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In an article published in the National Review yesterday, titled “More and More Trump Supporters Celebrate His Character Flaws,” Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro came to a startling conclusion: that the primary objective for many, if not all, Republicans — particularly those who love them some Donald Trump — is just to be dicks.

Who would have thought? Except for us! And also anyone who has ever read the comments section over at Dead Breitbart, where Ben Shapiro used to work!

Shapiro starts out by sexplaining that during the election, most conservatives said they embraced Trump despite his character. That they didn’t like his gross pussy comments, but at least he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. At that point, he notes, for a “minority” of conservatives, Trump being a huge jackass was a “feature, not a bug.”

I’m just going to point out here that this cannot possibly be true, given that Trump won the nomination well before he was competing against Hillary Clinton.

However, Shapiro notes, “[u]nder President Trump, one inconvenient and morally disquieting fact has become increasingly clear: More and more conservatives fall into the second group.” That what they are invested in is less policy-related, and more related to simply enjoying the fact that Donald Trump is a jerk.

That’s not to say that Trump might not end up fulfilling some of these promises. I hope and pray he does. But it’s clear that the vast majority of Republicans no longer care if he does, so long as he does one thing: keep tweeting about the fake-news media. Were Trump to fulfill every conservative pledge but stop tweeting about Mika Brzezinski’s face and CNN’s ratings, many Republicans would be less enamored of him. Trump’s visceral rage is what thrills Republicans, not his policy — and a huge number of Republicans aren’t even interested in whether the rage undercuts his policy. If Mike Pence replaced Donald Trump and implemented every jot and tittle of the conservative program, then won reelection, most Republicans would be enraged, not excited.

Trump’s character is now a thoroughly accepted positive good.

Wow! It’s almost like many people who support the sadistic policies the Republican party embraces so dearly are not nice people! Maybe people who want to take healthcare away from other people are not good people otherwise. Maybe what a lot of them cared about even more than lower taxes for rich people was getting to watch poor people lose their healthcare. There isn’t a Republican policy on earth that does no harm to a vulnerable population. Name a Republican policy that doesn’t actively hurt women, POC, poor people, LGBTQ people, the environment (and thus people, most often poor ones), etc., etc., I will wait. Probably forever.

Shapiro then notes that rather than being grossed out by Donny Junior’s Russia meetings, they think it is super cool, and definitely evidence of him being awesome. Because if Trump colludes, then colluding is GREAT.

Instead, many Republicans seem overjoyed to embrace the Trump Jr. –Russia meeting. They’ve moved beyond claiming that the media lack evidence for actual collusion (which they do); they now say that even if Trump colluded with Russia, it’s fine. In fact, it’s preferable! President Trump himself tweeted, “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!” This quickly morphed into the preferred right-wing talking point: Trump fights, so of course he’s going to cross lines. That’s why we love him!

Yeah, because people are disingenuous as hell. Duh. As a reader of many pro-Trump message boards, I’ve read this same sentiment since before he was even elected, and also after. I’ve read comments from several supporters who were literally very excited to see him making money off of the presidency, because he “deserves” it.

Shapiro then comes to the conclusion that the reason people like Donald Trump is that they want to be him. Trump is a person who has always been able to get away with being a jackass, because he’s rich and people will continue to kiss his ass no matter how he behaves. They, too, want to be jerks who don’t have to suffer the social consequences of being jerks.

All of which suggests that Trump isn’t the engine, he’s the hood ornament for a certain movement that now feels liberated from traditional rules of decent behavior. Trump allows us to indulge our id and feel righteous while doing it. We grew up believing that decent behavior made you a decent person — but then we realized that breaking the rules not only makes victory easier, it’s more fun than having to struggle with the moral qualms of using moral means to achieve moral ends.

What if I told you… that if indulging your id, for you, means behaving like Donald Trump, that you are probably not a decent person, and are not actually looking to achieve any “moral ends” whatsoever. Maybe they should get some less harmful ids that just want to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at 4 a.m. or something.

Shockingly though, Shapiro actually does come to a pretty correct conclusion at the end of his screed.

A year ago, many conservatives said that ends justified means — and that the end was the implementation of conservative policies. Some conservatives still feel this way. But now that Trump isn’t actually implementing conservative policies, the truth is coming out: For most conservatives, the ends don’t just justify the means, the means are the ends. All that matters is the punching, even if the punching is both counterproductive and immoral.

Yeah, duh. In fact I’d go so far as to say that the punching is all that has always mattered to most of them, for far longer than Donald Trump has even been a thing. Did Ben Shapiro even read the website he edited for years?

Did Ben Shapiro think he was not punching when he repeatedly, snidely misgendered a trans woman on national television? Or when he spread bullshit like this?

If you pay tuition, you’re sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If you pay taxes, you’re sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If your child majors in English, you’re sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. Tell Billy to major in math.

Who stated that the social views of liberal professors “can only be called evil. And this evil must be eradicated before it spreads and engulfs the aspiring youth of our nation in its dark and shadowy tentacles”?

Who started Truth Revolt, whose stated mission is to “unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases”?

Sorry Ben, but you are part of the reason why conservatives think and behave this way. A big part of it! This scaring people about how professors are evil, how there’s a “militant homosexual agenda” … what did you think would happen? That pushing this crap was going to make people kinder? That Breitbart ever made anyone kinder? I don’t think so.

So maybe the next time you feel like clutching your pearls and going “Oh gosh! How did this all happen?” consider taking a look in the mirror. And maybe consider being less of a jerk yourself.

[National Review]

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