WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN-TRUMPED? – Prompted by Red State (a group blog that was in its infancy during the first Chrenkoff era, and went to become a significant conservative website eventually acquired by Salem Media) mass firing its anti-Trump contributors, Ace mulls over choices that right-of-centre bloggers and writers have to make in the era of Trump:
Some time ago I faced the choice of doing an anti-Trump-but-pro-conservative blog, or getting on board with Trump. (The latter turned out to be easier than I thought, as the idea of President Hillary Clinton got my partisan dander up.)
But when I was contemplating the idea of a blog that was allegedly pro-conservative while simultaneously being against the key player (flaws and all) of the actual on-the-ground real-world conservative movement, I realized: This makes no sense.
What’s the audience for that? How many readers would that attract? How narrow a window would I have to shoot for, simultaneously opposing the president and the putative leader of the conservative movement while also allegedly being a bright red TruCon gung-ho for conservative political victories?
Wouldn’t any conservative political victory redound to Trump’s benefit? And wouldn’t my opposition to Trump mean that I would not welcome such victories?
Not being an American voter, I never had to face the actual existential dread of having to choose between Donald and Hillary, though as someone fascinated by politics and conscious of the continuing importance of the United States as the leader of the Free World, I do have an interest in seeing America that is strong and sound at home and abroad. Who leads her clearly matters – and thank God it’s not Hillary. During the Republican primaries I was fond of Rubio and Cruz; The Don was probably my last choice. I’ve never been a fan of Trump as a human being, and as a politician – and right-wing politician in particular – he is hit and miss. I’m still not particularly pro-Trump, though I’m strongly anti-anti-Trump when this sentiment, as it often does, verges into hysteria or “derangement syndrome” as it is also called. This ambivalent attitude is reflected in my writings. Unlike Ace, or the proprietors of Red State, I’m not concerned about the numbers of visitors to my blog. I write because I like it; consequently The Daily Chrenk is not, and will not be, a commercial enterprise that brings me fame and fortune. As such, I don’t care if readers and potential readers find me insufficiently pro-Trump or insufficiently anti-Trump, or insufficiently unambiguous. So there are some definite creative benefits to being not important.
Ace is right that anti-Trump conservatism is a narrow niche. Great majority of the base supports the president. The NeverTrumpers and anti-Trumpers are quite numerous amongst the conservative commentariat, but their numbers are out of proportion and unrepresentative of the broader conservative movement. And so, Ace is also correct in his ultimate conclusion:
This is why I keep predicting that various NeverTrumpers will undergo political reassignment surgery to become Atlantic writers. Or will try to. I think some of them understand that in politics, you do need to be mostly one thing or the other, and some are opting to transition to becoming soft Democrats or conservative Democrats. Or moderates.
Anything that will make them potential hires by non-conservative outlets.
I think a lot of them have begun to understand this dilemma, and are taking some steps towards a “soft reboot” of their political beliefs to be more palatable to liberals. The “Libertarian” half-step will appeal to many.
I see some of the more prominent NeverTrumpers sounding CNN-friendly notes, as one example of this.
Another possibility for someone caught in this trap — and I mention this because I thought about it a lot, myself — is transitioning to being a writer who writes mostly about some other specialty and only occasionally about politics. Personally, the idea of this appealed to me, but it failed in practical reality because I don’t know much about anything. But other writers have areas besides politics they do know well or are at least interested in, and could remake themselves into writers about those things who also have some political opinions too.
See people like Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bill Kristol, Ben Howe, and so on, who now have more fans and respect on the left than on the right. As for me, even though not NeverTrump but merely exasperated with politics in general, like Ace I don’t know much about anything else. So being outraged on a daily basis it is.