Diversity, Media, Politics, Top Stories

The RedState Firings and the Decline of Viewpoint Diversity on the Right

“If you’re a Republican, that means you’re for free speech.”

I used to believe this. I’m not sure I do any more.

In late April, several members of the site RedState, including me, were fired en masse in a single day. It was not for poor performance; among those dismissed were some of the top page view earners, and none had published a post that had embarrassed the site in some high-profile way. We had one thing in common, and one thing only: we were all fierce and highly vocal critics of Donald Trump.

It later emerged that the RedState firings were part of a larger effort by the site’s owner Salem Media Group to clamp down on criticism of Trump. CNN recently reported that Salem, which is also the largest broadcaster of conservative talk radio in the United States, had complained to some of its conservative talk show hosts during the campaign about the anti-Trump tone of some of their shows. In July 2016, a Salem executive wrote to hosts Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss: “What I have been hearing on TMA [The Morning Answer]…has not been in the spirit of ‘supporting the GOP nominee.’ . . . In fact, it seems that the show gets into negative minutiae of the Trump campaign and the GOP convention.” Krauss was later fired, and alleged that her dismissal resulted from her Trump criticism.

One high-profile Salem talker did a dramatic about-face on Trump in June 2016 after being schooled by Salem management. Hugh Hewitt said on his radio show on June 8, 2016 that the GOP had to dump Trump at the convention, arguing: “It’s like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it.” But within a week, on June 15, Hewitt had penned a pro-Trump op-ed in the Washington Post, saying: “For the good of the country, Republicans have to be clear about the binary choice in front of us [and] close ranks around Trump.” What on Earth just happened? people wondered. Hewitt says he changed his mind independently, but emails from a Salem executive boasted that the CEO had written Hewitt and Michael Medved with “a very well stated case for supporting the GOP nominee because we have to beat Hillary.” After Hewitt’s op-ed appeared, the executive quoted Salem’s CEO as saying: “Wow he took a lot from my email to him and turned it into an article.”

Medved, for his part, didn’t take the hint. And he suffered for it, said CNN: “Medved’s time slot in several major markets—including Washington D.C., Dallas and Chicago—was changed from the prime afternoon hours to the late evening.”

Of course, writers and radio talkers are fired or rescheduled all the time, and the owners of an online publication or radio network have an absolute right to determine the editorial direction of their website and broadcasts. The importance of the mass firings at RedState, and of Salem’s cautionary emails to its radio hosts, lies in the way they reflect widespread changes in the conservative movement in America—in particular, a narrowing of viewpoint diversity, and a rampant fear of speaking one’s mind.

Conservatives have often said, with justice, that a lack of viewpoint diversity is a problem of the Left and not of the Right. Historically, it is members of the Left, not the Right, who shout down speakers, physically attack people because of their views, and attempt to use the power of organized boycotts or government authority to stamp out speech they don’t like.

The Left typically employs this despotic set of behaviors in the service of identity politics, paternalistically creating classes of people who Cannot Be Criticized in polite society. These groups are usually defined by race, gender, sexual orientation, and other similar characteristics. If you happen to fall in a protected group, the Left will shout down any criticism of the behavior of your group. They will visit real-life consequences—including job loss, destruction of reputation, shunning by advertisers, and even physical violence—on those who violate their speech codes.

But what used to be a problem only on the Left is now a problem on the Right as well. Donald Trump has fractured the conservative movement, and with the entrenchment of the fault line between Trump supporters and Trump critics, the Right now suffers from its own political correctness. But the protected class that is officially Free From Criticism is not gays, or women, or blacks. It is Donald Trump.

It might sound crazy to say that Donald Trump is beyond the reach of criticism. After all, isn’t he regularly pilloried on all the major networks, most of the cable news channels, and on the front pages of most national newspapers? Quite so: and this fact, if anything, causes his supporters to huddle closer, and reject or attack anyone who dares utter a critical word. This, in turn, creates an environment in which pundits and politicians on the Right are terrified to say what they really think.

The Trump presidency is reminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” in which terrified adults tiptoe around a mercurial child with superpowers, responding to his every cruel and crazed act by nervously saying: “It’s good that you did that, Anthony!” Anthony responds to criticism by sending adults to a “cornfield” from which nobody has ever returned. When one drunken adult snaps and tells Anthony what he really thinks of him, he is turned into a Jack-in-the-Box.

Trump routinely exaggerates and lies, and the people who surround him applaud and say: “It’s good that you did that, Donald!” Trump recently claimed that the New York Times had made up a source out of whole cloth—an official who addressed the likelihood of a summit with North Korea on June 12. When a tape emerged of the very official whose existence Trump had denied, Trump fans were livid…with the media. Trump has made deliberately inaccurate accusations about being wiretapped by Obama and having a “spy” planted in his campaign for political purposes. When these claims are shown to be false—with Trump even boasting that he “branded” an informant as a “spy”—his supporters double down and insist he was right all along: “It’s good that you told those lies, Donald! It’s a real good thing!”

Of course, privately, many around Trump are contemptuous of him. His former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confided in subordinates that Trump is a “fucking moron.” Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly has called him an “idiot” on numerous occasions. Kelly denies this, of course—knowing that public officials who speak their mind about Trump, like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, have found themselves consigned to the cornfield of retirement. Politicians who don’t want to be turned into the political equivalent of a Jack-in-the-Box must attack Trump’s enemies, like the FBI and the Department of Justice, and defend Trump’s friends, like the murderous and dictatorial Vladimir Putin.

The one thing they know they can’t do is voice any criticism of Trump aloud. A few weeks ago, an anonymous Republican Congressman let loose a profanity-laced tirade about Trump to Erick Erickson, a longtime editor of RedState who no longer works there. The Congressman said he wished Trump “would just go away.” He added: “We’re going to lose the House, lose the Senate, and lose a bunch of states because of him.” After more obscenities, the Congressman concluded: “Of course, I can’t say that in public or I’d get run out of town.”

GOP pols know that they must praise Trump personally now that he is president, even if they have harshly attacked him in the past. For example, in the 2016 primary season, Lindsey Graham called Trump a “kook” and unfit for office. Now, Graham suggests that such opinions are fabrications by the Fake News Media. Similarly, Ted Cruz recently penned an encomium to Trump in the pages of Time magazine—after Trump suggested that Cruz’s wife is ugly, and accused Cruz’s father of possibly being complicit in a presidential assassination. During the primary, Cruz described Trump as “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” who had “smeared” Cruz’s wife. Now, he praises Trump as “a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America.”

