RUSH: This is Kurt Schlichter at Townhall. The title of his piece is “Conservative, Inc., Is Being Replaced by Us Militant Normals.”
Let me tell you what this column is about. The “conservative movement,” quote-unquote, has always been thought of to be a specific, certain thing with membership of specific, identifiable individuals. And it was always thought that there was unity within the conservative movement because conservatism is a set of principles and core beliefs and values — and if you ascribe to them, you’re a conservative; if you don’t, you’re not. Well, that isn’t the case anymore.
Conservatism has been butchered. It has been redefined as people seeking to lead the movement wish to define it. Conservatism has become exclusionary. In other words, some of the big-time leaders of the so-called conservative movement — and I mean in their minds, the leaders — have decided to say that certain people aren’t conservatives even though you might think they are and certain people are. One of the litmus tests was Trump. At first, it was impossible for any “real” conservative to support Trump.
And if you did, then you were betraying conservatism, and you were betraying everybody who believed in you as a conservative. There was widespread fear, disgust, and anger over Trump, because Trump became as popular as conservatives really want to be. Conservatives, I think, would love to have the kind of popularity Trump had during the campaign. But they haven’t had it. Reagan did, but there are few beyond Reagan that have. But many of them have sought it. Trump came along and appropriated some of the conservative agenda. Not all of it.
The parts of the conservative agenda that he appropriated, the leaders of the conservative movement thought that Trump butchered. And they felt very, very frightened and scared that Trump was going to ruin conservatism by redefining it as populism and that many people were gonna the end up thinking they were conservative when they really, really weren’t. When they really, really were populists. So the leaders of conservatism — and these are self-anointed people, by the way. They publish magazines; they run blogs; they run websites.
Many of them are media related. Many of them live off donors — a very conservative thing to do. Ahem. Ahem! But nevertheless, they are self-appointed, and they were sitting there deciding who was and wasn’t and is and isn’t a conservative. So Mr. Schlichter comes along here and breaks this down and unpacks it for us. “Conservative, Inc., Is Being Replaced by Us Militant Normals.” Let me give you a pull quote here. This is the kind of thing if you were gonna highlight this to send to somebody, I’d have to highlight the whole thing.
But nevertheless, here’s a pull quote: “Who are the normals? The Americans who built this country, and defended it. When you eat, it’s because a normal grew the food and another normal trucked it to you. When you aren’t murdered in the street or don’t speak German, it’s because a normal with a gun made those things not happen. We normals don’t want to rule over others. We don’t obsess about how you live your life, but also we don’t want to be compelled to signal our approval or pick up the tab. We are every color and creed — though when someone who is incidentally a member of some other group aligns with normals, he/she/xe loses that identity.
“The left drums normals who are black out of its definition of ‘black,’ just as normal women get drummed out of womanhood and normal gays get drummed out gayhood. In a way, the left is making E pluribus unum a reality again — to choose to be normal is to choose to reject silly identity group identification and unite. Instead of saying ‘normal Americans,’ you can just say ‘Americans.’ Note that while leftists rail against the term ‘normals…'” Mr. Schlichter says, “When I use it on Twitter, the reactions are always delightful!”
You know what I mean when I say normal American, don’t you? Many of you in this audience consider yourselves normal Americans, and you know that because you’re normal you’re under assault, because not everybody is normal. There’s some oddballs out there. There’s some freaks and kooks. And you know who they are. They know who they are. But they don’t want to be considered freaks and kooks, so they attack you so that you can’t be normal.
You can’t say there’s a normal. “We’re a melting pot. We are a diverse, giant melting pot of all kinds of different things, and there is no normal.” And you who think you’re normal are gonna be attacked. And that is part and parcel of what’s going on. “Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore.”
Mr. Schlichter writes, “We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect. But if you leftists veto that option, that leaves us either a society where you rule and oppress us, or one where we hold the power. So let me break this down, both for the left and for their fussy Fredocon enablers: You don’t get to win.”
Those are pull quotes. Here’s the beginning. “I guess now we’re not supposed to be fighting culture wars anymore — man, it’s so hard to keep up with these ever-changing new rules! I’m old enough to remember way back to 2016, before Trump got nominated, and I could have sworn Conservative Inc. –” the conservative movement run by the conservative elitists, “– was gung-ho for the whole culture war thing. But then Trump actually fought it, taking on the big, soft target that is the spoiled, semi-literate athletes who like to rub their contempt for the flag we love in our faces. Now we suddenly discover that fighting back is horribly uncouth,” and it’s just not done. Fighting back is so, so messy.
