Glenn Beck, Thomas Sowell, Others Warn: The Word Trump Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

A scene from the movie The Princess Bride.

By The Stream Published on January 22, 2016

“Is Trump a liberal?” conservative columnist Mona Charen asks. “Who knows? He played one for decades — donating to liberal causes and politicians (including Al Sharpton) and inviting Hillary Clinton to his (third) wedding. Maybe it was all a game, but voters who care about conservative ideas and principles must ask whether his recent impersonation of a conservative is just another role he’s playing.”

Charen isn’t alone. In the wake of Sarah Palin’s recent endorsement of Donald Trump, the conservative National Review has gathered a group of conservative pundits — everyone from Cal Thomas and Thomas Sowell to Michael Medved and Glenn Beck  — with the goal of persuading conservative America that Trump represents something dangerously different from the foundational principles that made America great. A sampling:

The Tea Party

Glenn Beck: “When conservatives desperately needed allies in the fight against big government, Donald Trump didn’t stand on the sidelines. He consistently advocated that your money be spent, that your government grow, and that your Constitution be ignored…. If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, there will once again be no opposition to an ever-expanding government.”

Erick Erickson: “In October 2011, when many of the other Republican candidates were fighting Barack Obama, Donald Trump told Sean Hannity, “I was [Obama’s] biggest cheerleader.” Trump donated to both the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, as well to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and other Democrats. In 2011, according to the website, “the largest recipient [of Donald Trump’s political spending] has been the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $116,000.”



Michael Medved: “Trump’s brawling, blustery, mean-spirited public persona serves to associate conservatives with all the negative stereotypes that liberals have for decades attached to their opponents on the right … Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans.”

Mona Charen: “When a con man swindles you, you can sue — as many embittered former Trump associates who thought themselves ill used have done. When you elect a con man, there’s no recourse.”

Movement Conservatives

L. Brent Bozell III: “The GOP base is clearly disgusted and looking for new leadership. Enter Donald Trump, not just with policy prescriptions that challenge the cynical GOP leadership but with an attitude of disdain for that leadership — precisely in line with the sentiment of the base. Many conservatives are relishing this, but ah, the rub. Trump might be the greatest charlatan of them all.”

Ben Domenech: “Trump assures voters that he will use authoritarian power for good, to help those who feel — with good reason — ignored by both parties. But the American experiment in self-government was the work of a generation that risked all to defeat a tyrannical monarch and establish a government of laws, not men. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is precisely what the Constitution offers, and what is most threatened by ‘great men’ impatient to impose their will on the nation.”

Yuval Levin: “The appeal of Trump’s diagnoses should be instructive to conservatives. But the shallow narcissism of his prescriptions is a warning. American conservatism is an inherently skeptical political outlook. It assumes that no one can be fully trusted with public power and that self-government in a free society demands that we reject the siren song of politics-as-management. A shortage of such skepticism is how we ended up with the problems Trump so bluntly laments.”


David Boaz: “Trump’s greatest offenses against American tradition and our founding principles are his nativism and his promise of one-man rule. Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who made racial and religious scapegoating so central to his campaign … America is an exceptional nation in large part because we’ve aspired to rise above such prejudices and guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone.”

Thomas Sowell: “In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one — Donald Trump. What is even more remarkable is that, after seven years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor. No doubt much of the stampede of Republican voters toward Mr. Trump is based on their disgust with the Republican establishment. It is easy to understand why there would be pent-up resentments among Republican voters. But are elections held for the purpose of venting emotions?”

Religious Conservatives

Cal Thomas: “I once compared Trump to Lonesome Rhodes, the character played by Andy Griffith in the 1957 film A Face in the Crowd. Trump might also be compared to Elmer Gantry, the fictional evangelist who used religion to mask his dark side … Anger is not policy. Trump channels a lot of the righteous (and some of the unrighteous) anger of voters and sees the solution as himself. Isn’t a narcissist what we currently have in the White House?”

Russell Moore: “Trump’s supposed pro-life conversion is rooted in Nietzschean, social-Darwinist terms. He knew a child who was to be aborted who grew up to be a “superstar.” Beyond that, Trump’s vitriolic — and often racist and sexist — language about immigrants, women, the disabled and others ought to concern anyone who believes that all persons, not just the “winners” of the moment, are created in God’s image.”

To read the whole symposium, visit National Review.

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  • RLee

    The positives are Trump has gored every ox and got the conversations started. That’s about it. After that, warts flaws and all, if Trump is the best that the Republicans can hope for or our country can hope for we are in terrible shape and have yuge issues.