I suspect that few of these alleged converts have actually converted to Trumpism. Instead, many are attempting to achieve their own ends while trying not to alienate Trump’s maniacally devoted fan base. In some cases this is rank cynicism, to be sure, but in many cases politicians see themselves as taking cover until the storm blows over. But the storm keeps raging—and every time it seems safe to venture outside, the deluge resumes.

Like politicians, conservative pundits also feel constant pressure to praise Trump, or at least refrain from criticizing him. The pressures of pleasing a Trump-friendly audience are similar in many ways to the challenge of winning votes from a Trumpian electorate. Trump is the Flavor of the Month, and most conservative media have read the writing on the wall. Networks like Fox have largely abandoned any pretense at objectivity, and have surrendered their airwaves to Sean Hannity style cheerleading. The message is clear: line up behind Trump or else. Some pundits get the message, like Hugh Hewitt, and perform the political equivalent of acrobatics to get their public to forget the nasty things they said about Trump in the past. Others don’t get the message—or refuse to heed it—and, sometimes, we get fired for it.

The implications for conservative thought are profound. Increasingly, conservatism’s most traditional principles have become heterodox in the era of Trump. Before Trump, conservatives believed in free trade and rejected tariffs. They advocated a dramatic reduction in the size of government, and opposed the never-ending growth of our national debt. They advocated a tough stand on Russia, and insisted that even if we reached a detente with foreign dictators, we could never let up the pressure on tyrants to cease abusing the human rights of their subjects.

Today, that has all changed, as ‘conservatives’ everywhere turn conservative principles on their head. Republicans tout the benefits of tariffs, explaining that we can’t let China take advantage of us. They channel the leftists at sites like Vox as they explain that the national debt is really not a problem, as long as people continue to buy our debt. They defend Vladimir Putin when he conducts an attempted assassination on foreign soil, saying that we would do the same if we could. So what if Trump praises Duterte’s extrajudicial assassinations? ask the Trump fans. Isn’t Trump achieving larger policy objectives? Didn’t FDR work with Stalin?

As a result, those of us on the Right who often criticize Donald Trump have largely become isolated amidst the rubble of what used to be our movement. We don’t share the policy views of the so-called ‘Resistance,’ with its enthusiasm for socialistic solutions to inequality, and its relentless quest to squash any challenge to racial and gender tribalism. But nor are we willing to pretend that a largely illiterate and immoral buffoon afflicted with a pathological narcissism is a fit occupant of the Oval Office.

All we can do is to continue to speak our minds. Increasingly, that feels like a step fewer and fewer people on the Right are willing to take.


Patrick Frey is a lawyer and the proprietor of Patterico.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Patterico


  1. TonyCR says

    It’s not just the right. Both sides of the modern political spectrum are doing all they can to shut down honest discussions and those who do not believe just as is prescribed by their dogmas. That’s why the Intellectual Dark Web is becoming a necessary force. It is only there that we can still have honest differences of opinion and open discussion, and ideas that do not fit into the paradigms of the left and right can flourish. It’s sad that classical liberalism and conservatism have been coopted by thier postmodern incarnations.

    • Andrew Eden-Balfour says

      Except for the fact that the IDW is also becoming less ‘ideologically diverse’, and turning into just another line of groups among the left, right and center that have become very tribal and partisan. The simple fact of the matter is that thanks to the internet, people can now have their own facts and be part of a bubble/tribe. Another reality is that whatever your ultimate dogma is, you’ll be obedient to the tribe that shares its dogma no matter what, it’s just human nature.

      Of course, that’s just my opinion and beliefs.

  2. Travis says

    Welcome to the Libertarian party. Glad to see so many new journalists entering.

    • Morgan says

      Aren’t most Libertarians in favor of authoritarianism now?
      Since “freedom isn’t compatible with democracy”?

      • Travis says

        Freedom isn’t compatible with absolute Democracy/Mob rule. It’s very compatible with a Constitutional Republic. I’d need to see some type of example/evidence to refute in your claim of authoritarian seeking behavior by Libertarians.

  3. Bob G says

    I agree with much of this, but you’re too forgiving of US conservatives lack of consistency before Trump. Conservatives have only rhetorically “opposed the never-ending growth of our national debt.” Conservatives in power don’t do that. Since Reagan they’ve enacted tax cuts without reduced spending and childishly deny this doesn’t increase the national debt. Who stopped us from paying down the national debt on the path of the late 1990s? Were G W Bush and his Republican allies somehow not conservative? Go to war but keep your tax cuts? The option to include triggers to back off tax cuts if fiscal conditions worsened would have shown commitment to opposing increases in the debt. It didn’t happen. Somehow discipline is what conservatives demand from everyone but themselves.

    • Very true there, when we went to war in Afghanistan we should have raised taxes to pay for it. And we should have never gone into Iraq.

    • Bill says

      Well put. Both parties say one thing while campaigning and due another when in office. The Left campaigns about helping the little guy but get into office and focus on bigger government regardless of the impact (sometimes disparate). Why? Because they have voting blocks “locked in” and simply say what the obligatory courting promises simply so that the block shows up on election day. The Right campaigns on smaller government and theological issues for the same reason. They know that their block would never vote for the other side, they just give the lip-service so that the block shows up. It’s like campaigns for student council back in high school where candidates promised Fridays without class and free ice cream.

      Now, at least from the Right, part of the reason why they do not implement the policies they campaign on is the enormous backlash and slanderous accusations that result. Remember the “Trump is elected, the markets are going to crash!” prognostications? “The tariffs are going to crash the economy!” Same thing. I eaves dropped this morning on a pair discussing how ludicrous it was to tariff Canadian imports. When I pointed out that Canada has, for years, skewed market pricing of US lumber, they simply dismissed me as touting “alt-right propaganda and lies” — their words. Yep, i’m alt-Right simply because i’m a Libertarian who, while critical of Trump’s views on some things, at least has the nerve to call shenanigans on the half-truths and omitted-facts from the left-wing media sources.

  4. Sam Hall says

    This would have been more convincing without the second section. The Obama admin did indeed “wiretap” the Trump campaign and also insert a spy. Plenty of other Trump allegations that sounded outlandish at first have turned out to be true.

    That being said, the rise of political correctness on the right is a real problem (though as yet a small one and nothing compared to the left) but the cause of it is more the tactic of turning lefty PC back on them. It’s entertaining and effective, but also insidiously conditions the practitioner to the notion of enforcing conformity. Then you get something like the RedState firings.

    • Could you specifically detail your evidence that the Obama
      Administration wiretapped the Trump campaign? A convincing answer will contain quotes and links showing the dates of the wiretapping and the dates the target of the wiretap was with the Trump campaign. If the wiretapping occurred after the person left the campaign (as is the case with Carter Page, e.g., which you will learn if you check the dates; gone in September, FISA warrant authorized in October) then the campaign was not wiretapped.

