obligation not to vote for Donald Trump. He’s not saying “vote for Hillary Clinton,” but he’ll never vote for Trump. Mark then speaks of one of my heroes, Thomas Sowell, who had written “column after column after column against Donald Trump and he was skittish on Ted Cruz ,” yet Dr. Sowell came out in February and publicly endorsed Cruz. Sowell recognized that Cruz was the only real deal.
Mark then asks the $64,000 question: “Guys like Charles Murray – where were they when Ted Cruz was running – or Charles Krauthammer or George Will?” He did include David Brooks on that list, which I wholly discount. I’m sure Mark does to, but it merely amplifies his point.
A true “principled conservative” would have endorsed, as Levin puts it, the most conservative candidate for president of the United States, who actually had a shot at the nomination since Ronald Reagan.” Marks says it was not even close – Cruz was it.
Like Levin, I find it remarkable that these “principled conservatives” are just now all coming out telling us how Trump is not the guy – he is not conservative – standing on principle, saying they cannot vote for Trump. Levin says facetiously that “now we’re supposed to follow them? Where were they when we actually had a choice?”
I can answer that, although Mark did also. These same so-called, self-appointed “principled conservatives” had also been Never Cruz people. They never supported Cruz, much less endorsed him. They all continue to cling to the myth that a true conservative cannot win a general election – always harkening back to Barry Goldwater but mysteriously omitting Reagan’s landslide victories.
They were always going to support the Beltway boy, whoever that turned out to be. But now there is no “beltway boy.”
Murray says that many who know Trump say he is privately a great guy, but writes that the aforementioned David Brooks’s insight into Trump’s flaws are spot on. “When a man deliberately inflames the antagonism of one American ethnic group toward another, takes pleasure in labeling people ‘losers,’ and openly promises to use the powers of the presidency to punish people who get in his way, there is nothing that person can do or say in private that should alter my opinion of whether he is fit to be the president of the United States,” writes Murray.
Well, that’s terrific, but the Donald has been employing this shtick for many months. Murray could have written this piece in October. Why now does he come out and stand on principle when it’s too late to do anything?
Because it’s easy. It’s much easier to play armchair quarterback with 20/20 hindsight than it was to take a “principled” stance when it could have done some good.
Now that it’s too late to do anything these “principled conservatives” may just want to get ahead of the coming train wreck and be on record, enabling them to claim that they warned of the iceberg before the Titanic struck it. That’s the only thing I can figure. But we know better. We know they were nowhere to be found when it could have made a difference.