A common theme I have seen lately is the contention that Donald Trump is too uncouth and his populism too inchoate to be worthy of support from serious conservatives. This was a major theme of the recent National Review Against Trump issue. His behavior is not Presidential and his policies are not coherent enough we are repeatedly lectured by the self-appointed gatekeepers of movement conservatism, often derisively (but accurately) referred to as Conservative Inc.
I have previously commented on this phenomenon and have conceded that indeed, in an ideal situation, conservatives should value conventional norms of behavior, and I will also concede that policies should ideally proceed from a coherent set of underlying assumptions and not just be piecemeal advocacy of what is popular at the moment, although I don’t concede that Donald Trump’s issues cluster is as inchoate as the Conservative Inc. gatekeepers would have us believe.
So if decorous behavior and policy coherence are so important, then please Conservative Inc., provide us peons with a suitable candidate who embodies these elements who is also, like Trump, an immigration restrictionist and opposed to globalist “free” trade deals.
Oh wait… that’s right… there already was one. His name was Pat Buchanan, and he thrice ran for the Republican nomination in ’92, ’96 and ’00. Buchanan is as decorous as any current GOP presidential candidate and advocated for his positions in an extremely articulate (in word and in print) and coherent way. You might recall he wrote several books on policy and historical matters, was a syndicated columnist with a very long track record and was a pundit on TV shows such as Crossfire. So if decorum and coherence were necessary ingredients, then Buchanan met the test.
But the same elements of Conservative Inc. that were squawking about Buchanan are the same ones that are now melting down about Trump. National Review similarly published a long essay by the magazine’s founder, William F. Buckley, attacking Buchanan. (That they published an entire issue against Trump suggests that they might be more spooked by Trump’s electoral prospects than they were Buchanan’s.) The hysteria that was directed at Buchanan is very reminiscent of the hysteria now directed at Trump, and it wasn’t because the strait-laced traditionalist Catholic Buchanan was uncouth, although many of the faux sophisticates in Con Inc. were appalled at Buchanan’s “peasants with pitchforks” supporters. It was because he threatened the reigning globalist orthodoxy.
So please spare me your protests about decorum. While I don’t doubt that some are sincere, the concerns about Trump’s demeanor are largely a cover for opposition to the policies he supports, most significantly his opposition to open borders and globalist trade deals. Is it a coincidence that the candidates the oh so decorous set approves of, such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, are also supporters of the status quo on immigration or worse, and supporters of the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, the twin heads of the globalist snake?
This election and the rise of Trump have separated those who fancy themselves to be conservatives into those who babble about fidelity to abstractions and those who actually want to conserve something real, like the nation they and their children and their children’s children reside (or will reside) in. Again, I don’t question the sincerity of every person who recites Conservative Inc. formulations, but too often the supposed principles that Con Inc. professes to support just so happen to also give ideological cover to the globalist, post-national power elite, and nothing threatens this ruling duopoly consensus as much as does good ol’ fashioned patriotic nationalism, hence the hysteria concerning Trump now and Buchanan before him. While some don’t realize they are being used, “Let’s dispel (sic) once and for all with this fiction that Conservative Inc. doesn’t know what it’s doing. It knows exactly what it’s doing,” as their boy Marco Rubio might say, and say, and say… That is, selling out the American middle-class under the guise of ideology for a mess of ruling class pottage.
Decorum? Really? I’m not buying it.