“If Trump were to become the president, the Republican nominee, or even a failed candidate with strong conservative support, what would that say about conservatives?”
The National Review (a Conservative publication) launches an all-out salvo against Donald Trump. Because after welcoming him into their fold, in order to get attention, they realized that he is an idiot in wolf’s clothing.
John McCain is to blame for this. He’s the one that made it acceptable for a mainstream party to select someone on the presidential ticket so blatantly unqualified to hold any public office that it was laughable. Yet the Republicans just don’t see how bad things are. (And that same poor excuse for a once-politician has endorsed Trump…)
Though to be fair, the Conservative movement long fostered the type of hatred and divisiveness that Trump is now exploiting, through their support of obnoxious talk radio complainers and TV “news” anchors (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News), many of whom ranted about the same things that Trump is, offering the same populist solutions. Yet the Conservative movement never denounced those talking heads as not being true Conservatives, but rather embraced them, less for their ideas than for their ability to move the masses. (This is the same right-wing media that was happy to promote Trump’s paranoid-lunatic “birther” theories about Barack Obama.)
There’s something cult-like in the embrace of Conservatism in this series of articles from the National Review, with one author even talking about her “conversion” moment. This cult-like approach to politics makes it too easy to be drawn into groupthink, and they’re now seeing the result of their long strategy of attempting to sway the American people with such an approach. They indoctrinated the people with divisiveness and lies, and now, when someone comes along and exploits these same gullible people, they shudder in fear.
He presents himself as a Strong Man who promises to knock heads and make things right again. In this, he has a lot more in common with South American populist demagogues than with our tradition of political leaders.
But I suppose that’s the reason for his popularity. The middle-class consensus in America has collapsed. This is the most important political and social earthquake since World War II. The conservative movement’s leadership isn’t up to the challenge, and a good number of voters are willing to gamble on Trump’s bluster. Bad bet. Our nation’s solidarity is being tested. It will only make things worse if we go Trumpster diving.
Yes, the Republican party and the 1% – the Conservatives – have essentially eliminated the middle class in the United States, and this is the result. There is a lot of anger, and Trump is exploiting it.
I generally avoid politics on this site, but what’s happening in the US is simply beyond the pale. Trump is such a racist, his policies are so ridiculous, that it’s hard to think he isn’t a satire. (And this just after Jon Stewart retired from the Daily Show… I can’t help think there’s a connection between the two.)
But it’s probably too late. The Republicans will most likely nominate Trump (or, even worse, Ted Cruz), and hopefully get trounced in the general election, because the vast majority of Conservatives just aren’t stupid enough to vote for him. I hope.
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.
This moment of clarity from the National Review doesn’t obscure the divisive, hate-filled articles about politics that fill their pages and their website. They realize the danger that is facing them, but perhaps it is too late.