If this is what conservatism has become, count me out

I’m used to being vilified by the far left as a bloodthirsty neocon warmonger for the Original Sin of having supported the invasion of Iraq along with 72 percent of the American public. It has been a little more surprising to be simultaneously vilified by the far right as a dangerous left-winger.

David Horowitz’s FrontPage magazine accused me of going “full leftist” for acknowledging that racism and sexism remain pervasive problems. Breitbart called me, with ironic quotation marks, the “Washington Post’s ostensibly new ‘conservative’ columnist,” because, among other sins, I support gun control and immigration. American Greatness wrote that I am a “soulless, craven opportunist” whose “brain is broken,” because I compared President Trump’s indifference to the 2016 Russian election assault to a president ignoring 9/11. For the same offense, Jack Posobiec — an Internet troll notorious for pushing the theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child-sex ring out of a Washington pizza parlor — said I was “sick” and a “Russian propagandist.” In the Orwellian language of the far right, someone who wants to combat Russian aggression is a “Russian propagandist,” whereas someone who echoes Russian propaganda is putting “America first.”

In the past I would have been indignant at such attacks and eager to assert my conservative credentials. I spent years writing for conservative publications such as the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Commentary magazine and working as a foreign policy adviser for three Republican presidential campaigns. Being conservative used to be central to my identity. But now, frankly, I don’t give a damn. I prefer to think of myself as a classical liberal, because “conservative” has become practically synonymous with “Trump lackey.”