Like most well-read conservatives, Ahmari was slow to warm to the president. But now the compulsively dishonest, consistently disruptive, perpetually faithless leader of the free world has morphed into something else. “Trump understood what was missing from mainstream (more or less French-ian) conservatism,” he writes. “His instinct has been to shift the cultural and political mix, ever so slightly, away from autonomy-above-all toward order, continuity, and social cohesion.”
That’s a heroic reading of Trump’s worldview. What he really seems to like is that the president has no interest in “civility and decency,” which Ahmari dismisses as “secondary values.” Trump practices the kind of sucker punch, smash-mouth form of politics that, in Ahmari’s mind, is the only way of effectively fighting the encroaching cultural tyranny of the left. It’s the high church of the low blow.
I wish Ahmari were speaking for himself alone. He isn’t. He’s just the latest conservative writer I know who has found his own way to Trumpism — proving, if nothing else, that the only things intellectuals find hard to see are the facts that stare them in the face.