Conservative Columnist Jonah Goldberg Analyzes Alabama Election Shocker

Alabama voters elected a Democratic senator on Tuesday after a hotly contested race that saw Roy Moore and Doug Jones neck-in-neck for much of the evening. Why did a deeply red state elect a Democrat? The short answer is probably that bombshell Washington Post report with allegations that Moore pursued teenage girls, one of whom said she was underage at the time, while he was in his 30s.

Syndicated columnist and National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg joined Glenn on today’s show to discuss the longer version of the answer. What can we learn from the Alabama election, and what does it mean for the future of conservatism?

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: It was an interesting night, and bad because we have a Democrat in the Senate. Good, because I think it has given the Republicans a chance to redeem themselves, which I think is really important for the conservative movement, moving forward.

I mean, you -- we were facing a situation, any Republican should have won Alabama. Any Republican. Mel Carnahan could have won yesterday. Yeah. I know he's dead.

No. He was -- yeah, he's -- he's dead.

STU: Yes.

GLENN: Anyone dead could have won yesterday against a Democrat in Alabama, but that obviously didn't happen. Because you have Roy Moore and Kermit Gosnell could have beaten Roy Moore.

So we have an interesting situation, and possibly a chance to breathe new life into the movement. Jonah Goldberg is here. Senator editor of National Review. How are you doing, Jonah?

JONAH: Dr. Beck, good to be back.

GLENN: Good to speak to you, sir.

Thank you for addressing me as a doctor, I appreciate that.

JONAH: You know -- you know, in German, if you have more than one doctorate, you get called Dr. Doctor. So if you get another doctorate, you know, I'll call you Dr. Doctor Beck.

GLENN: Okay. Well, I don't think there's a real chance of me getting a second doctorate. But, hey, I'm still young.

So Jonah, how did you feel last night, and how do you feel this morning?

JONAH: Well, you know, I was very happy about it all last night. But mostly for base and unmensch-like reasons. I was wallowing -- like I should have brought out one of those inflatable kiddie pools.

GLENN: Hello. Did we lose him?

STU: Seemed like he dropped back.

GLENN: Oh, man. We were getting to a good Jonah Goldberg line too. It was involving a kiddie pool.

I guess that's how I kind of felt last night.

STU: Yeah, it's interesting. I would like to hear his explanation to that. Because there is that level of -- there were a lot of people who said they were a lot smarter than everyone else who told you that Roy Moore was the right guy. And he wasn't. I know quite clearly we now know that.

That being said, it's a really bad outcome. There was not a good outcome. I don't think happiness was possible watching that last night. There was a bad candidate, running against a bad candidate. And, you know, I don't think there was a positive outcome that makes you happy after that.

GLENN: And we lost Jonah. He's back now. You said you were thinking about getting a kiddie pool.

JONAH: Yeah, I'm sorry.

I was getting a kiddie pool and filling it up with schadenfreude, because I was just wallowing in the misfortune of Steve Bannon, who I think is easily the most overrated, you know, political strategist, Svengali mastermind in my lifetime.

GLENN: Horrible.

JONAH: I mean, literally -- literally, a monkey throwing darts at lists of names would have a better winning track record than Steve Bannon has had in the last year and a half, picking challengers to incumbent Republicans. And yet, he still has this bizarre Jedi-like hold over a lot of people as somehow brilliant because he can quote Cicero or something. And I don't get it.

GLENN: Yeah. You think this is -- this has discredited him enough.

Let me ask you this: I think what happened, Mitch McConnell wanted Luther Strange, the people of Alabama did not want Mitch McConnell's pick. They didn't want Mitch McConnell.

JONAH: Right.

GLENN: And then Steve Bannon comes in and does -- you know, tries to do the whole, just deny it and just keep rolling and people won't care. And just keep bashing fake news. And I think people -- I think it was a turning point. People were like, you know what, I'll accept some of that, but not all of that.

JONAH: No, I think that's right. And it's worth remembering that Bannon didn't have anything to do with orchestrating Roy Moore's win in the primary. He just parachuted in and took credit for it.

You know, there's this long-held rule of thumb among rain makers on K straight. You know, these consultants. And the rule is, when it rains, dance. That way, you can take credit for something that you have nothing to do with.

So he won -- of all the things he wanted credit for was Roy Moore.

GLENN: And we'll give him credit.

JONAH: Good luck with that too. But more broadly, I -- I think the results can be wildly overread. You know, I listened to the head of the DNC this morning, Tom Perez on a bunch of different networks. And they're talking about how the Doug Jones coalition in Alabama is something that could be replicated elsewhere. No, it can't. It just can't.

This is a -- this was a unique situation. And it wasn't that the coalition -- I mean, it was impressive turnout of Americans. But the most impressive thing and the real decisive thing was just the number of Republicans and conservatives who stayed home, or wrote in someone other than either of those guys.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

JONAH: And I think I find that encouraging. I think we -- I mean, it sucks to lose a Senate seat. You know, I actually want Trump's -- I want the tax bill, at least the version of it I hope that comes out of all this, I want that to pass. And there's a lot of important things that the Senate could do. And it stinks to lose a Senate seat.

But the decision to throw away that Senate seat was made 6-12 month ago. And to blame people now for saying, you know -- you know, for people -- to blame people who had a moral objection to someone who was credibly accused of preying on teenage girls, for a guy who had a thumbless grasp of the Constitution while claiming to be its foremost champion. For a guy who was essentially a bigot and a crackpot, to say that somehow you're -- you're not principled or you're not a team player if you have a problem with this guy is ridiculous. You put up a monster and then put people to fall in line, you're going to get this kind of situation.

At the same time, the omens are really bad for the G.O.P. going into 2018. The Virginia results were much more -- I would be much more terrified reading those tea leaves than the Alabama tea leaves.

