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Op-Ed

Leftist Fears Realized: The Birth of Defiant Conservatism

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It has now been over a month since American military hero and dedicated civil servant John Sidney McCain III succumbed to brain cancer and passed away.

McCain gave what most would consider to be a lifetime of service to his country in his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Yet, upon his return to United States soil, McCain still felt the call to serve his country; he did so in serving in the U.S. Congress as a congressional representative and a senator for a collective 30-plus years.

As is to be expected when a beloved American statesman passes, there was a brief moment of bipartisan memorialization.

This momentary memorialization was, as most bipartisan moments in American history are, short lived. Before long, Republicans and Democrats alike returned to being at one another’s throats on Capitol Hill.

However, even after McCain’s family and close friends like Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina grew silent in their mourning and lamentation over his unfortunate passing, the American left remained fixated on memorializing his life.

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Throughout the weeks following McCain’s passing, each and every time President Donald Trump made a characteristically controversial tweet, or Republicans made a partisan move in Congress, the left would point to the life of John McCain and lament the loss.

How unfortunate it was, said the left, that a level-headed bipartisan “maverick” like McCain was gone. He was the last of his kind – a Republican that would come to the table and work with Democrats in a calm and civil matter, keeping the country’s interests in mind.

A crying shame the left had far less respect for Senator McCain in life. Let it not be forgotten that when McCain ran as the GOP nominee for president in 2008, the Democrats referred to him as a crazy, “unhinged” old white conservative; a man with no respect for women or people of color.

It was not until McCain took a stand against President Donald J. Trump, and eventually succumbed to cancer, that the Democrats began looking to him as the shining beacon of civility and respect who housed the moral compass of the GOP.

Do you think Trump has emboldened conservative voices?

The only evident motivator for this outspoken flip-flop from the left on McCain is growing fear surrounding the Trump presidency and its emboldening of conservatives across the U.S.

One need look no further than the Democrats’ resistance to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and their handling of sexual assault allegations brought against Kavanaugh, for evidence of this growing fear.

Nervous about the ramifications of a boldly textualist conservative judge like Kavanaugh being elevated to the Supreme Court, the left has used every confirmation hearing thus far to grandstand against Kavanaugh and tear up his character and judicial record; going so far as to refer to him as “evil.”

All this came to a head Thursday in hearings centered around Christine Blasey Ford, Ph.D., and her allegations against Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh chaffed against the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and their blatant partisan attacks against him, in a nearly 45-minute opening statement.

“[This allegation] would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits. When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed,” said Kavanaugh.

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Sen. Graham followed suit, going on the warpath against Senator Dianne Feinstein and her Democratic colleagues in the time he was granted to question Kavanaugh.

Both Kavanaugh and Graham’s fiery statements were incredibly bold and would have appeared abnormal coming from conservatives had they been made in the early 2000s. In fact, in both the 2008 and 2012 elections it was entirely unheard of for Republicans to go on the offensive at all.

Knowing this, the left has always backloaded its political strategy with personal attacks, identity-based manipulations and blatant slander.

The left comes to the table for a logical argument on the merits, facts, conclusions and solutions to political issues of the day. Should their opponent win an argument on the merits, or disagree with the conclusions the left has drawn, the personal attacks become necessary. A consorted effort is then made to tear the opponent down and destroy their name – the left shames Republican opposition into looking like cold-hearted fools. Something Republicans traditionally need no help with.

This has, without fail, been the left’s tried-and-true strategy for decades.

It was not until Trump began his unorthodox campaign in June of 2015 that Republicans started to take note of this strategy and adjust accordingly. Trump went on the offensive early; an unexpected move from a GOP candidate. His statements amassed endless criticism and bred copious controversy.

Trump seemed to follow suit with the left, making personal attacks and lacking any and all shame. He was a defiant, unapologetic and aggressive Republican; the likes of which the party had never seen.

It was for this reason many Republicans feared Trump would “blow up” the party, making it unsuccessful for years to come. To everyone’s surprise, Trump’s unorthodox new strategy resonated with voters, and gave a stale GOP the restructuring and redefinition it had arguably needed for decades.

The result has been the slow and steady realization of many Republicans that employing civility against the left, which it never seems to reciprocate, will only result in embarrassing defeat.

Republican indignance in the face of disgusting smears like those targeted at Kavanaugh is indicative of this bold new GOP.

Trump’s presidency has had a profound impact on the American discourse, but easily its most important contribution is the way it has emboldened conservative voices.

Americans are witnessing the birth of “Defiant Conservatism.” In the same way 1992 was thought to be the “Year of the Woman,” 2018 should fondly be known as the “Year of the Defiant Conservative.”

The left’s calls to civility in light of their repugnant hit on Kavanaugh represent a last-ditch effort to reassert political superiority by declawing Republicans. Should the left succeed in destroying Kavanaugh, they will severely hamper the snowballing momentum of the defiant conservative movement.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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