Every few generations, American politics undergoes an intense realignment. Today, America is experiencing a consequential change in its politics. Scholar and writer, F.H. Buckley, refers to the new political coalition forming around Donald Trump as the “Republican workers’ party,” dubbing it a “revolution in American politics on a par with President Richard Nixon’s visit to China.”
Recently, Henry Olsen argued that rather than being a repudiation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legacy, the Reagan presidency was a validation of the core themes of FDR’s coalition—namely, that every American deserves comfort, dignity, and respect (so long as they work for it). Reagan achieved electoral success by appealing to the blue-collar vote that has never lost sight of the demand for dignity or the expectation of work. In the 30 years since Reagan’s successful presidency, the Republican Party has only won when it appealed to the working-class Americans who historically have voted for the Democratic Party.
Olsen and Buckley, in different ways, are getting at the same thing: a large cohort of Americans—across both parties—increasingly have felt isolated and abandoned by Democrats and Republicans alike. In fact, polling data conducted over the last 30 years have proven that countless Americans who otherwise could have voted in presidential elections largely sat them out.
They sat out, that is, until Donald Trump descended from Trump Tower in 2015, and announced his bid for the presidency. Trump fused nationalism, populism, and conservatism into a cohesive campaign. He disrupted and destabilized a political system that had been in dire need of a proper shake-up for decades. Trump took dead aim at a pampered elite that had grown listless in its wealth and power—and led America astray.
But, the elite have not been vanquished.
Take, for example, Kevin D. Williamson of National Review. Williamson writes pieces calling Trump voters racists; insists Trump voters are too dumb to understand how free trade helps them; and asserts that Mitt Romney may have “been the champion Republicans needed, but he was not the champion Republicans wanted.” What qualifies Romney for such apropos from Williamson—a middle manager of Conservatism, Inc.™? According to Williamson, Romney was “cool, calm, cerebral, restrained” and had “much more in common socially and stylistically with Barack Obama than he does with, say, Steve Bannon or Sean Hannity.”
Well . . . yes! And this was precisely the problem with Romney (and with all Republican presidential candidates since Reagan). One can see the appeal of characters like Romney from the entrenched point of view of our nation’s elite. Despite being a Mormon, Mitt Romney represented a return to a blue-blood Republican Party that evinced concern for the issues that secured their own power and status—and accomplished little else.
Williamson’s lust for a better, more buttoned-up political establishment is mirrored by a highly offensive Newsweek article titled, “Why Are All the Conservative Loudmouths Irish-American?” The author, Van Gosse, similarly laments the passing of the days when “the biggest names, faces, and voices on television were Huntley and Brinkley, Cronkite, Murrow, even John Chancellor and Dan Rather, all sober, serious Americans—and all Protestants, too.”
Most Americans have little care or need for a political class specializing, mainly, in perpetuating their own careers and ensuring that no “undesirable” elements rise to prominence with the potential to challenge them. The Republican Party is caught up in a fight between centrifugal forces. The Republican Establishment is fighting desperately for a better yesterday while the grassroots base that is responsible for most of the party’s electoral victories, strives to make a hopeful tomorrow. As both George Will and Rich Lowry noted last week, Donald Trump now represents the mainstream of the Republican Party (and by definition, this makes them the fringe).
Not only has the revolution been televised, it is also being live-tweeted. Since assuming office, President Trump has governed more conservatively than any president since Reagan—something that he does not get enough credit for doing. And he has done it using 21st century technology, meaning he can circumvent the historical vice-grip on information that the establishment media has held over the political process for far too long.
Trump not only has governed more conservatively than any previous president since Reagan, he has also faced the prospect of a rolling, silent coup by elements of the political establishment. If the folks of Conservatism, Inc.™ were being fair, they’d recognize this, take the bitter with the better, and embrace the Trump movement rather than resisting it.
Kevin D. Williamson and his cadre of NeverTrumpers have done their best to turn the GOP into a reincarnation of the old Whig Party: a useless, ineffectual, squabbling entity drifting from election-to-election, and losing most of the time. With Trump and his working-class coalition, the Republican Party need not die. Instead, a much-needed national political realignment of the existing two parties can be achieved—one which sees the David Brookses, Kevin D. Williamsons, and George Wills of the world switch over to the Democratic Party (the actual party of entrenched wealth and power), and leaves the real work of good governance to the Republican workers’ party.
Do yourself a favor and stop listening to the NeverTrump Republicans. They’re basically liberals in expensive wine skins.
Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An excellent opinion piece. Well said and necessary.
I’m always amazed Williamson has any kind of following. His articles are often vacuous and woefully ignorant of the topic he’s spouting off about which he attempts to hide with snark.
There was a time, in a galaxy far, far away…..when Williamson was relevant.
That must have been sometime after I canceled my NR sub years ago because I can remember when he first was hired wondering how he got the job in the first place.
Could be. During the Obama years he wrote some good articles, but since 2016 for me he has been unreadable. A lot of his anger is channeled in the wrong direction IMHO.
Like most pieces at “American Greatness”?
Then why are you here?
Trolls gonna troll
Unemployed bloggers gotta eat.
Oh, you are an unemployed blogger? It shouldn’t be a mystery as to “why” you are unemployed.
Why are these bloggers reading and writing on Kevin Williamson if they hate him so? Is bald beautiful?
