My colleague Ben Domenech was one of the many smart conservative and libertarians writers who took part in National Review’s symposium on Trump. He, like many of the others, offered a measured piece, rationally pointing out the multitude of reasons Donald Trump is neither conservative, principled, nor equipped to be the president. I hope it’ll matter.
I did notice, though, as I read through the pieces that I felt far less charitable than most of the writers towards Trump’s supporters—perhaps the most sensitive constituency to ever appear in American politics.
Trumpism is an ideology that judges all things on how they interact with Donald Trump. As a result, it is completely disconnected from any cogent philosophy or moral worldview. And though Trump’s fans characterize anyone who notes that the word clouds springing from the candidate’s mouth are nothing more than incoherent platitude-infused puffs of gibberish as snobby, monocle-wearing, America-hating elite, all I’m saying is that if you’re shopping around for a dictator, you can do a lot better than Donald Trump.
American politics has become a giant appeal to the base emotions of envy and anger—depending on what party you happen to be in. And Republican primary voters are about to bring every liberal fantasy about their regressive, anti-intellectualism, to vivid life. There are many rational people on the right who either justify or are sympathetic to this movement for understandable reasons: They’re sick of corruption. Sick of the frauds and the failed promises. Sick of the abuses of the other party. Republicans want their own Obama.