Debate, Politics, and NeverTrump

CPAC 2018 has come and gone, and with it, NeverTrump has met its Waterloo.

Whereas in 2017, there were still those willing to indulge the urge to keep a rhetorical distance from President Trump, or otherwise to downplay his significance to the resurgent Right in America, now almost nothing of the kind survives. Instead, the conference featured moments of nigh-explicit surrender by previously anti-Trump conservatives.

Ben Shapiro, for example, had to admit sheepishly that he didn’t see Trump’s commitment to conservative governance coming, and then had to launch into a detailed genealogy of how political correctness’ overreaches had spurred its own messy death, implicitly at Trump’s hands. Mark Levin, meanwhile, went from barking at Trump to “cut the crap” to sternly instructing the CPAC audience that it was “our obligation to defend [Trump] and defend this office.”

As it turned out, Shapiro and Levin’s prudence in beating a path to praising Trump would self-demonstrate before too long. For when one less astute, still sincere NeverTrumper—former Jack Kemp speechwriter Mona Charen—tried to spout feminist anti-Trump rhetoric (ironically, in response to a panel question on feminist hypocrisy!), the CPAC audience booed her into silence and Charen had to be escorted out by security. Charen, ever vigilant to defend herself against charges of closet liberalism, then ran to that unquestioned redoubt of right-wing thought known as the New York Times to express her displeasure. To give Charen her due, I’m sure the 93 percent of CPAC attendees who approved of the job President Trump is doing must have found that convincing.

I mention all of this not just because gloating is fun (though believe me, it is), but as prologue. NeverTrump seems to know they are beaten, and have retreated to (mostly) lamenting the death of all that is good and decent on the Right, rather than pretending that such supposedly good and decent qualities can be resurrected by the return of House Romney to the throne of Westeros…er, I mean the United States Senate. My friend, the always-entertaining anti-Trump writer Kevin Williamson, seems to have penned the ultimate encapsulation of NeverTrump’s dominant sentiment, writing “If conservative ideas cannot prevail in the marketplace of ideas without lies, they do not deserve to prevail at all.” Or at least, so says Jonah Goldberg, who writes of this sentence: “I love [it] so much, I want to take it home after the prom and get it pregnant.” Nor is this sentiment confined to National Review. Ben Shapiro himself said something similar in his CPAC 2018 address, imploring his audience not to lie, because that would make snowflakes look like the defenders of truth.

Now I’m certainly not a fan of deceit for its own sake: there is undoubtedly real danger to its application, even at the best of times. However, that being said, I suspect that most Trump people find the sentiment above incredibly naïve and dangerous. I certainly do. We should give up on defending right-leaning ideas if we need what Williamson and Goldberg, in their self-righteousness, label “deceit” to sell them? Really? What politician in history, if he has not lied himself, has not at least permitted lies or truth fudging in order to move public sentiment? What leader in history has not employed or permitted disinformation to demoralize or confuse his or her enemies, both foreign and domestic? Did not Plato talk about the idea of noble lies that enable a society to function despite their vulnerability to overly critical scrutiny? The Left lies about their policies all the time: surely, we can’t be expected to let their lies prevail, if the result of left-wing policies are as awful as we right-wingers consistently and correctly point out?

All these thoughts crossed my mind as I read the above pieces, along with a disturbing question: Does NeverTrump realize that they’re talking about politics?

And that’s when it hit me. They aren’t. Or at least, they don’t want to. The more I think about it, the more the entire difference between NeverTrump and my peers in the #MAGA movement seems to boil down to a very simple contrast: NeverTrump is doing debate. #MAGA is doing politics.

What do I mean? Well, ironically, I can illustrate it best with my own experience with two very different formats of high school and college debate.

In high school, I was a member of an organization known as the Junior State of America (JSA). The point of this program is to teach young people about the broad outlines of major issues facing America, as well as basic civics, such as the legislative process and systems like Robert’s Rules of Order. A typical JSA debate, at least when I was on the circuit, worked as follows: two speakers would be selected to give initial and closing arguments on some hot button resolution, such as Resolved: Require Parental Consent for Abortions. These students would have five minutes each at the start of the debate to present their arguments, and about three at the end.

