Donald Trump

The 2016 U.S. presidential election gets weirder by the week, which in many ways is a good thing because the world is seeing everyone’s true colors come out. Audio from a 2005 conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush leaked late last Friday, which meant that “conservative” radio hosts weighed in today.

Mark Levin, for instance, thought the best thing to do in a post “grab her by the p***y” world would be to scream at the Never Trump movement like Grandpa Simpson.

Red State shared Mr. Levin’s opening monologue Monday night:

“This is a plebiscite against Hillary Clinton! Against Barack Obama! Against the centralized state! No, we don’t have the candidate that I wanted, but I can’t change that, now can I? No, I can’t.

So the moral high ground is not to duck the tough decision and stand on the sidelines while some of us make the tough decision. That’s not the moral high ground! The principled high ground is not to stand on the sideline and watch your country crater! And say, ‘I told you so, I told you so.’ No, that’s not the principled high ground, either. The real test of a human being is what they do when they’re challenged. When it’s not easy. When they don’t like the choices. But the moral and principled thing to not do is for conservatives to whine and complain, ‘Oh, woe is me,’ and just sit on your ass.”

Millions of people stayed home when Mitt Romney — a good and decent man — was the Republican nominee in 2008. I do not recall Mr. Levin ever screaming his lungs out and haranguing Republicans who sat “on the sidelines” in protest.

I voted for George W. Bush. I voted for John McCain. I voted for Mitt Romney. In each instance there were things about the candidates that bothered me, but I voted for them anyway.

Now, in 2016, guys like me are being rhetorically flogged by the likes of Mark Levin because we aren’t excited about someone who a.) was a Democrat for the vast majority of his adult life, b.) donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, c.) still does not publicly hold conservative positions on multiple issues (e.g., free trade), d.) literally bragged about trying to “f**k” a married woman, and e.) admitted that he has never asked God for forgiveness.

Question: At what point does a Republican candidate become unacceptable to the likes of Mark Levin?

Answer: Apparently, never.

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is the visible manifestation of our own cultural rotgut eating away at our insides. Myself and many others are in this world, but not of it. If the nation goes mad, then I am under no obligation to partake in the affair. I will not be guilted or shamed into voting for a candidate, nor will I care if self-righteous radio hosts try to blame me — a principled, law-abiding man who loves his country — for America’s decline.

Here is an uncomfortable fact: Mark Levin and many other “conservative” radio hosts sat in silence regarding Donald Trump during the Republican primaries. They did this because they liked making the Republican Party squirm. In fact, they liked it so much that they ignored all the warning signs that they were creating a Frankenstein monster. And then, when the monster broke free, they decided to blame the very people who were screaming, “Stop! This is madness!” from the very beginning.

If Mark Levin does not like the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, then his search for people to blame should begin with a look in the mirror.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

26 comments

  1. “If the nation goes mad, then I am under no obligation to partake in the affair.”

    Well sheesh, I wish you would have told me that before I named myself insanitybytes and jumped into the fray. 🙂

    I actually began about four years ago, writing letters to the Republican establishment, contacting pastors, plunging into the alt right, sounding the alarm everywhere I went like a canary in a coal mine. Alas, few people wanted to listen to me, but I felt compelled to try and gave it my best shot.

    In my state to doesn’t much matter, we are dark blue, we’ll be voting for Clinton, although Trump did manage to finally get his polls numbers up into the double digits, so you know, 27% is an improvement, but not likely to win him the election. So as far as strategies go, I am free to vote for Edward Snowden.

    1. “Alas, few people wanted to listen to me, but I felt compelled to try and gave it my best shot.”

      That’s all you can really do, insanitybytes.

      That’s why Levin’s screed is so annoying. I’ve been blogging for years (in addition to all the other work I do to provide people with useful information about freedom, liberty, etc.), and then this guy wants to start slinging insults over how I’ll use my vote? Yeesh. And, like I said, he gleefully sat back during the primaries while Trump’s campaign grew. By the time he started saying, “Wait a second…this guy isn’t conservative,” it was too late. Now he’s trying to absolve himself from having to take any responsibility for the political climate he helped create. Nice try, Mr. Levin. It’s not working.