      As for “SPYGATE” it appears that Trump’s branding was successful, but asking an informant to ask questions of a couple of advisers, which questions are targeted to counterintelligence and not to learning campaign strategy, is hardly “inserting a spy” in the campaign as Trump has convinced you occurred. Trump makes it sound like there was a mole in the campaign feeding campaign strategy to Obama and Hillary, and his fans lap it up. If someone is otherwise a legitimate cause for concern on counterintelligence grounds, should they be immune from inquiry simply because they are connected to a presidential campaign?

      • AuxPart says

        @Patterico, you want to argue about the words used, which is what detracts from the situation. The NSA is basically always listening to everyone, they just don’t call it wiretapping. And sending anybody to investigate an opposing political party is worrisome; it matters not if they are called a spy.

      • Sam says

        So, you feel the best way for the FBI to discover if members of the Trump campaign were “colluding” with a foreign power was to send a spy into the campaign to question them? If, as the FBI claims, they were focused on these specific individuals, and had the evidence to gain the power to spy on them legally, why would they not use this evidence to question them in an interrogation? And if the mere possibility of using information obtained from a foreign power against your political opponent is worthy of an FBI investigation, than why was the DNC not investigated for hiring a British guy to use Russian sources to get dirt on Trump? You’re naïve to think the national security mechanism was not working against Trump. To what degree is debatable, but to act like he’s “making it up” indicates your own bias

    • Sam – you repeat falsehoods and you know it. The FBI did exactly what it was supposed to do when it watched Russian agents in the US. It is just that those agents met with the campaign in Trump Tower. I am no Hillary fan but that message from Jr to Manafort, etc is clearly treason. There is never a time when an American meets with a Russian to get dirt on another American.

      • Bill says

        What about when an American meets with/pays a Englishman to get dirt on another American (HRC’s campaign atty)? Or when an American meets with a Ukrainian to get dirt on another American (the DNC)?

        While we’re getting into semantics about informant vs spy, let me ask you this. FBI did it…it’s an informant. But it was a foreign national who has done work for the Intel agencies in this case, how is that not a spy? If Trump had hired a Russian to attempt to infiltrate the HRC campaign and ask questions about say, the origin of the Access Hollywood tape, would that have simply been an informant? Or a spy? That’s the semantic problem. The “informant/spy” is a foreign national with intel community ties who planted ideas via leading questions which the contact then said to another informant (the Aussie) who went “ah HA, he repeated to me what the first informant planted…so COLLUSION!!!!:

      • Manafort was monitored because he has worked (for years) for Russian interests. He has helped Russians against America and continued to do so in donald’s campaign. Russians wanted to gain influence in America and so offered to help in an American campaign.

  5. disgruntled says

    Typical liberal hypocrisy. You claim to be for free speech and then demand your employer publish something they don’t want to say. You are purposely conflating political ideology with free market capitalism in an attempt to confuse your readers. Redstate is developing a business model, for whatever reason they choose. They have no obligation to maintain some political ideological platform you want. If Redstate, or any other business, wants to create a public image for commerce, why should you deny them, some may call that totalitarian socialist tyranny. You sound like a obstinate spoiled child that didn’t get what you want. Refusing to do what your employer PAYS you to do might be called theft, so they fired you. Good for them. Go start your own business and take your own risks.

    • I never demanded that they publish anything. When you say: “They have no obligation to maintain some political ideological platform you want” you seem to be agreeing with the statement I made in the post: “the owners of an online publication or radio network have an absolute right to determine the editorial direction of their website and broadcasts.” It appears that you have badly misunderstood my argument.

      The notion that my writing was “theft” is laughable. We had a contract. I wrote. They paid me. I violated exactly zero directives. Then they fired me, as they had a right to do. I noted that they seem to be enforcing ideological conformity, as I have a right to do. How you got “theft” out of any of that is truly a puzzle.

      • Bill says

        So basically, Red State did to you what Google did to Damore. You were terminated because you wrote something that they found embarrassing to their public image. In my eyes, you could have more succinctly proven your point that way. Red State is quelling diversity of thought from the Not-Left in the same way that Silicon Valley is quelling diversity of thought from the Not-Left. In both cases, they are converging thought to a very narrow Overton window within their employee base.

        Same argument, same facts, same conclusion but without devolving the discussion into a debate among the Right (never-Trumps and ok-with-Trumps) about specific actions or policies.

        • I can’t talk about what Google did because I’m a plaintiff with Damore in the lawsuit, but I think I can safely point out that Google isn’t in the business of political opinion and Damore wasn’t writing political opinion pieces for publication.

    • Kenneth Ashford says

      Patterico doesn’t need me to defend him, but I can’t resist.

      I’m a liberal, but I’ve been reading Patterico for years. Trust me on this — Patterico isn’t liberal. He does, however, have principles — ones I usually disagree with — but he’s not willing to sell out those principles if it means decimating the fundamental things that BOTH parties strive for, the foremost being integrity.

      I don’t recognize the Republican Party anymore and it is a shame. Redstate is like many conservative outlets, catering to the worst instincts of the far-right fringe. Yes, in a free country, it certainly CAN purge non-Trump people, but the wisdom of that strategy is horrible. Trumpism will die one day and take Redstate (among other outlets) with it. I can’t wait.

      • gda says

        “decimating the fundamental things that BOTH parties strive for, the foremost being integrity.”

        This statement is so ludicrously self-serving and so utterly wrong that it’s hard to know where to start.

        Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

        There is ample documentation out there in the public eye (and much else to follow) that shows how a host of bumbling characters in the WH, State Dept, DOJ, FBI, CIA et al decided that Donald Trump was NOT going to be President, and when he won anyway, they decided to take him down. Quite frankly, this is still their aim, aided and abetted by others like yourselves. There is no greater crime, and they should remember what Emerson said – “when you strike at a king, you must kill him”.

        Now for almost 3 years the entire apparatus of the MSM and the Deep State have been sniffing around trying to find an actual crime that President Trump was guilty of committing. Up until this date, they have come up with exactly nothing.

        Trump was feted by all races before he walked onto that elevator. All of a sudden he’s a racist (= political enemy).

        Sure he exaggerates. Sometimes he tells tall tales. Once in a while he tells a lie. As Peter Thiel says, “the media is always taking [Trump] literally. I think a lot of the voters take him seriously but not literally.” Time to lighten up folks. TDS is a dreadful illness.

        Being “wiretapped” was no lie. Being spied upon was no lie. More than half the country now know at least part of the truth, which seems to have eluded you in your haste to moralize and preen over the most feckless bunch of Swamp-dwellers that has ever existed in Washington.

