Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman turned presidential candidate, is finishing the job Barack Obama started: the destruction of the conservative movement as a cultural and political force. Erick Erickson notes:
When I wrote in National Review that I was against Donald Trump, I said and have maintained since his entry into the race that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, I would support him. No longer. Donald Trump believes the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood. Donald Trump believes there are good things the child killers do. What is most damning is how so many are willing to be compromised by Donald Trump.
For eight years the conservative movement compromised itself as a wing of George W. Bush’s Republican Party. The movement became ill defined and conservative became a synonym with Republican.
Already we are seeing pastors and religious leaders compromising their integrity to vote for Donald Trump. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has joined the whores of Moloch, defending Trump’s Planned Parenthood statement on Twitter. Falwell presides over an institution that expels students who have abortions, but is willing to give positive lip service to Trump saying there are good things Planned Parenthood does.
If Trump were elected President, there would be members of the pro-life movement who would compromise their convictions for access to power.
If Trump were elected, portions of the conservative movement would compromise the movement to be one degree from Donald Trump. The intellectual institutions on which we have made our case for limited government and freedom would crumble.
And on top of it all, the oligarchs would be just fine. They would coddle and humor a President Trump, a man of mountainous ego, and get their way while the very people Donald Trump promises to help would get table scraps.
Everybody who follows Donald Trump and takes the time to actually listen to what he has to say knows that his pro-life conversion is fake. No man who’s truly pro-life — especially one who used to support abortion, but who changed his views after being confronted with the ugly truth of baby killing — would ever suggest appointing a pro-partial birth abortion judge to the Supreme Court or would, on a debate stage, defend the butchers of Planned Parenthood. Yet, that’s precisely what Donald Trump has done and continues to do.
Amazingly, though, there are influential and, until a few months ago, respected members of the conservative movement who have joined forces with this man, heralding him as the best thing to happen to America since George Washington.
By doing so, they are bringing not only themselves into disrepute, but the entire conservative movement. The movement is being torn apart. If Trump is the Republican nominee, expect a full-blown conservative civil war. That will be the movement’s undoing. What’s more, Trump’s conservative supporters discredit the entire movement because they are rightly called out for their hypocrisy. Entire swaths of voters and commentators wonder where the conservative principles these folks used to talk about suddenly went. Was all that talk about moral values and principles just that: talk? Many people will conclude that that’s exactly what it was. Posturing, grandeur, political games. Not something that was actually heartfelt.
And that’ll be the death knell to the conservative movement as a whole: no ideological movement can continue to exist if it no longer defends the values it’s supposed to uphold.