To be a smart conservative, you have to hate Donald Trump.
Salon recently published a list of “The 25 Conservatives Actually Worth Following on Twitter.”
“Yes, they exist,” the subhead read.
“Liberals in shock over the 2016 election were prescribed a heavy dose of reality. ‘Get out of your bubble,’ the doctor’s note illegibly read. It was a hard truth for the American left. They found out the U.S. was not as progressive as originally thought. Their steady diet of MSNBC and left-wing op-eds only reinforced biases and preconceived beliefs. The country’s actual, collective title wholly evaded them.”
The prescription was to turn on Fox News occasionally, find some conservatives on Twitter to follow and otherwise seek out alternative points of view.
“This would be an honorable endeavor for liberals,” Salon wrote, “if it didn’t expose them to pure lunacy on a regular basis.”
The president is wielding executive power at an unprecedented rate. He named a Supreme Court justice who has the entire conservative side thrilled. He has moved to end federal involvement in education, cut programs from agencies such as the Department of Commerce, pulled the U.S. out of international agreements, strengthened border protection and changed policymaking at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior to better respect conservative principles.
But to understand his administration, the thinking liberal must follow some of these smart conservatives. There was the danger that each conservative added brought one closer to “the likes of Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec appearing on their ‘who to follow’ suggestions.”
But one could keep a safe distance and pick up on the views by following people who “not only dislike President Trump, but also engage in a level of ideological introspection that has surpassed most liberals.
“Wouldn’t you have to check them out?” [emphasis theirs]
The article can be summed up in a single Twitter exchange:
“I like Gorsuch, decertifying Iran and leaving UNESCO,” Bill Kristol, one of the 25 to follow, wrote. “But they’re not worth the degradation of our public life that is the Trump presidency.”
“So he’s doing a good job but you don’t like him,” TheRealQuartermass responded.
Salon also named Kilgore Trout, a pseudonym used by someone who is “trapped in corporate America” but has mainstream media opinions on national populism – “the vapid belief that you have the right both modern standards of living & your grandfather’s job & culture,” free speech: “The bad news is we’re getting rid of the First Amendment but the good news is the stock market going up wiped out the national debt,” and the NFL: “Trump treats a couple guys quietly kneeling as more of a life & death crisis than he treats and actual life & death crisis in Puerto Rico.”
The article lauds Tim Carlson, whom it defines as a “Christian first and a conservative second” who “lets his religious beliefs guide his principles (unlike some other high-profile conservatives).”
And former Jeb Bush campaign staffer Tim Miller, “a straight shooter respected on both sides” whose “fight against Trump did not end with Bush’s failed campaign … as he has become a go-to pundit representing the never-Trump movement.”
Ana Navarro, who plays conservative on CNN, also made the list because of the way “she somehow always finds time to entertain her Twitter followers, offering liberals and conservatives alike intelligent commentary on the news of the day.”
Salon then quotes a Navarro tweet: “Prominent GOP pro-lifer resigned, prominent Dem donor had to apologize for sexual harassment bc women did not stay quiet, exposed hypocrisy.”
Salon’s solution to helping fellow liberals learn more about the conservative ideals and thinking that beat them in the last election is to continue to read only people who echo their beliefs but label themselves conservatives.