Who Wouldn't Lose Faith After the Establishment's Track Record?
There's really just one big reason why interest in a third party is growing.
There’s a disturbing cluelessness among a lot of Republican and conservative leaders in the pundit and political class. We see outlets like National Review asking whether Donald Trump fans have lost faith in institutions and democracy. That’s really the wrong question. The right one is, “Who wouldn’t lose faith after the track record the establishment has posted?”
Here’s one case in point: We rebutted David French (formerly of National Review) in January over his claims that many who advocated electing and reelecting President Trump were lying about left-wing hatred for grassroots Patriots and the stakes involving our First Amendment rights. Since that two-part fact-check, something even more disturbing emerged.
On February 18, The Root published an article in which several national security “experts” compared the Republican Party to a terrorist cell. In a quote later “clarified” (with a note about the clarification at the bottom of the article), Kyle Bibby said, “If they were in Afghanistan, we would’ve hit them. Either a raid, drop a bomb on them, whatever it is.” Bibby went on to say that outlets like Fox News, Breitbart, OANN, and the Republican Party would be sanctioned. The article also quoted Malcolm Nance, a frequent MSNBC contributor, and Pam Keith, a failed congressional candidate who sought professional retaliation against those who were backing President Trump’s legal efforts in the wake of the 2020 election.
The silence from so-called “Never-Trump” types has been deafening. So is that of the Republican/conservative establishment. While National Review’s Dan McLaughlin did call it out on Twitter, outside of Breitbart News, there was precious little coverage. The big conservative names responding to this were Dinesh D'Souza, Nick Searcy, and Kurt Schlichter.
The weasel-worded clarification that The Root hastily added doesn’t hide the fact that a good-sized portion of the Left has viewed Republicans as the next incarnation of the Nazis — and did so long before Trump ran. It was being said during the 2016 campaign as well, but there is a lengthy history of such rhetoric from the Left, including:
- Paul Ryan pushing an old woman off a cliff
- The false claims that Sarah Palin incited the Gabby Giffords shooting
- False claims from the likes of Bernie Sanders that repealing ObamaCare was mass murder, which nearly got Steve Scalise and other Republicans killed
- False comparisons to ISIS and the Ku Klux Klan
Given that pattern of rhetoric and abuse, many grassroots Patriots in 2016 came to rightfully fear what Hillary Clinton would do, and their votes for Trump were aimed at stopping Hillary — with any policy gains seen as gravy. In 2020, it was about putting a check on an administrative state and stopping a Democrat Party that was increasingly embracing totalitarian tactics. Lest you think this sounds paranoid, remember: The “national security experts” consulted by The Root were fine with dropping bombs on the Republican Party they freely likened to al-Qaida. Compared to that, what’s Silicon Valley censorship, IRS targeting, leaning on financial service companies to boycott the NRA, or sending out a flood of mail-in ballots while dismantling any of the guardrails to ensure the integrity of the vote?
The failure over the years to push back meaningfully against this rhetoric had consequences, as Dennis Prager and a certain Time magazine article illustrate. Furthermore, since challenging the irregularities of the 2020 election was “fundamentally wicked,” might the Left resort to further abuses of power against those it views as evil? Yet too many in the establishment treat these genuinely concerned grassroots Patriots as being crazy for simply believing leftists when they are telling us what they would do if they had the power.
Worse, when the track record of lying has apparently motivated abuses, the establishment has failed to act. Loyalty cannot be a one-way street. Political leaders — whether pundits or politicians — owe loyalty to those whose support they accepted, and part of that is defending their supporters when they are unfairly maligned or abused. Failure to do so is a justifiable reason for those at the grassroots level to lose faith in the establishment.
By contrast, Trump has shown that sort of loyalty and earned the support of many grassroots Patriots, for good or ill. Will establishment folks listen, learn, and do the work to regain as much of that faith as possible, or will they drive grassroots Patriots to seek another Trump?