August 28, 2022

Last week, National Review senior writer Charles C.W. Cooke issued “A Long Goodbye to Trump,” declaring in his article that it’s time to get over the former president and that it’s going to take a team effort by conservatives to topple Trump, “bit by bit, day by day, cut by cut, sigh by sigh.”

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Cooke’s piece was unsurprising, being that National Review is the embodiment of the Washington establishment GOP, and that this same publication ran an entire issue in the winter of 2016 titled “Against Trump,” writing, “Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.”

N.R.’s distaste for Trump has more to do with style than substance, and even to this day, the bulk of its arguments against Trump have little to do with policy.  NeverTrumps are revolted by him because he had the audacity to position himself among the Washington GOP establishment as if he were their equal — as if he had come up the political ranks and had been approved by the party’s cultural and political gatekeepers — which he certainly had not. 

“Ultimately, voters who want to rid the GOP of Donald Trump need to decide whether we truly mean it when we say that he is uniquely unsuited to office, and to tease out what that means in practice,” Cooke writes in his piece.

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But Cooke never explains what “uniquely unsuited to office” means.  NeverTrumps rarely do.  It’s implied that Trump is wrong because he’s the result of “free-floating populism,” which is another way of saying the common person is too dumb and classless to understand what’s good for him or his country.  Only the polished, college-educated, politically established Beltway conservatives know what’s best.  Everyday folks from middle America need to pipe down and listen to the experts.

Trump is “uniquely unsuited to office” because his very existence is a painful reminder of the  2016 referendum on the establishment GOP.  Trump won the Republican nomination by a landslide because Americans were disgusted by the pathetic inaction of so-called conservative politicians and their failure to stand up against leftist progressivism.  They allowed the Obama administration to selectively enforce immigration laws, downplay Islamic extremism, and racially polarize America by fueling the propaganda associated with the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.  

When Obama sided with activists of BLM and invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood (who had known ties to terrorist groups) into the White House, not much was said.  Likewise, when Obama turned the American health care system on its head and was busy violating the Constitution with dozens of “pen and phone” executive orders, much of the GOP establishment went along for the ride, afraid to rock the boat.  Republicans even let Obama weaponize the IRS against the Tea Party, knowing that their competition was being eliminated. 

Then Donald Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower in June of 2015 and announced he was running for president.  Beltway conservatives laughed, but little did they know that the joke was on them.  By the time they realized what was happening — that they’d lost touch with the people — it was too late.  

Trump made quick work of “low energy” Jeb Bush, running over the Bush family dynasty like a steamroller.  No doubt the Bush clan was humiliated and felt personally attacked, and Beltway conservatives cried foul.  

“Little Marco” Rubio was next, followed by “Lying” Ted Cruz.  Mind you, Trump achieved all this after skipping the Fox News GOP debate (which no one ended up watching) because of his spat with Megyn Kelly.  When Trump announced he was going to skip the 2016 CPAC, choosing to campaign in Kansas and Florida instead, the GOP proclaimed that this was political suicide, that no one could ever win the nomination without attending.  Trump skipped the conference and won the Republican nomination by over 6 million votes.