Between their opening and closing statements, speakers would be selected from the audience to go up and speak for one side or the other, with each speaker getting three minutes to speak. When the debate was concluded, the audience would vote for which side they agreed with, and would also vote to recognize the person who they thought gave the single best speech of the debate, irrespective of side. JSA alumni include the likes of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Attorney General Ed Meese, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and even New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

In college, on the other hand, I joined an organization known as the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA)—a group of which, coincidentally, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is also an alumnus. In APDA, teams of two students would deliver speeches in succession on a topic chosen by the team designated the “government” team, with a single judge (or a small panel of 3-7 in qualifying rounds) deciding scores for individual speakers, and ultimately deciding the winning team, as well. APDA alumni include the aforementioned Senator Cruz, as well as Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), former Solicitor General Paul Clement, former Council of Economic Advisers member Austan Goolsbee, and even the inveterate NeverTrump columnist David Frum (another friend), not to mention a vast swathe of the legal profession. Two people I came to know while I was on the APDA circuit, in fact, ended up clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Clarence Thomas.

The reader can probably see how stark is the difference between the two formats. The JSA format is fundamentally democratic: an audience of self-selected viewers picks the winning side of issues, and issues awards to speakers. The APDA format, meanwhile, is fundamentally technocratic: a pre-selected judge or group of judges acts as the arbiter of victory and rhetorical success. As you may expect given this, JSA debates are raucous rhetorical bloodsports, whereas APDA debates have a greater resemblance to arguments in a courtroom, or something you might see on think tank panels.

Moreover, speaking from experience, being good at JSA debates made one worse at APDA debates. Why? Because judges in APDA debates were highly sensitive to rhetorical excess, and would sometimes refuse to award victory to a team that had won a debate on the merits because they were too cruel in doing so. However, in JSA, audiences would shriek approval for speakers who not merely defeated their opponents logically, but humiliated them personally. This was clearly a result of the fact that in one case, those judging the debate saw themselves as unilateral guardians of norms of discourse who had to police the speakers, whereas in the other, they felt like voters being courted by a succession of their peers, and so placed a premium on identifying with speakers. In short, APDA was debate, and nothing but debate. JSA looked like debate, but was actually purely political speech.

Which brings me back to #NeverTrump and, in many ways, Trump himself. I’ll be blunt: Trump would be a disaster on the APDA circuit. He would most likely score near the bottom of the acceptable range for speakers, because he does not enunciate methodical and logical intellectual cases for his positions, and compensates for this with “truthful hyperbole” and insult comedy that would be deemed abusive, out of place, and unsportsmanlike. He would likely be banned from participating in APDA conferences after a very short time.

But in JSA? Trump would be a virtuoso. He would almost certainly win every debate he touched. He would stir audiences into a frenzy with his combination of memorable lines, forceful personality, and ability to improvise, not to mention his many other talents at persuasion, documented ably by Scott Adams.

And therein lies the problem: NeverTrump, particularly the species of NeverTrumper that idolizes former college debate star William F. Buckley, Jr., is treating the marketplace of ideas as if it’s some sort of highly regulated, centrally planned affair: as if the worth of ideas is decided by a technocratic, virtuous few, appointed to police not merely the worth of an idea, but the ethics of the rhetoric supporting it, and the truthfulness of its supporters. Of course, Buckley himself started his literary career by triggering his university in print, and perfected his distinctive facial expressions as debaters’ tricks to distract the audience, and so even here they militate against their own inspiration, but let that pass. Those of us in the #MAGA movement, on the other hand, understand that the marketplace of ideas is an unfettered market that relies on mass consumption by a large and willing audience: a wild Laissez Faire jungle, where a Darwinian approach to advertising, salesmanship, and the usage of all persuasive tools is necessary to survive.

Does this mean that there is no place for the pure debaters of the world? Of course not: Trump himself has hundreds of appellate court vacancies to fill, for one thing, and there will always be a need for such people in the rarefied realms of policymaking, law, and economics, where the high cognitive and knowledge-based barriers to entry prevent an unconstrained democratic approach like that found in JSA debates. Not all questions are resolved only by the person that can get an audience to cheer, clap, or blow air horns the loudest.

But almost all political questions are. Which is why NeverTrump’s adherence to the “debate club conservative” attitude will always doom their advocacy of their preferred policies and ideals to a secondary position within the art of politics. And it is why those of us inclined to throw in our lot with Trump have given them a leader who is willing to ruthlessly implement and advocate those policies in a way that the Mona Charens and Jonah Goldbergs of the world might not be able to stomach but is the only way the country will ever digest it.