    1. “Thanks, Doug. I am with you. Incredibly frustrated at both the Republican party and with everything Trump.”

      Thanks for reading, Ian. I appreciate it. If you look at Scot’s comment, you’ll see a sterling example of what we’re dealing with. Here we have a guy who doesn’t want to contribute to the debate, but decides he is going to cut off anyone who disagrees with his point of view. He’s apparently been reading my blog for some time, but yet is reticent to put forth a defense of the guy who inspires him to loosely quote Thomas Paine.

    2. I have noticed the increased and loud demographic isolation this year especially. Hostility to other political parties and candidates is, of course, the way things always go (the apocalyptic language during Jefferson’s campaign comes to mind), but it’s something to behold this year. Even though I’ve been trying to listen to other points of view (I’ve been #neverEither since the nominations) I have to force myself to listen to some of my favorite vloggers when they make their pro-Hillary segments.

  2. Levin? Hannity’s old attack dog? I remember when he would line up his opposition callers and sick Levin on him so he could enjoy a take down he couldn’t deliver himself.

    Hannity takedown: “what about …(insert somewhat relevant point)?” over and over, rinse and repeat

    Levin: Long winded 5 minute tirade that you were sure the caller put the phone down and made a sandwich for

    They have become like the media they hate. For an audience, and out of fear for Trump’s possible popularity among their listeners, they have turned on many of the principles they used to stand for.

    1. “They have become like the media they hate. For an audience, and out of fear for Trump’s possible popularity among their listeners, they have turned on many of the principles they used to stand for.”

      Exactly. And there are plenty of “Scots” out there who will listen. I’m apparently a “sunshine patriot,” but Scot has the mettle of a Minuteman because he listens to Mark Levin and unfollows blogs like mine. Heh. 😉

  3. I am sorry I can no longer read your blog but all the best to you in your endeavors.

    “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer blogger and the sunshine conservative will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

    1. “I am sorry I can no longer read your blog but all the best to you in your endeavors.”

      Scott, “I am sorry” that you create a little social media bubble where you only read opinions that validate your point of view.

      “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer blogger and the sunshine conservative will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

      I don’t know about you, but I think it’s weird to lecture a veteran about service to his country. I volunteered, knowing full well that I might be deployed somewhere and die in service to my country. I don’t like to play the “veteran card,” but it seems appropriate when someone attacks me with some variation of that Thomas Paine quote. You want to question my patriotism and then run for the hills? Telling.

      Hey, look what we have here: It seems as though your “deals” are as good as Trump’s: “And it is a deal, I will admit on your blog if Trump turns out to be a failure and buy you a six pack and I will take a six pack of Yuengling if Trump is a success. Cheers.”

      It looks like you won’t be around to discuss your “deal.” How convenient. Oh well.

  4. Well, I had to check on your repsonse. I honor your service and for your information I also served. I will come back to make good on my deal.

    I do not question your patriotism but I do question your judgment.

    As a veteran, I know you know, that if either of us did what Hillary did with classified material, we would be breaking big rocks into little rocks in Leavenworth.

    Hillary is a candidate who wants to repeal the First and Second amendments and if elected she will. The corruption of both parties are taking this country down with unfettered immigration and destructive trade deals.

    I am not looking for an echo chamber for my views but also don’t want to read the same views I can find in the “conservative media.” I will be back after the election to make good on my deal.

    1. “I do not question your patriotism but I do question your judgment.”

      Actually, you did question my patriotism. This is what you said: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer blogger and the sunshine conservative will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

      You took a quote from Paine that specifically mentions “sunshine patriots,” twisted it a tad, and then said guys like me “shrink from the service of their country.”

      Notice how I did not do that to Mark Levin. I simply said he was on a moral pedestal and acting like a jerk for trying to tell me that I’m not a principled conservative if I don’t use my vote the way he deems fit. That’s disgusting. You’re doing the exact same thing, and because I’m willing to call you out on it you must now wish me “the best” on my future endeavors. Is there a sad trumpet that will play as you ride off into the sunset? Please. Get off your high horse.

      As a veteran, I know you know, that if either of us did what Hillary did with classified material, we would be breaking big rocks into little rocks in Leavenworth.

      Yes. I have made that point countless times on this very blog.

