For the past 28 years, the undisputed King of Talk Radio and defacto head of the conservative movement, Rush Limbaugh, has repeatedly told us that the reason the GOP continued to lose presidential elections is because we always nominated “moderates”. G.H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney – each the very definition of moderate and each losers. Only when we nominate a true conservative like Ronald Reagan, Mr. Limbaugh proclaimed, can the party win in landslide fashion and successfully return the country to more closely resemble the Founding Fathers’ vision of what America was meant to be.
Then something happened on the golf courses of Palm Beach, FL, that altered Mr. Limbaugh’s devotion to this principle. Principle had to be set aside. There was a good friend who decided to run for president. That friend’s past political statements and actions would certainly never qualify as Conservative in nature. To the contrary. Everything from embracing the Clintons, Barack Obama, Senator Chuck Schumer, Planned Parenthood/abortion, single-payer health care, and the list goes on and on… This person was the antithesis of what Mr. Limbaugh would find as an acceptable Republican candidate for the presidency. I’m referring of course to Donald J. Trump.
And yet since Mr. Trump entered the GOP presidential contest on June 16, 2015, Mr. Limbaugh’s assumed criticism has been queerly absent. In fact, there’s been very little criticism to speak of and more of a muffled cheer-leading instead. With 20 million-plus daily listeners who have been educated on the principles of conservatism by possibly one of the here-to-fore most principled and gifted communicators of our time, one can only imagine how confusing the past 8 months have been for Mr. Limbaugh’s audience. It was reasonable to expect he would show favoritism to one of the true conservatives in the race such as Senators Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Instead, Mr. Limbaugh spent hours of airtime expressing only amused amazement at the wonders of Mr. Trump and his campaign.
Mr. Limbaugh is not the only (self-proclaimed) right of center media personality to betray the conservative movement. Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter have also dropped their principled conservatism to embrace the most left-of-center candidate to come this close to winning the GOP nomination. And it’s become clear that Fox News has followed suit and is now firmly strapped in on the Trump Train as well.
At the risk of sounding the conspiracy theorist, what the hell is going on? How could we possibly be on the brink of nominating the one man who will truly end the Republican Party. Donald J. Trump’s less than subtle dog-whistle calls to racism (inability or unwillingness to denounce outright David Duke and the KKK jump to mind) alone immediately disqualifies. His recent statement to place limits on the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech so he can sue news outlets for printing opinions he dislikes is more than a bit disconcerting. And just this past Tuesday evening Mr. Trump stated that if Speaker of the House Paul Ryan didn’t see things his way, “he’s going to have to pay a big price.”
What in God’s name are we doing? Donald J. Trump is the most dangerous, ridiculous, clownish freak with dictatorial tendencies we’ve ever let get this close to the Presidency of the United States. Wake up and stop this madness before it’s too late. Because with absolute certainty, if our choices this fall are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a big portion of the GOP conservative base will either stay home or vote for the lesser of two evils which is (unbelievably!) Hillary Clinton.