But conservative Inc., oh, yeah, they were all for fighting the culture war on the page, in the think tank, from the podium. But don’t really do it. Don’t actually go out there and actually fight the culture war against the left. That’s so messy.
“I would have thought from all those cruise panels about how our crumbling culture is slouching toward Babylon and the need to resist the liberal onslaught that maybe we ought to actually resist the liberal onslaught, but see, that was my mistake. I took it seriously when Conservative, Inc., promised to fight the leftist blitzkrieg against normal Americans. It was all a scam, a lie, a pose for us rubes. The Tru Cons didn’t actually mean it. There’s a lot of that not meaning it going on in the GOP right now.
“Exhibit A is John McCain, who ran ads touting how he was leading the way in opposing Obamacare only to give it aid and comfort when someone in the White House would actual sign its repeal. He’s the guy the establishment designated to lose to Barack Obama in 2008, and he was sure up to the task. But in retrospect, thank goodness, because McCain’s inevitable presidential betrayal of conservatives by breaking his word then and treating GOP voters like he treated his first wife would have done exponentially more damage to conservatism than Trump being prevented from keeping his word today ever could.”
Did you follow that? Just checking. Because that’s quite a hard-hitting statement, that McCain and his betrayal of conservatism is so routine and profound that had he ever been president he would have done more damage to conservatism than Trump could ever hope to. We move on.
“It’s so good to know that, despite his wonderful, close, awesome friend humiliating him while lying to Arizona’s voters, Lindsey Graham is still the blue falcon’s buddy. No hard feelings! There used to be a thing called ‘conservatism,’ and I knew it pretty well since I was part of it for about a third of a century. But conservatism changed, becoming less about principles and more about money-grubbing navel gazing and intellectual onanism.”
Do you know what onanism is? It’s masturbation. You might want to pronounce it onanism. You might want to pronounce it onanism. I guess onanism makes the point. So now that you know what the word means, let me reread the sentence, okay?
“But conservatism changed, becoming less about principles and more about money-grubbing navel gazing and intellectual onanism. Actual Republican voters, actual normal Americans? Well, they became kind of beside the point in the tumbler-klinking world of the John Boehnercons, and to the corporate-friendly compassioncons who put the interests of everyone else ahead of the GOP voters who voted the establishment in.
“Conservativism forgot about the real world conservatives we expected to line up behind us. While we were talking about free trade, we were ignoring that GOP voter who fought in Fallujah, came home, got a job building air conditioners, raised a family, and then one day watched the video of the oh-so-sorry CEO — who looked remarkably like Mitt Romney, because all these guys look remarkably like Mitt Romney — sadly informing his beloved employees that their jobs were getting shipped to Oaxaca. And our response to the 58-year old Republican voter who asked us how he was going to keep paying for his mortgage and his kid in college? Pretty much, ‘Well, that’s how free enterprise works. Read some Milton Freidman,'” and go learn something.
I gotta take a break here. But you get the gist of it. It’s an unveiled attack on the phoniness and the pretentiousness of what Mr. Schlichter thinks is the conservative movement. Conservative, Inc., they write, they speak, they talk, but when it comes time to doing, you can’t tell ’em apart from the others in the establishment.
RUSH: Limited time here. Let me stick with this. Because it goes on, it prints out to like three or four pages. “Conservativism forgot about the real world conservatives we expected to line up behind us. While we were talking about free trade, we were ignoring that GOP voter who fought in Fallujah, came home, got a job building air conditioners, raised a family, and then one day watched the video of the oh-so-sorry CEO … sadly informing his beloved employees that their jobs were getting shipped to Oaxaca. And our response to the 58-year old Republican voter who asked us how he was going to keep paying for his mortgage and his kid in college? Pretty much, ‘Well, that’s how free enterprise works. Read some Milton Freidman,'” go read some theory. Go read some philosophy. It’s how it works.
Schlichter writes, “That’s not a response, not for a political party that requires people to actually vote for it. That’s an abdication, but what did Conservative, Inc., care? Priorities! ‘There’s this new tapas place in Georgetown everyone is talking about — the other night, my buddy from the Liberty Freedom Eagle Institute for Liberty, Freedom and Eagles saw Lawrence O’Donnell there getting hammered!'”
His point here is that the conservative movement, for lack of a better term, has actually become an intellectual enterprise, an intellectual exercise that does not engage in any warrior-like activity to change anything, does not actually ever see the battlefield, just comments on it, approvingly or disapprovingly of other conservatives and is largely unhelpful. Mr. Schlichter feels betrayed by them, and that’s the point of his piece. He explains why these people now vote Trump and not for conservative GOP.