        Yes he’s not to all tastes. Yes, he’s guilty of liking the ladies. But he’s a gentleman AROUND the ladies, unlike the scions of “integrity” on their side, like Weinstein, or Schneiderman (great promotors of women and close associates, I believe, of the likes of Clinton and Obama)

        So you don’t like his style. And you claim the Uniparty has a fundamental integrity which is missing in Donald Trump. So presumably to you it’s only moral and ethical for the Dems to weaponize the Deep State against their political enemies (an action, I might add, which started much earlier than 2016).

        Because, after all, power should only be wielded by those who deserve it. And THEY decide who gets to deserve it, right?

        But certainly not a building developer from Queens who would threaten their pocketbooks.

        Ultimately though, this article is just a plaintive wail against Trump. It’s nothing new.. Talk to every conservative in the media, in Hollywood, in academia about losing their job (or never being offered one) because they are not progressive. Lost your job for calling Trump a “largely illiterate and immoral buffoon”? Cry me a river. That’s gutter journalism and you deserved to get fired.

        Perhaps you should have taken a page out of Andy McCarthy’s book and done some serious research on this topic. Seems to me he’s not fond of Trump either, but at least he’s an HONEST journalist.

        The “sound moral character” of Obama, Clinton, Brennan and the entire crew have sown the wind. Now they must reap the whirlwind.

        It’s going to be grand!

    • Your words show that you directly threaten American democracy – you believe that organizations can claim to be “news organizations” as RedState does yet have a business model where they “sell” solutions and candidates. RedState claims to be a conservative news outlet not a business which is selling a particular solution. If they are a conservative news outlet they should be able to argue for free trade – but if they are a business they will be happy with new taxes in the form of tariffs.

      We need to insist that businesses identify themselves as such and do not masquerade as news outlets.

    • Jason says

      I second this. I’m not a Trump fan, though I am conservative. But this article reads like resentment over being fired for not doing what the boss wanted done. He also comes across as a political hack, which is exactly the kind of garbage I thought I was avoiding when I found Quillette.

      • I third it. I am a Trump fan, but I don’t think I’d feel differently if I weren’t.

        When National Review did the “Not Trump” issue, I didn’t like it. But it never occurred to me to complain about censorship or ideological conformity or whatever. It’s their magazine and they can do what they like. Most of the establishment conservative press was vehemently against Trump during the nomination and election. But their take wasn’t popular with actual conservative voters, so new outlets emerged to meet the demand for pro-Trump conservative pieces.

        Whether anyone likes it or not, Trump is popular with the GOP base, who believe he’s much more of a conservative than Bush I and II were. Hence, there just isn’t a market for NeverTrump commentary.

        You can’t be marginalized if your ideas, whether correct or not, are already in the marjin.

        Really, the final line of the essay, which is as pompous and meaningless as it is insulting, tells you all you need to know:

        “Nor are we willing to pretend that a largely illiterate and immoral buffoon afflicted with a pathological narcissism is a fit occupant of the Oval Office.”

        Terrible piece. Basically one long contentless whine.

  6. Coolius Caesar says

    Trump gets results, you don’t. Mainstream Conservatives have done nothing but talk, for years. Trump actually acts. Get something done and maybe, just maybe, THEN people will start listening to these anti-Trump people. People have jobs, money in their pocket from tax reform, and Trump is standing up for America…what have mainstream Conservatives done recently?

    Part of the problem is that many people don’t understand Trump or his strategy (especially the mainstream Conservatives who are still stuck in the old system). Take Trump’s “lying” for example: 1) He gets the media focused on him and the “lie” 2) The Truth comes out and now the media can’t avoid it. Obama wiretapping was the “lie” that got media attention…the truth that later came out? Obama weaponized the FBI to spy on Trump, keep him from being President, and cover for Hillary’s sins. Would any media cover the story had no Trump reeled them in first?

    • Bravo. I feel like this whole article is about trying to re-boot the discussion and make out that conservatives are as bad as the Left at shutting down discussion. Nice try, but uh oh; ain’t convinced. While the Left is sticking to the Three Amigos: racism, homophobia and Islamophobia we’re always going to see them winning in the Despotic Wars.

  7. Nathan Drake says

    The republican party ceased to be Conservative when it decided to resort to leftist strategies [Trump]. True conservatism doesn’t engage in identity politics, tribalism, or a ressentiment mentality.

    • The Republican party absolutely despises Trump, or did you not know that? Trump was a pro-abortion Democrat for decades.

    • Dave says

      “True conservatism doesn’t engage in identity politics, tribalism, or a ressentiment mentality.”

      Ever hear of a guy named Ronald Reagan? How about the Neshoba County Fair?

  8. EK says

    I understand that Sinclair Broadcasting has identified Trump voters as an underserved market and intends to focus on it.

    By and large, Trump voters are both under served and sick to death of the heady mix of crony of capitalism and open immigration that have been the stock and trade of “real” conservatives since 1990.

    I’m pretty sure that Frey and his friends will hook on somewhere. Perhaps the Kock brothers and the Chamber of Commerce are need of still more Conservative™ PR flaks.

  9. Redstate.com is not “the right”. It’s one website. I’ve heard about this slapfight from the outside, and it reminds me of the old weblog days when bloggers would leave nasty comments on each other’s sites. It’s a tempest in a teapot.

    Trump is a loudmouth, but he has all the right enemies. Who else would be taking China to task for their horrible stance on trade? The globalists in the US government were perfectly OK with them ruining our working class on the moronically mistaken assumption that a wealthy China would somehow magically transform into a democracy despite having no history of it in their culture.

  10. Joe says

    “Conservatives have often said, with justice, that a lack of viewpoint diversity is a problem of the Left and not of the Right. Historically, it is members of the Left, not the Right, who shout down speakers, physically attack people because of their views, and attempt to use the power of organized boycotts or government authority to stamp out speech they don’t like.”

    This is bizarre. The right has actively shut down people for wrongthink since forever. People who are deemed insufficiently patriotic, insufficiently Christian, dangerous to whatever they think the social order should be. The shutting down of the NFL protests isn’t something unique to the era of Trump, it’s the usual reaction of conservatives when they have their feeling hurt. From the McCarthy hearings to the War on Christmas, conservatives has typically felt so justified in their partisan dogmas that the right of people to hold differing opinions hasn’t even occurred to them. Political correctness is simply the right’s chickens coming home to roost.

    • Fun fact: Senator McCarthy was right. There were tons of Communists in the State Department, and they really did plan to use their positions to overthrow the democratic US government.

