Politics

Trumpism and a Reckoning at RedState

Salem Media cleaned house at the conservative media site, and its founder takes issue with it.

Harold Hutchison · May 4, 2018

Recently, Salem Media Group, which owns Townhall and Eagle Publishing, and which runs a number of syndicated shows (including Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager), laid off a number of writers and editors from RedState. Erick Erickson, the site’s former editor-in-chief said, “The site name will linger, but RedState is all but dead now. I have invited the fired writers here” to The Resurgent, Erickson’s new site. (Note: We carry Erickson’s column in our Right Opinion site.)

Erickson claims that “Salem never had any idea what to do with RedState and it was very obvious.” Well, no, that isn’t quite true. The problem is that RedState has now faced an overdue reckoning, and that reckoning was coming in part because of Erickson.

Back in 2016, we called out the site over its track record of tactical and strategic incompetence, notably backing bad candidates in Senate races in the 2010 and 2012 election cycle and bad strategy in the 2013 government shutdown, and for its failure to understand that the changing threats and media landscape required a fundamental reevaluation of the current array of strategy and tactics.

Now, in the face of growing evidence that our liberties are at great risk from, among many things, bureaucrats who have chosen to play politics, as well as a Democrat Party whose senators and attorneys general are willing to use RICO on those who dissent from their position on climate change, Erickson seems unwilling to do what many grassroots Republican primary voters did in the 2016 campaign.

They rejected the dynastic succession of Jeb Bush (despite some interesting ideas on education reform), the doctrinaire conservatism of Ted Cruz, and the mushy moderation of John Kasich. Even Marco Rubio’s media savvy and Scott Walker’s successful fight against government employee unions were rejected in favor of Donald Trump. Why?

Trump had the guts to do something different — to do things his way, even in the face of vehement (and principled) conservative objection. Judging by the results so far — tax reform, the defeat of ISIS, numerous conservative judges, and things moving the right direction with North Korea being the highlights — it’s working.

While Erickson can see the bullying from the Left for what it is, whether on gun control, its view of non-progressive Americans as backwards racists, or even the efforts to compel speech by bakers or crisis pregnancy centers, he can’t resist his own form of asserting superiority over “Trump humpers” who “cop out” when they argue they are looking for a president, not a pastor.

Erickson argues that RedState was unfairly purged of any conservative voices that still dissent from Trump. But, in a sense, Trump is securing for conservatives the right to hash out what the post-Trump future of conservatism will be.

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