Anger in conservative politics is generally an overhyped phenomenon. When Republicans win at the ballot box, it's supposedly all about anger. Conservatives like a talk radio host? It's about anger. If Republicans complain about some debacle Obama is involved in, it has to be all about anger.
Most of the time, that’s bunk. However, if you want to see some real anger, start listening to conservatives talking about the Republican Party. The Republican Party is led by people who are habitually incompetent, dishonest, out-of-touch and corrupt. We gave them huge wins in 2010 and 2014 and in return, the leadership of the Republican Party has lied to us, acted as if we're stupid and has done more to push Obama's agenda than ours.
A lot of the conservatives who are justifiably angry about the performance of the Republican Party have gravitated towards Donald Trump’s campaign because despite his flaws, he’s strong where the Republican Party is weak. He’s not politically correct, he’s proven himself to be hyper-competent in business, he’s a fighter, he pays attention to the base, he talks about issues conservatives care about and he can’t be bought off.
Those are an attractive set of qualities to conservative Republicans and thus far, they have been enough to draw in about a quarter of Republican primary voters in a 17-man field.
That brings us to the debate on Fox.
During the debate, Fox moderators spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get the candidates to fight with each other, but they obviously had a special dislike for Trump. Even Lindsey Graham, who hates Trump’s guts admitted it was like they were trying to make him look like the “biggest b@stard on the planet.”
Afterwards, Trump was justifiably unhappy with Fox, but he went too far in attacking Megyn Kelly. Even if you take Trump at his word (which I do) that he wasn't referring to Megyn Kelly being on her period, he shouldn’t be calling her a “bimbo” or spending an inordinate amount of time slamming a news anchor. For Donald Trump, the television personality, that might make sense. Donald Trump the presidential candidate should have bigger fish to fry.
Next up, after inviting Donald Trump to the Redstate gathering, Erick Erickson pulled his invitation and invited Megyn Kelly instead. It’s his event and he can do what he wants with it, but it was a ridiculous move. It was also a bit puzzling because it’s supposed to be a grassroots event and per the first poll that came out after the debate, two candidates largely supported by the grassroots in first and third (Trump with 23% and Carson at 11%) weren’t welcome to speak while Jeb Bush was.
From there, the back and forth on social media between conservatives on both sides has started devolving into a total food fight – which seems particularly silly considering the circumstances.
The first primary is roughly FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS away. That’s practically an eternity in campaign time and it will give everyone plenty of time to vet all the candidates, including Trump, before they vote. In the interim, even if you’re a grassroots conservative who doesn’t like Trump, you shouldn’t be upset that he’s in first place. As I explained a few weeks ago, Trump’s surge is PROTECTING the other conservative candidates.
However, there’s a huge plus to the “all Trump, all the time” coverage that most people have missed. In the 2008 and 2012 elections, the mainstream media and the establishment picked the candidates they liked best (McCain and Mitt) and then they systematically destroyed anybody else who started to get any traction.
This time around, Trump is acting like a missile defense shield for the rest of the field. Reagan’s work on a missile defense shield helped break the Soviets and Trump’s shield may help us break the liberal media/squishy Republican stranglehold on picking our nominee.
So, let’s interject a little reality here.
The same network that has Sean Hannity, Greg Gutfeld and tons of grassroots conservative guests may have been unfair to Trump during the debate, but it’s not an establishment network. Megyn Kelly also may not have been fair to Trump, but she does a lot of good work and who cares if she’s been on the Howard Stern show or did a sexy photoshoot a few years back? Since when are conservatives against women trying to look hot? Also, I’ve knocked heads with Erick Erickson before and certainly don’t agree with how he handled the latest Redstate gathering, but he’s not the devil. He’s done plenty of good work for grassroots conservatives. Incidentally, I’d say roughly the same thing about some of the pundits at National Review who’ve gone to extremes in savaging Trump. I understand the desire to be just as nasty to them as they’re being to Trump, but it’s ultimately not good for the movement.
What I’d also say to the big names in the conservative movement that are going more insane over Trump than they do over Obama is that you’re also insulting the people who are supporting him. Those people are, for the most part, grassroots conservatives who are tired of being told, “Vote Republican and then sit down and shut up about what you want because nobody cares.” Their concerns are legitimate and Donald Trump is doing a better job of speaking to them than anybody else right now. When Donald Trump is treated unfairly after he gives a voice to those conservatives, then his supporters are also being treated just as unfairly by proxy and it’s no surprise that it makes them mad enough to fire back.
Meanwhile, waiting in the background to be crowned by the mainstream media and the GOP establishment is Jeb Bush. A man who thinks he’s owed the presidency by virtue of being born a Bush. A man Establishment Republicans are determined to foist on the rest of us despite the fact that he has no charisma, he’s for Common Core and he’ll push massive illegal immigration. A man who said, “I used to be a conservative" and you have to be willing to “lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles."
As Laura Ingraham said at CPAC, “The idea that we should hold a coronation (for Jeb Bush) because 50 rich families decided who best represents their interests…no way, Jose!”
If you want to aim some venom at somebody, don’t aim it at your fellow grassroots conservatives, Donald Trump or Megyn Kelly. Instead, aim it at the guy who’s flat-out telling you he doesn’t care what you think about the issues because his family name, all the money behind him and the support of the establishment means he’s going to win no matter what the “little people” think.