“Grow up, conservatives.” That’s what conservative Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona told his supporters in 1960 when it looked like the liberals were in charge of the Republican Party. Goldwater went on to win the GOP presidential nomination four years later.
The craziness we’ve seen from defeated Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama – and now from fired White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury” – is another “grow up” and “wise up” moment for conservatives.
The Democrats subscribe to a “no enemies to the left” philosophy. They can scarcely bring themselves to say bad things about the crazies on the extreme left, the Antifa thugs, the nuts who scream down people they disagree with.
If the Democratic philosophy is stupid, the answer isn’t an equal and opposite “no enemies to the right” response from conservatives.
Before we learned about allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, we had heard that he was an unprincipled creep. Before Bannon back-stabbed President Trump, we knew that he was a one-man show with serious ego problems who thought he was the key to the Trump victory.
Never mind that Bannon joined the Trump campaign less than three months before the election. Never mind that people he denigrated – such as President Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner – were of much greater help.
The stupidity of “no enemies to the right” was something I knew when I assembled a list of pro-Trump intellectuals before the election. We didn’t want any neo-Confederates or alt-right nuts.
Tolerating the crazies in President Trump’s Republican Party amounts to putting a “kick me” sign on one’s backside. Worse, it detracts attention from the policies and ideas that elected Donald Trump president. Those policies – and the idea that the American Dream has been abandoned in a society made immobile by Democratic policies – remain as popular today as they were 14 months ago.
For those on the wrong side of those policies and ideas – such as Democrats dominated by their interest groups and an elite New Class – the last thing they’ll want to do is talk about policies. Much better to talk about imaginary charges of Russian collusion, or about crazy personalities on the right. Trump Republicans don’t need to help them do so.