Can someone explain to me what conservatives stand for these days?


MINOT, N.D. — I am routinely accused of being a turncoat. A traitor to the conservative movement.

I refuse to be a follower of Donald Trump. I believe the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was as despicable as it was Trump’s fault (among many others).

I have a belief, driven by empirical data, in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Joe Biden won the election.

Mike Lindell is an obnoxious crank.

Democrats are not evil; they’re just wrong most of the time.

For many, who think of themselves as capital-T, capital-C, True Conservatives, who spend their days fighting people they imagine to be Republicans-in-name-only, these sins make me an apostate. I’m told as much, every day, everywhere from my email inbox to social media to people I run into at the grocery store. Conservative talk radio host Scott Hennen, who employed me at one time and is these days a devout Lindell acolyte (for as long as his advertising checks clear, anyway), recently took to Facebook to lament my supposed turn from conservatism. “We clearly have lost his voice. Painful to watch unfold!” he wrote.

It’s surreal to be lectured about ideological purity by someone who is known, in state political circles, as “coin-operated Hennen.”

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