Last week’s ponderous anathematization of Donald Trump by National Review has stimulated some interesting writing, not including the cheers of the major MSM (the harvesting of which was of course a major purpose of the performance).
I agree with James Kirkpatrick that probably the best forensic analysis was Conservatives in a meltdown: National Review’s confused “Against Trump” issue is an amazing testament to the right’s implosion Amanda Marcotte Salon Jan 22, 2015. Marcotte managed to rise above her usual shrewish bigotry to actually think about what National Review was arguing. She was quite rightly very unimpressed.
It’s no mystery why the National Review and their supporters hate Trump. He’s vulgar and embarrassing and he does an even better job of exploiting the right-wing rubes... than they do...
This impression is driven home by actually reading the issue. The editors can’t quite seem to decide what their exact objections to Trump are. Is it that he’s driving the right too far in the direction of fascism or that he’s a secret liberal in disguise? Both! Whatever you need to hear!...
The everything-and-the-kitchen-sink strategy produces some hilarious contradictions. The main anti-Trump editorial, written by the editors, darkly warns that Trump isn’t the racist that his followers think he is. “Trump says he will put a big door in his beautiful wall, an implicit endorsement of the dismayingly conventional view that current levels of legal immigration are fine,” they write, even trying to get the reader to believe that Trump’s mass deportation plan is “poorly disguised amnesty”.
But then, in the writer round-up, we’re hearing a different story. “Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who made racial and religious scapegoating so central to his campaign,” David Boaz sniffs…
So which is it, guys? Is Trump offensive because he’s too nativist or because he’s not devoted enough to keeping the foreigners out? Whatever will make you not vote for him, I guess.
After citing several other examples Marcotte concludes
All this does is confirm base voter suspicions that the conservative establishment sees them as a bunch of useful idiots who are to be slapped down the second they start thinking they have a real voice in the movement... Trump’s popularity is due to “the people” revolting against a system where the establishment calls all the shots. And National Review’s flailing shows that the establishment has no idea what to do with that.
One line near the beginning of National Review's issue-wide blistering of Donald Trump revealed for me the subconscious motive behind the enterprise: "He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents."
Ah, I thought, a dog whistle to the cognoscenti. The real problem with Donald is that he grew up in Queens, not Manhattan or Greenwich. He might have been "to the manor born," but it was the wrong manor. Ted Cruz missed his target. Those aren't "New York values." It's those tacky "outer-borough values."
There is a good deal more to Simon’s thoughtful essay than this but it is a great insight. Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump is very appropriate: she triggers the same vicious social disdain among the bi-coastal elite.
But I think the deepest insight into the cause of the NR rule-or-ruin strategy appears in a very brave piece on TownHall by Jack Kerwick The Trump Phenomenon: Exposing Common Fictions? Jan 21, 2016.
For decades, the so-called “conservative movement” has been largely a neoconservative movement. Neoconservatives have been remarkably successful in convincing millions and millions of Americans both that they are conservative and that the Republican Party and conservatism are one.
The truth, though, is that neoconservatism is no form of conservatism at all… Upon appropriating the conservative label, neoconservatives did their best to see to it that conservative voices would no longer be heard—at least not within the Republican Party.
Kerwick knows his history (as his recent anthology demonstrates):
Trump’s meteoric rise stemmed principally from his tough talk on immigration…Ann Coulter, Trump’s most vocal and visible of nationally recognized supporters, has also been superb in highlighting the disaster that is our immigration policy.
Yet for well over 20 years, Peter Brimelow, a one-time associate of Buckley and contributor to National Review, has been writing and speaking tirelessly on this very issue. A veteran when it comes to telling hard, politically incorrect truths, Brimelow’s work is second to none in this arena. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to refer to him as a pioneer.
But Peter Brimelow has long been expunged from “the conservative movement.”
Paul Gottfried is a scholar of European intellectual history and the American conservative movement. He too was friends with Buckley at one time, as well as a contributor to NR.
Yet that was then, this is now. Paul too has been purged.
…neoconservatives continue to presume to tell the rest of us who is truly conservative and who isn’t.
and hopes this election will see the end of
the fiction that the self-declared guardians of the “conservative movement” are conservative.
We at VDARE.com are proud to have carried Kevin MacDonald’s pioneering analyses of Neoconservatism. And Jack Kerwick is right: the Trump wrecking ball has demolished the camouflage. Immigration is the central issue of the election and the NeoCons and their servants are mustering in defense of their perceived ethnic interests. (Actual arguments are entirely secondary.) Occidental Dissent has just exhaustively documented this development. The Nomination campaign is splitting open a carefully-hidden but enormous fault line.
Unless something terminally nasty happens to Donald Trump, things are going to get a lot rougher.