Leaders of men

Leaders of men

The old conservative movement is dead. It’s time for us to face that facts. The old leaders of the movement are either gone, ineffective, or have betrayed us.  We will have to rebuild from the ground up going forward on November 9, regardless of who wins.  This fact is inescapable, and we should realize that going forward we must do better.

The death of the conservative movement transpired this year, but probably occurred long before this point. There was no unified movement, but there were leaders that guided conservatives in directions, think Buckley. The leaders of the movement were always able to marshal supporters into action, but never crossed lines of support or unified behind one single leader.  The closest the leaders would come to unifying behind one leader was Reagan. No one person has been able to unify the leaders and gather the support of all.

Conservative figures have exposed themselves by their choices this year. Any figure that directly endorses Donald Trump has either sold their soul or revealed that they are not conservatives, but party loyalists in nature. Talk radio has, for the most part, decided to either enthusiastically support Trump; or reluctantly fall-in line and crush anyone critical of the nominee.  The few hold outs (and I stress few) are on their own.

Limbaugh failed by only talking about Trump and never much about the others. I stopped listening to him when I realized that the most conservative candidate in the race was not getting talked about, and would never get his endorsement.  Most will say that Rush has a policy of not endorsing in the primary. That sounds good, but when more carefully considered it becomes absurd.  A “conservative” leader with millions of listeners, who can sway voters, decides that he will not help undecided voters pick the most conservative candidate.  Why?  Rush, by picking a candidate, would be signaling his sympathies. And, if that person lost or was not the right conservative for some of his audience, he would lose his sway and part of his audience would desert him.

Mark Levin meanwhile backed someone else during the primaries, and to keep everyone in suspense, did not endorse the Republican nominee until after the convention. When he finally came out, he said would be voting for Donald Trump, but that he would call him out for any misdeeds.  We expected him to be fair in this, but it seems that was only in passing.

Levin has attacked any article or interview that is critical of Donald Trump.  The Megyn Kelly interview with Newt comes to mind as an example. He attacked Kelly for asking questions about the nominee for President. Evidently, Kelly should not have asked questions which any reasonable person could infer meant the nominee had a problem with women.  Except, the candidate himself had said these tawdry claims about assaulting women.  Levin has become as avid a supporter as Hannity.

The figures who supported Trump early and enthusiastically have exposed themselves for the same reasons as talk radio figures. Trump was able to buy into his conservative credentials by paying to play with certain groups.  Reports based upon donation forms have him donating to CPAC and subsequently speaking at their conferences. The same problem for talk radio has polluted the thinkers and conferences that exist on the right.

Evangelical leaders endorsing Trump have said that he is a Christian and has acted accordingly. Generally, when I hear this argument, I can’t help but to laugh hysterically.  Any one championing the nominee as a Christian either has blinders on or is lying to you.  A Christian does not say that Planned Parenthood is good, brags about extramarital affairs, advocates assaulting women, or says they live their life without asking for forgiveness.

The faux conservative movement has been revealed to us.  And thus conservatives have a Herculean task to fix the problems.

Those who claim that conservatives are better than liberals at “hero worship” are lying to you. The selection of the Republican Nominee this year has exposed that many do not either believe in conservatism, or that they do not think deeper about their positions.  How could a Liberal donor who endorsed Hillary Clinton two years-ago, and supported most of the liberal positions, then switch to the Republican Party and become the Presidential nominee? Especially without any obvious change-of-life moments, or deeper thoughts on why he converted?

The Shibboleth that conservatives could count on our leaders to advocate for us has been shattered by this election cycle. Conservative leaders have been weakened in every area of the movement.  Those who did not kneel before Zod have lost some of their support.  Those who made their obeisance generally substitute their old talisman for a newer totem that only costs $9.99.

Conservatives need to realize that the movement has become a caricature of itself. We have long-condemned and ridiculed the left for following blindly and never thinking or reasoning it through. The right is no longer exempt from this criticism. When you get mad at liberal commentators criticizing our side— just remember this election cycle.  We could have argued-away local elections in which McConnell, Graham, or McCain were able to keep their seats but not with this liberal nominee.

I know that there are different groups supporting Trump, and I do not believe that his supporters are monolithic. I will not condemn all of those voting for him. That is not my purpose.  But the leaders who blindly supported Trump are forever tainted.  I might listen to them, but it will take a lot for them to regain my trust.  We need to make sure that we are developing new leaders.

We must realize that conservatives need to understand the beliefs of this movement. People need to think for longer than a few moments about our decisions and beliefs.  Conservatives should be ready to defend their beliefs, and no longer rely on just that great reason “because.”

Conservatives must change the way they see themselves and the way they conduct themselves. A hard look in the mirror is required.  We can no longer be the angry people hating the left.  Christians need to re-orient themselves to the bible and stop supporting liberal companies with our money.  We should stop funding our demise and search for alternatives and spreading the word about replacements.

I say this not only knowing that I am guilty of these same problems, but realizing that I need to change. The way conservatives have been acting, however, is not working. We must rethink how we act.  We need to become leaders ourselves.  We need to inform ourselves and realize that we are examples to others.  If we want to change the movement, then we start by reevaluating ourselves.

Michael Reuel

Michael is a native Texan raised as a Christian Gentleman. He is a proud Conservative.