Tucker Carlson explains what Republicans have missed about Trump. It’s a great article, less for saying things that are new to most of us, and more because one hopes that “establishment” Republicans will read it. I’m guessing Trump hopes his challengers won’t read it until after the primaries.
Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.
Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents “an existential threat to conservatism.”
Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal.
I can argue with many of the things Trump says. I’ve winced at so much. But I like Trump on an emotional level. I understand the fear about him, and why Ted Cruz could probably be the better president (assuming he could win the general election). I do like the others in different ways, including Jeb Bush. But all except Trump understood what the people wanted and needed. Cruz saw it, too, but not as sharply. Rubio, too, albeit too late.
As Carson cited, National Review is trying to stop Trump. But to do that, they need to recognize why people needed Trump. Instead they get David Boaz echoing the “racism” slander. Had they read Jonah Goldberg (ironically, in National Review), they might have known that people don’t take weak racism allegations seriously anymore. There have been too many lies.
Boaz aside, much of what they say is true. Some of these are serious — to an extent. Andrew McCarthy is correct that Trump isn’t as well-versed on the intricacies of terror as he should be. Others have pointed out that we need more than words, which is also true. But Trump is a brilliant man, and I do not believe he’d really “shoot from the hip” as Thomas Sowell fears.
Trump is clearly smart enough to manage several large projects at the same time. That’s what we need here. More would be better, but our options are limited. The President won’t be making the decision on which weapons will be used in tactical engagements anyway — unless it’s to limit them, which any Democrat (too many Republicans) would do. We’ll be lucky to get someone as smart as Trump, with the experience he has, who still understands the anger, and who might finally be willing to do something about it.