      For example, when a dying Franklin Roosevelt negotiated the outlines of postwar Europe with Joseph Stalin at the 1945 Yalta summit, one of his important advisors was Alger Hiss, a State Department official whose primary loyalty was to the Soviet side. Over the last 20 years, John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and other scholars have conclusively established that many dozens or even hundreds of Soviet agents once honeycombed the key policy staffs and nuclear research facilities of our federal government

      In 1982 liberal icon Susan Sontag ruefully acknowledged that for decades the subscribers to the lowbrow Readers Digest had received a more realistic view of the world than those who drew their knowledge from the elite liberal publications favored by her fellow intellectuals. I myself came of age near the end of the Cold War and always vaguely assumed that such lurid tales of espionage were wildly exaggerated. I was wrong.

      The notion of the American government being infiltrated and substantially controlled by agents of a foreign power has been the stuff of endless Hollywood movies and television shows, but for various reasons such popular channels have never been employed to bring the true-life historical example to wide attention. I doubt if even one American in a hundred today is familiar with the name “Harry Dexter White” or dozens of similar agents.

      Read more here

      • Joe says

        Even if that’s true, I don’t much see how it changes anything. It’s the equivalent of suddenly discovering that James Damore is secretly a neo-Nazi.

      • ga gamba says

        You ought to read about Willi Münzenberg, who in the 1920s and ’30s ran Soviet manipulation of western intellectuals, a heterogeneous collection of writers, actors, and journalists sympathetic to the communist cause. Münzenberg’s particular genius was to recognize how ostensibly non-political attitudes and impulses among Western intellectuals, clergy, artists, and also society leaders, businessmen, and politicians could be put to use for covert Soviet purposes by use of “righteousness politics”, which is reordered today as “politically correct”.

        Münzenberg was also the first Communist operative to grasp how social snobbery and high fashion could be marshaled to serve Soviet purposes – strikes a bell, doesn’t it? He used the luminaries of academia and the arts to establish front groups to launch a fashionable opinion, which could be depended upon to reproduce of its own accord – Münzenberg called this “rabbit breeding”.

        As early as the 1920’s, Münzenberg and his people recognized that the principal counter myth to the Soviet Revolution was “the idea of America”. He and his agents such as the Hollywood-based Otto Katz sought To instill a reflexive loathing of the United States and its people. . . . To undermine the myth of the Land of Opportunity, the United States would be shown as an almost insanely xenophobic place, murderously hostile to foreigners.

        These books explore and document the phenomenon of soft Soviet penetration of the West over decades by Münzenberg and his team of agents.

        David Caute’s The Fellow-Travellers

        Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals

        Sean McMeekin’s The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Münzenberg

        Another Soviet spy was Harry Dexter White of the US Treasury Department, who lead the US negotiations during the Bretton Woods negotiations.

  11. Dustin says

    Fascinating and insightful opinion piece. The only solution to censorship is free speech so I’m glad this perspective can still get out.

    It is always disturbing when those in power are supported by people who would snuff out criticism rather than embrace it as an opportunity to respond, and the conservative movement does seem to be facing this problem. A whole lot of the responses to this sort of article (and some comments above) do indeed refuse to consider the larger point.

    “This is bizarre. The right has actively shut down people for wrongthink since forever. ”

    Actually, classical liberalism, which is basically the same thing as conservatism, has always embraced that the answer to speech you don’t like is more speech, but they are allied with the social issues conservatives as voting blocks. It’s really a misunderstanding to conflate the two groups. The left is similar in many ways, with people who would stamp out ‘hate speech’ and ‘climate change denial’ instead of responding to it with reasoning.

    Snuffing out speech often feels like a good thing to do to those who are doing it, because they cannot conceive of how they might be wrong. Sometimes they are right (like responding to the KKK or something… yeah that speech is always wrong) but even then, there’s great value in responding with the reasons why.

    Joes’ view that this is an exclusive problem to the right is what’s actually bizarre. If the readership here has a lot of lefties, I hope we see more articles by Patterico here to help people become informed about how universal a lot of these issues are.

    • Joe says

      I never said it was exclusive to the right. I said that the right likes to pretend it’s the exclusive province of the left, and that isn’t true.

      If anything, you’ve demonstrated the weakness and malleability of the terms “right” and “left”, and while I tend to think that dichotomy is more a product of collective psychosis than anything else, it’s so dominant in our discourse that I feel compelled to play along instead of beginning every discussion with a reminder that the world is complicated.

    • There’s no “snuffing out speech”, Dustin. Patrick Frey is free to leave his bitter anti-Trump posts on his own weblog, which he rules like Captain Bligh (or, in internet parlance, Charles Johnson). If he wants to get paid for his not-so-exclusive take on matters Trumpian, he must write in such a way to attract readers (who then click on advertising links, which generates revenue to pay for his word salads).

      Could it be that, instead of “snuffing out speech”, RedState worriedly looked at their bottom line, and decided to “snuff out repetitive posters that people could just as easily find and read at Huffington Post or Daily KOS”?

      Anti-Trump content isn’t hard to find (just use Google), and isn’t something a niche publication like RedState can afford to pay Patterico to create (poorly, I might add).

      Best regards!

  12. markbul says

    I suspect this is less about opinion diversity than simple pragmatic power politics. As in “Trump may be a buffoon, but he’s OUR buffoon.’ And there is a point to that. While you’re making a principled stand, you’re also harming a Republican president and his policy choices. Time to start your own venue – good luck.

    • Mike Ross says

      Exactly. It’s been over a year, these ‘Never Trumpers’ are as bad as Hillary with their endless whining. Their hurt feelings are not more important than the party or country.

      • not_a_party says

        I think the whole reason they haven’t shut up is precisely because they don’t feel that backing Trump is more important than the country. If one feels that someone or something is actively damaging the country, one doesn’t shut up and pretend it’s not a problem. Obviously, you disagree that Trump is damaging the country, but that’s the whole point — you and they disagree. They’re not “whining” just because you don’t like what they have to say. Otherwise, you could be characterized as “whining” about their “whining”, and you can see how such a conversation goes nowhere fast.

  13. This is shocking to me. When I was banned from RedState two years ago (for defending free market economics too vigorously), it was the home of the NeverTrump movement. If they had fired all the anti-Trump writers back then, only one major contributor would have remained.

  14. I agree with this article. I have not been back to RedState since the firings. I have wondered if their web traffic has gone down. I’ll go back to RedState only if they reverse their decision.

  15. ab says

    sorry to read about your dismissal. something similar happened to me but it turned out to be for the best, so hoping you move on to better things.