About Mytheos Holt

Mytheos Holt is a senior contributor to American Greatness and a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty. He has held positions at the R Street Institute, Mair Strategies, The Blaze, and National Review. He also worked as a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, and reviews video games at Gamesided. He hails originally from Big Sur, California, but currently resides in New York City. Yes, Mytheos is his real name.

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162 responses to “Debate, Politics, and NeverTrump

  • This is truly excellent!

    Mytheos is a Jeffersonian democratic-republican.

    We do need some upper bound limit on our collective subjective impressions about public policy that can only be provided by a formal Federalist/Whig analysis of the likely consequences of what we perceive correct. But we cannot be constrained by such an analysis when the unfettered Federalist/Whigs are murdering our collective futures.

  • Slightly, but not hideously OT… One of the first corporations to jump onto the anti-NRA jihad bandwagon was the First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), which is the parent company of my friendly community bank in DeKalb IL. Of the seven states in which FNBO or its subsidiaries operate —Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas— five went for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Seems like they may have set themselves up for a nasty consumer boycott from here in the heartland. If you are a client/customer of an FNBO affiliate, I strongly encourage you to send a note explaining your likely future banking options to Mr. K. Langin : the FNBO PR flack handling what really should be a major sh*tstorm. You can tell him I sent you. Next up, I’ll see how far I get talking to United Airlines’s PR flacks at their Chicago HQ.

  • Don’t forget the Progressives. They are the masters of the JSA style of politics with their hyperbole, hyperventilation and emotional appeals.
    The Never-Trumpers harrumph that this is all unseemly and beneath them but fail to see that it’s effective.
    The MAGAs, on the other hand, figured out the game and learned to play it to win.

    • And the left is completely baffled by it, as if they think they’re the only ones allowed to play the game.

      • This is why they are particularly threatened by Trump and will do anything to stop him.

  • But something else about the NeverTrumpers: they showed themselves to be open border, globalist, proponents of the administrative state, donor-beholden, members of the Uniparty, indifferent to the fate of America and contemptuous of the American voter. This famous election essay pegged them – “Conservatism, Inc.” – best:

    http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-flight-93-election/

    How can the author be friends with Kevin Williamson? His writing was truly vile. He wrote about Trump, Trump voters and the unemployed white working class as subhuman animals in subhuman language

    • Well he did say he was hatched and nurtured down in Big Sur, which is pretty awesome! No telling what was in those fumes coming outta the hot springs over at Esalen?

    • No kidding. These NeverTrump bedwetters like Williamson, Charens and Goldberg need to get treated for their Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      If these three bozos were truly conservative, they would be ecstatic that Trump is the most conservative President that we have had since Reagan.

      Just like Liberalism is a mental disorder, so is NeverTrumpism.

      • And an illegal immigrant, sent here as an infant (i.e. a “dreamer”) and a reporter for the MSM.

      • You must be daft. It is just an avatar.

        Although, being a former officer in the Army, I am a real life Superman.

        Unlike you bedwetting beta NeverTrumpers, I am an alpha male.

      • LOL

        No alpha ever has to say “I’m an alpha” or drivel about being superman. That is however typically the calling card of a bedwetter.

      • The choice of an avatar isn’t usually because the avatar is idolized, but you see it that way. You project because …. what …. you idolize a dark gray outline?
        That’s pathetic.

      • You two anal retentive intellectual wannabes must be a barrel of laughs at parties.

      • Learn to read, jerk. Don’t mix me in with subhumans like MikeV12 because you don’t know how to read! I was on your side until you turned into a total d*ck for nothing except you’re illiterate.
        If this is who you are, you belong with the Dems. Jerk.

      • Cut him a break. There are a lot of ignorant tools lurking around.

        But yes, he shouldn’t have attacked you for defending him.

      • You’re right about the ignorant tools.
        I would have cut him a break but he slammed me twice directly in replies and then equated me to a tool in a separate comment.
        .
        Notice that he did not apologize for his errant attacks and still has not.
        It’s pretty hard to cut someone a break when they’re such a determined jerk.

      • It’s just an avatar you twit.

        What is pathetic is you and your boyfriend MikeV12 feeling threatened by it.

