Breitbart Is But A Microcosm Of The Right’s Civil War

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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First they came for the RINOs.

… Then they got around to the free market conservatives.

In case you’ve missed it, the dumpster fire taking place at Breitbart is heating up. What is more, it’s a microcosm of what is happening on the Right.

First, like Breitbart (whose founder, Andrew Breitbart, died in 2012), the conservative movement lacks a de facto leader—and problems arise when there are no adults in charge (consider how both Pat Buchanan and Bill Kristol once both fit under the umbrella of Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement).

Absent that uniting figure, the center cannot hold.

But the real comparison is with the schism—not between RINOs and conservatives—but between Right-Wing nationalists who support Trump and a group of non-Kool-Aid drinkers who, until recently, might have been labeled hard-core conservatives.

This is an example of how a revolution devours its own. “Trumpbart” has now declared the following people and organizations apostates: Ben Shapiro, Michelle Fields, Fox News, and Ted Cruz.

As I’ve been saying for a long time now, this is not as simple as truuuu conservatives versus the “establishment.” This is no longer Right vs. Left or even right vs. wrong—it’s us versus them.

To be honest, this story is interesting to me for a few reasons. First, I know almost all of the main players in this drama. Second, this is a good test case for why center-right journalism should preserve its intellectual honesty and not become a house organ for any political candidate. (I’m happy that the Daily Caller encourages all sides of this debate to express their views.) Like Trump’s politics, Breitbart’s editorial model appears to about forced conformity and protectionism—not the free market, where the best ideas emerge and win.

But that’s not the real story. The real story is how the civil war taking place at Breitbart shows that this website is basically the conservative movement writ large.

It would be one thing to criticize squishy, moderate Republicans for betrayal. But we’re long past that point. We are now at the point where any skepticism of Donald Trump is a bridge too far. When Ben Shapiro isn’t hard core enough for you, you’re the one with the problem.

And so, we’ve arrived at this point. Dissent will not be tolerated.

Even Robespierre went to the scaffold.

Matt K. Lewis