  16. As a long time conservative – this article is absolutely correct. The Republican Party has traded principles for (temporary) power. We have seen a number of people who appealed to the angry, populist, side in America (Father Coughlin, Joe McCarthy, etc). We have seen people accept the solutions of the fringes. The current “right wing” people, who sympathize with neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, etc actually have a lot in common with the far left wing. Politics is a circle, not a line and the radicals on the left are closer to the radicals on the right than they are to the moderates.

    Just as we saw the anti-war movement and the rebellion of our young people fade – as they grew to accept the opinions of people who are 60 years old or so – this too shall pass.

    Donald appears to be another unique character, a guy who can get away with a lot but is not starting a new philosophy. He has no ideas, no goals. He is a guy who totally lacks morality and happily says and does anything for power and money. Even very few radicals are as casual as donald is in telling lies. Hopefully he will finish his first term without destroying the American economy and will be soundly defeated.

    What might come out of this is a coalition of the moderates – people who are able to compromise. We might get far more rational foreign policy in exchange for accepting some progressive ideas.

    When Barack Obama left office, the Democratic Party appeared to be in full retreat. It looks like that fate awaits the Republican Party when donald leaves office – the Party will be so tied to him that it will need a few years to recover.

  17. Let’s try a thought experiment, @Patterico. Suppose there were a button somewhere. If Trump pushes it, then the global jihad is ended and Muslim terrorists all over the world give up terrorism. If Hillary pushes it, then she thinks the feminists are going to win, but actually the terrorists will win. We will all be forced to become Muslims, kneel with our face to the ground five times per day, and dehumanize women.

    Trump says, “I’m going to push that button before Hillary does because she’s a Muslim.

    Here’s your choice. If you speak up and say, “Hey, Trump, Hillary is not a Muslim; she’s a feminist. You lied.” Then this is going to distract Trump long enough for Hillary to get to the button first. If you just keep silent, then Trump will get to the button first.

    Is it dishonorable for you to keep silent?

    What if it’s not an absolute? What if you speaking up just gives Hillary a 50/50 chance to get to the button first? What if it just gives Hillary a 1 percent chance of reaching the button first? At what level does your obligation to confront Trump outweigh your obligation not to put your country in danger?

    Now, I suppose that you do not think that this thought experiment applies to reality. You probably do not think that criticism of Trump is endangers the country at all. In fact, you probably believe that you are helping the country. That’s fine. I believe that you think you are doing what is right.

    Why can’t you offer the same courtesy to Trump supporters? Why can’t you accept that Cruz believes Trump is doing good things and that joining the Democrats in their incessant criticism would weaken him and make it harder for him to succeed? Why does everyone who disagrees with you have to be acting in bad faith?

    I mean, seriously, comparing Trump supporters to Leftist anti-speech activists? Seriously? Leftists use violence to stop speech; Trump supporters use speech to stop violence. They are telling you to stop speaking because they believe Trump needs support to do things that will make Americans safer.

    I don’t expect you like being told to stop speaking–no one does–but it’s not violence; it’s speech, and no one is trying to force you to stop speaking. And they aren’t evil just because they disagree with you on whether the country would be better off if you would stop speaking.

    • David Gudeman – donald’s supporters use speech to stop violence? Who urged people to violently eject peaceful people during their campaign? Who offered to pay legal fees if people violently attacked peaceful people? Who fondly recalled the days when peaceful protesters were carried out on stretchers? Hillary? Bernie? No – your donald. When the guy at the top of the ticket condones violence it spreads down to the very bottom of the campaign. No other candidate has done such irresponsible things in decades.

      We join to stop donald’s dumb ideas from becoming policy – spending billions on a wall that will stretch through miles of impassible desert or through lakes and national parks. We need infrastructure and all he has time to do is play golf.

      • gda says

        Hyperbole much? Might I also remind you who paid for those “peaceful people” to disrupt. Or is that air-brushed from your conscience?

  18. tom says

    Who cares if Trump lies? Our government is so corrupt that a few more untruths, even from the very top, won’t even budge the needle. All that matters is that he stops illegal immigration and restricts legal. Not likely, but until that question has been answered one way or another, give him the benefit of the doubt.

  19. Charles Phillips, Trump did not urge people to violently eject peaceful people; he called on unspecified people (in the one I saw it looked like he was talking to security) to eject hecklers who were trespassing and interfering with his free speech. Trump arguably called for retaliation and escalation, but if the Leftists hadn’t been at Trump events looking for trouble, there wouldn’t have been any trouble.

    As to Trump and some of his followers not knowing how to build a border wall; fine, they are guilty of not being engineers. If they were planning to design and build the wall themselves, that would be a legitimate criticism. But they aren’t, and it’s not. It’s just a taunt like the reference to Trump’s golfing.

    One of the reasons I’ve started reading this site because the taunting is kept to a minimum. I hope this isn’t a sign that Quillette is going downhill.

  20. nicky says

    The firing of Damore was unconscionable indeed, I can fully agree.

  21. nicky says

    Patrick, I think calling Mr Putin a ‘friend’ of Mr Trumps is way too friendly.
    We all know -are at least strongly suspect- that Mr Trump is deep in debt to some Russian oligarchs close to Mr Putin, if not Mr Putin himself.
    How else to explain Mr Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, His eagerness to start a trede-war with US allies (devide and rule, Mr Putin knows that very well), his denigrating NATO, his hysterical reaction to the Mueller investigation, etc.?)
    I think Mr Trump is a Russian shill and Mr Putin (cum suis) his boss(es).

  22. DCSCA says

    There’s a fig-leaf aspect to it, P, but IMO, my talent side says they drew up a list of who they could afford to keep and who they could afford to cut, thus you and your colleagues were ‘Tom and Dick Smothered.’ There is some rhyme with that infamous CBS firing. My suit side says the fig-leaf rules, and we’re standing by our position; you know, the suits run the show, not the talent, and audience research crap always makes for good cover. But for either side, it’s a lousy deal all around.

    Still, any experienced media person can glean what Hewitt’s up to at Salem: looking out for Hugh. His flip-flop post-convention was speedy and blatant; his denial of any influence, tepid, and he’s certainly not going to fess up to it any more than he was up front w/MSNBC on the Pruitt matter. Expanding his media footprint beyond the realm of books and radio is where he’s at; it can be lucrative. All the talking heads would like to get a deal a Hannity or a Limbaugh secured. That’s his act now– so when it comes to those ‘acrobatics,’ yes, just watch him perform.

  23. Chad Jessup says

    Patrick, why then read your anti-Trump perspective on RedState when it can be digested on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS,etc.? Your former employer’s policy is entirely understandable.

