By John Ruberry
Even if you are on the east coast and buried under two feet of snow, you probably heard that the conservative magazine founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, National Review, just published a special edition titled Against Trump. The editors of the magazine–I am a longtime subscriber by the way–call the billionaire a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist.”
It reviews inconsistencies with Donald J. Trump’s immigration policy–or is it policies?–as well as on international affairs and economics, and it rightly throws a penalty flag at the businessman’s promise that he will deport 11 million illegal aliens. That’s logistically impossible. Yet NR rightly credits Trump’s decision to bring the illegal immigration issue to the forefront of the political discussion, something that the Republican, and yes, the conservative establishment has only paid lip service to, and even then only close to Election Day.
Trump is scolded by the National Review editors for often saying whatever pops into his head. But they fail to realize that part of Trump’s appeal is that what comes out of his mouth isn’t processed and varnished by conservative “experts” such as the writers of the National Review. Sure, NR writers as far as I know don’t work on campaigns much, if at all, but the people they interact with on a regular basis, whether in Washington or New York, often do. Trump has proven that he can succeed without those experts–some of those people I know–and these so-called sages don’t have to be consulted and that means they won’t be paid. I call this group Club Conservative. Typically its members are graduates of elite private colleges, they’ve interned for Republican members of Congress, and they have relatives who are part of the Washington power nexus. The Donald’s base of support is nothing like that.
In the op-ed, the Manhattan-based editors even make a quip about Trump sharing “funky outer-borough accents” with socialist Bernie Sanders.
Trump is a threat to the very existence to Club Conservative, whose income always spikes in even-numbered years (of course that means election years).
As for Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip campaign style, he should be thanked by every American conservative, for well, being himself. Trump proved that a Republican can say something the media elites judge as outrageous–such as remarking about John McCain, “I like people that weren’t captured”–and then ignoring and even mocking calls for an apology.
Trump proved that the mainstream media is a paper tiger. And Trump continues being Trump–with that same media along for the ride essentially financing his campaign.
Is Trump a conservative? We’ll see. With the Democrats as the secular-progressive party, the GOP has become the de facto party of faith. And believers are always seeking converts. Why the fight?
For certain Trump is an American patriot who deeply loves his country; he’s troubled by the wrong turn it has taken under President Obama. And Trump deserves at least a little benefit-of-the-doubt from National Review and Club Conservative because of his patriotism.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.