But the most important number, coming out of Alabama, is only 48 percent of Alabamians approve of Donald Trump.

You know, a Republican president in Alabama should be polling at like 65 percent. And that, I think, is a real omen that we could be seeing a wave coming that could flip the House. And I think the Senate is a bridge too far. But it could -- but it could possibly flip the Senate.

GLENN: So, Jonah, does this -- does this give an omen of a couple of things? One, possibly Donald Trump going to be in trouble. You know the Democrats are going to use all of the women and the accusations against him.

And it seems to me that even the Republicans are now saying, you know what, I don't want anything to do with this. At least there's a number of them, enough to really cause problems.

Does this make the case against Donald Trump stronger, and at the same time, does this make the conservative's case of standing up for women and not being dirtbags, does it make us stronger?

JONAH: I think yes and no. Look, first of all, people are giving, you know, the Democrats are a hard -- you know, hard time for so cynically forcing out Al Franken. You know, it would take a heart of stone to not laugh, what's going on with Al Franken. This guy resigned solely so they could tee up the Roy Moore as the Medusa head of the Republican Party. You know, this horrible, evil creature that Republicans embrace in their heart, and then the guy doesn't win. And so Al Franken is just sort of left standing there at the bus stop like, what do I do now?

But, you know, look, the Democrats I think got -- threw Franken under the bus, purely for -- well, not purely, but almost purely for cynical partisan reasons, that they wanted to set up this argument against Trump and Roy Moore. And fine. It's fine to point that out. But it's also worth sort of celebrating.

Because the political incentives in a healthy country are supposed to force politicians to do the right thing.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

JONAH: And, you know, this has always been a point I've been trying to make to conservatives for 20 years now. Which the point of the conservative movement has never been to get people with R's after their name elected. The point of the conservative movement is to change attitudes and values in this country, to the point where craven political creatures of both parties see it as being in their own political self-interest to do the more conservative thing. Or just to do the right thing.

And so, yeah, the Democrats were being cynical about all this. I think the Republicans are in an interesting spot. The -- the me too stuff, the women's stuff is a little harder for the Democrats to use. Because they were really counting on Roy Moore.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: So this gives, I think, a little bit of a breather for Republicans to, you know, get their bearings.

I also just think it gives the Republicans a chance. You know, one of the things that is so messed up and dysfunctional in our politics is that Trump -- elected Republicans act as if Trump is an incredibly powerful president. But by only -- by up almost any historical metric, Trump is a remarkably weak president. The problem is, he had great strength over a statistically significant slice of the primary electorate. And that makes these guys terrified.

And so you get this sort of weird situation, where a lot of Republicans feel that they have to say nice things about Trump. But they can vote any way they want.

You know, this is one of the things that drives me crazy right now is the -- the incentive structure is to have almost no party discipline when it comes to how you vote, but absolute discipline about how you praise the leader. And, you know, the fantastic wheat harvest he's going to deliver next year.

GLENN: But doesn't this change now? Because Luther Strange didn't get in and Trump was for him. And then Trump tried to go in and help Roy Moore pull off a miracle here? He doesn't -- if he could cast a spell, he should have cast it in Alabama, and that's the one place it would have taken.

JONAH: No, I think that's right. And I think this points to something I wish Republicans could think more clearly about. There is no such thing as Trumpism without Trump.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: You know, Bannon keeps trying to make fetch happen. And it doesn't work. He keeps trying to make as if there's this Trumpist national movement out there, when at best, it's a little rump of a movement. And every time he tries to put up these Trumpist candidates to sort of replicate the Trump model, they fail speck tack lateral. And the thing -- it's only Trumpism with Trump. But Trumpism isn't an ideological thing when it comes to Trump. It's a personality thing. It's a cult of personality.

Because there is no ideological coherence to what Trump's own version of Trumpism is. He changes on a dime all the time. Because for him, it's about ego and narcissism. And his personal glory.

He doesn't care about the details of legislation. And so what would be great is if Republicans, particularly in the House, understood that -- that their agenda -- they should worry about what their agenda is regardless of Trump. Because Trump will declare anything that they do a victory anyway.

GLENN: Yes. He'll sign anything.

JONAH: Yeah. And just make the best legislation you can, consistent with conservative principles, that helps you get reelected.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: And stop sweating about Trump's tweets and the rest. Because they're -- they're sinonimos (phonetic) fire. They flare up, and they disappear in almost six minutes in this weird news cycle we're in.

GLENN: Jonah Goldberg from National Review Online. Thank you so much.

JONAH: Hey, great to be back. Thanks, guys.

STU: Of course, read Jonah on NationalReview.com. @JonahNRO on Twitter. And he's got a new podcast out as well you should check out.

GLENN: He is really smart, really. And he is the guy that I credit for putting me on to the progressive movement. His dad fought against progressives for a very long time. And he wrote liberal fascism. And that was the book that I really started to really dig in and go, wait. Wait. Wait. I didn't know any of this.

STU: That's a must-read.

GLENN: Yeah, it's a must-read. It's one that you should have on your shelf at your home. Your kids should read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

The Capitol riot was foolish and tragic, but Pelosi's Select Committee "investigation" on the January 6 "insurrection" has devolved into a show trial complete with bad tears and bad acting. But this is just a charade designed to distract us.

What's going on behind closed doors is truly nefarious. The Biden White House and the U.S. national security apparatus are seizing that event to redefine domestic terrorism and expand the powers of government to prevent it. There is an alarming blueprint for sweeping government action called the "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," put together by the National Security Council.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the collusion between the Biden administration and Big Tech to surveil, root out, and silence America's deplorables – all in the name of national security.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode below:

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Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.