  • Eric Jarrett

    Question: If Glen Beck cannot get ‘right’ the MOST influential human being who walked on Earth – Jesus Christ – how can anyone trust his views on any other person? Glen, your influence my friend is falling fast and will continue too. You do NOT speak for this Christian Man!

    • springsgirl

      Do you think TRUMP has “gotten it right” about Jesus? And Beck isn’t the only one speaking out against him. As an evangelical Christian, I can’t (for the life of me) figure out why some evangelicals are flocking to Trump.

      • Eric Jarrett

        Perhaps because he is most qualified? He has run successful businesses, hired and fired thousands of people, understands leadership and is a leader, etc. God’s agent of change for the earth is His church, not politics. We do not live in a theocracy nor will we until Jesus returns to planet earth where he will rule & reign for a thousand years! Jesus did not overthrow Rome while He was on earth – American Christians need to build the “invisible Kingdom of God” like He did.

        • springsgirl

          Trump is a loud-mouthed, egotistical, misogynistic, narcissistic megalomaniac whose idea of leadership is “do it my way, or you’re fired”. Not exactly who I want leading my country, but to each his own, I guess…And if your opinion of Beck is based on his “wrong” view of Jesus, why in the world would you trust Trump’s views?

        • Wayne Cook

          Successful? You call four taxpayer funded bankrupties successful? A con artist is what he calls himself, in his own book…The rest of what you say is good…

  • Chris

    Beck is not who you think he is. I have personal experience with him, and everyone should do some real digging on this character. He is a media hog of the worst kind.

  • Wayne Cook

    Cal Thomas is right.

  • Cybitz

    You strain out a nat and swallow a camel. Trump is a populist, not a conservative, not a liberal. He doesn’t really make a serious claim to being a Christian, at least not an evangelical Christian. On the Other Hand, Glenn Beck is a Mormon apologist. He DOES make a claim to being an evangelical just like you and I. He is deep enough in Mormonism to know that his use of theological words like redemption, faith, Jesus Christ, etc. are different than his audience but uses them anyway and lets you assume he means what you do. He is a LIAR and you are FOOLS. So rather than try to figure out what Trump will or won’t do, remove the cultist antichrist in your midst, Mr. Glenn Beck.

  • Slim Pickens

    Could someone tell me please if James Robison has endorsed Ted Cruz… I am for Ted Cruz and I need to know if this is the case. I have read that he hosted people for Cruz. The reason I am asking is I give 100 a month to Samaritans Purse, I had been giving to World Vision but transferred to Sams Purse after the gay flap.

    Franklin has been a hero of mine , I have not trashed him, its just that I am extremely disappointed in his backing of Donald Trump…Yes Franklin I am sure would say that is not accurate, but try a google using Franklin Graham on Donald Trump and you will see what I mean, I have been at various pro Trump web sites were they have treated his comments as a endorsement.

    I let this be known to them at SP a number of times, try a google using Franklin Graham on Ted Cruz and you would have to agree with me.

    Franklin has come to Trumps defense a number of times during the election, the most recent being the Pope flap.

    Franklin rightly questioned Obama`s faith, by saying when he was asked if he thought Obama was a Christian… “WELL HE SAYS HE IS”

    I approved of those words by Franklin, The White House was livid they knew exactly what he meant… we all know what he meant and it was very correct,

    But here we have just a few days ago Franklin coming again to Trumps defense, it was taken by Trump supporters as an endorsement.. I am NOT Catholic but only a Christian, a sinner saved by grace, no need of any other denomination, but Franklin says to the Pope basically how dare you judge if Trump is a Christian or not

    I know that Trump is NOT a Christian because he told us so when he said he was unsure if he was a sinner, I would think Franklin must have learned at Bible college that you cant, it`s impossible to be a Christian until you personally thank Jesus for dying on the cross for your sins.

    So here is Franklin coming to Trumps aid, and coming to Trumps aid while Trump is bearing false witness against Ted Cruz almost on a hourly basis (Must be said that Marco Rubio has been doing the same)

    So just like Franklin pulls his money rightly so from banks etc that are going against Christian principals , I to have the same right, as I was saying moving from WV to SP over the gay hiring policy of WV

    Franklin Graham aided Donald Trump in the election, it did not help the one true Christian running, it must be said that Ben Carson was far from pure also, Ted Cruz did nothing wrong if anybody took the time to watch the clip from CNN , the one they refuse to show on CNN and even Fox

    So I have 100 a month , and it looks like James Robison charity LIFE is really helping the children in the worst situations,

    If James Robison is all in for Ted Cruz I will make the switch to his life saving feeding program LIFE

    I read that James Robison had a large connection to this site

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