I admit that I have been a Guy Benson fan for a long
time. For my money he is one of the most
articulate, logical and clear-thinking journalists and opinion columnists
advocating conservative principles in the country. And in a panel appearance at The Resurgent
Gathering 2019, he reinforced that reputation.
Invited to discuss the stifling outrage culture that surrounds
us, Benson did much more. In fact, he offered
the single best explanation for how America shocked the world – and itself – by
electing Donald Trump President of the United States in 2016.
It had been building over the course of decades, but the outrage
mob of the left reached critical mass in 2015 with the outrageous ouster of
Mozilla Founder and CEO Brendan Eich.
Eich, as you might recall, was confronted by enraged LGBT activists in Silicon
Valley who gave him two options: prostrate and grovel over your financial support
of Proposition 8 (traditional marriage amendment in California) or you’re out
of a job.
Benson pointed to that “success” of destroying Eich as fuel
for the outrage culture harassing politicians like Ted Cruz and Sarah Sanders
out of restaurants, the Obama Administration’s scandalous “report your neighbor
if they lie about Obamacare” campaign, the legal persecution of Christian
bakers and business owners, and the Twitter mobs that descend with vigor on
anyone who strays from leftist dogma.
The intent is to scare people into silence, and it’s been
dangerously effective in recent years.
So effective that heading into 2016 and beyond, a large number of Americans
who aren’t liberal play politics close to the vest. Then they walk into a voting booth by themselves,
and with a secret ballot…“That is literally how we got Trump,” Benson
emphasized to applause.
The commentator went on, highlighting his travels around the
country and asking people on the right about their support of the
President. He described it like this:
Him: “You know he’s not really a conservative, right?”
Them: “Yeah, we know that.”
Him: “You know he’s not even really a very good person,
Them: “Yeah, that’s probably true.”
Him: “So why do you vote for him and support him?”
Them: “They have been bullying us forever, our people always
play nice and usually lose, and so this time we are hiring our own bully.”
I’ve never heard it said that way, and I’ve also never heard
it said better. Right or wrong, that’s
where so much of the American right is these days. The left’s weaponization of transparency,
their guerilla tactics of doxxing private individuals, and their politicization
of everything (including the woke preening of sports journalists who won’t just
let us watch football, to apps that will show you when you scan a product at
the grocery store what political contributions were made by the company that
makes the product) has exhausted everyone that isn’t a card-carrying liberal.
The good news and bad news may be that the left doesn’t show
any sign of stopping. Benson guaranteed
that in 2032, the left will be using the same “repeatedly cry wolf” playbook,
and we should expect to hear then something like:
“We pine for the days of the Trump administration when you had an administration that was at least rational, unlike (fill in the name of the current Republican candidate).”
So how is that good news?
Because it’s an opportunity for the sane among us. Benson pointed to his home in New York City
where politicians and activists picketed and protested the opening of a downtown
Chick-fil-A, “We won’t allow hate in our city!”
New Yorkers were like, “This chicken is really good,” Benson said to
laughs and cheers, as he pointed out that the line of residents waiting to get
in was backed out the door every day.
People in the center, center-right, and center-left are sick
of politics in every corner of their lives, which means they’re ripe for a
political message that says “get politicians out of my life.” That’s the traditional message of the right,
and one that looks better in the era of Twitter mobs than it ever has.