From: A Veteran Conservative Reader[Email him]
Now that Never Trumpers Charles Cooke and David Frum are negotiating the terms of their surrender it may be time to gain some perspective on the real history of the American right.
Bill Buckley started out life arguing that keeping American white needed no defense and finished his life running a small branch of Open Borders neoconservatism. As the Ghost said in Hamlet “What a falling-off was there!”
The Flakes and the McMullins of the world think that the barbaric Trumpers are assaulting a pristine citadel of true conservatism. But those who can remember beyond the day before yesterday know that that assault took place long ago. It's only the sides that are reversed.
I submit that the Kristols, the Frums, the Rubins, the Boots, etc., don't have a conservative bone in their body. In a grand twist of fate it is Trump who represents the now secret and almost hidden tradition of conservatism.
It may be a “street corner” kind of conservatism but it is conservatism nevertheless. Perhaps the key was how during the campaign Trump said that Reagan was "somewhat conservative". It was a curious turn of phrase and no one asked him to clarify it, so I will. What he meant was that Reagan started out his career by saying of the Berkeley protestors "If it's to be a bloodbath, let it be now. Appeasement is not the answer"; and ended his career by genially arming Islamists and permitting a good portion of the unwashed Third World into our historic land.
But the greatest attestation of Trump's conservatism is his treatment of Bowe Bergdahl. Many on the right would say that in the old days he'd have been locked up for life. And perhaps a few would even venture to say that in the old days he'd have been court martialed and got the death penalty. And maybe one or two would have said he should have been shot… maybe. But who except Trump would mimic holding a gun and say "In the old days—bing—deserters…in the old days, deserters were shot."? [Trump Speech ,Franklin, TN, October 3, 2015] No one: that's who.
And if you had to sum up true conservatism in a nutshell that would be it—bing! Ever since Leif Ericsson went marauding.
And so Bret Stephens needn't worry. The coup has already taken place. It's the rightful king who is returning.