Anyone who spent the weekend in the Twitterverse has seen the impact of National Review’s open assault on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
It was impossible to escape. Donald Trump defenders were quick to point out National Review’s failure to mount such attacks in previous political situations:
— Wayne Dupree™ (@WayneDupreeShow) January 23, 2016
National Review trumpeted its support from conservative intellectual heavy weights like Thomas Sowell:
— National Review (@NRO) January 24, 2016
Some were impressed by National Review’s line-up but thought it ineffective:
— Susan J. Demas (@sjdemas) January 25, 2016
Some found it insulting:
— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) January 25, 2016
Rich Lowry went on Fox to stand up for National Review and its purpose:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 23, 2016
Jonah Goldberg got Trump-ish and started taking shots…
— National Review (@NRO) January 23, 2016
Then there’s Mark Steyn, Dinesh D’Souza, and Judge Jeanine Pirro criticizing National Review for not listening to the people:
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) January 23, 2016
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) January 23, 2016
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 23, 2016
Even Breitbart had duel opinions front and center between Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulous:
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 24, 2016
I’m snowed in, nursing a cold, and a total political junkie. This should have been heaven to watch, except it was like watching a dysfunctional family rip itself apart.
Where do I start?
First, I am a staunch advocate of free speech. I don’t care that National Review put out its opinions on Donald Trump. Breitbart.com exists. Breitbart Sirius Radio exists. And we are everywhere. Speak on, National Review.
Second, I am a Ted Cruz supporter but I don’t hate Donald Trump. My opinion all weekend has been simple. Ted Cruz has to beat Donald Trump or Trump will win the Republican nomination. Okay,National Reviews authors, you have stated your opinions, the American people are still backing Trump. What are you going to do next?
Third, Donald Trump is bringing new voters into our conservative social media universe. There are young voters, blacks, latinos, blue collar workers, and first time voters that conservatives haven’t been able to reach coming to our timelines and we are making conservatism look bad. We have turned into the arguing, bickering children we used to mock on college campuses. This isn’t effective fighting. It’s jockeying for position on the top of the conservative mountain at the expense of the movement, and it has to stop.
These three things are leading to one big picture, the fallacy of the Republican “big tent” is starting to expose itself. Let me use Andrew Breitbart, CPAC, and #OscarsSoWhite to add some definition to the current political atmosphere.
The first year I attended CPAC, I quickly realized #CPACSoWhite. Now you can start pulling stats comparing black GOP members to black GOP speakers, but that doesn’t matter to a first time attendee. All we feel is #CPACSoWhite.
The second year I attended CPAC, I had the honor of introducing Andrew Breitbart. Am I disproving my own theory with that fact? No. CPAC tried to get someone else to introduce Andrew. Andrew said if it wasn’t me, he wouldn’t attend.
The third year I attended CPAC, I introduced Ted Cruz and Ann Coulter to the stage. It was an awesome experience, except I started to learn about the CPAC hierarchy. There are certain circles within the conservative movement, and if you don’t fit into those circles, you don’t get on stage at CPAC. I don’t care who is in what circle. I just know I don’t fit.
My fourth year at CPAC, I learned another nasty trick of the trade. Black speakers are invited but sent to side panels instead of the main stage. It was down right depressing watching conservatives of all colors flock to Col. Allen West, knowing his voice wouldn’t be heard in the big arena. What chance in hell would I have?
Last year I attended CPAC, after building a project with a conservative group that failed miserably, when I actually wanted to focus on black people, convinced #CPACSoWhite. I didn’t mount an attack, gather all the blacks, and protest CPAC. I told them all it’s time to change our strategy. Then I backed it up with my first speech of 2016 at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention:
If your first inclination is to go back through your CPAC pictures to post your one black friend…you are missing the forest looking at a damn tree. I have never played the racial game and this isn’t my attempt. Conservatives/Republicans don’t have a problem with diversity of color. They have a huge problem with diversity of thought. Andrew Breitbart understood that.
And that’s the problem I have with National Review’s intent. If you support Donald Trump than you are not a true conservative. You can’t be.
Here is your wake up call. I am a black conservative woman. I do not have nor have I ever owned a subscription to National Review. I can not afford to sail around the world with the top thinkers and have them tell me my political beliefs and what I should stand for on a National Review cruise. Prices starting at $2,000 and a reasonable $2,700 for singles. I didn’t become a conservative by listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Mark Levin either.
My biggest advocate towards conservatism was Jay-Z and that’s an opinion I will never read in your magazine.But let me give you an example I did read in your online magazine from Jonah Goldberg:
Which brings us to another compelling historical surprise. Conservatives, who were too often on the wrong side of civil rights in 1963, are champions of race neutrality, while King’s self-appointed heirs are more inclined to champion the ideas that never spoke to the hearts of all Americans, or to mint new causes they assure us King would have cared deeply about had he lived. That’s their prerogative, but they shouldn’t be surprised when such efforts fail to capture the hearts and minds of all Americans.
Maybe National Review should take Jonah Goldberg’s advice. Conservative champions have failed to penetrate the black community for over 50 years. Now those same conservative champions are losing their conservative base. Maybe they shouldn’t be surprised when their efforts fail to capture the hearts and minds of all Americans.
To gather what you call the greatest political thinkers to dictate who is and isn’t a conservative is the right of National Review. Just like #CPACSoWhite is their “privilege” (couldn’t help myself).
I’m just glad Breitbart exists for those of us who didn’t follow the traditional trails towards conservatism.