For the first time since the president’s inauguration, I broke my vow to shun all faux conservatives—you know, the type for whom personality was more important than sparing America eight more years of a hard-Left presidency—and actually read a George Will column.
What I found is that there’s actually some utility in an occasional dabble in the King of the confused NeverTrumps: good ol’ “50-state-Hillary-landslide” George Will. It’s a reminder of why America’s center-right base has stayed so loyal to the president they’ve elected and understand to be embattled by people they cannot like.
Let us take Will’s unargued and confused libels in sequence:
Vice President Mike Pence, according to Will, did Trump’s “adolescent bidding” in walking out on the “predictable sight of players kneeling during the national anthem.”
Perhaps 63 million voters would put it a bit differently.
At the president’s presumed urging, Pence pushed back, even if only by a small gesture, against the Democratic Party’s worst recent mortal sin against America: Its irresponsible and incessant promotion of the blatant lie that American whites and police are racist, that the racism of the former is the principal obstacle to black prosperity and happiness in America, and the racism of the latter the chief cause of the astronomical rate of black incarceration and death by homicide.
These claims are not merely false, but to all unindoctrinated Americans with eyes to see, transparently, painfully so.
Silence of the NeverTrumpers
Of all the Democratic Party’s recent enormities, absolutely nothing approaches in socially destructive consequences this viciously and knowingly false racial calumny, a blatant lie that’s done more to rend the nation over the past eight years than all the Left’s other demagoguery combined.
And what response have center-right voters heard from their elected leaders, while the majority of Americans were defamed, while blacks were being driven to dangerous levels of hatred, and while the underlying falsehood was becoming accepted by large swaths of the nation’s ill-educated young?
Silence. Deafening, pusillanimous silence.
To be sure, a gesture is not the reasoned rebuttal called for, but outside Ivy League faculty lounges, gestures, as well as language, convey powerful meaning.
This small gesture may or may not be a prelude to the stentorian defense of American racial fairness and decency that’s called for. But even if not, the gesture alone is a balm to the majority of a nation that for more than eight years has had to listen to these unrebutted slanders.
But there’s a more significant point, too: Rejection of the Democratic Party’s pernicious racial falsehood was not all that Pence signaled when he walked through that stadium exit.
More generally, that act conveyed the president’s implicit condemnation of the Democratic Party’s entire repressive politically correct canon, now so widely despised that the Left is resorting to open efforts to crush First Amendment freedom of discussion on race, crime, immigration, environmental policy, religion and a host of other subjects.
Will’s criticism of Pence brings to mind how grateful Trump’s supporters are that at last an American president wants to restore unfettered, reasoned, fact-driven discussion on all issues, and to roll back the 25-year rising tide of unresisted intolerance and mandatory groupthink—a tide that no Republican president or presidential candidate after Reagan and before Trump even noticed let alone denounced.
But there’s more in Will’s column.
The ‘Unfit’ Libel
As a second “point,” Will repeats every Trump denouncers’ mandatory assertion of Trump’s “unfitness,” with the added certainty that “… damnation deservedly comes to those who tardily speak the truth [Trump’s “unfitness] that has long been patent [to Will].”
“Unfitness” is the oracular libel we expect from the likes of Lena Dunham, Rachel Maddow, and Paul Krugman. Remember: In Will’s case this libel comes from someone who claims to favor “conservative” policies, and whose prospects for ever seeing any enacted would have been all but dead after eight years of the Hillary Clinton presidency he urged.
For the center-right base, unburdened by the obscuring ideological and stylistic purity requirements that apparently accompany a Princeton Ph.D., fitness is judged by presidential actions, not professorial prose or perfect ideological consistency. Apparently, Will has not noticed any of the following—a non-exhaustive list—all of which could have been predicted before the election:
The president’s appointments to the federal judiciary, a better start to returning to dependable constitutionalism and traditional judging even than the one made by President Reagan; the elimination of economically crushing Obama EPA regulations; the (legal) countermand of Obama’s congressionally unauthorized and therefore unconstitutional payments to Obamacare insurance companies; the executive order (also legal) authorizing insurance companies to sell less costly nationwide medical policies; and a dramatic reduction in illegal entries across America’s southern border.
As If the Pundit Weren’t Wrong Enough Already
Will saves for last his third and crowning insult to the president and his 63 million voters:
The president’s promises, and his voters’ overwhelming desire, to get a grip at last on out-of-control immigration merit the Beltway oracle’s full-on, 8th-grade level contempt.
As a substitute for serious discussion, most of the usual epithets make their appearance:
Trump is “dominated by those who reject America’s premises,” is degraded by the “blood and soil nationalism that stains the continental [European] right,” is a man who “celebrates” rather than tries to “transcend” “tribalism.”
None of these baseless slanders is intellectually responsive to the well-founded, widespread and deep concerns across America about decades-old mass Third World immigration, whose benefits flow to political and economic elites and whose detriments are borne exclusively by the middle and working classes.
With overwhelming evidence, Trump’s voters and the president believe that, without prompt reduction in immigrant inflow, and dramatic changes in the skills, educational levels, and cultures of origin of the immigrants, at least all of the following cultural catastrophes are guaranteed for the American middle- and working classes:
First, the Democratic Party will become our one party master—as it is already in what has become a de facto foreign country, California, a state of America in name only, where the opposition has been reduced to a vilified irrelevancy—when the dictatorial Left Democrat/Public Employee Union complex bothers to think about it at all;
Second, our corporate and tech leaders will become even more all-powerful, and will continue living immune to the negative consequences of the balkanized dystopia they will have created for ordinary Americans;
Third, the massive price for all this will continue to be paid exclusively by America’s middle and working classes—in destroyed public schools, less safe public spaces, higher crime rates, higher taxes to support massively increased outlays for social welfare, lower wages, a more arduous route to quality universities and good (or bad) paying jobs;
And fourth—and most challenging to quantify but quite possibly the greatest diminishment of ordinary Americans’ lives caused by uncontrolled mass immigration—loss of the gratifications that flow from belonging to a community with shared language, customs, culture, and values, pleasures that for the working and middle classes of every people on the globe form a larger part of life’s satisfactions than for their elites—elites who hypocritically demonize their less fortunate countrymen when they mourn these cultural losses, but in whose insulated world of exclusive and protected neighborhoods, tony private schools, and privileged private clubs, this loss of cultural commonality has not yet even been felt.
Intellectually Empty Insults
The preceding concerns deserve serious discussion, not epithets. But from the propagandists of the Left, and now from George Will, 90 percent of the center-right base gets no substantive response, only hackneyed abuse and content-free invective—Trump “rejects our premises,” encourages “tribalism,” is stained with “blood and soil nationalism.”
For a long time, throwing out epithets like “xenophobia,” “tribalism, “and “nativism,”etc., effectively squelched debate on by far the most fundamental question for any country: Who gets to live among it as fellow citizens.
After President Trump’s election, these intellectually empty insults, whether coming from George Will or Maxine Waters, have lost their sting.
Will’s column is a reminder that it was key cultural issues—immigration, race baiting, and P.C. attacks on freedom of expression—that gave Donald Trump the nomination and then brought him to the White House. His fealty to the promises, explicit and implicit, which he made on those issues will largely determine whether Americans elect him to a second term.