(American Spectator) -- “Never Trump” agitators continue to work themselves up into a sanctimonious lather, indulging in a puritanical alarmism about Trump they normally pooh-pooh when it threatens one of their favored heterodox candidates. Gone are the “half a loaf is better than none” lectures they delivered to hector conservatives into supporting Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many other imperfect and idiosyncratic candidates warmly welcomed into their “Big Tent.”
In Trump, they see untold horrors. But Hillary, as the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens put it, is a “survivable event.” George Will, who has made a career out of tailoring his stuffy but substanceless conservatism to the sensibilities of pretentious, PBS-style liberals, now punctuates with it one more act of preening about supposed GOP indecency.
He is the shocked puritan, who can’t understand how Paul Ryan could end up endorsing such an imperfect man, as if Ryan were presiding over a canonization proceeding rather than a party convention. Like other shocked puritans opposed to Trump, Will is a supporter of gay marriage. From the anti-Trump, David Brooks-style moralists have come a whole literature of the “conservative case” for this or that social change to our vulgar society. But their flexible moralizing excludes Trump, who is treated as uniquely evil. Yet what exactly has he done? Whenever they draw up a list of his monstrous deeds on the campaign trail, it consists mainly of transgressions against taste and nitpicking about this or that overinterpreted moment of the campaign. There is a lot of straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.
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