by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[Piers] Morgan would have made a curious guest for a conservative talk show even without his recent foray into historical revisionism. To the extent he’s made any political brand for himself in America, it’s been as a hectoring anti-gun fanatic and generally condescending anti-American scold. Yet because Morgan has had some mildly sympathetic things to say about Donald Trump as of late (or at least hates some of the same people as the president) all is forgiven, and he’s now understood as “one of us” to some corners of the conservative base.
It was the same phenomenon that saw Kanye West’s remarkable rebranding last week. A tweet or two in the president’s favor and the man previously best known for calling George W. Bush a racist sociopath on live television … was reborn as a conservative folk hero. Perhaps West was taking his cue from Roseanne Barr, whom many on the right have given a similar mulligan for decades of far-left lunacy on the grounds she kinda likes Trump.
Conservatives are at their worst when they obsessively internalize leftist critiques, and no criticism has proven a greater font of conservative insecurity than liberal teasing that the Right is crotchety, backwards, and unhip. Much anxious effort has been exerted to prove these critics wrong, yet desperation rarely produces flattering results. The hurried search for conservatives with some progressive cachet — black, gay, famous, young, etc. — often manifests as low standards and embarrassing self-delusion, as the intellectual talents of various B-rate minds are inflated to heroic status the moment their public rhetoric drifts even the teensiest bit rightward.