The Delusions Of Dump Trump

May 6, 2016
By

 Erick Erickson at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Author: Gage Skidmore

Update: Neil Munro explores Speaker Paul Ryan’s bizarre Republican trinity.

I had the pleasure of attending an informal discussion held by writer/political pundit Fred Barnes recently, where the topics ranged from his biography of Jack Kemp-co-written with McLaughlin Group colleague Morton Kondracke-to his thoughts on the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. Taking place prior to the New York primary, and subsequent devastating losses by Ted Cruz to the now presumptive Republican nominee, it served as a fascinating overview of the internal divisions within the conservative establishment, which are even more pronounced now that the worst nightmare of many has come to fruition.

Even as Fred Barnes-like a handful of other Republican Party stalwarts-has maintained an anybody but Clinton posture-while delineating his many disagreements with Trump both tactically and strategically-the vast majority of thought leaders among formerly influential conservative think tanks, periodicals-as well as statesmen-seem to have taken the opposite tack. Some even going so far as to wholeheartedly embrace a woman who until relatively recently was seen as the bete noire of the establishment right. This is a process which seems to be accelerating with each day that elapses.

A  Trump critic in the audience-who nonetheless came to the conclusion that he was infinitely preferable, given the options, to Hillary Clinton-asked a compelling question. Namely, from where does this deep-seated animus-and unrelenting energy to thwart Donald Trump’s election, to limited effect thus far-stem? Granted, he breaks from  Republican orthodoxy on a number of issues, but if that’s the crux of the problem, then why were there no comparable anti-Romney or anti-McCain movements by the conservative intelligentsia?

If it’s simply a matter of the support Trump has drawn from loathsome figures, then why was there no corresponding outrage when John McCain aligned himself with virulent Mexican chauvinist Juan Hernandez? I’ve never subscribed to the association fallacy, but it’s worth noting that Donald Trump has never enlisted the help of The Daily Stormer in order to cultivate his popularity among white ethnics. Is the galvanizing issue for the anti-Trump movement his use of vulgarity? As absurd as that seems, the chief complaint voiced by the Stop Trump Pac appears to be Donald Trump’s penchant for uttering naughty words.

In reality, I think their objection-and the animating reason for the existence of the Dump Trump movement-is a deeply rooted fear of their own increasing irrelevance. The idea that the bond between conservative intellectuals and successful Republican campaigns is largely illusory is something that those in the anti-Trump faction simply can’t countenance. Especially the ones who manage magazines which have exiled the few writers on their staffs with a modicum of talent and intellectual integrity from their pages.

The Stop Trump crusade-if that word isn’t too offensive-is something to occupy the energies of writers and editors at The Federalist, Red State, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and virtually every other conservative publication of any consequence, through the remainder of this election cycle. It’s a raison d’être for those who would otherwise be preoccupied telling poor white people they need to die and explaining why you’re not a Christian because you happen to support a candidate they dislike, although I’m almost certain we’ll see similar broadsides in the months ahead from those who believe you’re an idiot is a persuasive riposte.

For the record, none of the aforesaid criticism means that Donald Trump is an ideal candidate, or that I believe sincere Trump critics are grievously mistaken for opposing his candidacy. The truth is that there are many objectionable aspects of Trump as a potential POTUS. Although I have several disagreements with him, I think his shockingly ignorant remarks about the attempted massacre of courageous American patriots-including my dear friend Pamela Geller-in Garland, Texas-which, to the best of my knowledge, he’s never retracted-raise the most important questions about his fitness for office.

However, it strains credibility to use this valid concern as an excuse for endorsing a woman who-lest we forget-fought to have a critic of Islam thrown into a dungeon after her own catastrophically bad foreign policy decisions led to the deaths of a United States ambassador, foreign service officer, and 2 CIA contractors.

