The burning clown car of misogyny, hypocrisy and confused anger that is the Trump presidency is simply the logical conclusion of the past few decades of incivility packaged as Very Serious Conservatism. If you missed it, the President of the United States sent two tweets out this morning that are causing a pretty big stir online.
Yes, those are offensive, sexist, etc…literally any negative adjective can describe these tweets, but this is par for the course. This is a man who was caught on tape saying he grabs “women by the pussy” because “when you're a star they let you do it.” This is a man who implied that Megyn Kelly's biting questions at a presidential debate were the result of grumpiness from her period. This is nothing new, yet the Very Serious Conservatives are hysterical.
Even MSNBC defended their host with a tweet that seems to imply that when Trump is being “presidential,” he is a different man than his Twitter account suggests.
Conservatives, I don't know how many times we need to say this:
THERE IS ONLY ONE DONALD TRUMP AND HE IS A MAN YOUR BASE WHOLEHEARTEDLY ENDORSES
80% of Republicans approve or strongly approve of Donald Trump's job so far.
Of those who describe themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative,” 67% approve or strongly approve of Trump.
86% of liberal or very liberal Americans disapprove or strongly disapprove of Trump, with 61% of moderates joining them. Republicans are on an island alone with the most unpopular president in modern history, yet many fail to grasp this simple fact.
While there are many actors complicit in creating President Donald Trump—like the media and yes, the perpetual outrage machine on the left—none have had a greater impact than standard modern Republican policies and rhetoric. They spent eight years portraying the most centrist Democratic president in nearly a century as a Socialist Kenyan Muslim Nazi hellbent on destroying capitalism. Republicans express unabashed support for the NRA, who run ads that stop just short of calling for a civil war. “Real America” is a term invented by the right to separate the “true believers” from those of us who supposedly only wish ill on this great country.
Everything the Republican party has stood for over the past thirty years is embodied in President Trump, and now that they are coming face to face with this reality, they are hiding their tail between their legs and cowering in the corner, claiming that they had nothing to do with this farce.
Donald Trump won by five and a half million votes over one of the most qualified (on paper) fields in Republican primary history (Hillary won the Democratic primary by 3.7 million votes). The Republican Party is, first and foremost, a perpetual grievance machine, hellbent on ensuring that its supporters view it with Stalinist reverence, while rejecting any facts that may conflict with its bullshit narrative. The same cynical machine that put Ben Sasse in Congress also put Donald Trump in the White House. The only functional difference between the two is branding.
Conservatism has been infected with a sickness that its purveyors refuse to address. You would think that Donald fucking Trump becoming the party's standard bearer would be a wakeup call, but too many people like John McCain want to have it both ways: denigrating the rhetoric of Donald Trump while endorsing the incivility that emboldened his rise and holding the door open for his agenda to pass through Congress. Conservatism used to be about policy, but now it's entirely about optics and battling invented tyranny.
The Republican Party will condemn Donald Trump only because the majority of America does, all while they try to pass a bill in secret that is less popular than Trump. The AHCA will effectively liquidate Medicaid in order to pay for yet another tax cut for the ultra-wealthy. It is literally blood money, yet this is being portrayed as the “humane” and “serious” side of conservatism. If Donald Trump had a national approval rating above 50%, the line out of Republicans after these tweets would be much more measured and would no doubt include an inference to the “liberal media.” Conservatism turned itself into an ideology that cannot exist without expressing constant grievances towards the modern world, and now they have their standard bearer in Donald Trump. Spare me your faux outrage Republicans, and sleep in the bed you’ve been making for nearly half a century.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.