A hack named Mike Pence who has no chance to win the GOP nomination recently spoke at Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire, in what could be considered the most snore-inducing, milquetoast speech in history.
This guy is charismatic. The room was filled with “please clap”. He could only muster a tiny golf clap. One might feel sorry for him if he wasn’t such an arrogant, backstabbing weasel.
He literally said nothing that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have said in a similar performance in 2012 or John McCain in 2008.
The purported irreconcilable difference between conservatism and populism was the apparent central theme of Pence’s spectacle.
If the new populism on the right takes over and guides our party, we will no longer have the Republican Party that we know and love. The fate of American liberty would also be at risk.
It is not possible to have both. This is because there is a fundamental division between the two factions that cannot be bridged.
Today, another strain is challenging conservatism, not from the Democratic Party but from within the Republican Party. This ideology is known as “populism” rather than “progressivism,” and it’s not a mistake. Both ideologies travel the same path to ruin.
The Republican populists will abandon American leadership in the world, adopting a posture that is appeasing the rising threats against freedom. Republican populists will blatantly undermine our constitutional norms. Last year, a leading Republican candidate called for “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles” even those in the Constitution. His imitators have shown a willingness in this primary to use government power to impose the will of their opponents.
Mike Pence’s “conservatism” — to the extent it is not a vapid and tired platitude, as it has become for cynical political figures such as himself — means the continuation of the Swamp Oligarchy, endless Neoliberalism through “free trade agreements” of the Cato Institute, which only serve to destroy what’s left in American industry, as well as endless wars abroad.
Pence’s “conservatism”, to him, is a matter of repeating the cliches that his donors, and parasitic consultants, who live off donor money, cram into his empty mind – ideally, with panache. Pence appears pathologically incapable. He is a consummate performer without charisma. He’s like a used-car salesman but without the giggling.
Before it was twisted for cheap political gains by GOP consultants, conservatism meant that its adherents preserved what is good and decency about society. Like, For example, the middle class that Pence could care less about when they stood in the way of Nike exporting their factories into Indonesia to exploit third-world slavery for pennies on a dollar.
Here’s an idea for Michael: the root of “populism,” which is “popular,” means that you appeal to a wide range of people/voters. For an election to be won — until the Brandon-Trump debacle in 2020 — you must have a majority’s support. If Pence fails to achieve this, he will forever be relegated by the polls at under 5%, which is, frankly, much higher than what he deserves.