An Open Letter to the Conservative Media Explaining Why I Have Left the Movement | Ricochet
Third, there is the issue of the war on Islamic extremism. Let me say upfront that, as a veteran of two foreign deployments in this war, I speak with some moral authority on it. So please do not lecture me on the need to sacrifice for one's country or the nature of the threat that we face. I have gotten on that plane twice and have the medals and t-shirt to prove it. And, as a member of the one percent who have actually put my life on the line in these wars movement conservatives consider so vital, my question for you and every other conservatives is just when the hell did being conservative mean thinking the US has some kind of a duty to save foreign nations from themselves or bring our form of democratic republicanism to them by force? I fully understand the sad necessity to fight wars and I do not believe in "blow back" or any of the other nonsense that says the world will leave us alone if only we will do that same. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand how conservatives of all people convinced themselves that the solution to the 9-11 attacks was to forcibly create democracy in the Islamic world. I have even less explanations for how — 15 years and 10,000 plus lives later — conservatives refuse to examine their actions and expect the country to send more of its young to bleed and die over there to save the Iraqis who are clearly too slovenly and corrupt to save themselves.
The lowest moment of the election was when Trump said what everyone in the country knows: that invading Iraq was a mistake. Rather than engaging the question with honest self-reflection, all of the so called "conservatives" responded with the usual "How dare he?" Worse, they let Jeb Bush claim that Bush "kept us safe." I can assure you that President Bush didn't keep me safe. Do I and the other people in the military not count? Sure, we signed up to give our lives for our country and I will never regret doing so. But doesn't our commitment require a corresponding responsibility on the part of the president to only expect us to do so when it is both necessary and in the national interest?
And since when is bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan so much in the national interest that it is worth killing or maiming 50,000 Americans to try and achieve? I don't see that, but I am not a Wilsonian and used to, at least, be a conservative. I have these strange ideas that my government ought to act in America's interests instead of the rest of the world's interests. I wish conservatives could understand how galling it was to have a fat, rich, career politician who has never once risked his life for this country lecture those of us who have about how George Bush kept us safe.
Donald Trump is the only Republican candidate who seems to have any inclination to act strictly in America's interest. More importantly, he is the only Republican candidate who is willing to even address the problem. Trump was right to say that we need to stop letting more Muslims into the country or, at least, examine the issue. And like when he said the obvious about Iraq, the first people to condemn him and deny the obvious were conservatives. Somehow, being conservative now means denying the obvious and saying idiotic fantasies like "Islam is the religion of peace," or "Our war is not with Islam." Uh, sorry but no it is not, and yes it is. And if getting a president who at least understands that means voting for Trump, then I guess I am not a conservative.
Fourth, I really do not care that Donald Trump is vulgar, combative, and uncivil and I would encourage you not to care as well. I would love to have our political discourse be what it was even thirty years ago and something better than what it is today. But the fact is the Democratic Party is never going to return to that and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. Over the last 15 years, I have watched the then-chairman of the DNC say the idea that President Bush knew about 9-11 and let it happen was a "serious position held by many people," watched the vice president tell a black audience that Republicans would return them to slavery if they could, watched Harry Reid say Mitt Romney was a tax cheat without any reason to believe it was true, and seen an endless amount of appalling behavior on the part of the Democrats which is too long to list here and which I am sure you are aware. And now you tell me that I should reject Trump because he is uncivil and mean to his opponents? Is that some kind of a joke? This is not the time for civility or to worry about it in our candidates.
Fifth, I do not care that Donald Trump is in favor of big government. That is certainly not a virtue but it is not a meaningful vice since the same can be said of every single Republican in the race. I am sorry but the "we are just one more Republican victory from small government" card is maxed out. We are not getting small government no matter who wins. So Trump being big government is a wash.
Sixth, Trump offers at least the chance that he might act in the American interest instead of the world's interest or in the blind pursuit of some fantasy ideological goals. There is more to economic policy than cutting taxes, sham free trade agreements, and hollow appeals to "cutting government" and the free market. Trump may not be good, but he at least understands that. In contrast, the rest of the GOP and everyone in Washington or the media who calls themselves a conservative has no understanding of this.
Rubio would be — as Laura Ingram pointed out this week — nothing but a repeat of the Bush 43 administration with more blood and treasure spent on the fantasy that acting in other people's interests indirectly helps ours. Cruz might be somewhat better, but it is unclear whethe...