Never Trump Faces Reality

May 13, 2016

 Outline of a bull African Bush Elephant, in red, to symbolize conservatism without directly using the party's logo. Author: Spartan7W, derived from work of Six Plus By Libe

As I’ve said before, there are many legitimate reasons to oppose Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, although it takes a special kind of smugness, lust for pointless military interventions, and/or disdain for the intelligence of your fellow countrymen for an ostensible conservative or libertarian to endorse Hillary Clinton. Putting aside the subsidiary partisan reasons, we’re talking about a politician who rejects the very principles upon which our government is supposed to operate. The mental gymnastics required to embrace a woman who has loudly and repeatedly proclaimed her desire to eviscerate the Bill of Rights-including the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution-would impress Béla Károlyi.

However, even those Dump Trump dead-enders who oppose Hillary’s ascension to power are not completely without blame. Putting aside the willful delusion required to support its chief aim-which is rightly mocked even by gormless, repellent bloggers of the Gawker variety-the movement itself is a bizarre exercise in denial. By enlisting in the anti-Trump movement you’re asserting that the pre-Trump Republican Party, and by extension, the country itself, is doing just fine. Aside from being the antithesis of how the overwhelming majority of voters feel-and presumably, these are people whose support you seek-it’s simply not true.

You don’t have to believe that this nation is physically challenged in order to understand that it is not in a good way. 8 years of an Obama administration have delivered zero income growth. Only last month were American job-seekers in a better position than they were before the advent of the Great Recession. The savings rate-as well as the corresponding indebtedness-of America remains at a parlous level. This is occurring even as the fair-haired boy of the anti-Trump movement is conniving with the White House to burden taxpayers with a massive bailout of the now insolvent Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Even if these fiscal and economic disasters could be ignored, it defies reason to claim that Donald Trump, as a deeply flawed candidate, poses the single greatest threat to the future of our republic. The United States is in the process of being permanently effaced by a group of people who resent the purported values espoused by the anti-Trump movement, and who want to ensure that those values are not even part of our public discourse in the future. Even as we pursue a fruitless debate over who is or is not a true conservative, a true socialist is registering scores of non-citizens in the hope of electing a new people.

This is the crux of the issue. Americans who hold a traditional view of what this country means, both domestically and abroad, are being erased from the equation. To think that anti-Trump conservatives will be in a better bargaining position with prospective voters 4 or 8 years from now-after 10-20 million new citizens with antithetical values are minted-is simply delusional. It’s the same type of self-congratulatory, blinkered thought pattern that leads people to assert-to this day-that Pete Wilson, and not the wholesale demographic transformation of his state, is responsible for the Republican Party’s disappearance from the state of California. It’s a maladaptive coping mechanism used to avoid unpleasant truths.

You won’t grasp these truths by contriving implausible counterfactuals, although that seems to be the preferred strategy among anti-Trump dogmatists.  The reasons why Republican voters repeatedly and emphatically rejected the message of Dump Trump have been delineated over and over again, for those who are willing to open their eyes. As the conservative establishment is poised to exile one of the icons of modern conservatism in a fit of anti-Trump pique, the failure of Conservatism Inc. to engage in any sort of introspection is telling.

The idea that a fat-jowled actor portraying Alexander Hamilton writing the Constitution-as a stentorian narrator reels off a series of generic cliches-will be seen as anything but risible to normal American voters in the 21st century illustrates how detached most of these people are from reality. Whether or not they’ll ever recognize this deep disconnect remains to be seen, but judging by their post-primary reaction I’m not holding out much hope.


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