I don’t usually take time out my day to feed whatever anti-conservative narrative the liberal media is driving, but Laura Loomer’s primary win warrants a few moments of discussion, particularly since she’s now officially a GOP nominee and has the backing of the president, but also because her electoral success reveals something important about elite corruption.
First, let’s accept all the anticipated counterpoints: the Democratic Party, which just gave Linda Sarsour a platform at its convention yesterday and embraces Rep. Ilhan Omar, is willing to embrace fringe leftists for the sake of political expediency. The party is increasingly radical.
It’s the party that spent years hysterically peddling a conspiracy theory that President Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. This conspiracy was promoted endlessly by high-profile party leaders. Leftists were literally ordering Robert Mueller prayer candles.
The corporate media bought it all, hook, line, and sinker. For all the hand-wringing over Republican candidates like Loomer, Democrats and the media mainstream their own fringe influences, and have no institution outside conservative media to hold them accountable.
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While they’re griping about crazy Republican candidates, Democrats and the corporate media are embracing the openly “Marxist” Black Lives Matter movement, #DefundThePolice, firing journalists who publish op-eds by Republican senators, denying biological sex, and defending abortion until birth. Omar, who is brazenly corrupt and ostensibly bigoted, didn’t just win her primary—she’s treated like a rock star.
Donald Trump is a wild card, that’s for sure, but his opponents have little claim to superiority. Indeed, the same elites chiding Republicans over Loomer are responsible for her success, first by wasting barrels of ink on every wacky left-of-center figure, elevating their profile and influence, and second, by failing to address their own corruption.
The political establishment is corrupt. The corporate media is corrupt. Big Tech and Corporate America are embracing radical cultural leftism. From their perpetration of the Russia hoax to the saga of Jeffrey Epstein, our elites have been complicit in disturbing conduct. These are dark times.
This dynamic frequently leaves voters between a rock and a hard place, forced to choose between imperfect candidates and candidates who genuinely (and often openly) pose an existential threat to the culture and country. This is the dilemma that was explored in Michael Anton’s famous Flight 93 Election essay.
It’s now a dilemma facing voters in Palm Beach County, where Loomer won a primary and will go on to challenge Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in the fall. Robby Soave has a good roundup of Loomer’s many issues over at Reason.
Republicans who sanctimoniously denounce fringe figures, of course, seem to revel in their sense of moral superiority. And the House should be reflective of the public, meaning it won’t and shouldn’t be comprised entirely of Beltway robots who speak exclusively like they’re at a Harvard class reunion and roll up their sleeves to look relatable.
I get it. The political class sucks. Elites have failed us. Democrats are lurching left rapidly. It’s hard to know who to trust. The average voter is not chained to Twitter, where people like Loomer are notorious because the political class obsesses over them to undercut conservatives.
The Flight 93 dynamic is different in the House of Representatives, where individual members are powerful, but much less powerful than the president. Also, as media continues to fail us, as voters, we need to work extra hard at researching candidates. A CNN or New York Times report on Loomer’s alleged transgressions will, in many cases, rightfully convince voters they’re actually great candidates because so many decent conservatives have been baselessly smeared by the corporate media.
As distrust of the political establishment heightens and conspiracy theories proliferate, we have to be careful not to elevate anti-establishment voices because they have the right enemies.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won a congressional GOP primary in Georgia, is an interesting case study. Beltway observers love to condescend conspiracy theorists. One of the important aspects of QAnon, which Greene has promoted enthusiastically in the past, is how widespread it is, attracting the intrigue of normal people well beyond the tinfoil hat demographic. That’s basically true of every conspiracy theory, and QAnon is still fringey, but it’s caught on with more people than you might expect.
Now that she’s the nominee, Greene, who also flirted publicly with 9/11 conspiracies, explained, “I was just one of those people, just like millions of other Americans, that just started looking at other information. And so, yeah, there was a time there for a while that I had read about Q, posted about it, talked about it, which is some of these videos you’ve seen come out. But once I started finding misinformation, I decided that I would choose another path.”
That’s true of a lot of everyday people in this country, who don’t trust the media and don’t trust the political establishment but want to know the truth.
Greene had an interesting explanation for her 9/11 comments as well. “Some people claimed a missile hit the Pentagon. I now know that is not correct. The problem is our government lies to us so much to protect the Deep State, it’s hard sometimes to know what is real and what is not,” Greene tweeted this month.
I would not vote for Greene. I think it’s unfortunate she won the primary. But her ideological arc is extremely common, and she’s right, “it’s hard sometimes to know what is real and what is not.” Why? Because the corporate media is corrupt. Proliferating conspiracy theories are a real-life consequence of that corruption, as is genuine confusion among the public as to what they should believe. Being right about that point, however, doesn’t mean Greene should be in Congress.
Fringe candidates have no place in either major party, although they undoubtedly always will. In times like these, it’s easier to justify supporting them, easier to believe conspiracies, and easier to assume media reports are wrong. But as voters we should be on high alert, pushing ourselves to do more research. The party, including the president, should work harder to ensure these candidates don’t win primaries in the first place. Having the right enemies does not qualify someone for a House seat, let alone a podcast.
Loomer is not a representative Republican, nor an existential threat to the republic worthy of melodramatic denouncements and undying news cycles. But she’s a bad apple, and her ascent does underscore the real-life consequences of elite corruption.
The best way to relegate conspiracy theories to the fringe, of course, is for the media and political class to undertake that course correction they clearly needed to pursue back in 2016, and regain the trust of the public. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.