      • In my reply TO MIKEV12, I pointed out what a jerk he is to assume that an avatar is something idolized, especially as then he must idolize his avatar of a gray outline.
        You should check your reading comprehension. I was on your side until you turned into a bag of d*cks.
        Sheesh.

      • You’re right.

        Reagan would never:
        – Cut business regulations
        – Cut taxes
        – Authorize drilling in ANWR
        – Repeal the individual mandate in the Socialistic policy known as “ObamaCare”
        – Nominate a conservative to the Supreme Court

        Idiot.

      • Is that all you got? Cherry pick a few issues where Trump might agree with Reagan? What about all of the other stuff? When Reagan was actually in office Trump opposed him because Trump didn’t agree with his policies on trade.

      • That was 30 years ago genius. Before Reagan became a conservative, he was a socialist as the President of the Screen Actors Guild.

        People often evolve on their political views.

        Yet another similarity between Reagan and Trump (they became more conservative with age).

      • Reagan was never a socialist – that is a lie. But his political views did evolve years before he ran for president. Trump’s views evolved days before he decided to run for president. But Trump still has the same ignorant protectionist ideas he always had, so on that issue he did not evolve.

      • Give it up…you lose.

        Reagan also failed to do things which absolutely needed to be done, and he had the political capital to accomplish…such as STOP the DEBT BOMB.

        Now, Trump has the courage to carry throug…but the situation is much, much, much worse, and the Leftist Cult Movement has grown into The BLOB……..and Reagan could have cut the Leftist Cult Movement off at the knees.

      • I am STILL mad at Reagan for not dumping the Dept of Ed like he promised.

        If FedEd is not the boil on the butt of humanity federal whore of America, I don’t know what is.

        Reagan was great but Trump is a business man, a builder, who knows how to get things done.

        The never Trump dingalings also wouldn’t endorse the Tea Party.

        They thought we were rabble.

        I am glad they have mostly purity tested themselves off into the netherworld of nothingness known as intellectual gatekeeper hell.

        There are no more gatekeepers.

        Just Trump and the millions of us who adore him.

        If ANY of those republican boobs like Jeb! had been elected none of the MAGA reforms would have happened.

      • So you are concerned about the debt and you voted for Trump? Sad!

      • BS
        The self righteous Republican “leadership” hated Reagan.
        Do you remember how much Reagan hated the Bushes? It certainly was not a secret.

      • Reagan didn’t hate the Bushes but they hated him. Reagan took on HW for the sake of uniting the party and they did everything they could to handcuff his revolution. These #never Trump scum were all about “the era of Reagan is over.” Anybody recall that? That’s why we got McCain, Romney and would have found ourselves stuck with some other milquetoast had Trump not showed up.

      • More revisionist cr*p. When did the Bushes try to handcuff Reagan’s revolution? When did NeverTrumpers ever say that the era of Reagan is over?

        And what is the “milquetoast” nonsense? Because if Trump had not shown up we would have had a competent Republican president.

      • A competent republican president? Dude, we know you fell off another planet but does it always have to be yesterday when you did? Many times GWB indicated that very message and a number of current #never Trump repubs are well known for saying exactly that. One of whom has his new digs at the Times. As for another GOP candidate it would be HRC’s White House now…which is why you hate Trump. A “competent” republican president: someone, anyone scared to death of the pc police. What a laugh!!!

        So tell us about HW’s desire for “a kinder gentler nation” eh? Well now Dave break out your red, white and blue pom poms for our wars since.

      • No I do not remember how much Reagan hated the Bushes because he did not. That is revisionist history which keeps getting repeated by internet trolls. I suppose it comes from some alt-right pundit or website.

      • You know all about revisionist history there Dave. You engage in it endlessly. Reagan was detested by the republican establishment and no one better represents that establishment than the Bush family. Bluebloods to a one! You see Reagan had a mind full of crazy ideas at the time like releasing entrepreneurship via tax cut and incentivization, beating down inflation (“we’ll stay the course”) and OMG confront the Soviet Union (that’s a country that no longer exists Dave regardless how much you liberal rubes try to exhume it). This was all dangerous stuff to the establishment Dave. So much so that he was called a “radical” by the powers that be of the day including the media. I came of age at the time Dave old buddy old pal and I can assure you that the establishment closed around Reagan with one thought in mind: he gets his way while he’s here but that’s as far as it goes. I believe UNCLE’s question is rhetorical. Reagan never hated anyone or anything aside from communist philosophy and its primacy of the state.

