Trump supporters characteristically shout that they are angry, but conservatives who reject Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party on behalf of progressive populism may be angry too — at the fools who promoted Trump even when he could have been stopped in favor of a conservative candidate (e.g., Sean Hannity); at the defeated pols eager to bend at the knee and serve their new master (e.g., Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Rick Perry); at the unprincipled mercenaries who carefully jockey for position at the expense of the conservative cause and the country’s welfare (e.g., Rush Limbaugh); but possibly most of all at those who understand how disgusting it is that this liberal sideshow act could become the perceived figurehead of the conservative movement, but who have submissively fallen in behind him, denouncing those who resist.
First I heard Dennis Prager describe Trump as “lowlife.” Not long afterward, when Trump had effectively secured the nomination, I heard Prager spin on his heel and condemn those who won’t support Trump for “virtue signaling,” which according to Prager makes us no better than liberals. The last time I tried to listen to him, he was droning sanctimoniously about the importance of having a moral compass. Good thing he is on the radio, so he doesn’t have to keep a straight face.
Virtue signaling is supposedly bad because it is selfish to put your own principles ahead of the party. But if it weren’t for principles, there would be no point in supporting a party in the first place. Also, betraying your principles causes you to lose credibility. The more Republicans sell out to Trumpism, the less credibility the party has going forward. There will still be elections after this Dumpster fire is over.
In the blogosphere, Ace of Spades has performed the Prager pirouette with similar dexterity. He proclaimed in March:
“I didn’t join the conservative movement to become a fascist.”
The reference was to the fascistic Trump campaign.
Now that Trump has effectively secured the nomination, Ace finds new targets for denunciation — namely, those who still won’t ride the Trump Train. Astonishingly, we are told that if we don’t support the Code Pink progressive, we belong with the Democrats:
It’s time for actual Democrats, who are most comfortable with Democrats, and feel the most affinity for Democrats, to make their party allegiance official and simply declare for Hillary Clinton and join the Democratic Party.
Incidentally, Trump was still a Democrat in 2009, the year he announced that America is too racist to appreciate the greatness of Barack Obama.
Ace barks that if you continue to speak out against Trump,
then you’re not merely #NeverTrump, you’re closer to #NeverReallyAConservative.
This is on a level with Trump supporters who sneer that conservatives have to “grow up” by betraying our principles on behalf of an alarmingly juvenile candidate who speaks to his comparably juvenile followers at a third- to fourth-grade language level.
I don’t blame people for going along. It is scary to get separated from the herd, even when you can see that the herd is stampeding off a cliff. Plus, losing audience hits you in the wallet; believe me, I know. But their condemnation of those who won’t betray conservatism grates on the nerves. It’s like being called a coward by deserters.
Erick Erickson may have a grasp on the psychology:
On tips from JusttheTipHQ, Torcer, and Varla.