Conservative Pundits Need to Grow a Pair and Speak Up for America

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I no longer blame Donald Trump. He’s trying to do what he feels is best. I don’t even blame Trump supporters as much as I once did. They’re getting schooled in the art of the sale and are subjected to arguably the best political sales pitch of all time. I do, however, blame the conservative pundits in the country for holding back on the truth in order to keep their ratings up.

Whether on conservative talk radio, on political publications, or on their television shows, the majority of conservative pundits are being very careful about what they say regarding Donald Trump. The majority of them are educated and experienced enough to see that he has some great talking points and powerful ideologies but that he lacks the skills and understanding necessary to run the country. Unfortunately, their jobs are based upon popularity and ratings. They’ve seen what happens when they lash out against him. A single utterance of direct opposition makes them lose listeners, readers, or viewers.

The more I watch Trump, the more I realize that I don’t dislike him. I definitely don’t dislike many of his ideas (though his tax plan is laughable, but that’s a different topic). I love that he’s framed the conversations around the important issues that affect the country, but I also recognize that he’s spinning the discussion away from the topics and towards himself. This is both by design as well as being a consequence of the man himself. He’s one of the most magnetic personalities in the world. People and conversations gravitate to him naturally.

The bad part is that he’s pointing out important topics and then muddying the waters instead of bringing up real dialogue. His policies are not debatable because they are, for the most part, unknown. Whenever he’s asked how he’s going to do this improbable thing or that impossible thing, his response is invariably “believe me.” Seriously, listen to how he responds to those questions. He has the same response every time regardless of the issue.

The pundits are latching onto his supporters. They are now seeing based upon the numbers that if they somehow defend his ideas, they’ll get more people paying attention to them. They’re right. Saying something positive about Trump and getting him to mention it on his Twitter account or in an interview is quick boost to their ratings. The conservative pundits who guide the talking points of the Republican party are finding that their short-term meal ticket is Donald Trump. That alone is bad, but it gets worse.

There’s another unfortunate reality for most of these conservative media personalities. Their popularity thrives on Democrats. The more anger that people have towards liberals in Washington DC, the more listeners, readers, and viewers they get. It’s the nasty secret that no pundit would acknowledge but the data is clear. The Obama effect on their numbers has been tremendous. It’s like gun sales. The more that Obama talks about guns, the more guns are sold and the more people tune into conservative journalists to hear what they want to hear.

A Clinton White House will be a windfall for them. Now, I’m not saying that any of them want Hillary Clinton to win, but there’s a distinct silver lining to a Trump nomination. Just as it improves their numbers by loosely supporting him, it would improve their numbers if he gets the nomination because they know he cannot beat Clinton in a general election. This isn’t a big conspiracy; none of them want to see a Clinton White House, but it’s in the back of their minds that the worse thing that can happen to them personally is that their ratings will stay steady or go up by supporting Trump and watching him lose to Clinton.

The same people who were bashing Trump a couple of months ago are apologizing for him today. They haven’t come around to his way of thinking. They don’t truly want to see him win. They’ve learned their lessons based upon the times they bashed him, the hate mail they received, and the reduced numbers that ensued. I heard tonight someone who was adamantly opposed to him in the past defending his comments about halting Muslim immigration by calling it a negotiation. They said that he was stating his most extreme idea in hopes of negotiating down to something in the middle.

To anyone with a brain, this makes absolutely no sense. He’s not negotiating anything at this point. He’s selling himself, his brand, and his ideas. The man has some of the strongest negotiating skills in the business world but he’s flexing those muscles with these statements. He’s pitching himself. To call it part of a negotiation while he’s running for the nomination is blatantly wrong and pundits know this. They’re grasping for any justification they can find in order to not bash him or his unconstitutional ideas.

They’re terrified that he’ll say something bad about them. They’re scared that he won’t go on their show or do their interview. They’re worried about how his supporters will react if they tell the truth.

This may all sound like Trump bashing but it’s really not. Again, I’m not against him as a person and I respect what he’s trying to do. Moreover, I’m extremely impressed with the skill he’s been displaying when it comes to using his sales acumen to pitch voters. It’s nothing short of brilliant. I can’t wait to see what he does when the election is over.

