This is the new face of conservative thought?

Trump rages at criticism while governors craft their own plans to reopen the economy

MADISON, Wis. — So, I guess this is the new definition of conservative philosophy: “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it is going to be.”

President Donald Trump, in a two-hour plus press briefing Monday laid claim to executive power that few tyrants since the days of King George III, who is held the nickname of “The Mad King” and who was accused of often “talking incessantly and incoherently.”

Not that I would ever make a comparison between the two.

In fact, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to try to describe Trump in any supportive or pejorative way. Those who like him are not open to any criticism of the president and those who don’t him are in a state of continuous outrage.

But, for those who consider themselves “conservative,” Trump’s behavior should at least ring some alarm bells.

He has now, in public, asserted his right to shut down or reopen the nation’s economy based on the metric of – and then he pointed to his head.

This, of course, is not the first of Trump’s assertions of power that upend anything conservatives have been preaching for decades.

Following his impeachment trial, the president began a systematic removal of anyone in government who testified against him and, also, fired the inspector general of the intelligence agencies who referred a whistle blower complaint to Congress (as he was legally required to do).

When Congress passed a $2.2 trillion fund to maintain the economy during the current pandemic, it included provisions in the bill to provide oversight for how the money is spent. Trump immediately removed the inspector general responsible for overseeing disbursements.

He fired the director of the FBI. He fired the acting director of the FBI. He has ordered top members of his administration to ignore subpoenas from Congress.

His budget, proposed when the nation was doing very well economically, had a deficit of a trillion dollars.

And from his “conservative base” we hear not a whimper of concern.

There is a core of “never Trump” conservatives who voice concerns, mostly on cable news shows. But they don’t make up a very large core.

The unfortunate thing is that this is a time when a solid conservative voice really needs to be heard. The government is, out of necessity, taking on incredible power over individual liberties, printing bizarre amounts of money and, among other things, both closing and subsidizing religious organizations.

I’d argue these actions are necessary – but someone ought to be watching out for what are sure to be corruption and excess.

We’re not going to get it from a “conservative” president who claims total power and refuses to answer to anyone.