Just hours after Mark Levin abandoned his “Never Trump” stance and declared his support for the Republican presidential nominee, Rush Limbaugh shamed the remaining anti-Trump conservative intellectuals by reading a blistering attack against them on air.
“The Flight 93 Election,” written anonymously by “Publius Decius Mus” and published by the Claremont Review of Books, is a savage broadside against what the author calls “Conservatism Inc.” and its record of “failure.”
The author claims Never Trump conservatives are guilty of a contradiction when they simultaneously bemoan the moral, economic and political decline of the United States while still doing nothing to challenge the status quo or the power structure.
Instead, “Decius” accuses many professional conservatives as serving as the “Washington Generals” of American politics, who, like the constantly losing team which plays the Harlem Globetrotters, have the job of showing up, losing, legitimizing the rigged system and collecting a paycheck.
“To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything, it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war,” Decius sneers.
It’s a ruthless characterization of the American conservative movement, but now one seemingly endorsed by America’s Anchorman.
“I’m telling you, folks, it is really good,” Limbaugh enthused about the article. “It’s one of these pieces that you’ll read it and wish you had written it. In my case, I read it, and I was silently jumping for joy because it contains so much of what I said. But it’s said so well here and so pointedly and the gloves off.”
Indeed, Limbaugh believes the author actually got the “Washington Generals” nickname from him.
“That happens to be my term for our side,” Limbaugh noted. “Specifically, the Republicans in Congress. I think I named them the Washington Generals, happy to be on the field, happy to wear the uniform, but supposed to lose and happy to do so.
“The piece is so good. It is just a home run, every paragraph.”
As Limbaugh summarizes the author’s argument, Never Trump conservatives constantly say things are very bad, but if they are willing to vote for Hillary Clinton, they must not really believe this. After all, they implicitly think the country will still essentially be the same after a Clinton presidency because they don’t regard a 2016 loss as an existential threat.
“In other words, we’ve got a lot of conservative intellectuals at the tanks writing policy papers, position papers, as though everything’s the same, as though everything’s normal,” Limbaugh summarized. He imitated Beltway conservatives as saying: “‘We’re just through a normal election cycle. We win some; we lose some. We gotta keep plugging away. Eventually we’re gonna win,’ with no acknowledgment of the reality of what we face.
“They’re in it for themselves. They want their pet ideas adopted. They want their paychecks.”
Limbaugh identified the following as a “key paragraph” from the author “Decius”:
“If conservatives are right about the importance of virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual; if they are right about sexual morality or what came to be termed ‘family values’; if they are right about the importance of education to inculcate good character and to teach the fundamentals that have defined knowledge in the West for millennia; if they are right about societal norms and public order; if they are right about the centrality of initiative, enterprise, industry, and thrift to a sound economy and a healthy society; if they are right about the soul-sapping effects of paternalistic Big Government and its cannibalization of civil society and religious institutions; if they are right about the necessity of a strong defense and prudent statesmanship in the international sphere – if they are right about the importance of all this to national health and even survival, then they must believe – mustn’t they? – that we are headed off a cliff. ”
“But it’s quite obvious that conservatives don’t believe any such thing, that they feel no such sense of urgency, of an immediate necessity to change course and avoid the cliff.”
“Decius describes the fanatical hatred of the ‘opinion-making’ elements such as the media and universities toward conservatives, the self-censorship and cowardice of professional conservative activists, and the existential threat of massive Third World immigration. He specifically identifies conservative support for “open borders” as an attempt to win absolution from the charge of “racism.”
“This is insane,” “Decius” intones. “This is the mark of a party, a society, a country, a people, a civilization that wants to die. Trump, alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live. I want my people to live. I want to end the insanity.”
“Decius” was one of the contributors to the “Journal of American Greatness,” an anonymous journal which attracted mainstream attention for its attacks on the conservative intellectual movement. The journal folded some months ago amidst rumors its authors were fearful of retribution from the conservative institutions they were criticizing. However, the publication of this newest essay from one of the Journal’s most prolific writers in one of the premier outlets of intellectual conservatism constitutes a new show of acceptance.
And Limbaugh’s championing of this essay may well cause shock-waves in the conservative movement, especially his implicit endorsement of “Decius’s” suggestion Conservative Inc. functionaries are only in it to make a living.
Limbaugh read an excerpt in which “Decius” says “the whole enterprise of Conservatism Inc. reeks of failure,” that “practically nothing has been achieved in the last 20 years,” and that the movement has been unable to convince Americans about the truth of its ideas.
Limbaugh then commented:
“Now, if you are a conservative intellectual and you’re reading this that is a deep cut. That is a deep wound. That is an allegation that you’re only in it for the money and that you don’t want to upset anything that might interrupt your fundraising.
“So whereas you might really acknowledge that we’re in dire straits and you might, in your heart, think the only thing we can do is vote Trump, you won’t dare say so because it might upset your strident conservative donors who might freeze you out. That’s who he’s calling out in this paragraph. … [Y]ou really should read it.”
The main thrust of the article is a call for conservatives to support Donald Trump. The reason is not so much to defend “conservatism” as an ideology but to defend the concrete existence of the American nation. The author warns a Hillary victory will unleash a “pedal-to-the-metal progressivism” America itself cannot survive.
“Decius” says of the American people: “If they cannot rouse themselves simply to vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.”
Limbaugh’s reading this piece is just the latest incident when the talk-show titan has read work by dissident conservatives on the air.
“[T]he reason this piece appeals to me is because it validates so many of the instincts that I have had over the years, in recent months particularly, and that I’ve shared with you about what is happening to the conservative movement and how conservatism’s being defined, and who seeks to define it and what it means going forward,” he stated.
The new debate over conservatism, nationalism and who will lead the American right also comes just days after the death of Phyllis Schlafly, the legendary conservative activist who divided her own Eagle Forum organization when she championed Trump’s cause.
Her last book is “The Conservative Case for Trump,” which went on sale the day after she died.
“Decius” admits Trump is “worse than imperfect” but suggests the stakes are too high for anything else.
“2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die,” he said. “You may die anyway. You – or the leader of your party – may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees. Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain.”
It’s a thesis Limbaugh evidently accepts.
“The point of this whole piece is that Donald Trump’s the only hope, that conservatism no longer applies,” he said. “We’re way past that. Conservatism, as has been applied the last 10 years, what do we have to show for it? We have a bunch of midterm election victories, but nothing done with them.
“And if you’re really serious about how bad things are but you can’t find yourself to oppose Hillary Clinton, then you’re worthless. That’s what this is essentially saying, but in 10 pages. It’s great.”