If this election should teach conservatives anything, it is that we need to repent of out idolatry of celebrity and instead focus on people who are qualified, competent, and morally upstanding. Because too many conservatives are captivated by celebrity, the Republican Party got stuck with a thoroughly unqualified, morally depraved, mean spirited, thin skinned little crybaby as the party’s nominee. But this is far from the first time we have embraced celebrity and elevated people who were not worthy of the attention we gave them.
One obvious example is Sarah Palin. She is a perfect example of why you should not elevate people who are not ready for prime time. Palin has famously made a joke of herself over the last eight years, demonstrating that John McCain’s desperation move of picking her as his running mate was a mistake. It was especially harmful to Palin, who has cracked up under the national media spotlight she was not ready to face. Maybe Palin would have crashed and burned no matter what, but it would have happened only in Alaska and not on a national stage. Elevating her before she was ready certainly contributed to her cracking up.
The good news is that traditional conservatives have not been totally sidelined. The Republican Party has great leadership in red states an some good people in congress. Republicans and the conservative movement generally have a number of people who are actually serious about public policy, as well as intelligent and knowledgeable. Those are the people we need to be elevating in the future. It will not be as easy to elevate people who are actually qualified over the celebrity of the moment but that is what we must do.