In his daily podcast, Ben Shapiro has a fun segment called Good Trump, Bad Trump where he discusses the latest things Trump has said or done, and what they mean for November’s election and beyond. Most of the time, we are treated to a balance of both.
Admittedly, Donald Trump has been good lately. His trip to Mexico was statesman-like, his reaction to Hillary’s [insert dire medical condition here] was quiet and seemingly heartfelt, and his play call on the Chelsea, NY bombing was accurate. In addition, those who’ve watched him implode on Twitter in the past haven’t had much to react to lately. Certainly, his sucking the wind out of the media in declaring Barack Obama as having been born in the US was glorious to watch.
Trump has also had bad days. When you throw up a socialist pet project like paid maternity leave for your daughter, who couldn’t vote for her dad in the primary because she was still registered as a Democrat, well, this is what gives #NeverTrumpers their daily justification.
The potential problem is this: Good Trump isn’t the real Trump.
We all know candidates and office holders use advisors to refine their positions and statements. This isn’t new, and it’s necessary for good communication. Left on his own to wander the woods, however, Donald Trump wouldn’t just reignite his campaign dumpster fire, he’d air vac his entire campaign to the city dump and napalm a seven-mile radius around it.
So who’s behind this shift to mostly Good Trump? Roger Ailes, formerly of Fox News, and Stephen K. Bannon, formerly of Breitbart. Look at the timing of when both hopped aboard the Trump campaign, and you can pinpoint Trump’s tacking to the right. This is not without benefit, of course. Ailes played a large hand in getting Ronald Reagan elected, and if he and Bannon succeed in getting Trump elected, they will have dealt Hillary a necessary and deadly blow to the Clinton political machine – and potentially give the United States a few, precious seconds to right our course. There is quite a bit to like about that.
However, if what Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro, and others have said about Bannon, and regarding the recent sexual harassment suit against Ailes, we don’t want either of them as a shadow president or Chief of Staff. So here we are — again — with a nominee who talks like a conservative when it suits him (and those sitting on his shoulders), but is more like a billboard than the real deal.
As Steve Deace said on last Thursday’s Glenn Beck Show, Donald Trump will say what he thinks you need to hear to support him at that moment, and does not care about you beyond that. To Donald Trump, we are all Keurig cups (my words). So while Trump is singing us a fairly conservative tune via Ailes/Bannon karaoke, we’re not getting Trump Refined, but Trump Reinvented. Even if the shift is authentic, it’s too late in the game.
Does that mean Trump/Ailes/Bannon will be as bad as Hillary? Not a definitive no, but most likely no. But since we’re seeing Hannity, Ingraham, and others help usher in a new definition of conservatism, we all must ask ourselves – while standing at the booth or sitting at our kitchen tables with the ballot before us: Win or lose, are we prepared to fight the long and hard war to actually put conservatism back into use?
Conservatism isn’t dead, nor is it dying. As a political, social, and economic life philosophy of how things work, conservatism is reality. That Ted Cruz, the most conservative candidate since Reagan, didn’t win in no way means conservatism is the problem. The problem is the people we’ve been electing aren’t conservative.
Oh, what a crappy choice.
Image: tiburi; https://pixabay.com/en/donald-trump-politician-america-1547274/; CC0; Public Domain