The usual suspects have, once again, cobbled together a show trial for Donald Trump in hopes of finally ousting him as the main competitor to their self-proclaimed monopoly on authority and public opinion. Nothing new, of course: this has been the aim of the ruling class, left and right, for the past few years.
But now that Trump’s term has drawn to a close, his enemies have begun to focus their fire more keenly on the (alarmingly few) senators who seem poised to lead the conservative populist movement in the future. Chief among their targets are Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whom they now proclaim “guilty” for objecting to the counting of electoral votes from certain states.
Hawley and Cruz led a number of senators in these objections, knowing they were likely to be overwhelmed, but nevertheless hoping to finally force a Senate debate on the new voting systems imposed by fiat amidst the 2020 election. By doing so, they acted in perfect accordance with the supposed purpose of a senator: to represent the political concerns of their constituents and raise their serious questions in what ought to be the most revered forum for dispassionate political debate. …
The ruling class has now made it perfectly clear that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Questioning elite consensus threatens their power. … Even more alarming to the ruling class, it implies that their self-proclaimed natural right to rule, their unquestionable authority to settle political matters, is a sham. It suggests that they cannot simply appeal to their own supposed expertise, but instead must persuade those they intend to govern.
This has been an increasingly difficult problem for the ruling class over the past few years. The conservative populist movement actively rejects the authority of these “experts.” These voters recognize that those who hold themselves up as experts are often disastrously incompetent (look at the handling of the pandemic and the utter destruction of our nation’s livelihood, measured in whatever terms you like). They also see that the premises and decisions of these experts are often motivated by contempt for America, for the American way of life, and for them personally.
The ruling class is especially keen, therefore, to crush anyone who seems willing to lead such a movement. … There have been calls to remove objecting senators from office, strip them of committee assignments, or revoke their Ivy-League credentials (the worst punishment many in the ruling class can imagine).
What should have happened:
There are of course vehement disagreements on questions of election integrity, but seeking to live peaceably with those whose political positions you strongly oppose is the central question of American politics. The reasonable, the noble course of action is the one taken by Hawley and Cruz. A reasonable leader would respect the people enough to hold a debate, seeking to persuade his fellow citizens. A courageous leader would advocate for his beliefs even in the face of elite mockery and corporate punishment, seeking to persuade his fellow citizens by argument rather than by force.
This is not what the Left seeks. Having lost the ability to appeal to their own authority without pushback, they are perfectly content to turn to force. They do not seek to persuade, because they believe that opposition to their premises is too troglodytic to merit a response. If opposition persists, they will happily censor, or fire, or jail.
The next leader after Trump to stand up to the left in the US is going to have to be pretty ballsy and be prepared to take some political risks. It’s not going to be easy or pain-free. Maybe Cruz or Hawley will be that person.
The low risk, comfortable approach of the obedient Mitch McConnell just plays into the left’s hands. He is so not a leader for the normal people being disenfranchised and cancelled by the left.