Christian Vanderbrouk is a former official from the George W. Bush administration who joined with others to endorse Joe Biden in 2020 through an operation called "43 Alumni for America." He also writes for the struggling, values-conflicted, online publication known as the Bulwark.
So perhaps given those credentials it shouldn't have surprised anyone to see his recent statement advocating for conservatives to abandon the Republican Party:
I couldn't tell if that was an attempted online jab or if it was a legitimate question. Upon looking a bit deeper, it appears that it is likely the latter, and that leaves me utterly flummoxed. Ostensibly, Vanderbrouk is a seasoned politico. He worked in the White House for 8 years and later at the New York Stock Exchange. He's obviously bright.
So how can he – how can anyone at this point – not comprehend the answers to his question? After all, this has been the heart of the moral dilemma plaguing conservatives for at least the last six years. It was the premise of the highly-influential pre-2016 election essay, "The Flight 93 Election" by Michael Anton. The reason a majority of conservatives chose to look the other way when it came to the weird, unproductive, and gross things that Donald Trump would say or do was because he was all that stood between the country and a catastrophic Hillary Clinton presidency.
To be sure, I'm not suggesting that Christian Vanderbrouk or any other Republican should have agreed with their conclusion. I'm simply saying that he should at least understand that's why they came to it in 2016, and why they're coming to it now in 2021 with regard to the sometimes cringeworthy antics of lawmakers like Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, and others.
It's really not rocket science to figure out, but I also appreciate that there is a prevailing moral confusion that has infected the Bulwark to the point where once great champions of conservative thought like Mona Charen are now writing pieces endorsing pro-abortionists like Joe Biden and corrupt-o-crat Terry McAuliffe.
And beyond the Bulwark brigade, I couldn't help but notice that even David French – a man I still follow and desperately want to continue respecting as a critical thinker who earnestly seeks to apply serious moral reason to his thoughts – "liked" Vanderbrouk's absurd tweet.
Therefore, even though I think this is patently obvious to anyone who makes an honest effort to understand, I'll indulge the man's question. Why are many God-fearing conservatives staying "loyal to a political party with people like Marjorie Taylor Greene charting the course"?
1. Many don't believe she's charting the course.
Most conservatives recognize the political axiom that those lawmakers who get the headlines, the controversy, the cable critiques, are often the same lawmakers who do little, if any, serious work on legislation. They may show off for the cameras, but they shrink from the toil. Simply put, when Midwest conservatives vote, they aren't picturing MTG's face superimposed over their representative's.
2. Flight 93 (still).
Some conservatives, like some liberals, see every election as a standard binary choice. So yes, they will continue to vote for a party that features the rhetoric of Greene, Boebert, Gosar so long as the alternative is a party that boasts Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, and AOC.
3. Men like Christian made their own Frankenstein.
It's somewhat humorous to see men like Vanderbrouk scoff at the lack of "principle" in conservatives voting for such obviously flawed Republicans. Why? Because most of those conservatives believe they are standing on principle by supporting the only viable political party that can slow or repel the dangerous progressive movement that, ironically, writers like Vanderbrouk, Charen, French, and Bulwark founder Bill Kristol have told them for decades is out to wreck the lives of their children and grandchildren.
I can't disagree with Vanderbrouk that some high-profile Republican officials have lost the plot. I would simply add that the same goes for many within the Right's commentary class.
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