A battle for the soul of the right.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Republican side of the 2016 election has been the sharp divide among conservatives over Donald Trump. People tend to fall into one of three camps; love him, hate him or will support him if he’s the nominee.
On one side, you’ve got multiple conservative writers and thinkers who insist Trump isn’t a conservative at all, as we saw with the special edition of National Review.
On the other side, you have people like Sean Hannity of FOX News, Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit and John Nolte of Breitbart, all conservatives who appear enthusiastic about Trump’s rise.
Sean Hannity even devoted his entire show to a one on one town hall style interview with Donald Trump in Las Vegas last night. Trump’s conservative credentials came up right away.
The FOX News Insider reports:
Trump: Hard to Forgive ‘All of the Lies’ by Other GOP Candidates
Hours before the Nevada caucus, Donald Trump sat down with Sean Hannity for a wide-ranging, hour-long interview in front of a live audience.
Check out highlights as we update this post.
Trump weighed in on whether he could see himself getting along with fellow Republican candidates after all of the attacks being hurled at him on the campaign trail.
He said that, not being a politician, it would be difficult to forgive “all of the lies and misrepresentations” that were said about him and referred to a Cruz ad being aired in Nevada about Trump and federal land – “it’s like where do they come up with these ideas?”
Trump explained to Sean how he evolved from someone holding liberal positions into a “common sense conservative,” comparing the trajectory of his beliefs to Ronald Reagan. He said that Reagan “wasn’t the most Conservative President, but he evolved into a Republican that was fairly conservative.”
Trump said that he’s “as conservative as can be” on issues like military and veterans, getting rid of “Common Core” and dismantling Obamacare.
Her’s a clip where Trump addresses the issue:
You can watch more clips here.
To further illustrate the divide, here’s a column conservative writer and radio host Erick Erickson published yesterday at The Resurgent:
I Will Not Vote For Donald Trump. Ever.
When I wrote in National Review that I was against Donald Trump, I said and have maintained since his entry into the race that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, I would support him. No longer.
Donald Trump believes the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood. Donald Trump believes there are good things the child killers do. What is most damning is how so many are willing to be compromised by Donald Trump.
For eight years the conservative movement compromised itself as a wing of George W. Bush’s Republican Party. The movement became ill defined and conservative became a synonym with Republican.
Already we are seeing pastors and religious leaders compromising their integrity to vote for Donald Trump. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has joined the whores of Moloch, defending Trump’s Planned Parenthood statement on Twitter. Falwell presides over an institution that expels students who have abortions, but is willing to give positive lip service to Trump saying there are good things Planned Parenthood does.
If Trump doesn’t win the nomination, none of this will matter.
If he does, and right now it’s looking like he could, we’ll see more battles on the right over what it means to be a conservative.
Featured image via FOX News video.