The Surrender of Principle

Erick Erickson
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Posted: May 20, 2016 12:01 AM
The Surrender of Principle

This past week, a group of conservatives were invited to meet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in California. Facebook scrambled to do damage control over a story that suggested conservatives were being censored on Facebook.

The specific allegation, made by one aggrieved self-identified conservative former Facebook employee, was that humans controlled the trending news section on Facebook and those humans were predominately liberals intentionally ignoring conservative news. On the basis of this one report, Facebook's CEO summoned leading conservatives from around the country for a face-to-face meeting.

I was invited, but I could not make the meeting. I know most of those who went to the meeting. I know what was said at the meeting. I also know those who were invited and refused to go. One conservative organization invited to the meeting refused to go because, among other reasons, Facebook had refused to give money for an event held by that group.

Still, other conservatives who did go to the meeting insisted Facebook should hire conservatives. They insisted Facebook should steer money toward conservative causes and candidates and join conservative fights. All those things may sound well and good, but when did the conservative movement decide to behave like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Both those men are portrayed by the right as shakedown artists, and here comes a group of conservatives shaking down Facebook.

It seems a growing number of conservatives decided they must embrace the same tactics of the left and turn into professional grievance mongers and shakedown artists. Just as Republicans fail to win elections by being Democrat-lite, conservatives are never going to beat liberals at their own game. But here they are, trying to do just that.

Conservatives should be appalled at conservative leaders essentially demanding affirmative action policies for conservatives while otherwise opposing affirmative action. Facebook is only one recent example. The presidential election provides an even more outrageous example of conservatives abandoning their principles.

In 2016, conservatives are faced with a presidential candidate who supports socialist healthcare plans run by the government, protectionism in trade, increases in the minimum wage and Planned Parenthood. The other choice is Hillary Clinton. Too many conservatives have decided they would take the liberal not named Clinton to Hillary Clinton. It is becoming harder and harder to figure out just what might make a Republican oppose Donald Trump other than him changing his name to Hitler, and even then, many Republicans and conservatives give the impression they would still vote for him over Hillary Clinton.

Almost all of the Republican presidential candidates and large numbers of conservatives declared Donald Trump singularly unfit for the office of president. During the primaries, these crusaders for principle insisted that Donald Trump near the nuclear button was a bridge too far. But once Trump secured the nomination, suddenly he miraculously became fit for office because he is not named Hillary Clinton.

Louisiana's former governor, Bobby Jindal, penned a column and went on television to say he stood by all his criticisms of Donald Trump as a terrible choice for office, but would support him. Texas's former governor, Rick Perry, told Americans on the campaign trail that Donald Trump was unqualified to be president of the United States, but will now raise money for his campaign because Trump is not Hillary Clinton.

Pete Ricketts, the Governor of Nebraska, endorsed Donald Trump after Trump had savagely attacked Ricketts' mother and father and then, after Pete Ricketts' endorsement, attacked his brother. The Nebraska Republican Party killed a resolution that denounced offensive statements by Republicans against minorities and women because they viewed it as an attack on Donald Trump.

A number of leading conservative pro-life women issued an open letter earlier this year writing, in part, "America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either." Now several of them have endorsed Trump.

Conservatives who act like liberals will not beat liberalism and conservatives who surrender their principles in the name of team sport will soon lose everything.