If you’re a conservative who actually believes those things conservatives are supposed to believe, the Constitution, rule of law, supremacy of God, family values, local control, etc., your belief should not be contingent on moods, fads, fevers — or elections. It should be immune to all things, except new facts or new arguments. Donald Trump and his supporters have provided me with neither. Au contraire!
In my adult life, I’ve always sided with the more conservative party, which has always been the GOP. There’s nothing Trump can do that would ever make me vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. But it seems pretty obvious to me that the rage I hear from Trump supporters, when I say they’re wrong, stems from a kind of insecurity or diffuse resentment. Simply put, they want to be validated in their anger.
It’s an awfully similar response to what we hear constantly on college campuses from the delicate little flowers who say they don’t want free speech and debate, they want empowerment. It turns out that many of the mental habits we mock and ridicule on the left have copious examples on the right as well.
This revelation, along with several others, has been sickeningly painful for me, but useful. Nowhere in democratic political theory is there any intellectual support for the idea that voters have to be right, just because there are large numbers of them. A big mob is now an intellectual proof? Hardly! By that logic, I shouldn’t be “allowed” to say Obama’s voters were wrong. Neither claim is actually true, on its face..
If we fail at that, there will be plenty of time — maybe even four or eight years! — to criticize President Hillary Clinton.