The problem with the Trumpian Right’s criticism of “establishment” conservatives is that the criticism is almost never about actual policy or arguments, but bitterly complaining about people personally. Included is usually a hefty dose of bitterness over 2016 and conservatives who did not support Trump. My response is this: Get over it, snowflakes. Trump is President. You won. Move on. Stop crying about a battle from three years ago and start fighting the battles of today.
Yes, there is a debate to be had about the future of conservatism. Does a libertarian mentality lead to defeat? We are seeing a broad collapse of the social order: Conservative speech online is being censored by Big Tech, ad revenue is being taken away, and a “cancel” subculture seeks to destroy the careers of those who are not sufficiently “woke.” This is why we are seeing some conservatives call for regulation of Big Tech. The election of Donald Trump has in large part been a reaction to the Left’s aggressiveness in the culture.
What we are seeing is a growing move to have government impose conservative values – to fight aggressively on our behalf. I understand the appeal of that. Meanwhile libertarians argue that we will not be in power forever, and building an infrastructure where government can impose values beyond protecting people from direct harm will be used against us. I fall on the libertarian side of that argument, but it is a worthwhile discussion on the Right.
But any chance for an actual discussion of that issue is sabotaged when the Trumpian Right abandons discussion about philosophy and ideology to bitterly complain about and personally attack people like David French. The ideological and philosophical debate is obscured by childish and petty personality conflicts. Instead of having a debate about tactics and ideology, we debate the specific merits of attacks on specific individuals. This is why the Trumpian Right spins its wheels much of the time, because personality conflicts are preventing them from advancing an actual policy agenda.
If we oppose the Left, and if we are actually conservative, then we should act like it. We need to stop these petty personality conflicts. We may never agree on a wider philosophical vision or about what specific tactics should be used, but we can recognize that we are all on the same side and should work together. And above all else, stop whining and crying about conservatives who did not support Donald Trump in 2016. Get over it already.