Friday, January 29, 2016

The Business of "Endorsements" Is Killing Conservativism


Seems like every conservative politico, pundit, prognosticator of every class and stripe wants to get out there with their support for their candidate.  And, predictably, fans and social media "friends" fall in line or fall out of love.  Or, in the most extreme cases, declare vendetta, as we've seen with National Review and a group of conservative influencers standing against the candidacy of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, which serves to only widen the rift within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. 

What the legions out there don't understand is that this isn't a rift over principle so much as it is a rift over the divergence of principle and self-interests - as Michael Corleone would say "It's not personal, it's just business."

And cousin, business is a-boomin' lately because you, the conservative voter, are eating it all up in a massive feeding frenzy of sound bytes, click bait, one-line zingers and chest thumping in a galactic you-know-what measuring contest the likes of which have rarely been seen. 





2016 is the year that conservative influencers are "all in" with the most valuable asset they possess. No, I'm not talking about money necessarily.  I'm talking credibility.  Because without credibility, there's no money coming in.  

I'm don't think that I am talking out of school when I say that those vocal passionate conservatives out there appearing on network news channels and talk radio advocating one candidate or another (many of whom I consider dear friends personally and professionally) is as much about business as it is about their passion for the conservative moment.

Some are borne out of serious contemplation.  Some are borne out of hubris and a feeling of self-importance.  Some are borne about of pure self-interest.  It's all a matter of perspective and perception. All are useful in one fashion or another to someone.  

But with so much on the line, things get nasty.  Whether intended to be a principled stand, or a smart business alignment, the reaction to a given endorsement swings from glorious rejoicing to expletive-deleted attacks on character and good will. 

I've seen more conservatives attacking conservatives on my social media timelines than I ever have.  People who were respected and followed as "true" conservatives are now reviled and vilified as "sell-outs" and "RINOs" overnight.  This fickle nature reminds me of the worst that we say occurred in past election cycles with candidate Obama - little cults of personality are breaking out.  And like that "Clash of Clans" games, alliances and wars are getting out of control. 

What are we doing?  The only casualty of this viciousness is the principles that conservatives hold dear.  By perpetuating this gang warfare, the respect for the individual - what I believe to be at the very heart of conservatism -  is lost. 

So the next time you roll up on the social media platform of your choice to cheer and deride the latest  "game-changing" endorsement out there, remember what you're fighting for in this election.  




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