How did we get from Sarah Palin in 2008 to Donald Trump in 2016? Because the Right has been tempted to sell its soul by putting personality over principle and emotion over reason. We have been tempted into embracing as our leaders and spokesmen a series of media personalities whose main selling point is that they are outrageous and controversial and like to stick a finger in they eye of the Mainstream Media and infuriate “the Establishment” and the “PC Left.”
All of which is well and good, if it is in pursuit of a coherent pro-freedom ideology, by which I mean a coherent view of the world and of the role of government as embodied in a broad and consistent political agenda. That’s what Rush Limbaugh used to do.
But when we embrace these media personalities, the danger is that we will end up just having the outrageous and flamboyant personality, without the coherent ideology.
We’ve been flirting with that for years, with characters like Ann Coulter — who is so ideological consistent she has gone from endorsing Mitt Romney to endorsing Donald Trump, and in fact endorsed a Trump-Romney ticket, which is the very essence of ideological incoherence.
Palin, in retrospect, was just another step in this process.