You look through the whole Puerto Rico article and there’s not one single new benefit that you or I or the rest of the United States derives from bestowing statehood on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Yes, we benefit from the proud service of Puerto Ricans in our military (I served with some), but we benefit from that today. It never even seeks to answer the question, “What’s in it for us?”

And it’s not wrong for conservatives to ask that question. If our ideology keeps failing to deliver for us, we’ll find a new ideology. The conservative movement needs to learn from the protest vote that allowed Donald Trump to defeat 15 good conservatives, and also Jeb!, and win the GOP nomination then win the election. We are tired of a conservatism that refuses to deliver for conservatives but happily delivers for our opponents based upon the assertion of dubious moral obligations asserted by our purported moral betters.

“The right thing to do” is the most frustrating kind of would-be moral trump card. You can’t really argue against it, both because it’s “the right thing to do,” and because it’s not an argument. It’s a means to foreclose argument. “Why do you ruffians hate doing the right thing?” And this kind of moral extortion happens a lot when alleged conservatives decide they want to do something unconservative. They dress up sheep in wolf’s clothing to weaken the pack.