By Lawrence Murray
Erick Erickson, a cuckservative pundit born in Louisiana and raised in the oilfields of Dubai, former editor-in-chief of RedState, and resident of future purple state Georgia, recently penned an op-ed in the (((New York TImes))) outlining his vision of “The G.O.P. After Donald Trump.” Written for consumption by a hostile, progressive audience, the article is pathetic in both substance and purpose, and shows how impotent movement conservatism has become. Making somewhat of a bad faith mockery of his entire message, the NYT-produced video at the beginning features the one and only Glenn Beck yelling over and over “how can you NOT SEE.” So while you’re reading Erickson’s housebroken conservative talking points, you get to hear “nazi” over and over again. Ha. Ha. (NYT also quickly put out an op-ed concern-trolling Erickson’s article).
Erickson believes Trump will lose the election, triggering White nationalist protests that riot police will have to be called in to stop. That should tell you everything you need to know about Erickson’s grip on reality, let alone politics:
In November, when Mr. Trump’s meteor enters the atmosphere of the voting booth, Americans will be treated to a spectacular flameout as late-night comedians and professional Twitter warriors rush to tweet, “You’re fired!” But when the Russians go home, the pastors repent and riot police disperse white nationalist protests, the Republicans will need fresh ideas.
Let’s go through Erickson’s new platform for the Republican party:
Republicans should empower individuals by making school choice a priority. Education must be treated as a civil right, and parents should be allowed to pick where their children go to school. Education dollars should then be allowed to follow those students to those schools.
Sure. Whatever. We all know the problem with all schools that have a “problem”—nine times out of ten—is race. If you don’t want to talk about that, that’s fine, but literally everyone knows what is meant by “good schools” versus “bad schools,” and that wanting “school choice” reflects dissatisfaction with the latter. If you are going to be a coward on issues regarding the education of your own children, there is perhaps nothing you will sincerely take a stand for. This is absolutely impotent conservatism, the kind that coastal progressives enjoy mopping up.
The Republican Party must be the party of religious liberty. When beliefs clash, people and government need to accommodate those differences. To force people of faith to adhere to secular standards is as much an imposition of a religious viewpoint as forcing secular people to adhere to the standards of a religion.
This is a bit of a new low to be honest. Erickson won’t even say the cringeworthy qualifier “Judeo-Christian” in making his veiled defense of the idea that Christian churches, hospitals, businesses, schools, etc. should be free from the government’s ideological interference. Everyone knows he is talking about birth control and gay wedding cakes but he can’t even say that. Worse still, the idea that secular authorities must always be accommodating of religious differences opens an obvious door to allowing shariah courts, or tolerating the tribalistic and corrupt practices of local governments of public institutions run in areas with high concentrations of ultra-orthodox overseas Israelis. You know, because muh religious free-free.
Get government out of the marketplace, except to ensure a level playing field and protect against fraud. It must support innovation and creative disruption, lower taxes and reduce regulation. And it must find ways to help people transition out of our archaic social welfare programs by assisting them in establishing individual savings accounts that could pay for health care and college educations.
This does nothing to get the government out of the marketplace in ways that will actually matter. Civil rights interventions, diversity compliance, disparate impact monitoring, “anti-discrimination,” and “affirmative action” policies all remain intact, enforced by government directive, corporate promotion, and cultural approval.” You’re not getting the government “out of the marketplace” if you have nothing to say about the government dictating how employers should manage human resources. In keeping with the theme of obscurity and vagueness, Erickson says Republicans should “ensure a level playing field,”a directive which in practice amounts to leveling the tallest to empower the shortest if you allow the left to participate. Supporting “innovation” obviously means interfering in the marketplace as well.
Don’t make contradictory ideological claims back to back. It makes you look stupid. Also what does “assisting” people in “establishing individual savings accounts” even mean? Should Republicans walk welfare recipients to the bank? Is that what conservatism means? Telling unemployed and low-wage people to put their money into savings accounts? Do they have money to save? The United States needs welfare reform, but it also needs real alternatives. Moreover, to talk about welfare without talking about the elephant of color in the room is again, a sign of how impotent this brand of conservatism is.
Republicans should establish themselves as the party of heterogeneity, opposed to one-size-fits-all morality. Different communities should have the freedom to be different in the public square. To do that, the party must reduce the one-size-fits-all government in Washington and empower those laboratories of democracy: state and local government.
This doesn’t even make sense. Republican are currently the party of homogeneity, if their voter base is anything to go by—overwhelmingly White. What Erickson is suggesting, without being explicit, is that Republicans pivot to trying to attract voters of color instead of pursuing policies that would conserve their demographic base. Ironically, Democrats recognize that this demographic base is their rival, much like the banished paleoconservatives recognized that it was necessary to American conservatism’s political viability. Erickson probably realizes what is happening as well—the browning of the electorate—which is why he thinks Republicans need to embrace diversity. But those people don’t vote for conservatives, which means you have to adopt non-conservative positions to even try to get their interest. And they already have a non-conservative party which they are loyal to.
This is the story of the Republican party for the last few decades though, not any sort of innovation on Erickson’s part. It is a story of trying to be less left-wing Democrats, which does not attract Democrats. Democrats vote for Democrats. Being lite-wing just forces existing Republicans to become more liberal to avoid getting ousted from their party. Nothing is being conserved.
Most important, the Republican Party must recommit to a basic principle — character counts… Republicans will have to make amends for defining deviancy down to defend the indefensible Donald Trump.
Winning counts. You will be measured by your victories in politics, not defeats. Unless you lose all the time. Then we’ll remember you as a loser.
Also published at Atlantic Centurion.