I have some sympathy for people who can imagine a better Republican candidate this year, but from the very beginning I always thought that Donald Trump was perfect.
Maybe I should define perfection, however. For me it meant Trump was the only person who could defeat Hillary Clinton. What with her corrupt ways, her alliance with the most destructive policies imaginable, and especially the manner in which through her immigration policies she’d render it impossible for any conservative to win in my lifetime, this was an easy one. It became easier still when I saw the fainéants and milquetoasts on stage with Trump at the first candidates’ debate in Cleveland in 2015.
But on the positive side I also saw in Trump someone who could rescue what is living from what is dead in conservatism. And by dead I mean what passes for the higher thinking of today’s conservatism, the contempt for the poorest Americans, the indifference to mobility, the compromises with corruption, and mostly the sense of failure, the small-souled man’s belief that our best days are behind us. Against that, I take my stand.
F.H. Buckley is a law professor at George Mason University and the author of The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America (Encounter, 2016).