A weird political year got weirder still when the flamboyant conservative radio and TV personality Glenn Beck said voting against Donald Trump is the “moral, ethical choice” even if it means Hillary Clinton is elected president.
Beck is hardly alone among conservative pundits having pangs of conscience about what the Republican Party is turning into. Milwaukee’s conservative radio host Charlie Sykes recently owned up to his role in creating an environment where the likes of Trump could thrive, acknowledging that he and other right-wing media personalities have “created this monster.” And then Sykes announced he is ending his radio show.
Most of Sykes’ conservative media peers have gone to great lengths to deflect responsibility. Acting as if he and right-wing commentators like him had no hand in making the Frankenstein that is now laying waste to the GOP, Jonah Goldberg self-righteously proclaims Donald Trump’s supporters “oblivious to the fact that he needs more than his base to win. And once again, conservatives who’ve made a career thumping their chests or their Bibles about the importance of character and morality found themselves making excuses for a man who personifies everything they claimed to oppose.”
Other conservative heavyweights like George Will and David Brooks also have expressed horror in recent days at the ugly turn American conservatism has taken. Brooks says “Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis” and his “performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.”
Brooks concludes: “It’s all so pathetic.”
Will calls Trump an “arrested-development adolescent” with “feral appetites and deranged sense of entitlement.” He goes on to say Trump is a “marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences” without displaying a hint of awareness of his own culpability as an intellectual architect of modern “conservatism” that has now morphed into Trumpism.
Will then grasps for straws, wishfully speculating that maybe “Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy, a nauseating but, if carried through to completion, perhaps a curative experience.”
As parents have been saying for generations, you made your bed and now you’ve got to lie in it.
That would be all well and good, if not for the fact that the rest of us are going to have to suffer the side effects of their sleep disorders.