  24. Urusigh says

    “If you’re a Republican, that means you’re for free speech.”

    Certainly true, but this does not require that one like or accept that one’s preferred news sources dedicate substantial time and words to opinions that one considers unfair, inaccurate, irrelevant or redundant. You are entitled to your speech, but you are not entitled to the attention of consumers who find that your output is no longer meeting their desires.

    Do tell, what percentage of Republicans polled as “approve” or “strongly approve” of Donald Trump’s performance at the time you were fired? Did it at all occur to you that he was speaking to and representing people that you weren’t, and that your incessant focus on the negative made you all redundant with the rest of the MSM?

    “The importance of the mass firings at RedState, and of Salem’s cautionary emails to its radio hosts, lies in the way they reflect widespread changes in the conservative movement in America—in particular, a narrowing of viewpoint diversity, and a rampant fear of speaking one’s mind.”

    A “narrowing of viewpoint diversity”? No, much the opposite. Conservatives concerned about illegal immigration were silenced, no more. Conservatives concerned about other countries’ unfair trade practices were silenced, no more. Conservatives who were concerned about the loss of religious liberties were silenced, no more. Trump didn’t narrow the Overton Window, he opened it back up and in the process gave a voice back to a lot of Republicans who weren’t being heard. You don’t have to agree with them, but you could no longer ignore or disrespect them. That means taking what Trump delivers for them seriously and addressing matters that actually matter to them, not endlessly harping on minutia they don’t care about.

    “Politicians who don’t want to be turned into the political equivalent of a Jack-in-the-Box must attack Trump’s enemies, like the FBI and the Department of Justice, and defend Trump’s friends, like the murderous and dictatorial Vladimir Putin.”

    Blatantly untrue. Trump himself commends the hardworking rank and file of the law and Intel agencies and has done so consistently. OTOH, his complaints against specific high-ranking partisans within those agencies has been largely substantiated. We can and must hold individuals accountable for, among other things, misleading the FISC, lying to Congress, violating their own governing agency procedures, mishandling classified material, and stonewalling legitimate oversight. Those have been consistent priorities for Conservatives for my entire life. Neither has Trump’s recognition of Putin as an effective leader for his country done anything to prevent additional sanctions on Russians or the national defense strategy under Trump from explicitly focusing on our great power competition with… Oh look, Russia is listed. We can and should respect our enemies and acknowledge their achievements without losing sight of the reality that they are our enemies.

    “Before Trump, conservatives believed in free trade and rejected tariffs. They advocated a dramatic reduction in the size of government, and opposed the never-ending growth of our national debt. They advocated a tough stand on Russia, and insisted that even if we reached a detente with foreign dictators, we could never let up the pressure on tyrants to cease abusing the human rights of their subjects.”

    Still do. Trump’s trade war is about ending other countries’ tariffs (and other administrative barriers) to our goods and subsidized dumping in the US market. Conservatives and Republicans have complained about this for literally decades and occasionally used targeted trade actions against them before, so this is not a new direction, merely a new level of effort to actually fix the problems. Trump’s budget proposal would have massively cut spending and he’s called for a rescission package to reduce the omnibus. The increase in revenues after the Tax Cut already projects to mostly pay for itself. So you’ve rather misrepresented the situation: Congressional Republicans raised the debt in spite of Trump and his base, not because of them. As for Russia; sanctions, condemnation, and military support for their threatened neighbors has been the Trump policy. For someone who works in news, you’ve been rather selective in your reading if you missed all that.

    “Historically, it is members of the Left, not the Right, who shout down speakers, physically attack people because of their views, and attempt to use the power of organized boycotts or government authority to stamp out speech they don’t like.”

    Historically, it not only still is, they’ve gotten worse, we haven’t. I note that this particular whataboutism includes no examples of the Right actually doing these things, much less any attempt to show the trend line or proportion between the sides. It wasn’t Trump supporters at Dem rallies causing disruptions or assaulting people. It wasn’t Republicans threatening violence to shut down college speakers or political protests. It certainly hasn’t been the Trump administration that tried to use the courts to silence criticism of political figures, or used the IRS to persecute opposing ideological nonprofits, or that has tried to pass legislation criminalizing traditional beliefs and established biology.

    In sum, if this article was a fair sample of your usual writing, your firing was well earned by your failure to do the research, penchant for misrepresenting the facts, disregard for the priorities and values of your readers, and narcissistic confirmation bias in the face of evidence contrary to your presuppositions. Trump was an unknown risk during the campaign, but by multiple standards he has governed as the most conservative president in decades. Perhaps you should have considered that it is you and your peers who wandered afield from the conservative voters and not the other way around.

    • DCSCA says

      Tom and Dick Smothers were pissed at Paley, too. But they were right.

  25. There are plenty of anti trump voice on the web. Is it the publishers job to prop up a low rated site?

  26. There’s much not-successfully-disguised bitterness in Mr. Frey’s post, and as harland0 noted above “…reminds me of the old weblog days when bloggers would leave nasty comments on each other’s sites”. Patrick Frey certainly has a long history, and a known penchant, for blog fights. This post is nothing more than a nuanced attack on RedState.

    “Patterico” once posted long passages from Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” on another blogger’s web site after weeks of nasty comments back-and-forth. He also consorted with an Anonymous ‘warlord’ (who later went to prison for threatening FBI agents) to attack the other blogger’s site (which, come to think of it, was mysteriously hacked out of existence a couple years back).

    “Patterico” also was involved in lawsuits with one of the internet’s most famous ‘trolls’, the so-called “Speedway Bomber”; that, from involvement in the Anthony Weiner – Twitter sexting scandal.

    Somehow, “Patterico” always manages to get into these diversions from straightforward thinking and analysis.

    • Dustin says

      What a bizarre series of creepy insults!

      Patterico indeed has a long history of principled commentary on issues. He’s not perfect but he’s always called them like he sees them, offers a lot of room for disagreement, and is generally a great resource for people to learn about different points of view. I’ve been getting into arguments on his blog for years, and have become a clearer thinker, and changed my mind on many subjects.

      There is no reason to be this angry about all these political disagreements.

      ““Patterico” once posted long passages from Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” on another blogger’s web site after weeks of nasty comments back-and-forth. ”

      Unfortunately, one of the ugliest blog feuds on the internet has been between Protein Wisdom and Patterico, and though Patterico did not leave this comment, you’re talking about that blog. I don’t think a long comment on a blog post, quoting a classic book, really rates as scandalous.

