The conservative movement’s internal battle over Donald Trump has reached the tipping point: A “blacklist” for the billionaire’s media and political supporters is now official.
Pundits have waged a war of words for months over the rightful place of the Republican front-runner within the movement, but Amanda Carpenter’s call to “blackball” Trump’s supporters gained momentum on Friday.
Carpenter is a frequent guest on CNN and once served as communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Call it a boycott, call it a blackball, call it a blacklist, call it whatever you want. I’m done with these folks and other conservatives should be, too,” Carpenter wrote Friday. Anyone who will defend a man condoning random acts of violence at his rallies has lost his morals; he will defend anything at all.”
Red State’s Leon Wolf responded with a piece titled, “Amanda Carpenter is Right. Blackball the Trump Endorsers.”
“People who are endorsing Trump, while other Republicans are still standing, have forever forfeited their right to have their opinion taken seriously by conservatives,” Wolf wrote. “And when Trump’s train finally wrecks, before or after November, it will wreak untold destruction on this party and this movement.”
Brian Darling, who previously served as an adviser to Sen. Rand Paul and who now supports Cruz, disagrees with Carpenter and suggests she add his name to the top of the “boycott” list.
“Many conservatives still support members of Congress who refuse to use the power of the purse to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and Obama’s slew of executive actions. Why not blackball them too,” he writes.
Some of the names on Carpenter’s list include:
- Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott
- Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
Red State contributing editor Ben Howe told Carpenter that he could get a Web designer to work on the blacklist project for free.
Breitbart News responded by likening the effort to something former President Richard Nixon would use.
“So far, anti-Trump think pieces referencing William F. Buckley have been ineffective. Memes comparing Trump to Hitler haven’t worked,” writer Patrick Howley said. “So these Republicans are getting more Nixon-y. They’re coming out with an Enemies List.”
Trump is well on his way to winning the 1,237 delegates needed to becoming the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. If that happens, then conservative critics will be forced to coalesce around Trump’s campaign or continue to attack as incoming begins from likely Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I hate this. I hate it. I hate attacking people I respect,” National Review’s Jonah Goldberg wrote March 12. ” I hate hearing from former fans who say they’re ashamed to have ever admired me or my writing. I hate being unable to meet fellow conservatives half-way. One of the things I love about conservatism is that we argue about our principles; as I’ve written 8 billion times – more or less – we debate our dogma. I love our principled disagreements. But I honestly and sincerely don’t see this as a mere principled disagreement. I see this as an argument about whether or not we should set fire to some principles in a foolish desire to get on the right side of some ‘movement.’ I have never been more depressed about the state of American politics or the health of the conservative movement. I hate the idea that political disagreements will poison friendships – in no small part because as a conservative I think friendship should be immune to politics.”
The Blaze’s Matt Walsh wrote three days later that as “unpleasant” as the political landscape is at the moment, it is necessary to “identify the traitors and remember their names.”
“We do this not out of spite, but in keeping with the Bible’s many warnings about false prophets. Scripture urges us to ‘expose the unfruitful works of darkness’ (Ephesians 5:11) and avoid becoming partners with those ‘who deceive with empty words’ (Ephesians 5:6). Colossians implores us not to be ‘taken captive by deceit,'” Walsh wrote.
“We’re warned in 2 Timothy that the time will come when people will not want to hear the truth, so they will surround themselves with frauds who tell them what their ‘itching ears want to hear.’ I believe we have arrived at that moment, and it is now urgent that we specifically identify these frauds and false teachers. This is not a fun or polite process, but it is necessary, so we must get on with it.”