I’ve had enough of roll-over-and-die conservatives.
If you want to know what a roll-over-and-die conservative looks like here’s a perfect example:
My hunch is that quite a few elected Republicans believe that Trump is behaving disgracefully, but won't say so for fear of their audience.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) November 10, 2020
And if you want to know what the opposite of what a roll-over-and-die conservative looks like, here’s an equally perfect example:
WE WILL WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2020
Can you spot the difference? One is a roll-over-and-die conservative. The other is what you might call a never-say-die conservative. One will inevitably lead us toward decline and oblivion. The other is our only hope of lasting victory. But even though these two types of conservative are polar opposites in superficial terms they look very similar.
Dan Hannan, for example, has the most impeccable conservative credentials. He was for many years a Conservative MEP, considered to be on the right of the party. He admires Margaret Thatcher. He was a staunch Brexiteer decades before the term was even invented. He writes stirring, trenchant articles in the Sunday Telegraph and elsewhere celebrating conservative principles from free trade to freedom of speech. He travels round the world making eloquent speeches, full of Shakespearean references, explaining why conservatism is the only political creed that works.
But though Hannan can certainly talk the talk he is like almost all Establishment conservatives in that he cannot walk the walk. That tweet of his is a giveaway. When faced with the ultimate test — what many of us would consider the defining battle of our lifetime between the right and the left — Dan has decided that the safe, sensible, reasonable, polite, gentleman’s club option is unconditional surrender.
Perhaps it’s unfair to single out Hannan for criticism. It’s not as though pretty much the entirety of the conservative establishment — from what passes for the right-wing commentariat to Boris Johnson’s ‘Conservative’ government — hasn’t sold the pass to the forces of the radical left in exactly the same disgusting, craven way.
Here’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson showing the way:
I just spoke to @JoeBiden to congratulate him on his election. I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 10, 2020
Here is former Conservative party leader Lord [William] Hague.
Joe Biden is indeed the “good man” described by former President George W Bush in a characteristically generous statement about a political opponent – not something that Trump will be able to muster.
Here is Conservative ex-Chancellor Sajid Javid:
Sajid Javid says Donald Trump’s behaviour has been “adolescent “ and “I hope that serious people around him will take him aside and tell him to stop and put an end to this” #Ridge pic.twitter.com/Sy2l3RoMlA
— Sophy Ridge (@SophyRidgeSky) November 8, 2020
As for the ‘conservative’ media, you can count on the fingers of a sawmill-operator’s hand the number of commentators who’ve stayed true to the basic principle that a presidential election isn’t decided until the Electoral College has ratified it. Note here, that I’m not even asking my fickle, fellow conservative commentators to go so far as to express their support for Donald Trump — even though they should: he being the only one of the two candidates who won’t take America and the world in an irredeemably left-wing direction. All I’m asking is for something much more basic: that they defend the fair, honest and just functioning of the democratic process.
I’m a Donald Trump fan — always have been — and I believe that if he ends up losing this election then the world is going to be a much darker place.
Journalist James Delingpole says the election has been "stolen" from Donald Trump.
"The world is going to be an uglier, darker, less-free place if Trump gets cheated in this election. I hope he fights to the bitter end. He's doing it for all of us".@TVKev | @JamesDelingpole pic.twitter.com/Nh4WRGTuIZ
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) November 6, 2020
But even if I weren’t a Donald Trump fan, even if I were at the basic ‘Orange Man Bad’ level of crass, cliche-driven ignorance, I like to think that at the very least I’d have the moral decency and the intellectual integrity not to start crowing about a Biden victory until the day the Biden victory had actually arrived.
As I tried explaining to my squishy Conservative chum Toby Young on our London Calling podcast, it really oughtn’t to matter whether you’re on the left or the right, whether you think Trump is the saviour of mankind or whether you think he’s a vulgar braggart who has disgraced the presidency, this is an issue which ought to transcend political affiliation: it’s about the integrity of democracy itself.
Yet astonishingly — and disgracefully — I’m one of very, very few conservative commenters in the UK sticking up for this basic principle. Most of them, like Dan Hannan, just want Trump to go — the sooner the better — regardless of any doubts there may be about whether or not the election was stolen.
Boris Johnson Says Call With Biden was ‘Refreshing’, Refers to Trump as the ‘Previous President’ https://t.co/rDh4heVFCM
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 11, 2020
And they’re doing it, I can’t help feeling, for the shallowest of reasons. They’re treating President Trump a bit like teenagers treat their Dad when he’s taken them to a restaurant and he complains about the service and the food. Sure the waiters have been slow and rude and the food has tasted like pigswill — and if customers don’t take a stand on this then the waiters will carry on being slow and rude and the food will go on tasting like pigswill forever. But as far as those sassy teenagers are concerned, it’s Dad who is the problem here. He’s embarrassing them by making a scene — and he shouldn’t do that because that’s embarrassing, undignified, unpresidential…
This is exactly where we are right now. President Trump believes he has reason to suspect this election has been stolen from him and he may or may not be right. You don’t know. I don’t know. But there certainly appears to be enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that he has a case at the very least strong enough for nobody — not you Dan Hannan, not you Andrew Neil, not you Boris Johnson, not you Brendan O’Neil — to be in a position where, in any conscience, they can declare the election for Joe Biden.
Well, I hope and pray they are proved wrong and if they are proved wrong I can promise I won’t gloat because frankly, I won’t be any mood for gloating. All I’m feeling right now is contempt and disgust at my fellow ‘conservatives’. They remind me of the ones who betrayed Margaret Thatcher — and I don’t think the vile taste is going to go away for a very long time, if indeed it ever does, you utter, utter scumbags.
James Delingpole is the host of the Delingpod – the podcast that you can guarantee will NEVER sell out to the forces of leftism or conservatism in name only…