Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Let me answer the question.  ‘Cause it’s an interesting question, the email question.  All during the campaign we witnessed the evolution of a group of people that became known as the Never Trumpers.  Now, the Never Trumpers, there were some exceptions, but for the most part the Never Trumpers would be the doctrinaire conservatives of Washington and New York, what I call the intellectual conservatives. 

These are people that are in the media as pundits and commentators.  They are in the media as magazine publishers and editors and writers.  And some of them are just television persons.  Others are columnists in newspapers.  And many of them rely — this is very, very key to understand — many of them rely on the generosity of the public for their enterprises remaining open every day. 

They accept donations; they seek funding; and they do so — this would include some think tanks, too — they do so under the pretext that they define conservatism.  They alone define it; they alone protect it; they alone promote it as it should be; they alone have the connections into positions of power where conservatism can be properly communicated to people in power.  And, as such, it is terribly important that they remain viable.  And sometimes they can’t sell enough subscriptions to stay viable so they have to have a donation held for fundraising or what have you. 

And this aspect of conservatism — I like a lot of people in it.  Don’t misunderstand me, now.  This aspect of conservatism has been around a long, long time.  And, look, people may not like hearing it, but there are some of these institutions that do have to fundraise, and they do have to accept donations in order to stay viable and for their people that work there to get paid.  So that’s something that has to be very, very well guarded and protected.  And above all, the reputation must remain intact.  That group is where real conservatism is located.  That is where the intellectual truths, the sacred screeds, the Red Sea scrolls of conservatism are maintained within that group of people. 

And if you’re not in that group of people and are conservative, you’re okay, but you are an outlier.  So here comes Trump.  And many — not all — but many of the people who have been devoted to that branch of conservatism found Trump very attractive, and they began to shift to Trump.  Well, the gatekeepers of conservatism said, “Wait a minute.  Trump’s not conservative.  This is dangerous.  We can’t have conservatism redefined as what Trump is.  Trump is a populist.  Populism isn’t conservatism.  This is terrible.  This is terrible.” 

Their life’s work has been devoted to maintaining conservatism, promoting it, implementing it as best they can, and keeping it defined in an intellectual, ideological purity.  And so here comes a bull in a china shop within Donald Trump, and many people are calling him conservative, and the true arbiters are bothered by that; they don’t think he is.  They don’t want conservatism to get redefined, misdefined, even though many of those people, many of these people I’m talking about have people in ’em who tell us we gotta forget Reagan, the era of Reagan is over, they warn us.  We must move forward.  The left never says the era of FDR is over, by the way. 

So Trump comes along and represents a threat to, in some cases, a lifetime of work, of defining conservatism, protecting it, writing about it, talking about it, implementing it, influencing power brokers to be conservative.  Here comes Trump just stealing some of it, and he’s not even a conservative, they say.  So they had to oppose him.  And they had to oppose him in a rock-solid, rock-ribbed way on a number of bases, but one of the bases on which they sought to protect it was they could not allow for Trump to in any way redefine conservatism in a way that would expose them as unnecessary going forward. 

So the Never Trumpers, there are many people in the group and they have very many different reasons for being opposed to Trump, but now Trump is coming along and as the emailer asked me about here’s Trump nominating all these people that, I mean, if you’re a doctrinaire conservative, you’re gonna have a tough time opposing any of these people.  I mean, Betsy DeVos at education is prime.  I mean, there’s no way!  We might not have even gotten that with a Bush!  And there’s no way that we would have gotten Tom Price, somebody who is adamantly anti-Obama and maybe got some problem with Medicare.

I mean, these are people that are uniformly acceptable, and some of them even happily accepted and inspiring.  There’s some problems out there.  Now, the Never Trumpers love Romney.  They think Romney’d be great because he’s one of them, they think, in a way.  Not all of them do.  But it’s got to be a dilemma, wouldn’t you think, Mr. Snerdley?  It has to be a dilemma because this was not supposed to happen.  Trump was not even supposed to know these kind of people.  I mean, Trump was gonna know Vinny from the tire shop down there in east Hoboken and put him in charge of the Department of the Interior and then he’s gonna turn him loose and Vinny from Hoboken is gonna be chopping down every tree in every National Park. Oh, my God, these people, it doesn’t compute. 

But it’s a problem for Never Trumpers.  They’ve gotta maintain the Never Trump position for a host of reasons, primarily among the beliefs is that Trump is a phony and eventually he’s gonna expose who he really is down the road and they have to stay home where doctrinaire, mainstream conservatism is to be there to pick up the pieces when Trump blows it.  I mean, that’s one of the thoughts.  There are many, many, many aspects to this.  I’ve generalized this as best I can for the constraints of time, again, which, I’m out of.

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