Opinion: What’s Going on Between ‘Libertarian’ and ‘America First’ Conservatives?

In the ‘fourth quarter’ of the first presidential term of President Trump, it seems that while just about everyone on the right disagrees with nearly all the rhetoric coming from the left, many on the right have different ideas of what direction “Conservatism” should take. To start off, the major talking points of almost all Republicans are starting to be called into question, such as immigration and pop culture.

Let’s take the 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan for example. During his time things were simpler. He was considered one the best presidents ever, let alone one of the best Republicans, and to many he still is. He did in fact, do many great things, including reduce taxes and bring about a pro-growth economic environment.

An argument could be made that Ronald Reagan was the right president, at the right time. But as the famous song by Bob Dylan goes, “the times, they are a changin'”. in the mid-1980s the United States was still operating under what many baby-boomers and generation x-ers today would consider traditional America. This in spite of the fact the 60s and 70s changed the cultural scene forever. Most Americans believed in American exceptionalism. Most Americans were not in favor of gay marriage, although now, in 2019, you are considered old-fashioned and not progressive if you so much as question it.

Reagan’s biggest mistake might very well have been his program in 1986 to provide amnesty for approximately 3 million illegal immigrants. It may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, and perhaps he thought they would vote Republican and everyone would sing kumbaya. But statistics have shown that more often than not, immigrants, legal or illegal, tend to skew towards voting Democrat. After Reagan, tens of millions of additional immigrants have come in, legally and illegally, shifting, in part, the political scenery in our country forever.

Fortunately for the Republican party, many Democrats have piled into the same big cities, in the same blue states, leaving on the table a fleeting chance for the right Republican president to eke out an electoral college win even in a nation that clearly has more left-leaning voters, based on New York, Illinois, and California’s huge numbers of Democrat voters. This slight electoral advantage may not be around for long as continuous waves of immigration remain, and many “progressive” Americans are seeking greener pastures than their high tax Democrat Governed states and are moving to states like North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and many other Republican or “swing” states.

What is the solution to keep the Republican party viable? That would be the big question. Is it to home in on how important liberty is, and how bad socialism is by schooling college kids with “facts and logic”? Yes, freedoms are great, in fact, liberty and freedom are what make up the very fabric of our nation. But any nation with laws is not a 100% free country. It is a well-regulated country where people are allowed to do what they want without hurting others. That is what most ‘liberty-minded’ or ‘Libertarian-leaning’ Conservatives would like to assert. But is that really the best route? A total and complete free-for-all as long as nobody steps on my lawn without permission? Perhaps, but some would argue that our very constitution and freedoms are being used against us by twisting what they were meant to be all about.

Some could argue that greedy corporations and people peddling non-traditional ideas to ourselves and our children through the use of Netflix, Hollywood, pop culture, music, and other mediums are exactly antithetical of what the founders had in mind when they forged our constitution. But because the state of modern culture and society were so far off from what it was when this country was founded, perhaps nobody ever thought we would get to where we are today.

We have a split in the right today. What we have now is two major ideas, one where young people who want to love and embrace America and her traditions and yes, do believe in traditional freedoms such as freedom of speech, gun rights and more, also see a major problem. They see people calling themselves conservatives also calling for open and unfettered immigration with wanton disregard to the potential issues it could cause with our traditions and culture as we know it. And they are mistakenly calling for it in the name of liberty. In the name of a free market and capitalism. But whose liberty are we talking about? Are we talking about Americans being free to conserve what makes America great? Or liberty for literally anyone in the world to come here and make America anything they want it to be? It’s all in who’s doing the defining.

President Trump ran on bringing back law and order in this country. President Trump ran on making life better for Americans, not for the world. President Trump is doing what he can to fulfill some of his promises, but failing at others as he has many voices in his ear who consider themselves to be Libertarian-minded Conservatives. These left-leaning Republicans, led by the likes of Ben Shapiro and Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk want to champion free speech and freedom, but only if it fits their agenda. They were both vehemently against President Trump when he was running for President, but ever since he ran, they have subverted his movement and many of his supporters, yet they are still pushing their own personal ideas instead of the ideas President Trump ran on. For example, Charlie Kirk has pushed the idea (that he is now backtracking on due to public pressure) that temporary immigrants who come here for college should get “green cards” stapled to their diplomas, thus putting them in direct competition with their American citizen counterparts who also graduated with the same degrees at the same time.

