Conservative elites—GOP leaders, donors, journalists and others—are in the heat of battle now. I certainly understand why they feel that they don’t have the luxury of going all introspective at this moment. But at some point very soon they (again, we) should all ask ourselves why none of us saw Trump coming, and what that says about how out of touch we are with the conservative-leaning people of this country.Dreher then ruminated, unmemorably, about the quandary before reaching an unmemorable, split-the-differences conclusion. But apparently a reader's comment later induced him to extend the article. The comment, by "Borachio," strikes me as just right:
Last summer, as my father lay dying, I sat by his hospital bed watching a Trump rally in Mobile with him and my mother. I listened to the things Trump was saying, and thought it was absurd, and surely the American people would wake up to the demagoguery. But my parents liked what he had to say. Trump’s words resonated with their own thoughts and experiences.
You know what? They might have been wrong in their political judgment. I believe they were. The point here is not that my parents were wrong and I was right. The point is that I could not grasp how anybody could believe what Trump was saying. Nobody I knew from my circle of intellectual conservatives could grasp it either. We assumed it would evaporate. And here we are, on the verge of the Iowa caucuses, with Trump poised to sweep to the nomination.
Trump voters may be blind, but so are we who did not see him coming, or foresee the political, economic, and cultural conditions that produced him.
As an intellectually serious conservative who supports Trump, I’ll tell you the problem with “intellectually serious conservatism” as practiced on K Street, Wall Street, and the various precincts of power and money:VDARE.com's Peter Brimelow made the same point—Trump? Maybe/ Everyone else? NO—in his talk at the recent American Renaissance conference, as quoted in the conference report:
It’s a pack of lies.
Establishment conservatism is just an ideological smokescreen to camouflage the pauperization and dispossession of the American middle class for the benefit of a kakistocracy at the top and various special-interest client classes at the bottom.
My support for Trump is not based on his being an intellectually serious conservative, which he obviously isn’t.
I’m not sure if Trump can help our country. However, I DO know for sure that none of the establishment-approved candidates will do anything but enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of what is still the American majority.
Trump is our Hail Mary pass, our last desperate attempt to salvage something of what America was before the whirlwind destroys the last of it.
[C]an [Trump] be trusted if he wins? “Absolutely not,” said Mr. Brimelow. “No politician can be trusted.” The important difference is that we know exactly what the other candidates would do, whereas there is at least some uncertainty with Trump.A month ago, Ted Cruz supporter Andrew McCarthy wrote at PJ Media that actually Trump is the most pro-amnesty candidate (Where Would Trump Be If He Had Run as What He Is: the Amnesty Candidate?, May 2, 2016). That might seem startling, but McCarthy was, with some justice, keying on Trump's casual remarks in mid-February favoring what amount to a "touchback" amnesty, a la former Republican Congressman Mike [Immigration Goober] Pence, now governor of Indiana; NumbersUSA's Roy Beck analyzed Trump's utterances on the subject—and invoked Pence's disastrous and instructive experience with his touchback proposal—at the time.
I think the conclusion regarding Trump and immigration must be that he actually knows almost nothing about the (admittedly vast) subject, so he's really no different on that score from the vast majority of our beloved politicians and of our inspiring fellow citizens. (The exceptions to this rule among national politicians can probably be counted on, at most, two hands: Senator Jeff Sessions, Congressman Steve King, Congressman Lou Barletta, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Louie Gohmert, ...)
So America's future may well rest on Trump and a Hail-Mary-pass of an election. All in all, I'm glad to be 67 ...