Trump's success frightens the conservative movement because it shows support for their ideas is thin

The Trump phenomenon does seem to be sui generis. There are not squadrons of Trumpistas in the Republican Congress. And his celebrity persona, his extremely unusual and independent financial power, his felicity for not just recognizing but channeling the grievances of his supporters is unmatched. It’s hard to imagine anyone else rebuilding his coalition of Middle American radicals and fringier, race-obsessed “alt-right” nationalists…

But the Trump phenomenon also seems global and inevitable. America’s elite class belongs to a truly global class of elites. And everywhere in Europe that global class is being challenged by anti-immigrant, occasionally-protectionist parties who do not parrot free-market economic policies, but instead promise to use the levers of the state to protect native interests. In Russia, Putin’s populist nationalism has taken over a major state apparatus, precisely to avenge itself on the paladins of the free-market.

What is so crucial to Trump’s success, even within the Republican Party, is his almost total ditching of conservatism as a governing philosophy. He is doing the very thing Pat Buchanan could not, and would not do…

What so frightens the conservative movement about Trump’s success is that he reveals just how thin the support for their ideas really is. His campaign is a rebuke to their institutions. It says the Republican Party doesn’t need all these think tanks, all this supposed policy expertise. It says look at these people calling themselves libertarians and conservatives, the ones in tassel-loafers and bow ties. Have they made you more free? Have their endless policy papers and studies and books conserved anything for you? These people are worthless. They are defunct. You don’t need them, and you’re better off without them.