The Guardians of the One True Faith have spoken:
Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.
Trump’s political opinions have wobbled all over the lot. The real-estate mogul and reality-TV star has supported abortion, gun control, single-payer health care à la Canada, and punitive taxes on the wealthy. (He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents.) Since declaring his candidacy he has taken a more conservative line, yet there are great gaping holes in it.
Indeed, Trump’s politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled. Especially if you are, at least by all outward indications, the most poll-obsessed politician in all of American history. Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste. His obsession is with “winning,” regardless of the means — a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power. The Tea Party represented a revival of an understanding of American greatness in these terms, an understanding to which Trump is tone-deaf at best and implicitly hostile at worst. He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.
Trump nevertheless offers a valuable warning for the Republican party. If responsible men irresponsibly ignore an issue as important as immigration, it will be taken up by the reckless. If they cannot explain their Beltway maneuvers — worse, if their maneuvering is indefensible — they will be rejected by their own voters. If they cannot advance a compelling working-class agenda, the legitimate anxieties and discontents of blue-collar voters will be exploited by demagogues. We sympathize with many of the complaints of Trump supporters about the GOP, but that doesn’t make the mogul any less flawed a vessel for them.
Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.
Donald Trump is not a conservative? Next you’ll be telling me he’s not really a Republican either.
The Republican National Committee has disinvited National Review from participating in the Feb. 25 GOP debate because of its outspoken opposition to Donald Trump.
The decision was announced just hours after the conservative magazine published a special anti-Trump issue that included a scathing editorial about the Republican frontrunner and critical contributions from 22 conservative pundits and thought leaders.
“Tonight, a top official with the RNC called me to say that National Review was being disinvited,” Jack Fowler, the publisher of National Review, wrote in a statement. “The reason: Our ‘Against Trump’ editorial and symposium.”
“We expected this was coming,” Fowler continued. “Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald.”
That sound you hear is tens of thousands of Trump supporters suddenly realizing that Trump Is Not The One. This will trigger a preference cascade and millions of uncommitted GOP voters will flock to the banners of True Cons like Ted Rubio and Marco Cruz.
End of scene, roll credits.
Look, I like National Review. It is one of my favorite political websites and has a bunch of really good writers. But this will not change anything. This is like telling a friend that they are in love with the wrong person.
It doesn’t matter what you say, they’re in LOVE.
The people who will be all excited about this article weren’t gonna vote for Trump anyway. It will just validate their existing opinions.
The people who are still undecided don’t read National Review.