Conservatives have always attempted to hold themselves to a higher standard. It’s always been about being the bigger man, not falling into the traps that the Left places.

That all changed with Donald Trump.

Now, this isn’t some immediate change, “conservatives” have been making this shift for years. It was just Trump that brought it to the forefront, he lit a match in the room that was already full of gasoline.

Trump’s “no nonsense, un-PC” approach was something conservatives needed, initially. The idea that we could speak our minds without having to dumb it down in order to not offend anyone is not a bad idea, but Trump has allowed it to be taken to an extreme.

Calls to ban Muslims, abandon free-trade principles, abandon our allies around the globe. These are things that conservatives would have never allowed before the “Era of Trump”. Now? Key leaders like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, etc. have praised the man behind these outrageous ideas. Many conservatives voices in the media that many once looked to as a voice of reason have succumbed to this ridiculous idea that we should now worship a man and not pay any attention to the destructive plans he has for this country.

It goes beyond just the election, however. The way conservatives approach issues has been pulled drastically downhill. Conservatives have taken up the mindset of “the only way to make a difference is to fight”. The same tactics that conservatives berated the Left over for years are the same tactics they now choose to employ. No longer is it about changing minds and hearts, it’s about beating the other side into submission.

When dealing with issues like race relations, the economy, healthcare, conservatives feel it necessary to immediately demean the other side. People aren’t seen as people, they are seen as props and means to an end. The same way the Left has used people, conservatives now use them. In the end, all they do is harm the very people they claim to care about.

The worst part is, no one is holding them accountable. The voices that have the ability to influence change have succumbed to a false god that promises “we will win”. Trump has ushered in a new era where the focus is not ideas or character, but cheap shots and sound bites. The leaders have fallen in line and the image of conservatism will be forever scarred by the Era of Trump. It’s going to take a big loss to shake conservatism up, and hopefully the next generation of leaders will have the integrity that the current leaders have tossed away.