      • Reagan confronted the Soviet Union and won the Cold War, along with GHW Bush. Trump can’t say anything bad about Putin. See the difference?

      • If HW had had his way we’d still be hearing of detente. Reagan upset the applecart that much. He won his bout with the worlds second greatest evil by delegitimizing it (publicly). That job was already done when Bush took over. All anyone needed to do was to await the collapse. Had matters continued as they were before Reagan we’d still be anticipating what would be in the next SALT treaty. Now I’m going to give you some information you may not yet know. Putin doesn’t run the Soviet Union. That entity is dead and so far resistant of you and yours attempt to exhume it. You’re probably amongst those whom, during the Obama years, openly wondered how viable a potential enemy was sporting an economy the size of Italy’s. Trump hasn’t gone to visit him with a plastic red button in hand either. Furthermore Putins limited (a measely million or two compared to what, two, four, six billion) interference occured under the watchful and unresponsive eye of the previous administration. You recall don’t you? The same one that backed away from a red line supposedly “never drawn.”

        Your complaints fall upon ears that know better. This president has done a great deal more to enforce those red lines drawn than your hero did. He’s even threatening to once again evict our current adversary from the Middle East as actions in Syria suggest: a robust prosecution of the war against ISIS and continued negotiation with Erdogans Turkey and if you can allow for it, Putin himself! In foreign policy it really would be nice to pick ones foes eh? Only we can’t, we have to deal with what’s there and it’s always better to deal from strength as opposed to bottomless bromides indicating who stands where on which side of history. Then again I don’t expect you to know anything of speaking softly while carrying a big stick.

      • The Soviet Union is gone is gone but Putin wants to bring it back. Putin is a former KGB agent and is just as hostile to US interests as were his Soviet predecessors.

        But I write comments defending Ronald Reagan and the two presidents Bush and you claim that I am an Obama supporter. Strange.

      • He may want to bring back Imperial Russia with himself as The Czar but he’d sign his own death warrant should he attempt to ressurect the old Soviet Union. His cronies carry sharp knives. They don’t flash them until they use them. As for whether or not you’re an Obama supporter or a #never Trumper makes little difference. Such now represents a two headed animal.

        I recognize your defense of those aforementioned however I think you could do a little more research with regard to party establishment dynamics. The establishment had a big problem with Reagan because he went against established orthodoxy especially concerning foreign relations in general and relations with the Soviet Union in particular. They weren’t as apoplectic with him as they are with Trump (it’s personal from the start). The dynamics over on the left are every bit as bad. One had to know that Bernie’s candidacy was doomed from the start and for somewhat more prosaic reasons: Sanders represented a direct threat to the party’s money train. Whether he would actually bring such to a halt or not makes little difference. Considering the money involved the establishment simply could not take that chance. I’m not saying you’re wrong. Just not right. I think you have all the pieces, just not all in the right order. I just turned sixty and have been intensely interested in politics since I was in grade school. Experience proving a time consuming instructor I made a great many miscalculations early on. I still make plenty of mistakes though not near as many.

        I’ve clashed with you on a number of occasions and have always admired your pluck. That said I argue points of view. You’re, of course, free to keep yours. Should you care to continue I’m game. Otherwise good hunting.

      • The Bushes, Hillary, and Obama are opposites of Reagan. Trump and Reagan are peers.

      • The Bushes were the opposite of Reagan? That is a lie. And to say that Trump and Reagan are peers is a disgusting slanderous lie.

      • Actually the Bushes are the disgusting ones, revolting too.
        They’re 180 degree opposites of Reagan and Trump.
        They’re evil, scummy, profiteering, unAmerican globalists who always put illegals ahead of veterans and citizens.
        Old Bush pardoned his partners in crime to keep from being booted out of office.
        Bushy junior is a moron, only a bit less stupid than Jihadi Obama, who took us to war in Iraq out of colossal ignorance piled on lies. There’s nothing conservative about the Medicare Drug law or the massive transportation bill he signed into law. He’s a big spending, big government loving proggie.
        Jeb!Bush3 loves criminal illegals and their cheap labor even more than the other two. He’s a criminal who describes federal criminal behavior as “love.”
        .
        When you look up corrupt, profiteering, unAmerican globalist jerks, the Bushes are tied with Jihadi Obama for doing the most damage, but to be fair it took them 3 terms and Jihadi Obama only needed 2.

