I have another question: Now that the establishment is rallying to Trump, can I be anti-establishment again if I stay critical of Trump? That’d be nice.
The point here is that “anti-establishment” is not a synonym for “conservative,” as I wrote the other day in the Corner. One of the reasons I can’t stand the use and abuse of the term “establishment” is that it’s like a three-legged pack mule carrying the load for an entire wagon train of assumptions.
“Anti-establishment” is almost entirely devoid of any ideological content whatsoever. An ideological category that can include Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Occupy Wall Street, the tea parties, Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and Ben Carson is not a particularly meaningful one.
Some reply, oh no, it shows that the people are angry! I hear this all the time. And I agree. And I’m angry too. But you know what? Being angry is not a frick’n argument. I’m angry that Washington has drowned the country in debt. I’m angry that Obama has been a failure. I’m also angry that broccoli doesn’t taste like chicken and that Fox canceled Firefly. Being angry is probably a necessary condition for fixing a lot of problems, but it isn’t sufficient to the task. And it isn’t a particularly powerful defense of Donald Trump.