by Rod D. Martin
October 21, 2016
In today’s National Review, almost-third-party-Presidential-candidate and #NeverTrump icon David French whines about “the price I’ve paid for opposing Donald Trump.”
Well boo hoo.
David French is no leftist, but he sure acts like one here. The idea that you could take strong public stands — including a demand to split the Republican Party and ensure the election of Hillary Clinton — without anyone speaking back to you is the sort of “safe space” snowflakism that on any other day French would rightly decry.
A few random thoughts:
1. I was for the other guy, with reason.
2. I have personally experienced more than my share of this sort of thing. I have been a public official, and I have a reasonably public profile. I have been actually been accused of dodging the draft in Vietnam (I was born at the end of 1969). I have received more death threats than I can count. There is probably no disgusting act of which I have not at some point been accused by someone. My wife was stalked (interestingly enough, by the son of a prominent newspaper editor). I get what French is complaining about. I almost sympathize. But…
3. On the other hand, the #NeverTrumpers picked about as ugly and open of a fight as they possibly could, have called Donald Trump everything from deranged, to Hitler, to a racist narcissist, to I don’t even know what all. They’ve insulted his wife, they’ve insulted his kids, they’ve attacked his businesses, they’ve attacked his charitable work, they’ve attacked everything he’s ever done in every way possible.
4. And of course David French personally allowed Bill Kristol to use him in the most unfair possible way (unfair, that is, to David French) with this whole insane third party thing. And let’s be clear: this had absolutely nothing to do with principle. Not only did Kristol not want French, he said so quite loudly, giving off a long list of people he would rather have had as his “ideal principled conservative alternative”, at the top of which was…wait for it…Joe Lieberman??!!! Is there any principle on which Joe Lieberman is “conservative” other than his general excitement about bombing brown people??!!! I mean, seriously? Abortion, taxes, judges, you name it: Lieberman is conservative like Satan is a Christian.
So French allowed himself to be used by a guy who wasn’t even nice about using him, for a “principled conservatism” which obviously was neither, and having chosen to be the epicenter of this, French is surprised that some people are being nasty to him? On Twitter? Seriously?
5. There’s a real (wait for it) narcissism to anyone who thinks they can pick a really ugly personal not-at-all issues-based fight with someone (or even just try to take that person’s cookie) and not get blowback. There’s a real hint in this – not just from French but from a lot of #NeverTrump types I know, even in private – of shock that everyone doesn’t just “obviously” see that they have the moral high ground, and Trump is completely evil, and so “obviously” whatever they say about him, no matter how awful, is completely fine. There’s this naivety to a lot of them that says it’s fine for them to say anything (“Hitler” for instance) to destroy this man’s reputation and career, but there “obviously” should be no questioning of them or of their doing so, no anger in response.
It’s more or less exactly the Marie Antoinette syndrome that produced Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the first place.
6. This is getting long, so two very practical thoughts among all these random musings. Yes, some of the Trump supporters who say things to these oh-so-innocent men are out of bounds. But (a) isn’t it also obvious that writing an article like this is deliberately intended to advance French’s longtime line that Trump is an evil monster? That it might be less about how horrible French is being treated and more about his yearlong crusade?
And (b) even if it’s all true, and even if all the points are fair, Trump personally didn’t do any of what he’s complaining about – and it’s Trump himself who has more reason to attack French for his unending personal attacks than absolutely anyone – and if Trump were to spend any time whatsoever denouncing the behavior complained about (as French and his #NeverTrump allies demand), he’d fall into exactly the sort of trap Hillary set for him repeatedly in the first debate: he’d be on defense, he’d seem to be acknowledging responsibility, and he would…be losing, exactly as David French wants.
So bottom line: this was a whiney propaganda piece. Kind of like all Hillary’s hooey about not pre-conceding an election he hasn’t lost yet, in a year when every day there’s more evidence of voter fraud, and still zero evidence of Russian anything (which wouldn’t matter anyway: if Satan himself had hacked Hillary’s or John Podesta’s emails, they’d still be Hillary’s and Podesta’s emails, and millions of people would still be horrified, just as they are by her appointing Antonin Scalia’s replacement, and by her trillion dollar tax hike, and so forth).
So I’m sorry David French, currently one of the kings of vitriol, is receiving back a bit of what he’s dishing out. But don’t lose track of the fact that he, and all these people, have an agenda – right or wrong – and they’re pretty ruthlessly pursuing it to the death. Joining the left in seeking victimhood does not speak well of any of them.