dailybeast.com:   (Matt Lewis excerpt)

…[F]awning praise isn’t limited to the partisans in the White House or at Fox News. Over at National Review, Dennis Prager has authored a controversial column criticizing “Never-Trumpers” for not falling in line. He describes Trump as “our general” and theorizes that conservatives who oppose Trump “do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake.”

He concludes, “I beg them: Please report for duty.”

In fairness, there’s a lot of truth to Prager’s theory. Yes, a common denominator for Trump backers might be a belief in an apocalyptic future—lacking their Trumpian savior, of course. Likewise, Never Trumpers did not see a Trump loss as the end of America. But that is only one of the differences that separate the pro-Trump conservatives from the Never Trumpers.

Trump supporters, it seems to me, are more disposed to prize authoritarian traits like loyalty and hierarchy. For these Trump apologists, the analogies never end. He is our general. Sometimes he’s our daddy. Sometimes he’s our CEO. Whether it’s paternalistic, militaristic, or capitalistic, there are numerous ways to be subservient to him. Pick your favorite!

Conservatives who are viscerally turned off by the Trump cult of personality prize things like the rule of law and balance of powers. Part of what this means is that the idea of a ruling class repels us. We believe the maxim that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we instead celebrate the system and institutions that check the accumulation of power. We see dissent as patriotic. We see the messianic impulse of some Americans as a very dangerous tendency. We believe that it’s not healthy to put politicians on a pedestal. We believe you should respect your leaders and pray for them—but not to them.

I’ll confess that sometimes skepticism gets mixed up with cynicism. There is also sometimes a smugness associated with being a rebellious contrarian. Most of us small-r republicans find sycophants and brown-nosers repulsive.

Still, it’s one thing to suck up to your boss at the office. It’s another thing entirely to suck up to a president. Part of the reason for this is that Trump’s team views him as the boss—as the CEO of the country. This is a destructive tendency. It also undermines the system America’s Founding Fathers put in place to keep any one person from gaining too much power.

The people who suck up to him might work for Trump, but we do not. In fact, he works for us. And we shouldn’t ever let him forget it.

Lewis’ words are music to my ears.   He reaffirms what I thought being a conservative meant.  I thought I used to be one.  I still have some vestiges from that era.

Why do people seem to worship Trump?  Why do they fawn over him?  It has to be more than keeping a job.  I personally don’t know anyone who fawns over Trump.  I do see people on this blog defending him in general but not over specifics.

To me, the Trump worship seems cult like.  I have watched the rallies.  My assessment of the situation has not changed.  Someone here fill me in over what’s really going on.  It just makes no sense to me.



19 Thoughts to “Why conservatives won’t dance….”

  1. Richard Hertz

    Why do people seem to worship Trump? Why do they fawn over him?

    Great question Moon and this is an area where I completely agree with you. I may defend President Trump in certain situations but I have never felt comfortable with those that ‘fawn’ or ‘worship’ him or any politician.

    To me, the Trump worship seems cult like. I have watched the rallies. My assessment of the situation has not changed. Someone here fill me in over what’s really going on. It just makes no sense to me.

    I’ve thought about how to respond to this and I don’t think that there is any one answer. However, I still don’t think that it has reached, or will ever reach, the level of fawning, worship and overall cult like behavior that President Obama was showered with.

    For example, I’m not seeing multiple publications, news outlets, etc. depicting President Trump as a Christ like being as they did with President Obama with a glowing halo over his head.

    1. Perhaps you are right as far as print material. I would counter with I have never seen quite the level of racism that was printed regarding Obama.
      As far as rallies and in person situations, I think Trump has been shown far more ..adulation isn’t the right word…cult like behavior by the masses. What is it about him that inspires people? Is it the rhetorics? Is it people cheering on his rudeness? That’s what I don’t get.

      But thanks for at least thinking about it.

  2. Richard Hertz

    …continuing with the cult like behavior there, what would you say if kids were forced to sing the praises of President Trump like these little ones?

    1. Ever been to a political gathering? I don’t think that was cult-like. I think it was people trying to get their candidate on the ballot. Political people is all that is. BTW, did you recognize Annabelle Park of 9500 Liberty fame in the video?

