As Matt Welch pointed out in his must-read summary of National Review’s full-throated excoriation of Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, the most important takeaway might be the revelation that the American electorate doesn’t really care overly much what journalists and policy wonks think about things, especially when it comes to ideological purity and major-party strategizing. Alas, gatekeepers in all areas of life keep taking in on the chin.
Which isn’t to say the editors of National Review, in the house editorial anchoring the mag’s “Against Trump” package, don’t shy away from condemning Trump on every level. Indeed, they even knock him for inheriting a “fortune” from his father, marking perhaps the first time the magazine has engaged in class warfare or implicitly questioned the wisdom of reducing the estate tax to zero. “Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself,” write the editors.
Yeah, not so much. Donald Trump’s appeal among Republicans is directly related to issues and attitudes that mainstream conservatives and Republicans have been harping on for virtually all of the 21st century, if not longer.