      What’s more remarkable is that this had to have happened six or seven years ago and you’re carrying all that anger around over disagreements on politics! If I recall correctly, some of you guys actually reacted to Patterico’s criticisms of your favored blogger by going after his read-world employment as an attorney. That’s so beyond the pale, but you’re mad that someone quoted “long passages?” The answer to speech you don’t like is MORE SPEECH, it is not censorship, going after jobs, or the pattern of limiting viewpoint diversity we see at universities and on major websites like Redstate.

      This hurts both ‘sides’ of all debates and so does holding a grudge for this long!

      ““Patterico” also was involved in lawsuits with one of the internet’s most famous ‘trolls’, the so-called “Speedway Bomber”; that, from involvement in the Anthony Weiner – Twitter sexting scandal.”

      I remember this clearly. Patterico did indeed criticize the convicted bomber, and was threatened with lawsuits if he did not take down his truthful posts. He did not take them down, and he was sued. Thanks to some pro bono legal help, after years, Patterico prevailed in court and his post criticizing the bomber remains up today. That’s such a feather in his cap as a journalist. Throughout this ordeal his home was swatted and he dealt with considerable harassment, as did most of the people who supported him in public.

      Patterico also was critical of Anthony Weiner’s sexual tweets, and had a lot of scoops relating to Weiner’s conduct. At the time, Weiner’s fans said he was hacked, but we now know this wasn’t the case. As with the other example you listed, this drawn out episode showed Patterico opines with integrity, and held up well under a lot of pressure.

      “Somehow, “Patterico” always manages to get into these diversions from straightforward thinking and analysis.”

      Unfortunately, if you stand on principles you will get into conflicts. Winston Churchill said “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

      But let’s have a little perspective, Serr8d. You’ve been furious at Patterico for what? For political disagreements. For flamewars and blog feuds. You’ve carried that around for years and years. I can’t imagine myself having any problem with Jeff Goldstein or any of you guys. Yeah, we get passionate about our disagreements about politics, but this is a free country and we are exercising our freedom of speech. You wouldn’t be having as much fun, or having as interesting a debate, if everyone agreed with ‘your side’.

      My sincere advice to you and your friends is to move on. There is real corruption in the world, and Patterico’s proven through all the ordeals you mentioned that he’s one of the good guys. Even if you can’t see that, he’s obviously been through the ringer a bunch of times for standing up for his principles, and that him an interesting person to read and discuss the issues with.

  27. Constantin Draghici says

    Trump “superpowers” are threatening conservative unshakeable “principles” such as “free trade at all costs even with those who do not reciprocate”. How does one untangle this mess? For starters – Donald Trump has no magical powers and your sources keep insisting that he is a “moron”. A “moron” with no magical powers that makes history is a new and entertaining concept. What “neverTrumpers” like the author of this article do not seem to understand is that their visceral hate of the messenger does not change the fact that he leads a revolution within the conservative camp. The ideas that are being turned on their head are exactly those that have rendered conservatism a perpetually loosing proposition more and more divorced from reality. The decline started by placing an emphasis on ‘conservative principles’ to replace a pragmatism needed in representing a political base. A conservative intellectualism has replaced an entire political class and gave rise to the kind of dogmatic conservative puritanism represented by people like Mr. Frey. The most flamboyant and divorced from reality idea is the notion that the preservation of conservative “principle” far outweighs the political and cultural hegemony of the increasingly radicalized political Left. They are the types who would vote Hillary – and not because she is a particularly robust defender of conservative principles – but because she can not be expected to be one. Go figure! Anyhow, where Mr. Frey is badly mistaken is in his belief that Donald Trump magically threw him to the cornfield. It was not Donald Trump who did it, no matter how much you hate him or what he represents. It was a vast and determined rebellion within the GOP that has had enough with dogmatic extremists and wants a patriotic pragmatism to be the future of the GOP. I would not be too worried about “free trade” either, unless what you really stand for is the “unfair free trade” designed to suck America dry. There are ways to become useful in the cornfield. Start looking for a job! And spare us the notion that magical political correctness is overtaking conservatism in America. It is but to easy to describe the effect of market forces as such. The Red State is a business that cannot afford to remain a pulpit for dogmatic sermons no one cares to listen to anymore. Becoming irrelevant is not easy but creative destruction is not the same thing with oppression and is the essential fact of capitalism Mr. Frey may have to come to terms with.

  28. There’s more to it than that. I’m not never-trump and I got blocked by RedState. No idea why.

    • Every moderator at RedState has absolute power to ban anyone for any reason – or no reason. There is no appeal and no oversight. Therefore each moderator pursues his own agenda, weeding out commenters who are not aligned with his faction. I always got the impression that the older mods were still fighting some past battle that they didn’t talk about.

  29. Michael O says

    I was reading along without too much problem until I got to this:

    “But nor are we willing to pretend that a largely illiterate and immoral buffoon afflicted with a pathological narcissism is a fit occupant of the Oval Office.”

    Trump, I note earned his BS (Economics, Wharton) in 1968. I doubt that Penn professors were allowing many illiterates to skate from 1964-68. This is a small point yet when coupled with phrases such as “immoral buffoon” and “pathological narcissism,” points more to the author’s willingness to besmirch an opponent ad hominem than to any substantive observation.

    I’ll admit Mr. Trump is not the first fellow I’d think to invite to high tea. But his ability to cut through the sham that has become of United States post-Bretton Woods, post-Cold War diplomacy and his willingness to throw the chairs across the dance floor until he gets his way, well, is the greatest relief of my life since Ronald Reagan. The world Trump and I grew up in is ending. And well about time. I fear I was too “educated,” maybe too civil, to notice it myself. Trump and his supporters are teaching ineffectual modern conservatism, and the whole stinking edifice of contemporary globalism, a much needed lesson.

    Regarding Red-State’s editorial policy, in light of the astonishing transformation that begins before our eyes, who cares, other than the author and Anyone-But-Trump diehards?

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  33. Andrew Eden-Balfour says

    Well, duh. I already posted this comment, but I’ll leave it here since it basically indicts Quillete as well: “the IDW is also becoming less ‘ideologically diverse’, and turning into just another line of groups among the left, right and center that have become very tribal and partisan. The simple fact of the matter is that thanks to the internet, people can now have their own facts and be part of a bubble/tribe. Another reality is that whatever your ultimate dogma is, you’ll be obedient to the tribe that shares its dogma no matter what, it’s just human nature.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion and beliefs.”

  34. Jay Lowe says

    Whoever said Trump was a ‘conservative’ being in the Republican party by default? This kid seems to assume that.

    Honestly, if the NeverTrumpers like this kid/Erick Erickson/Bill Kristol/Dubya Bush, etc. effectively had made lasting inroads with their policies among the voters of the Right, we wouldn’t have had Trump as a nominee in the first place. This guy is a whining moron.

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