      “I am not looking for an echo chamber for my views but also don’t want to read the same views I can find in the ‘conservative media.'”

      So you read my comic book blog posts and enjoyed them, but because I occasionally defend myself from guys like Mark Levin then you have to make some melodramatic exit post on my blog and quote Thomas Paine? Okay. Sure. You’re not trying to build an echo chamber for yourself at all. Keep telling yourself that, Scot.

  5. Maybe I miss read your Mark Levin post, but I wasn’t aware he attacked you. I do enjoy your comic posts and looked at comics as an escape from our maddening times until they became too politicized. The same thing has happened to the NFL.

    I don’t need political messages in everything I see. Life is too short for that.

    I was hoping you would do a review of Luke Cage. I have watched the first 3 episodes and thought they were well done. I will come back after the election to honor my deal.

    1. “Maybe I miss read your Mark Levin post, but I wasn’t aware he attacked you.”

      You’re right, Scot. Because he didn’t specifically mention me by name then he wasn’t attacking me and others like me. My goodness… You’re embarrassing yourself right now.

  6. Ok, I guess I am embarrassing myself. I will be back after the elections per our deal and to see if you do a Luke Cage review.

    Also, I am being honest when I am saying all the best to you, your blog, and writing career. We may not agree on everything but I am glad your voice is out there and have allowed me to comment on your blog.

  7. P.S. This analogy just came across my FB page, so I responded:

    To Robert G: Allying with Stalin (Trump) against Hitler (Clinton) during WW 2 is a false analogy to our current plight. A true analogy would be if America in WW 2 had to decide whether to choose Stalin to become premier of the United States., as opposed to choosing Hitler to become the Fuehrer of the United States. But those weren’t the choices, thank the Lord. WW 2 had to do with international military alliances, made between separate independent nations.

    1. “P.S. This analogy just came across my FB page, so I responded…”

      The problem, as I was telling a friend earlier today, is that people objectify politicians by turning them into vessels. That vessel is either filled with all of the individual’s hopes and dreams, or it contains all of his worst fears. When this happens, the person creates psychological and spiritual blindspots that prevent them discerning truth. The “good” vessel can never be less than an ideal, and the “bad” vessel becomes “irredeemable,” etc.

      We are at the point where it is nearly impossible to have an honest discussion because people join a “team” and decide their “team” is magically infallible. It disgusts me to see the great lengths people will go to in order to excuse horrible behavior.

    2. Excellent observation Doug.

      We can’t lose sight of our objectivity. Of course that has already happened, and now anyone who even sees with clear eyes is getting attacked by former ideological allies.

      I’ve never been a ‘never trumper’. I think that’s silly. However, it is the candidates’ duty to earn the citizen’s vote, not the citizen’s duty to vote for the candidate of a party.

      The language some of these people use really pisses me off, and in person, will earn a solid fist fight…Suggesting that by not voting for their candidate, I’m responsible for everything that happens next…like I wore a mini-skirt to a party and deserved to get raped, or was in the wrong neighborhood and deserved to be murdered.

      It’s nasty, and I’m more solidly libertarian and less solidly conservative than ever.

    3. “We can’t lose sight of our objectivity. Of course that has already happened, and now anyone who even sees with clear eyes is getting attacked by former ideological allies.”

      I find it absolutely stunning that I can mention that Donald Trump literally tried to tie Ted Cruz’s father to the JFK assassination with zero evidence, and then suddenly I’m the bad guy for not getting on board the Trump Train. What happened? How did we arrive as this point?

      “I’ve never been a ‘never trumper’. I think that’s silly. However, it is the candidates’ duty to earn the citizen’s vote, not the citizen’s duty to vote for the candidate of a party.”

      As I mentioned in the post, there must come a time for principled conservatives when a man becomes unacceptable — even if he has an ‘R’ next to his name. We can debate where the Rubicon is, but for Mark Levin and Sean Hannity it apparently does not exist. If Mark Levin is going to rhetorically slam guys like me, then I think he should be a little bit more specific about what Mr. Trump would have to do or say to lose his vote.

      “The language some of these people use really pisses me off, and in person, will earn a solid fist fight…Suggesting that by not voting for their candidate, I’m responsible for everything that happens next.”