      25 years ago I went to the Virginia Republican Convention when Ollie North was trying (and he succeeded) to get on the ballot. There was some serious cult stuff going on there also. I was there as a vender for one of the pro choice groups. I guarded the table for my group and for Republicans for Choice while the others were all at lunch. Someone didn’t like the idea of the pro-choice groups being there and decided to come around the table to put me in my place. The upshot was a broken camera and getting knocked on the ground. That was pretty cult-like. I got rescued by my husband and a good friend but geez. What happened to free speech? I wasn’t bothering HIM> He came around the table on me.

      I decided that day that Republicans for Choice could do their own “evangelizing.”

  3. Richard Hertz

    This is still one of my all time favorites when it comes to cult like/North Korean’esk leader worship moments…

    1. Robin Hood

      Richard Hertz,

      Zzzzzzz . . .

    2. Do you remember seeing the footage of the Kennedy’s funeral? How about the long train ride for FDR and Mrs. Roosevelt?

      I guess I understand honoring the dead.

      My step son drove from San Francisco to Simi Valley jot stand in line for hours to show his respect for his hero. This is the guy who hadn’t had a vacation in 10 years. Thats about a 6 hour drive and around 400 miles. One way.

  4. Robin Hood

    I’m pleased that conservatives have to be begged to support Trump and also curious after looking at the time stamps whether someone is being paid to post comments here at 9 o’clock on a Friday morning. So is Putin using mercenaries in his cyberwars?

    1. Richard Hertz

      Robin Hood,

      You dropped this RH…

      1. Robin Hood

        Richard Hertz,

        That’s a dodge.

        Why not just deny my suspicions?

      2. Richard Hertz

        Robin Hood,

        I deny your suspicions Robin. Good?

        Some entertainment… around the 2:00 mark it actually get interesting 🙂

  5. Kelly_3406

    In previous threads attacking Trump, I seem to be cast as his defender, but that is not really my goal. The press has been overly negative and the headlines extremely exaggerated. My point has been that we should argue the facts rather than exaggerated headlines.

    The headline that Trump “ruined” a 70-year alliance is an exaggeration. The observation that Trump should not have raised the issue of inadequate defense spending by our NATO allies at a ceremony for a 9/11 memorial is valid.

    Conservatives are known for being extremely hard on candidates that do not meet ideological purity tests. My view as a conservative is more practical — vote for the major-party candidate that most closely aligns with my views.

    Trump was not my first, second, or even third choice in the primaries. But in the general election, Trump’s election was an absolute necessity in terms of conservative values, because of looming vacancies on the Supreme Court. I am convinced that religious liberty and individual gun rights would have been significantly watered down by Hillary’s choices for SCOTUS.

    I do not see any great need for conservatives to march in lock step with Trump. They should support him when he supports the conservative agenda and criticize him when he does not. But the failure to vote for him in the general election was absolute folly for conservatives, because a Hillary presidency would have produced huuuuuuge setbacks for the conservative agenda on the Court and in Hillary’s legislative agenda.

    Does that mean that I always agree with Trump? Absolutely not. For example, I disagree with Trump’s initiative to privatize the US air traffic control system, which has an incredible record of aviation safety. The system does need to be modernized, but I fail to see how privatization would help with that.

    1. Thank you Kelly for taking the time to explain.
      As for the headline–headlines are supposed to grab attention.

      After WWII, the USA came out as the world leader. Other countries either feared us, were grateful to us, or just generally respected us. We were the biggest, richest, and we were unbeatable. There have been a few setbacks since then but each time we emerged strong and confident. We aren’t now because we have a leader that few people respect.

      1. Steve Thomas

        “We aren’t now because we have a leader that few people respect.”

        This pretty much sums up how I felt during Obama’s 8 years.

      2. I simply don’t think there is any comparison between Obama and Trump. I understand not liking the policy of a leader. That would describe how I often felt about George W. Bush. Trump fills me with revulsion and fear.

        Trump is far over the top compared to how I felt about George Bush. I would take 500 Bushes over 1 Trump. In the first place, Bush didn’t exhibit mental illness. He didn’t lie every time he opened his mouth.

  6. middleman

    I would love to hear from my conservative friends here if they agree with Mr. Prager that we’re in a “civil war” and if we are, exactly what each side is fighting for.

    If Mr. Trump is your general and you’re assigning him the task of leading your “army,” I think a rude awakening awaits you.

    1. Robin Hood


      My wife saw a punchline on the internet attributed to Sen. Graham. He reportedly said that Trump couldn’t have colluded with the Russians because he can’t collude with his own staff.

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