      • More anti-Bush pro-Trump boilerplate. But where do you get idea that the Bushes were the opposite of Reagan or that Reagan was the same as Trump? Those are just lies.

      • You should look up the word ‘boilerplate.’
        Reagan cut taxes and old Bush raised taxes.
        Reagan ended the Cold War and gave us the peace dividend. Bushy junior started a war of choice in Iraq based on lies and bullspit.
        Both Bushes left us worse off, while Reagan left us better off and Trump is already fixing a ton of Jihadi Obama’s messes.
        Neither Trump nor Reagan would’ve sat stunned in a grade school classroom while the US was under attack.
        Bushy junior and Jeb!Bush3 are anti-American globalists who sold out American workers and put illegals ahead of veterans. They and their groping old man are all establishment neocons like the ones who hated Reagan and who hate Trump.
        .
        You’re the one telling lies. You wanted drunken, lumbering Hilly to waddle into the White House, leave the borders open, run up the debt and appoint proggie Justices and judges.
        Get lost Clinton suckup, you’re heinously revolting.

      • Reagan raised taxes as well. It was a mixed bag. The Cold War ended while GHWB was president, so he should get a large part of the credit. He did not leave us worse off by any stretch of the imagination.

        GWB handled the 9/11 attacks very well. Thank God he was POTUS and not the orange buffoon.

        Bush II also did the right thing in Iraq. If you think NK is a problem imagine the nightmare we would be faced with if Saddam were still in power in Iraq. But Bush I made a huge mistake by leaving him in power after the first Gulf War.

        Reagan was of course the original neocon. He is the one who called the USSR an evil empire. What would he think of Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin?

        And as for anti American “globalists” – even as I type this the stock market is down about 700 points thanks to Trump’s mercantalist nonsense.

      • No, old Groper Bush senior doesn’t get credit for ending the Cold War. Good grief. You say it ended during his term but you don’t even support that pathetic claim.
        The rest of that hooey is worse.
        Yeah, in crazy land sitting and reading goat stories to kids is a good way to handle a massive attack on the homeland. The doofus Bushy Jr. can’t even conceive of being as good as Trump.
        No, plundering Bushes didn’t leave the US better off. Bushy junior was less awful than Obama but probably as bad as Carter, and that’s saying something.
        You’re just a Dam hater, is all.

      • I agree. That is what is most mind-blowing about those NeverTrump idiots.

      • I was lucky enough to read all 25 or so the guy wrote. A couple were even better than this, but that is the one that that really touched a nerve. NeverTrumpers were trying to put the author and essay down for months afterwards. Jokes on them since Trump hired the author, Michael Anton.

      • Of course they were trying to put him down. Such is usually the case when a crowd like that get’s nailed to the wall. Mr. Anton pulled zero punches in doing so. Loved his nom de plume too.

  • #NeverTrump is doing debate?
    They’re bad at it.
    They’ve lost the public debate. And made themselves look silly in the process.

    • Here’s a sample of the “wisdom” of those NeverTrumpers cited above:
      Ben Shapiro of NR
      Election day eve prediction: Clinton 321 EVs, to Trump’s 217
      Mona Charen
      “Trump couldn’t help the Democrats more if he were trying. Wait, maybe he is…” (Dec. 8, 2016)
      “Trump is overwhelmingly likely to lose to Hillary Clinton if he’s the Republican nominee” (March 21, 2016) Oops!
      “[Trump represents] the Republican Party’s suicidal decision to nominate and support a pathological narcissist / con man.” (Nov. 4, 2016) Some “suicide” four days later!
      Jonah Goldberg
      April 26th: “Trump will go down to a defeat of Biblical proportions in November.”
      Kevin Williamson
      Trump is a “witless ape… grotesque …a baboon” (NR 6-16-18)

      • True.

        At least Shapiro seems to be acknowledging that he made a fool of himself though.

        Williamson, Charens and Goldberg STILL look like idiots. Probably because they are.

      • Shapiro is still not in the Trump camp.

        I like him, and he’s a brilliant guy, but he’s still a LITTLE reticent. But, yeah, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital Israel, that was probably huge cognitive dissonance for Shapiro.

