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OPINION

Conservatives Need to Stop Embracing Leftists Who Say Something Right

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Mark Tenally

It happens all the time: someone famous, either fully or mildly, says something remotely conservative and the conservative establishment goes absolutely crazy for them, then it all falls apart. It’s time to stop.

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I have my problems with the self-appointed “conservative leadership,” I think they’re more about making themselves rich than they are about any cause, and they always seem to find a way to rake in the cash over the electoral victories. This is nothing new, sadly. But the movement also has taken to embracing the wrong people.

Remember when Kanye West was all the rage on the right? I don’t even remember what it was he said that got people excited, but excited they were. “He’s a conservative!” cried people desperate to have a widely known celebrity to call their own. Media, the establishment and the parasites who always flow with them ran to embrace him; to hold him up as someone to emulate.

Then he kept talking.

Kanye hadn’t really done anything to earn the accolades, he was just rich and famous (and maybe “hip”), and that was enough. If CPAC or the RNC had been held in the few weeks between the start of this frenzy and its implosion, Kanye West would have been a prime-time speaker. As it stands, Kanye went on to say horrible and horribly stupid things, anti-Semitic things, and is now ignored by the very people who hoisted him on their shoulders a short while ago.

It never should have happened.

Nothing against Kari Lake. I really thought she was a great candidate and that she was going to win in Arizona, but she didn’t. Whether you think that was because she mistook appearing on Fox for campaigning or she was cheated doesn’t really matter, the race is over and she’s off the podium. Whatever comes of her lawsuits will be about the future, not changing the past, and as unpopular as that may be to say in some circles, it’s true. 

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Yet, this year she’s been chosen to keynote the Ronald Reagan Dinner at CPAC. She lost. She insists she didn’t. But her opponent is currently Governor, so what else do you call that? All those Stacey Abrams jokes now have to go mute, don’t they? You can say it’s different, but it’s really not. 

Shouldn’t people who won be the people elevated? There are plenty of people who won in 2022 who could speak at that dinner, but it’s about pandering to the crowd and who can bring in money rather than leading or even celebrating accomplishments, which is all it should be about. 

But if someone has a large enough audience, or can be used to line the pockets of the establishment, they will be embraced. And make no mistake, the louder people scream about the establishment or insist they are not part of it, the more they are part of the establishment.

That brings us to Joe Rogan. He’s the world’s most popular podcaster, a comedian and MMA commentator. He’s also not a conservative. Yet, on the occasions he says something we like, the establishment rushes to cheer and hype him, which makes everyone look like morons or puts our movement on the hook when he says something stupid. And he has exceedingly long conversations with liberals while stoned, so he’s going to say something stupid often.

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Like last week when he defended Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism with a little of his own. While insisting she said nothing anti-Semitic, Rogan said “The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza.” But he wasn’t joking, and his left-wing guest went further without any protest or pushback.

How many times have you seen people sucking up to Rogan over a 30 second clip from a 3-hour show? You own all of it when you kiss the rear end the way they do, all because they hope to get on his show to sell their books, pimp their shows or simply raise money for themselves. 

I’m not saying the occurrences of some celebrity or liberal “getting it” for a moment, or saying something right (if only by accident) shouldn’t be highlighted, but you can point out what someone said that is correct without touting the person saying it as some kind of messiah. 

It’s true that a stopped clock is right twice a day, but it’s wrong the other 23 hours and 58 minutes. The conservative movement would be better off with leaders less interested in lining their bank accounts than they are in advancing conservatism, but until that can happen maybe they could stop elevating the wrong people or building up leftists simply because they accidentally told the truth for a minute.

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Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses, and host of the weekly “Week in F*cking Review” podcast where the news is spoken about the way it deserves to be. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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