      Yep. That’s why it was rather annoying to me to have someone like Scot show up out of thin air and start calling me a “sunshine conservative,” throwing out Thomas Paine to question my patriotism, etc. It’s like, ‘Who do you think you are? Do you think you’re a freaking Minuteman?’

      If someone wants to vote for Hillary, fine. If someone wants to vote for Trump, fine. If someone wants to vote for Gary Johnson, fine. If someone wants to stay home because they’re disgusted with all of them, then fine. This entire election is an embarrassing mess, so I’m not sure why so many people are determined to climb up on moral pedestals and lecture their neighbor.

  8. There is only one candidate who poses an existential threat to the foundation of our government of, by, and for the people, and who is a corrupt insider who sold American foreign policy for cash, putting the lone super power in the hands of assorted thugs around the world who stand ready to call in their markers on a president who would be the literal servant of foreign masters. This is no choice between two equally bad candidates. This is a choice between a guaranteed continuing annihilation of our constitutional government and the rule of law on the one hand and a deeply flawed, unpredictable candidate on the other. An easy choice, in other words, and going ostrich on it is not defensible.

    1. Yeah…I’m really tired of these vague threats.

      Or what? What if I don’t vote Trump, you gonna show up at my door? I’ll show you defensible.

      I may go ‘do my duty’ and vote for Trump. but this election was lost in the primary. Sorry, he has to win over people…go send some long eloquent letters to Trump about winning an election, broad appeal, and selling himself as a president…he’s failing.; He failed from the beginning. Hillary had one chance to win, and we gave it to her.

      People see how even a supposed conservative will not only defend anything…they see guys like you try to shame everybody into ‘doing the right thing’ and they want no part of it.

      These lame attempts to pin this on your allies is a joke.

      There’s a lot of people voting for Hillary…get busy.

    2. “Yeah…I’m really tired of these vague threats. Or what? What if I don’t vote Trump, you gonna show up at my door? I’ll show you defensible.”

      The moral certitude of guys like sasoc over Donald Trump is quite interesting, don’t you think? 😉 Sasoc is willing to say my observations of Mr. “eminent domain” Trump are indefensible and that if I don’t vote for him I’m “going ostrich,” but why? As you point out, the onus is on the candidate to prove that he is worthy of the job — not for me to vote for the Republican Party as long as the candidate has a pulse.

      At what point does Donald Trump become unacceptable? Is there anything he can say or do that would lose the sasoc vote, or is it impossible because Hillary Clinton is such a clear “existential threat” to the nation? Guys like sasoc on both sides of the political spectrum always say the other party is an “existential threat.” In fact, I cannot remember an election since I became of voting age where that line wasn’t trotted out. And, honestly, if a single person could kill the great American experiment then it’s already dead.

      “I may go ‘do my duty’ and vote for Trump. but this election was lost in the primary. Sorry, he has to win over people…go send some long eloquent letters to Trump about winning an election, broad appeal, and selling himself as a president…he’s failing.; He failed from the beginning. Hillary had one chance to win, and we gave it to her.”

      I have tried to warm up to Trump and give him the benefit of the doubt, but time and time and time again he proves why millions of people rightfully do not want to be associated with him. My job also allows me to have some “inside baseball” knowledge that I cannot share publicly, and I am telling you that this is not an “easy choice.” Maybe I’ll send you a private email one day, Chuck…

      “People see how even a supposed conservative will not only defend anything...they see guys like you try to shame everybody into ‘doing the right thing’ and they want no part of it.These lame attempts to pin this on your allies is a joke.”

      Yep.

      “There’s a lot of people voting for Hillary…get busy.”

      And again, I have dedicated my life to defending this nation and articulating the principles that made it great — personally and professionally. It started when I was a kid straight out of high school who enlisted in the Army, and then it continued with my job working for The Heritage Foundation (often traveling around the country for events) and now for a newspaper. The book I’ll be publishing and this blog are a continuation of those efforts. Trying to paint me as a turncoat or an “ostrich” certainly does not endear me to sasoc’s point of view. That’s putting it lightly.

    3. It’s an “easy choice.” Heh. Okay. If only only more people were as brilliant as you, then Donald “eminent domain, Clinton donor, Putin man-crush” Trump would win in a landslide.

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