Where Do We As Conservatives Go From Here
While the next presidential election is still years away, it’s still a good idea to look in on ourselves and evaluate what we want to do going forward. Some would have you believe that it’s a choice between the nationalist populist portion of voters, who treated Trump like an idol and the wishy washy establishment Republicans, who give up every fight they pretend to wage. But we are far from limited to these two subpar options. Going forward, we must unite a coalition that everybody on the right can come on board with, but not neuter itself in doing so. We need a message that is conservative all around. And with honest people who fight consistently for these principles.
It is no coincidence, that the left is aiming to predominately attack some of the people who have the most potential on the right. They want to end the threat before it can get going. And the two I always see under attack and with the best track record are Senator Tom Cotton and Governor Ron DeSantis.
Senator Cotton of Arkansas, has made a name for himself in the senate as one of the most stalwart defenders of conservatism. He is somebody who does not bend the knee even when it might be popular to do so. Consistency is key. And Tom Cotton is far and away the most consistently conservative senator we have. Looking specifically on his track record when it comes to criminal justice reform and immigration, Tom Cotton is one of the only people you can always count on. And he isn’t afraid to bash critical race theory or go places some fear to go. For this, Cotton receives significant flack from the left. Earlier this year, Salon attempted to smear Cotton as a perpetrator of stolen valor. Before that, they pretended that Cotton’s calls to quell last summer’s riots with the Insurrection Act was pure racism, which resulted in the dismissal of an editor who allowed Cotton to write an op-ed on the matter in the New York Times.
Cotton has led the charge against the monstrous historical revisionism that is the 1619 Project, attempting to put a stop to its implementation in school curricula. Cotton is also one of the most sober people in congress when it comes to foreign policy. Going back to his first term, Cotton led the charge against then-president Obama’s disastrous Iran deal.
I would be remiss, when mentioning Cotton’s bona fides, not to include some of the opposition he gets from his own side. Cotton is a composed man, but he fights consistently, and isn’t there to please the elites in his party. Cotton was one of the only senate republicans to vocally oppose and vote against the First Step Act at the end of 2018. Many on the right had deluded themselves into thinking that this foolish leftwing legislation was a good idea because it had Trump’s approval. Cotton also broke with the grandstanders amidst the performance art and fealty to Trump after the election, not turning on him at the drop of a hat because it was convenient, like many senators. This unfortunately earned him negativity from some Trump supporters, who nonsensically concluded he was a RINO. That is absurd. Cotton is far more of a consistent conservative fighter than many of the people who decided to put on a show.
The other major figure that the media is attempting to stifle is Ron DeSantis. DeSantis would potentially have larger appeal than Cotton, because the Trump fans who were upset that Cotton voted to certify the election still like DeSantis, And DeSantis is another conservative who fights. This results in the left and the media, I realize I repeat myself, have long coordinated to take him down. Their major weapon of attacking DeSantis was COVID19. The media portrayed his response to the crisis as some kind of unmitigated disaster, in contrast to democrat governors who were treated as darlings of the media. One media favorite was Andrew Cuomo. Of course now, as many conservatives have been trying to tell everybody for a year, it is obvious that DeSantis actually handled the situation rather well, compared to Governor Cuomo. The New York governor is now rightfully under scrutiny for his handling of the elderly in nursing homes in his state. DeSantis, on the other hand, worked hard to protect his state’s elderly population all-the-while, yet still not enacting immense blanket restrictions.
DeSantis was also great when he was in the house. Prior to his election as Florida’s governor, DeSantis worked as one the the most consistent conservatives in congress. As a member of the Freedom Caucus, DeSantis had no qualms about standing for conservative principles even when the conventional wisdom of going along to get along, would tempt many of his colleagues.
Like Cotton, DeSantis served in the military. Having given years of active service to the US Navy, DeSantis is still a reserve member. Now, of course, there is lots of talk about DeSantis running for president, but he must first focus on reelection to the governor’s house. That’s just a year away, and he needs to succeed there, where the left is going to attempt to knock him out before he can become a threat as a presidential candidate. Losing the governorship would hamper his path dramatically. Cotton, too, is running for reelection in 2022, so he kind of needs to focus on that. But right now, I would look at each of them as potential contenders. Even if they do not become the nominee, they should be seen as a model of what we can do on the right. We don’t have to choose between a cult of personality, nationalist populism, and the swamp. We must find somebody who is a consistent conservative, who can fight for conservative ideals, and also appeals to a broad coalition.