  • Unfortunately, the #nevertrumpers movement doesn’t resemble the formal debate paradigm as described by the author, but rather an exclusionary cult. The entire and only purpose of their blatherings at this point is affecting an holier than thou posture to one up each other. It’s all moral onanistic virtue signaling.

  • Well spoke. The neverTrumpers are rather like the antigunners. Both vehemently oppose the only effective tools in the field, with not even a hint at what might work in a manner more suited to sensibility. I am a uuuuge Buckleyite (“Well, (those allegedly obscure words) aren’t obscure to _me_!”) but really, now, how many elections did he win? In which direction did the culture move on his watch? A movement requires architects and stone masons but it also requires a wrecking ball. The self-imposed blindness called neverTrumpism has made discreditable many otherwise sound thinkers (some named above) who will not see this.

  • Wow…what a long winded and self indulgent article attempting to spin the absolute failure of the Trump administration as some sort of practical political victory over rhetorical flourishes of Never Trumpers. Look at what is happening and do a cost/benefit analysis. For the sake of a Supreme Court nominee and a crappy, deficit ballooning tax cut, the GOP sold their future as a party and risked the integrity of our institutions? All of Trump’s “executive orders” will be undone the nanosecond the Dems retake the WH. The house and possibly the senate are lost in 2020. Great choice of candidates….a Russian patsy who doesn’t have the stones to stand up to Putin but talks tough about entering schools. You elected a liar and a fraud. Does the term Pyrrhic victory ring a bell?

      • No…as a NeverTrumper it entertained me and proved that we lost the battle but will win the war. Unfortunately the price will be the soul of the party.

      • That soul was possessed by neocons. We had that Leftist spirit exorcised.

      • So now you are left with the white nationalist fringe and the few evangelicals who can stomach the hypocrisy…good show!

      • Stop drinking the liberal kool aid and learn to think for yourself. We are a year into the Mueller witch hunt and there STILL is no proof of any collusion with Russia.

        Even Senator Cruz has repeatedly said that Trump is the most conservative President since Reagan. If you are truly a conservative, which we both know that you are not, you would get over your butt hurt and support President Trump.

        “America First” simply means that we do not have to admit every third world cretin into America. Nor are we obligated to outsource our jobs to foreigners (like Disney did to its IT department, and with the blessing of the GOP establishment hack Little Marco). To portray this as a racist policy is only something a liberal will do.

        And how are evangelicals hypocritical? Thanks to ones that voted for Trump, we have another Pro-Life justice on the Supreme Court.

      • Let’s see…
        white nationalist vs war mongering, open border neocon….
        tough one.

      • Both houses of congress, the supreme court, and the Presidency. There is that.

  • This article is astoundingly good. The writer clearly articulates not only why Trump’s supporters love him, but also why the conservative “intellectuals” never, ever won no matter how superior their arguments were. Many of us in the activist grassroots also love the formal debate style, and devour its intellectual richness. But, because we are also on the front lines, we know that the opposition is using street-fighting JSA tactics against us. If we are to win, and we must because liberty itself is at stake, then we need a champion who is just as good, if not better, at it than the left is. We have that in Trump.

  • Mona Charen has long had a reputation of being a bit of a shrew.

  • The never-Trumpers must know that Trump is not actually a “liar.” It’s obvious that he is merely a BSer, not a calculating stone-cold prevaricator like Hillary. As Joseph Epstein has said, what the never-Trumpers really can’t stand about the man is that he is a world-class boor. To them, boorishness is unforgivable. Also he made fools of them by winning the election, in defiance of their predictions that he would lead the GOP to a historic defeat.

      • Read my lips…
        Was that your idea of a “real” Republican?
        Or, are you just a Proggie troll?

      • dope . every politicians lies or exagerates to some degree. Trumps lies are 100 orders of magnitude more than any other.

      • If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor got elected twice. Just sayin.

  • NeverTrumpers play by the rules set up by liberals. Essentially, they agree with liberals about what kind of politicians and what kind of politic America shall have. For example, liberals say that certain words and questions and ideas are “racist” and shall never be discussed or even mentioned. NeverTrumpers just submit and obey. Essentially, they belong to the same elite, and despise all outsiders. Their main enemy is not a liberal, but somebody who undermines their authority as part of the intellectual elites. And it is exactly what Trump did.