Big League Politics reported on this very thing:

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) founder Charlie Kirk has been under siege at his “Culture War” events throughout the country for his support of mass immigration as well as other issues.

Kirk is feeling the heat and has adjusted one of his stances under the pressure from “America First” forces. Kirk rebuked his previous stance of giving green cards to any immigrant who obtains a U.S. college diploma during an appearance on the University of Florida campus on Tuesday night.

Here is Kirk, walking back his original ideas:

Kirk, however, while correcting himself due to public pressure, still refuses to acknowledge many of the people who are the reason for the pushback in the first place, such as Nicholas J. Fuentes. Fuentes is a right-wing YouTube personality who sometimes catches flack for his edgy shock value comments, generally is pushing for America First policies that aren’t against any race or type of people in particular. Rather the ideas seem to be pushing pro-America first policies and pro-Christian policies. Fuentes is against pornography and other things that he believes to be contributing to the demise of today’s culture. Just a few days ago, at Charlie Kirk’s SAS event for Turning Point USA in Florida, Fuentes and some of his supporters showed up to voice their views and were banned from the event. They decided to peacefully gather outside instead and engage folks with their America First ideas.

At one point during the weekend summit, Daily Wire owner and conservative speaker Ben Shapiro walked by Fuentes, and Mr. Fuentes asked him if he would talk to him in person since he “slandered him in a 45-minute speech recently but won’t address him directly”. Shapiro ignored him and many pundits such as Megyn Kelly and Nikki Haley took to Twitter to call the occurrence an “attack”. Many also took to Twitter to defend Fuentes, saying he didn’t threaten or come anywhere near Shapiro and his family who was with him and the time, and it was blown out of proportion to try and “cancel” someone who has been rattling the cages of the conservative pundit class for some time now. Fox News even picked up the whole story and put their angle on it saying in part:

Far-right activist Nick Fuentes fired back at Nikki HaleyMeghan McCain and other critics Saturday, after they slammed Fuentes for confronting writer Ben Shapiro on Friday while Shapiro was walking by with his wife and children.

The Friday incident in Florida, near the site of the Turning Point USA conference where President Trump spoke Saturday, also drew comments from Megyn Kelly, Michael Avenatti and Sebastian Gorka, among others.

But on Saturday, the 21-year-old Fuentes, host of the “America First” podcast, was unapologetic in his response.

“It’s great to see the four most dishonest media hacks in contemporary politics put aside their differences and come together in defense of civility… yea that or maybe there’s an ulterior motive here. I see four never Trumpers that have an axe to grind with America First.”

See video below:

The point here is that the libertarian-leaning, more modern-day conservatives who champion free speech and claim to debate anyone at any time, actually don’t believe in free speech at all unless it fits within their parameters of what it should be. While they have most of the protections of big tech and lots of funding from mega-rich donors that can be found here, they don’t have the “cool” grassroots steam that is being enjoyed by many in the America First movement, a movement that is continually being squashed by mainstream pundits and social media by calling them racists or other things rather than engaging their legitimate ideas. Yes, every group has some in the bunch who go too far, and other times edgy jokes can be misconstrued. But the main rift in the right today seems to be between America First conservatives who want to preserve and build order and pro values ideas, and the other one, “Conservative Inc.” which seems to be more concerned with money and moving leftward. This leaves President Trump in a bind for 2020, as many bureaucrats may try to get him to “disown” or “disavow” some of the grassroots movements that are simply attempting to hold him to his 2016 promises. While he surely can’t afford to lose that base, he’s likely worried about keeping the donor class happy as well, as it’s going to take a lot of money to defeat the Democrat machine in 2020. Only time will tell how these developments carry the right forward.

Former Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin has taken a lot of heat for joining the “America Firsters” more recently, as some have even tried to have her canceled, simply for standing for others’ right to free speech.

The left has their own rift as well, with radicals like AOC and Bernie Sanders trying to pull moderates like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi further and further left. Unlike the right though, rarely does the left play the “disavowal” game and that is why they are winning more and more local seats around the country and why we shouldn’t be confident that President Trump will simply sail through the 2020 elections if everyone who supports or claims to support him, doesn’t get their act together.