Now is not the time to be looking at ratings. The pundits are being shortsighted by doing so because they will be called out for it if he’s nominated. Why? Because a Trump nomination means a landslide victory for Clinton. Trump will lose worse than Bob Dole. If he doesn’t get the nomination and feels inclined to run as a third-party candidate, the same thing will result. This is the year when we have the most negative sentiment towards the Democrats and the weakest possible candidate to fight. Five or six of the other candidates would defeat Clinton handily, but they won’t get the chance if Trump is nominated. The idea that we could lose this, the most important Presidential election in decades, utterly blows my mind. If we lose, I won’t be blaming Trump or his supporters. I’ll blame the pundits who did nothing to stop it.

They’re going to cash their ratings checks in to the detriment of the country. There are several that I respect who are now being selfish. They’re worried about their numbers. They’re scared. They need to grow a pair. Too much is at stake to allow the election to slip away over popularity numbers. No dittos will be coming from me if it happens.

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Bernie Sanders is Partially Right (and very conservative) When it Comes to Pharmaceuticals

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No, this is not an endorsement by any stretch of the imagination. Bernie Sanders would destroy this country as President. However, his perspectives on pharmaceuticals are close to being correct and are so far to the left that they nearly swing back around to the right.

When Obamacare was first announced, there was something in it that actually made sense to me from a conservative perspective. As a country, we’ve allowed pharmaceutical companies to hold hostage the life-changing (and often life-saving) drugs that power the health care industry by giving them protections that pretty much eliminate innovation.

Many Republicans would counter this argument and say that the protections they are given are due to the need to keep them competitive and give them incentives to continue to innovate. More on that in a moment, but first it’s important to clarify the “conservative” classification.

What most people don’t realize is that the far, far left and the far, far right are often closer to each other than they are to the middle. The scale is viewed as a straight line when in reality it’s a nearly complete circle with a gap between the far right and far left. There are times when the very liberal and the very conservative are inches away from having the same basic ideas.

Bernie Sanders is as far to the left as any of the candidates get. His ideas on pharmaceutical companies are so liberal that they’re almost truly conservative. From his perspective, people should be allowed to buy drugs from Canada, Germany, and other places where the costs are considerably less for the same pills.

Again, the defense for this has always come in the form of promoting scientific creativity and innovation. This “conservative” principle states that in capitalism, innovations can be made because the companies are incentivized to make them. They advance the science of pharmaceuticals with the hope of generating profits. On the surface, this makes sense. Digging a little deeper and we can see that real innovation can only happen when there’s a truly open market. Only with true capitalism can the real innovations happen.

Here’s why this is the case. Today, the protections given to pharmaceutical companies allows them to charge much more than a real market value would dictate. In an open market, the companies would be competing against foreign drug suppliers and their profits would decrease. Before anyone points to profits decreasing as being a bad thing, it’s important to note two important facts:

  1. Drug companies aren’t making a little money. They making tons of it to the tune of $ 45 billion last year for five companies alone.
  2. The “innovation” investments are minimal compared to the sales and marketing investments. In other words, more money is spent selling old drugs than discovering new ones.

One the surface, any conservative would balk at the idea of lifting the legislation that protects these companies from outside competition because they would lose profits. In reality, a truly conservative mindset would demand that they have minimal government interaction other than oversight for safety.

We have to make the pharmaceutical industry a truly open market that competes on the world level. This will make it a numbers game for bulk rather than profitability quality. In other words, they would be forced to innovate and discover new treatments in order to keep their profit levels high when the costs of individual drugs drop.

A perfect example of this is malaria. There have been cures available for decades, but it has never been as profitable to protect millions of people in Africa when there can be much higher profit margins made helping wealthier Americans quit smoking or fight depression. I’m not trying to downplay any health-oriented needs nor am I suggesting that the United States has to innovate to save the world. I’m suggesting that in an open market, treating millions in need of life-threatening ailments can be a focus that still generates profits while allowing everyone, Americans included, to receive the benefits of such an open market.

In this scenario, it would mean that the pharmaceutical companies would still be able to make huge profits. Instead of investing into sales and marketing to cater to an American market, they would have to focus on drugs that helped the world market. This would lower drug costs for Americans, increase the need and the resources for innovations at the pharmaceutical companies, and expand our technological and scientific reach to other countries.

Right now, the industry is focused on high-dollar drugs rather than high-importance drugs. They are playing on the needs of Americans who have to pay for the drugs rather than expanding their operations and improving their own sciences. In an open market, as both true conservatives and hardcore liberals like Bernie Sanders push for in this arena, literally everyone wins other than the pharmaceutical companies and they don’t necessarily lose. It just means they’ll have to work harder to keep their profit numbers so high.

He might not want his supporters to know it, but Sanders is pretty close to be a capitalist conservative when it comes to pharmaceutical companies.

Bernie Sanders Conservative

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