NR Has Jumped the Shark

The magazine begun by William F. Buckley that was meant to promote conservatism has put out an issue devoted to tearing down Donald Trump.

They seem to have lost their minds at NR in a vile backlash against the will of a plurality of Republican voters who are showing they prefer Trump to the other candidates. Don’t forget, these are the same people who gave us John McCain and anointed Mitt Romney in our last two election losses. Editor Rich Lowry and his crew are the elites who roost in New York City and D.C. soaking up the surrounding conventional wisdom. They appear to have little in common with the hoi polloi.

As Drudge calls it, it is a “manifesto” against the man NR calls a “menace.”

Here are their main complaints. I confess that the more I read it, the more I felt I was in a room full of hysterical people, where their hate started to crescendo and they couldn’t stop adding to their childish slurs. It’s really remarkable.

They call him a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP.” Is there a consensus? Or has the establishment been busy trashing evangelicals, Tea Party members and the concerns of flyover Americans? Take a look at the Senate and the House actions during the reign of Obama and see if Washington fits into our consensus.

“On immigration, Trump often makes no sense and can’t be relied upon… (it’s) a poorly disguised amnesty,” the editors say. I say that none of them has succeeded in understanding the depth of concern on immigration, nor successfully brought it to the forefront as Trump has.

On foreign policy, NR calls him a “nationalist at sea.” Again, are they so PC that being a nationalist is a bad thing? Many Americans feel that American interests should dominate foreign policy, not theorists’ idealistic proposals.

They continue: “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.” Like the establishment Republicans in the Senate? Our guys are so successful at making deals in D.C.? See Obamacare, our bloated budget, the IRS scandal and Benghazi fall out when you talk “rolled.”

“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,” they snark. Funny, that’s not the impression I get. Trump wants to slash and slice when he gets to Washington, which is the curtailment of power I and others desire. I believe, too, that he knows a little about deal making. The business world has just as big sharks as D.C. does, NR.

The business attack continues. “Trump’s record as a businessman is hardly a recommendation for the highest office in the land. For all his success, Trump inherited a real-estate fortune from his father. Few of us will ever have the experience, as Trump did, of having Daddy-O bail out our struggling enterprise with an illegal loan in the form of casino chips.” There is a whiff of envious bitchiness here. Trump’s father was successful, but not on a scale anywhere approaching his son’s. Besides, most wealthy kids who get help from Dad squander it. It’s the rare child who exceeds as Donald Trump has.

I might add, that if he’s so dumb, why is National Review a publication that has stalled? I don’t believe it has made any great inroads on audience numbers, nor swelled its subscription lists. On what basis do they elevate themselves to financial guru status?

They conclude: “Trump has gotten far in the GOP race on a brash manner, buffed over decades in New York tabloid culture. His refusal to back down from any gaffe, no matter how grotesque, suggests a healthy impertinence in the face of postmodern PC (although the insults he hurls at anyone who crosses him also speak to a pettiness and lack of basic civility).” That’s a nice change from our politicians, who get to D.C. and fold or crack at any media insult.
I want a Teflon president, when it comes to the opposition.

National Review also objects to Trump’s changing his views on issues such as abortion. Hmm. I wonder how many of its contributors have changed their minds on gay marriage? Their hero, Ronald Reagan, certainly changed his mind on issues and party, too. When you live long enough, you will ponder and some of your views will change as the world does and as information becomes more available. I really think this argument reaches the hysterical level.

They call Trump an “opportunist.” What politician isn’t? Aren’t they trying to garner attention by being opportunistic against him?

Their own founder, Buckley, famously said that we’d be better off being governed by the first few names in the phone book. I think the NR guys have forgotten this. I’m not sure how Buckley would have reacted to Trump, but I doubt he’d have waged this kind of war on him.

Once again, Republicans and conservatives are eating their own. You’d never catch liberal Democrats doing this.

A better approach than these ad hominem attacks, which begin to sound like the sensationalism you find on the cover of the National Enquirer, would be to have some helpful dialogue and suggestions. Every supporter has a few qualms about their candidate, but to smear wholeheartedly does not help. What was Reagan’s 11th commandment? Why do most conservatives, who love him, not follow it?

The recent headline that the swells at Davos don’t like Trump, should give the NR people pause. These are the same guys who love George Soros, John Kerry and Joe Biden. Do they really want to be in that camp? This can backfire on them, big time.

Surely they realize the appeal of a David to a Goliath? Maybe not.

Who would they prefer to Trump? I doubt any of the candidates is the perfection they seek. After all of this, they may be the ones not standing. It wouldn’t surprise me.

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