Conservatives have officially become a sad group of angry, bitter, whining, radicalized, and mostly white men, who fear being made irrelevant by the inevitable demographic changes of America’s 21st century and as such now call themselves, wait for it, “victims.”
At his campaign rally in Georgia this weekend, President Trump assured his maskless followers, “We’re all victims. Everybody here, all these thousands of people here tonight, they’re all victims. Every one of you.”
What a stunning declaration of powerlessness, one that prompts the question: victims of who and what, Mr. President? I’m so glad you asked.
They are victims of the younger, more diverse America that rejected Trump and voted for Joe Biden. They are victims of their own white male aggrievement and resentment. Yes, Trump increased his vote share among white women, but it’s men like him—older, wealthier, powerful—who are leading the way toward the politics of victimhood.
They lie, openly. They distort the truth. They claim that their heritage is being stolen from them when confederate flags and monuments are removed from public places. They rail against critical race theory, diversity and inclusion training, calls for social justice and police reform, and label it “socialism,” which they associate with every Democrat from AOC to Biden.
These folks are mad. But more than that they are foul hypocrites.
One of my most prized possessions used to be my autographed copy of The Book of Virtues by former U.S. Secretary of Education and devout conservative Bill Bennett. Bill had been a man of virtue and a defender of the U.S. Constitution until Donald J. Trump became president of the United States. All of that went out the window as he joined Paula White, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich, and so many so-called Christian conservatives in sucking up to an openly bigoted, sexist Birther who cheats on his wives, pays off porn stars, gropes young beauty pageant contestants, and has been accused credibly of sexual assault by no fewer than 20 women.
These supposed conservatives once talked about defeating communism, lifting the poor from poverty, home ownership, and small business growth. They believed in the sanctity of marriage and of family, and the promise of America as a beacon to the world. Now they follow a rudderless fool of a man. A charlatan. A soulless monster who cost countless Americans their lives with his feckless response to COVID-19.
Their fearless leader, Donald Trump, has no ideas. He has no hope to offer a nation of sick, ill, mourning people. He only thinks of himself. Everybody is picking on me. They are after me. They are after us. We are all victims.
I’ve always admired free market, pro-values, pro-national defense conservative Republicans like Jack Kemp and Jeane Kirkpatrick, who formed “Empower America” in the 1990s. Those two have left us, and I’d like to think they would have known better than to follow a racist creep like Trump.
I know that Bennett, who is still with us, did not know better or did not care. After hearing him defend Trump’s attacks on election officials and refusal to concede an election he lost badly, I threw the book Bennett gave me and signed for me in the trash. Where it belongs.
I, for one, am trying to understand and remain open to dialogue with these “Trumpsters,” so this past week I invited someone who is a friend, a neighbor, an American conservative, businessman, and yes, Trump 2020 voter onto my One America Podcast, where we talked about how he views the world as a white male conservative.
I was enlightened by our dialogue. He was candid. Thoughtful. And he helped me to see beyond Trump’s dumpster fire rhetoric, and after talking with him and truly listening to him, I get how Trump tapped into white frustration in 2016 and 2020 with America’s racial justice, economic justice, and diversity demands.
But here’s the bottom line: The vast majority of these New Jack Trump “conservatives” have no values. They hate the U.S. Constitution, which is one that espouses American liberty, and they are victims of their own making. They are so focused on the white male past, where they ran and were in charge of everything, that they can not see the bold, brave, bright, diverse America standing in front of them.