The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

David Horowitz Schools Jonah Goldberg: #NeverTrump as Moral Cowardice

Posted on | August 20, 2018 | Comments Off on David Horowitz Schools Jonah Goldberg: #NeverTrump as Moral Cowardice

After a Twitter quarrel that made headlines, David Horowitz decided to make his case against the #NeverTrump crowd at greater length:

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and — incidentally — conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities — appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet. . . .

You can read the whole thing. Politics is a team sport. In a two-party system, being a team player often forces us to make difficult choices. After the 2012 GOP primary campaign, when I twice went “all-in” on candidates (first Herman Cain, then Rick Santorum) trying to stop Mitt Romney as the “It’s His Turn” establishment candidate, it was understandably difficult for me to get fired up for Mitt’s fall campaign. And yet, I did. By late September, I’d convinced myself that Mitt had a good chance of beating Obama and, even though Romney was by no means my idea of a conservative, I spent the final weeks of the campaign in cheerleader mode, hoping against hope that Obama could be prevented from getting a second term. Alas, we were “Doomed Beyond All Hope of Redemption,” as I declared after Mitt’s loss.

That experience taught me something, namely that my efforts as a journalist to “make a difference” were futile. The primary voters had their own opinions which I was unable to influence, so I vowed to ignore the 2016 primaries and let the voters hash it out for themselves. This yielded Trump as the nominee and, rather miraculously, he won. Now, however, all the GOP pundit types who’d gone all-in trying to prevent Trump’s nomination are so butthurt about their lack of influence that they can’t get over it. They are like petulant children, ruining a birthday party with a tantrum because they didn’t get the gift they wanted.

Trump is not “my guy.” I have always been for free trade, and oppose protectionism on principle. As for Trump’s tone and temperament, I share many of the concerns of the #NeverTrump crowd, but there is one thing I like very much about Donald Trump: He wins.

You cannot argue with success, unless you would prefer failure. That’s the problem with Jonah Goldberg, et al. If they cannot win with their preferred candidates and tactics, they would rather not win at all. Trump’s success demonstrates a weakness in the “respectable” brand of conservatism the #NeverTrump crowd would prefer.

Horowitz is exactly right that we are in a “political war,” one inaugurated by the Left, in which there are only two sides, and where the consequences of defeat would be disastrous. We have already suffered too much damage from the Left’s war against basic American values and, as a practical matter, conservatives cannot hope to continue the fight unless we can maintain the momentum of winning that began with Trump’s shocking upset victory on Nov. 8, 2016.

My prediction? Trump will keep winning. He has so far defied all expectations. If he can do it again this fall, rescuing congressional Republicans from the dreaded “Blue Wave” in the midterm elections, the #NeverTrump crowd will become permanently irrelevant. Selah.



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