This post is about why you should vote for Eric Greitens. But first, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
Remember August 2015? It was hot, of course, but everybody was talking about when Trump would fade. For example, here’s the RCP Afternoon Edition from August 7, the day after the first GOP debate:
Whose Party Is It, Anyway? - Molly Ball, The Atlantic The Republican Debate Was Awesome - David Harsanyi, The Federalist You Cannot Embarrass Donald Trump - Ezra Klein, Vox The Beginning of the End for Trump - Ed Rogers, Washington Post Martin O’Malley, the Dems' Fallback? - Michelle Cottle, National Journal The Religion of Climate Change - Nicholas Hahn, Wall Street Journal Why the Iran Deal Will Work - Ernest Moniz, Chicago Tribune Schumer’s Iran Deal Statement Is a Game-Changer - Joel Pollak, Breitbart Don’t Worship Reagan, Learn From Him - Arthur Brooks, Changing Lanes Is Trump a Clinton Plant? - Brent Budowksy, The Hill The Post-Debate Power-Rankings - Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner
It’s fun to click a few of those links and reminisce, isn’t it? Like the Post-Debate Power Rankings that listed the candidates chances of winning the nomination. Walker, Bush, and Rubio were ranked 1, 2, and 3. Trump was down with Jim Gilmore and Ben Carson.
Ed Roger of WaPo declared the beginning of the end of Trump. (I did, too.)
At the time, there two basic objections to Trump. One faction felt Trump’s behavior discredited the process. I was in that group. Trump: The Clown is the first section of my book.
The other faction believed Trump a low-information liberal masquerading as a Republican. This group included both strict, orthodox conservatives and hardcore neo-con establishment types. I was part of this group, too. (See this.) The latter group makes up most of NeverTrump.
Those who saw Trump as a clown in August 2015 came quickly to realize he’s actually a perfect reflection of we, the people. And a Master Persuader. I realized this early on, accepting that Trump is probably the candidate we deserve. But I resisted supporting him because of my love of limited government and his history of big government ideas.
To me, the most intellectually honest people in America are those orthodox conservatives who have since embraced Trump. Think of Victor Davis Hanson and Roger Kimball. They know Trump is risky when it comes to conservative ideas, but he’s conservative “enough” and the alternative would be disastrous for America and for conservatives. Therefore, they’re willing to take their chances by endorsing Trump. They’ve put America’s future ahead of their own personal preferences. For that, we should thank them.
I know some NeverTrumpers call us inconsistent sellouts. Some even call us racist, sexist monsters. One prominent NeverTrump believes people like me would use time-machine technology to go back to 1930s Europe to help Hitler and Mussolini defeat the Allies. Then they criticize Trump’s hyperbole.) But we who support Trump see our support as consistent with Reagan’s admonition from the 1960s: America is freedom’s last bastion. If we lose it here, there’s no place to go. Therefore, survival of the American nation and the rule of law trumps a few policy differences. Trump might be a threat to parts of the conservative agenda, but Hillary is a threat to the survival of the country.
Okay. The reason I mention all that Trump stuff is this: Most Missouri conservatives are fully onboard the Trump Train. Even Rep. Ann Wagner changed her mind today and announced she’s voting for Trump. All of my activist friends are onboard the train.
The weird thing is, some of my friends are NOT on the Greitens train. And THAT is wild inconsistency.
I’m not going to tell you you have to vote for Eric Greitens. I’m not even going to tell you that I’ll be mad if you don’t. That’s up to you.
But I will say I cannot figure how any conservative can overcome all of Tump’s flaws to support him but fail to overcome Greiten’s past positions. Greitens is a true American hero and remarkable leader. He’s recognized around the world as a great leader. The Democrats showered him with attention to get him to run as one of them.
But Greitens wanted to be consistent with his core philosophy, and his philosophy aligns better with the conservative faction of the GOP. So he left the party of his youth to become a Republican. And he’s become more conservative even in the two years I’ve known him.
If you want to know what inconsistency looks like, think about these people who support Trump but question Eric Greitens. That’s inconsistency I can’t reconcile.
If you do think about it, you’ll probably expect, like me, that Greitens and Trump will both win Missouri by 12 points or more. If that doesn’t happen, it’ll be because some of us are intellectually inconsistent.
Vote for Eric Greitens. Make Missouri great again.