ICYMI: Conservatism Betrayed

The Washington Times Book Review: http://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/9/book-review-how-the-right-lost-its-mind/

How the Right Lost Its Mind” is an important work. Any serious-minded citizen, no matter of what political persuasion, will benefit from reading it and carefully contemplating the powerful message of its thoughtful, solidly conservative author.

A highly principled conservative of the William F. Buckley Jr./Ronald Reagan mold, Charles J. Sykes is the author of eight other acclaimed conservative books and was a well-known Wisconsin conservative radio talk-show host.

Many will remember when an especially ill-prepared Donald Trump called into “The Charlie Sykes Show” days before the Wisconsin primary and how during that 17-minute interview Mr. Sykes respectfully but grippingly dismembered him regarding his fitness for the presidency and his elusive and anything but conservative positions on important issues. That the Wisconsin primary became a Ted Cruz routing of Donald Trump was in no small measure because of the challenging questioning Mr. Sykes and other leading conservative talk radio hosts in that state had raised about the Trump candidacy.

“How the Right Lost Its Mind” will be labeled as anti-Trump. It’s that, to be sure — but it is so very much more than merely that. Above all, this is the story of the betrayal of the conservative cause by many prominent persons who had been considered, and disingenuously still claim to be, principled conservatives.

The author neither minces words nor pulls punches as he mourns over how some of the right’s “leading voices turned from gatekeepers to cheerleaders and from thought leaders to sycophantic propagandists” and how “a movement based on ideas devolved into a new tribalism that valued neither principle nor truth.”

Who were conservatism’s biggest betrayers? He names names but doesn’t rank them in any order of bad to worse to very worst. But it’s not difficult to glean that had he done so his very worst betrayers category would be dominated by many of the country’s best-known evangelicals.

“The evangelical support for Trump,” he writes, “was especially surprising given the evidence that Trump was either indifferent toward or ignorant of the basic tenets of the faith.” Yet, he notes, several leading evangelicals volunteered tortured defenses of conduct which previously they always passionately denounced. Among the most bizarre assertions were the biblically bogus comparison between Donald Trump and King David made by Jerry Falwell Jr. and his equally absurd theologically fallacious pronouncement that by having created jobs, candidate Trump had met “the true test of someone’s Christianity.”

Read the rest here. http://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/9/book-review-how-the-right-lost-its-mind/