WashPost Book Critic Enjoys Charlie Sykes Saying GOP Needs an 'Exorcism'

October 8th, 2017 4:58 PM

You can tell when a fight between conservatives delights liberal journalists. Charles Sykes, who had conservative credentials as an author and talk-show host, wrote an angry book for the never-Trumper called How The Right Lost Its Mind. Washington Post book reviewer Carlos Lozada enjoyed Sykes writing that in victory, Republicans won't need an "autopsy" like 2012, but an "exorcism of the forces that have possessed and, ultimately, distorted conservatism.”

Lozada picked up that demonic-possession metaphor and concluded his book review with it as he pondered how a self-exiling figure like Sykes could separate conservatives from the president: 

It is not clear who might lead this resistance from the right, however, with so many party leaders and thinkers compromised by Trumpism. [William F.] Buckley is no longer around to serve as a gatekeeper for the party, Sykes laments, though he acknowledges that it’s hard for anyone to take on such a role in today’s fractured media environment. But to perform an exorcism, you need a priest. The conservative movement doesn’t have one. The Trump base doesn’t want one. And the Republican Party has already made its deal with the devil.

Lozada is right to compare Sykes with Hillary Clinton as post-election cry-a-thons. Neither can believe that the public rejected their take on politics, so clearly the public has been captured by ugly and demonic forces. 

In How the Right Lost Its Mind, Sykes has written a sort of What Happened for conservatives. The culprits are not James Comey, Vladi­mir Putin or a reality television  opponent, but the return of “crackpotism” on the right; the fecklessness of conservative media, political and religious figures; and the rise of a distorted worldview in which Trump’s overwhelming character flaws mattered little to a base that behaved as though civilization was in play in his election.

Lozada notes that Sykes doesn't want to condemn conservatives who decided to support Trump, but then again he does --and say, that can make you popular on MSNBC and public radio. (Sykes spent the first 100 days hosting a public-radio show bizarrely called Indivisible, as Sykes and his pals like David Frum divisively talked about Trump like he was an Eastern European tyrant.) 

Sykes sounds on many occasions just like a liberal Democrat, including his complete lack of charity toward people who used to be his allies and buy his books. Sykes wrote that it is “undeniable...that a great number of American conservatives have proven themselves willing to tolerate and even accept racism,” whether or not they harbor such feelings themselves.

To Sykes, Trump has made everyone in his electorate a fake -- every conservative is a fake conservative, every Christian is a fake Christian, every non-racist is a racist. Sykes seemingly wants to insure that a conservative who voted for Trump can never be respected by a conservative who voted for Evan McMullin ...as if that looks like a winning or pragmatic choice now. This can be easily turned around -- it is Sykes who ends up like looking like the phony conservative. In the current media environment, Sykes clearly pleases the liberal media by declaring that most conservatives have "lost their mind" or made a "deal with the devil."