The decision to enlist in Hillary Clinton’s unceasing quest to sink her talons into the White House is only explicable as a psychological exercise. Namely, as a means of salving the guilty consciences of those who had no meaningful impact in the fight against Obamacare, the successful grassroots campaign to derail legislative amnesty, or any of the myriad cultural wars which have embroiled our nation over the past 2 decades. It’s a way of ignoring the fact that the premiere conservative conference is a venue for selling snake oil rather than exploring the ideas which actual conservatives care about.

And the more true conservatives maintain that the primary concern of millions Americans is immaterial to true conservatism, the more irrelevant these high priests of conservative dogma will become. Just as real alpha females don’t need an inane listicle explaining how to be an alpha female, real conservatives don’t need a hackneyed blogger at Red State or contemptuous John Malkovich lookalike at National Review to explain to them why the unmaking of their country is less important than thwarting the political aspirations of the first Republican presidential candidate to intently listen to their plight and express their reservations about the direction in which this country is headed.

As a political and ideological ethos, Dump Trump is an empty vessel. However, as a case of deflection, it explains a hell of a lot.

 

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8 Responses to The Delusions Of Dump Trump

  1. William Flax on May 6, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Verbose, but he does not delineate any actual delusion on the part of Donald Trump.
    Perhaps the writers’ problem is that he simply does not understand common sense when stated more bluntly than he is accustomed to hear it.

    Reply
  2. John Schuh on May 6, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    You are overlooking something. George Will may have been right in saying that Trump supporters not only think that conservative commentators are irrelevant but that the principles of limited government etc don’t matter much either. Look at the general acceptance of same-sex marriage by the public, and indeed the absolute refusal of Trump supporters to allow any rational discussion of any issue. They were looking for a man on horseback and have found, I dare say, their Evita.

    Reply
  3. Jack is Back on May 6, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Give us more credit than that. We,The 12 million, knew Cruz was a warmongering neocon globalist lackey and could discuss that issue all day and night.

    Reply
  4. Jack is Back on May 6, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Cruz was no conservative as anyone can learn by googling the word “neoconservative”. Cruz can be called a Fusionist. Fusionism was invented by Bush Seniors people after he lost in 1992.Cruz became a senior policy advisor for W ten years later.Fusionism entails first: a supposedly libertarian financial policy which really means the Fed can print money at will, diluting the savings of hard working Americans. Second: an interventionist foreign policy of making sure the US remains the sole superpower, which means actively trying to weeken Putin by provoking him and the Russians. third: a concentration on religious issues, or social conservativism. These socons joined with feminist married women in 2006 and have been as active in interfering with the sex lives of hetero males as they are in seeking battle with gays. Trump showed that Fusionism is at best a distraction because real conservative voters want to stop illegal immigration, ISIS, the unnecessary cold war with Russia and TPP/TPIP.

    Reply
  5. G. Perry on May 6, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    For the record, fusionism as a concept dates back to the 1950s, although it is commonly understand as an informal alliance between socially conservative traditionalists and libertarians.

    Reply
  6. Denver on May 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Fred Barnes
    Jack Kemp
    Morton Kondracke

    Not one of these men are actual conservatives, libertarians or constitutionalists. We don’t need Uni-party Establishmentarians in the GOP.

    Reply
  7. Lynn on May 6, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    Poor sports one & all. He won, you lost, get over it and lastly, he is the will of the people and I mean the majority of the people. Get over yourself it’s a new day. Or keep going in this direction, lose all face. That works too. We the people are jet too tired F your sad sack self! National Review and Erik Erickson are done, close the books and go home. We will not miss you. Your time is over!

    Reply
  8. Ron Bass on May 10, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    For a number of years I have been critical of Conservatives because they never were in favor of securing our borders or enforcing our immigration laws. Conservatives are not Patriots. As a Patriot I also dreamed and prayed that a Patriot would get into the White House. Now that we have summon to lead us I never imagined that Many Conservatives would not support this person regardless of his gruff and overly aggressive I tactful persona. I agree with the previous comment that said that Conervative movement is showing itself to be somewhat irrelevant. We need a fighter to save Western Civilization from our arch enemy Islam. Are we not at war. Trump is the warrior that got the nod.

    Reply

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