You didn’t answer my question. Nobody stated they hate Kevin Williamson. I think a lot of people, like me, are disappointed with his hypocrisy.
Great article! Hopefully we can defeat many GOP-establishment politicians during next year’s primary elections.
And National Review has become utterly unreadable.
I have stopped reading National Review Online. At all. I used to spend an hour every day on that website, and link articles to friends all the time, but now I don’t even click on links to their writers, unless I know the article is hosted by a different site.
When they parted ways with Mark Steyn, they became dead to me. I also no longer visit their site. I don’t even care to read the views of their writers on other sites, so poisoned with Nevertrumpism they have become.
I agree, Mark Steyn was always a must read. I left for their Never Trump position and their turn to facebook for comments. I will never have a facebook account.
He still is at steynonline.com
Thanks for the link, but I am connected to his blog and continue to enjoy his articles.
Well, you did use the past tense. Mark Steyn IS a must read. And listen. And watch.
Ahhhh,your splitting hairs here, Marshall. He was a great read at NRO, but no more and, of course, you are right…..Read…listen…and watch. I enjoy the watch as he is always entertaining and laugh out loud funny at times.
I was a 20-year devotee of NRO. Was. Strike 1 was when they let Ann Coulter go. Strike 2 was John Derbyshire, one of the most observant commentators of our political reality. Strike 3 was Mark Steyn, one of the wittiest commentators of our political reality. Strike 4 was the Against Trump issue. Strike 5 was Jonah Goldberg’s descent into gibbering insanity. Strike 6 was when they kept deleting my posts. Now I won’t even visit the site–a self-imposed ban that I’m planning on keeping.
Meanwhile, I note with not little Schadenfreude that NRO has slipped to # 1,423 in US-based site rankings (for comparison purposes, Breitbart is # 50, according to Alexa.com). NRO has become a tea-and-scones salotto for bitchy has-beens who don’t like that voters have finally caught up with the three-card-monte that the GOPe has been playing on them. Victor Davis Hanson is the exception, and I wonder how long they’ll allow his common sense to appear on their stale club’s pages.
Six strikes means you have three more before the side is retired…;o)
I agree they have reshaped the magazine and some writers I once liked and admired have descended into gibberish as you say. I was really taken aback by Jonah Goldberg’s anti-Trump stance. What right thinking American could tolerate a President Mrs. Bill Clinton administration?
There are three writers there that remain interesting, relevant, intelligent and worth reading;
1. Victor Davis Hanson
2. Andy McCarthy
3. Conrad Black
Conrad Black is out of prison?
Yes, and all charges thrown out. Another example of corrupt States Attorney’s like the hyper-partisan Patrick Fitzgerald bringing false charges and hiding evidence. His case, like the Ted Steven’s case exposed the problem of lawless prosecutors, which to some extent or another afflicts almost every jurisdiction in the U.S. It also exposes the deeper part of the same problem in the reluctance of the Justice Department to take any serious action against its own personnel, no matter how egregious their conduct or how prominent their victims.
Your attempt at a smear is a big fail.
Ditto and ditto to that! 30 year reader of NR…never again.
Andy McCarthy is good, as is VDH. After that? Meh.
To their credit, the old wing Republicans were such good losers. Until now, when Trump won.
Don’t bother with National Review or the Weekly Standard or reading any othe the neocon columns. I hope they all go down the tubes.
Trump is 10x the president Reagan *actually* was.
It would be impossible for Trump to be instrumental in the liberation of over a billion people from behind the Iron Curtain because Ronald Reagan already did it. So no.
Reagan did no such thing. Socialist countries collapse on their own.
“Every few generations, American politics undergoes an intense realignment.”
This graph, titled “Control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from 1855-2015”, illustrates your statement.
There appears to be a roughly three generation cycle in our partisan politics. There are three inflection points corresponding with the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. All three brought a message of uniting the country – “Four score and seven years ago…”, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, “Morning in America”.
Donald Trump said “Make America Great Again” and seems to be on the way to consolidating Republican dominance for the next couple of generations.
What is REALLY low down about the #NeverTrump rump is their refusal to recognize that elections are binary. If you are not for Trump you are for…. guess who? Glenn Beck was at least honest, becoming an open Hillaroid. So they didn’t like Trump (and I will allow that their dislike is more than emotional) but we (primary voters) opposed both Romney and McCain. Personally I did not support W. However we were instructed, most condescendingly, that party loyalty was crucial. And we delivered our primary and general votes accordingly. Okay, so let us stipulate that the #NeverTrump honestly thought Trump had an inferior chance at winning than, say, JEB. By their own reasoning they needed to suck it up and get on board after Super Tues. Of course they did and will do no such thing. I subscribed to National Review for years, even after the internet revolution. Their recent course is much like the NFL Kneelers as far as I am concerned. They demonstrate contempt for me even on their own bilious terms. I should pay for that? Or reward it with any sort of commerce? I don’t think so.
Subscribed to NR for 30 years. Couldn’t believe what the devolved into. You can almost pin point the day. Clearly Bill Kristol and his Nefarious Minions threatened to cut off funding for NR unless they became hard core Never Trumpers. Pathetic. Like they didn’t think anyone would see through that?
I like that. The REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY.
Make left wing heads explode.
Williamson is a repressed homosexual, and very angry.