National Review "Against Trump"February 15, 2016
I’ve been a subscriber to National Review magazine off and on for a couple of decades (and for the last two or three years without break). May I strongly suggest that you give serious consideration to subscribing as well. It is quite worth the modest investment. Continue reading . . .
I’ve been a subscriber to National Review magazine off and on for a couple of decades (and for the last two or three years without break). May I strongly suggest that you give serious consideration to subscribing as well. It is quite worth the modest investment.
So, needless to say, I was quite excited when I heard that they were devoting the February 15, 2016, issue to the theme: Against Trump. My copy arrived late last week and I read each of the brief articles written by an array of mostly conservative thinkers and authors. It probably goes without saying that I agreed with virtually everything everyone said. Here are a few examples:
“Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who made racial and religious scapegoating so central to his campaign. Trump launched his campaign talking about Mexican rapists and has gone on to rant about mass deportations, bans on Muslim immigration, shutting down mosques, and building a wall around America. America is an exceptional nation in large part because we’ve aspired to rise above such prejudices and guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone.
Equally troubling is his idea of the presidency – his promise that he’s the guy, the man on a white horse, who can ride into Washington, fire the stupid people, hire the best people, and fix everything. He doesn’t talk about policy or working with Congress. He’s effectively vowing to be an American Mussolini, concentrating power in the Trump White House and governing by fiat. It’s a vision to make the last 16 years of executive abuse of power seem modest” (p. 27; David Boaz, Executive Vice-President of the Cato Institute and the author of The Libertarian Mind).
Mona Charen’s observations are particularly insightful:
“Put aside for a moment Trump’s countless past departures from conservative principle on defense, racial quotas, abortion, taxes, single-payer health care, and immigration. (That’s right: In 2012, he derided Mitt Romney for being too aggressive on the question, and he’s made extensive use of illegal-immigrant labor in his serially bankrupt businesses.) The man has demonstrated an emotional immaturity bordering on personality disorder, and it ought to disqualify him from being a mayor, to say nothing of a commander-in-chief.
Trump has made a career out of egotism, while conservatism implies a certain modesty about government. The two cannot mix. Who, except a pitifully insecure person, needs constantly to insult and belittle others, including, or perhaps especially, women? Where is the center of gravity in a man who in May denounces those who ‘needlessly provoke’ Muslims and in December proposes that we (‘temporarily’) close our borders to all non-resident Muslims? If you don’t like a Trump position, you need only wait a few months, or sometimes days. In September, he advised that we ‘let Russia fight ISIS.’ In November, after the Paris massacre, he discovered that ‘we’re going to have to knock them out and knock them hard.’ A pinball is more predictable.
Is Trump a liberal? Who knows? He played one for decades – donating to liberal causes and politicians (including Al Sharpton) and inviting Hillary Clinton to his (third) wedding. Maybe it was all a game, but voters who care about conservative ideas and principles must ask whether his recent impersonation of a conservative is just another role he’s playing. When a con man swindles you, you can sue – as many embittered former Trump associates who thought themselves ill used have done. When you elect a con man, there’s no recourse” (p. 28; Mona Charen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center).
More to come . . .