Let’s Stop Shooting Our Wounded, Like the Brave Kari Lake

By John Zmirak Published on March 25, 2023

This week, dogged MAGA candidate Kari Lake was handed a hugely important victory. As Al Perrotta noted right here at The Stream:

Lake asserted Maricopa County did not follow signature verification procedures and that Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer accepted a “material number” of ballots that were not verified.

This would be the same Stephen Richer who had co-founded a PAC to target Lake’s candidacy.

The court ordered a county judge to look into the signature verification effort. 

… On Thursday, Lake released a full statement. She called signature verification the “third rail” for Maricopa County and shared that three whistleblowers who were involved in the verification process came forward and said “Maricopa County WILLFULLY ignored the law and procedure.”

Added Lake, “When we verify these allegations, there will be no doubt this election was compromised and its results fail to meet the level of security as outlined in Arizona law.”

So how many ballots were not legally verified? In January, Lake put the number at up to 130,000.

According to the “official” count, Soros-funded Katie Hobbs won by a margin of 17,116 votes.

She Told You So

In other words, there is merit in Lake’s claims that her narrow election defeat was compromised by abuses. As the movie 2000 Mules showed beyond a doubt that there’s merit in Donald Trump’s claims about the presidential election.

But how many Republicans and so-called conservatives have mocked Lake and dismissed her, waved her off as a crackpot, a dead-end “election denier”? The same kind of people said that about Donald Trump, taking their cues from the spinelessness of Fox News’ coverage. The same species of chameleon fell all over themselves to denounce the January 6 protestors as “insurrectionists,” who richly deserved the “ISIS terrorist” treatment to which the Biden regime subjected them.

Such “conservatives” mocked the House Republicans who challenged Kevin McCarthy, challengers whose lonely, courageous stand got Nancy Pelosi’s old rules trashed. Without that, the Republican House would not be pushing back on any subject at all, much less summoning committees to investigate Biden’s abuses of power.

Dismissing the Social Issues

I remember when this kind of conservative waved off our concerns about transgenderism as hysterical … before the GOP won a governor’s race in Virginia on the back of that issue. (Kristi Noem of South Dakota is one of the worst culprits here.) When they sneered at pro-lifers as “single issue voters” … before our pro-life stubbornness captured the GOP’s whole base, helped elect Donald Trump, and therefore overturned the fraudulent Roe v. Wade.

Where does this instinct come from? It’s too easy to just wave it off as the impulse of a “country Club Republican,” a Chamber of Commerce RINO. There’s something deeper and darker going on than simple bloviating complacency — though of course there’s plenty of that gassing up egos at the Republican National Committee.

Please, Bully That Guy Instead!

Something more primal, even animal. It’s naked fear. We have seen the ruthless effectiveness of the Left at conquering our institutions and churches, swarming and marching thoughtlessly like disciplined Army Ants. And some of us have decided, deep down, that our enemies are simply irresistibly stronger. They’re going to win in the end.

What’s more, they have power now, the power to punish us. They can sic their media jackals on us and wreck our lives — make us the next Mark Judge, Nick Sandmann, or even Jake Gardner. We assume that our fellow conservatives are just as cowardly as we are, so they won’t defend us. We’re on our own, facing a gang of vicious bullies. Do we want their hostile gazes focusing on us?

Or on that other guy, over there? Yeah, the one with the funny glasses, the MAGA hat, the Don’t Tread on Me bumper sticker on his truck. He’s the extremist, the Christian Nationalist, the racist or election denier or QAnon crank or whatever-I-need-to-say-about-him to get you to pick on him instead of me. I have nothing whatever in common with that kind of person. In fact, he’s an embarrassment to me. I’m happy to help Progressives identify and weed out this kind of radical outlier, to prove my good faith and credentials.

Feeding Your Friends to the Crocodiles

The most important reason to reject this kind of scapegoating is that it is contemptible. It’s appeasement, which Churchill rightly described as throwing your friends to the crocodiles in the hope of getting eaten last.

Should such moral arguments leave you cold, here’s a practical one: This strategy doesn’t work, not even in the short term. It’s a maneuver chosen by losers, who have already surrendered in their minds, and it guarantees their defeat. And that’s why you’ll never see the Left engaged in it.

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We on the Right leave our wounded on the field at the first sight of blood. We abandon the innocent, the principled, and the falsely accused as quickly as six-year-olds flee the kid with “cooties.”

Meanwhile the Left doubles down and doggedly, blindly defends its partisans no matter how guilty they are. (Jussie Smollett, anyone? Lori Lightfoot? The Biden crime family?) No matter how truly extreme, genuinely hateful, or simply insane they prove to be. And why? For the same reason the Marines won’t leave a man behind. It’s good for morale. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of cohesion, strength, and victory.

So if the moral case for standing by courageous conservatives when they’re under fire doesn’t appeal to you, then let the practical argument move you to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Don’t act like a loser all the time, and maybe you won’t end up as one.


John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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