The National Review rounded up a couple dozen “conservatives” to denounce Donald Trump and tell the world what it already knows – Trump is not a “movement conservative.”
I would like to point out that the “movement conservatives” have had little or no effect in presidential contests since 1984 – and that election, in which Ronald Reagan won in a landslide, was an inevitability because of the force of nature he represented as a great candidate and a great incumbent for four years.
I won’t deny that some of the Trump denouncers were there for Reagan. But most were not. Many or most of them, however, were there for the losers the Republicans put up in the last two election cycles.
And let me quickly point out that neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney were conservatives at all – “movement conservatives” or otherwise. They were both hostile to conservatives. They hated them. So where were the denunciations of McCain and Romney in the 2008 and 2012 primaries from the National Review crowd and their Trump-hating friends?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the National Review has been something of an irrelevancy since the earthly departures of William F. Buckley and Bill Rusher – the brains of the operation.
Back then, even I was honored to be an occasional contributor – as I was to Human Events and other favorite periodicals of Ronald Reagan, who dragged me kicking and screaming from a leftist, radical extremist into the fold of the Second Thoughts crowd.
But it’s pointless to trash the National Review. Its circulation and readership tell the story there.
Let’s talk instead about why the periodical and its contributors miss the point about Trump.
Yes, it’s true that Trump has been all over the map politically throughout his non-political career.
Yes, it’s true that some of his positions are not well-grounded and based in conservative ideology and principles.
Yes, it’s true that we don’t know what he’s actually going to do if he’s elected president, and he may be a huge disappointment to his supporters.
Now, let’s look at the positive side.
Trump has brought an electrical excitement to the 2016 presidential race.
Trump, with some strong help from Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson, has finally – and perhaps forever – exposed the fraud of political correctness, even making it popular to trash for the common man.
Trump threatens to destroy, once and for all, the Republican establishment, which even some of the contributors to the National Review assault on him would agree represents as much a danger to the republic as the Democrat establishment.
Trump, should he be the nominee, and I am not endorsing him, is the only Republican candidate who could potentially realign the national political landscape and win a Reaganesque-style landslide – even winning states thought, for the last 28 years, to be impossible for Republican candidates to win.
Let’s not forget that a big part of America’s political problem is the Republican Congress. For the last seven years, ever since Republicans won the House in 2010, and even more so when they won the Senate in 2014, the Congress has been in total appeasement mode – giving Barack Obama everything he needed to “fundamentally transform America” in his own image.
Like him or hate him, Trump is where he is as a frontrunner right now because of that – the total capitulation of the Republican Congress and leadership – as much as he’s there because of Obama’s failed policies.
Is Trump the great hope for the country?
I don’t know. I haven’t decided. I like several Republican candidates, but I certainly don’t agree with the war on Trump. And I know the National Review team has no answers – zero. The National Review elitists are part of the problem, not the solution.
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