- Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday devoted a large portion of his nationally syndicated radio show to shaming conservative media “intellectuals” for refusing to support Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The king of conservative talk radio praised a column published anonymously on Monday – The Flight 93 Election – that criticized conservative thought leaders for failing to “rouse themselves” to “vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests.”
“The piece is so good,” Limbaugh exclaimed, according to a transcript posted on his website. “It is just a home run, every paragraph.”
“What this column is really about is a shaming of Never Trumpers who proudly and loudly proclaim – conservative intellectuals – it’s an infinite audience that’s being targeted here. It’s not you, folks. It’s conservative intellectuals, the think tankers, the people that rely on fundraising and donations and the magazine types. I’m not naming any names and he doesn’t do so either, but he’s written for that audience, and he’s basically calling them out for their holier-than-thou attitude about Donald Trump.
“Because the whole point of this is this guy’s opinion. He is every bit the intellectual conservative of those he’s criticizing. The point of this whole piece is that Donald Trump’s the only hope, that conservatism no longer applies. We’re way past that. Conservatism, as has been applied the last 10 years, what do we have to show for it? We have a bunch of midterm election victories, but nothing done with them.
“And if you’re really serious about how bad things are but you can’t find yourself to oppose Hillary Clinton, then you’re worthless. That’s what this is essentially saying, but in 10 pages. It’s great. …
“If you can’t bring yourself to support Trump, can you at least vote for him to stop the downward trend that you all acknowledge is occurring? This is one of the big themes of the piece: How can you sit there and agree how rotten things are, how we’re in a downward spiral, how everything we believe in is being transformed and torn apart and not react as though we’re in a big crisis, as though we can just continue to do what we’re doing, writing our same old policy papers, enunciating our same old principles to an audience that is further and further removed by virtue of immigration and other tricks the Democrats are using to totally change the face of the electorate in this country.”
Limbaugh predicted that when the “conservative intellectuals” read the piece he was praising, “they’re gonna get ticked”:
“I mean, they’re gonna get ticked at a lot of this, but that cuts right to the motivations, right to the reasons that they do what they do. Are they really out trying to change hearts and minds? Are they really, really in the political arena, or are they on a distant stage in Washington or New York writing and speaking but no more than that? We’ll see where it goes.
“This is gonna rankle a lot of feathers, and I don’t know how many people would have come across it on their own, which is why I’m highlighting it today. But here’s a paragraph where the writer – again, remember the audience: conservative intellectuals. If you don’t know what I mean by that, ‘conservative intellectual’ for this purpose is a writer, somebody working at a think tank, somebody working in policy, somebody blogging.
“You know, just sharing with you their smarts and their brainpower and illustrating their beliefs and understanding of conservative principle but not doing anything to implement it anywhere.”
The radio host said the piece should “embarrass” those making up the Never Trump movement:
“So that’s the nuclear bomb that’s been tossed into the clubhouse of conservative intellectualism. The alleged buffoon, Donald Trump, is more prudent, more practically wise than all of our wise and good intellectuals who so bitterly oppose him. And that should embarrass them. That their failures instead make them feel even more smug and arrogant is only further proof of their foolishness and hubris.”
Limbaugh’s skewering of the Never Trump movement comes one week after Fox News host Sean Hannity said conservatives who refuse to back Trump would be responsible for a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Members of the Never Trump movement have pushed back against such criticism, arguing that the Trump boosters in conservative media would be responsible for nominating a flawed candidate should Clinton win.