    • “liberals say that certain words and questions and ideas are “racist” and shall never be discussed or even mentioned. NeverTrumpers just submit and obey.” Well said! Excellent.

  • Those who are pro for the status quo are hostile to the american people and their liberty. Our liberty was not merely on the wane but in real danger of being eliminated. To stand for ‘proper decorum’ and correct language is to say that the freedoms of others do not matter as much as a selected debate style. NeverTrumpers have declared that freedom is not reason enough to fight for. I accept the idea that a person should be honest, thoughtful and polite. I reject the idea that tactics of debate is a valid reason for forfeiting individual freedom.

  • Definitely one of those articles that clarifies for me what was just unorganized thoughts about Never Trumpers that I could never quite articulate. Well done. And so obviously true.

  • This column raises a good question: why on earth would you be friends with David Frum?

  • The conservatives who have their nose up in the air over Trump, who have to sit there watching Trump implement this great conservative agenda, who have to always find a way to undermine him – they can all go to hell.

    I was one of them at first! A huge Cruz fan in the beginning, because he was the only true conservative on the stage. Today I willingly admit that Trump is doing a much better job than Cruz could have. Old style conservatism is dead.

    • Hey, you’re forgiven for not thinking Trump was a great choice. He was certainly unique. I can’t understand people not voting for Trump when it was Trump vs. Hillary. But, in the primary, I can FULLY understand not liking Trump.

      By the way, I still like Lyin’ Ted. He’s a solid guy. He should be on the Supreme Court.

      Imagine if the Ginsburg spot opens up and Trump puts Cruz on the Supreme Court? Leftist heads would explode. It would be glorious.

    • I was a Cruz guy in the primaries, too- but my criteria was “Who can stop Hillary”, and I thought Cruz was the one who could do it.

      When Trump got the nomination, I was horrified. Expected a Hillary win, or if some miracle happened, a squishy RINO who would be co-opted by the Democrats.

      I have to admit, on policy, Trump has exceeded my expectations by a huge margin. If I’d known what he was going to deliver back during primary season, I would have had a much more difficult time deciding who to back.

      …anyways, the ‘Never Trump’ crowd needs to get a clue. Those guys have always been proud of their foreign policy expertise, they should realize that the primary beneficiary of their stubborn petulance is Vladimir Putin.

    • The words of Lincoln describing Grant come to mind. He said, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.”

      That’s how conservatives feel about Trump.

  • After more than a year in office, which 2016 campaign promises has President Trump kept and which ones has he dropped? See the Scoreboard at the Trump Campaign Promises blog for the status of his 50 most important campaign promises @ http://trumpcampaignpromises.blogspot.com

  • Thank God for President Trump! He stands behind what’s good for America and we should stand behind him!

    I also am thrilled that Crooked Hillary is not in our Oval Office!

    America First!

    • bullshit he stands behind whatever russia ( putin) tells him to do. Trump has spit on our institutions and POWS.

      • Another patient- with a particularly virulent strain of TDS- coming through.

      • He’s spit on our POWs? What the hell are you talking about? The traitor that ran to the Taliban and led to the deaths of his fellow soldiers that went looking for him?

  • Actually, the difference can also be found comparing lawyers to CEOs. Lawyers parse words and seek angles of legality. CEOs seek common goals, easily explained, which are useful, efficient, and, most importantly, profitable (or, at least within financial realities or goals). The CEO typically has lawyers, CFOs and accountants, and operations experts (COOs) to put the specifics into view, in bottom-line, relatable terms. The CEO then gets the entire operation pulling toward the goals.

    This is specifically why successful CEOs are typically leaders. That is the nature of the job. This is also why most lawyers belong supporting leaders, rather than destroying our country via Congressional and Senate seats. Have a look at our budget, regulations, and growth of government to see what lawyers as “leaders” provides.

    • But Trump is not a successful CEO. If he didn’t own his own company he would have been fired by the board of directors for incompetence.

      • trump ran an inherited family business. that is nothing like being a ceo. Its more like being a gangster mob boss.

      • Its like running a business. Either you produce a product people want, or you go away.

      • the point is trump doesn’t have the management skills of a CEO that runs a,decent size company. all he knows is to be a boss.

      • Trump got over 50% of his agenda achieved in his first year as President. Not many Presidents can say that pal.

      • Like Trump Airlines, Trump University, Trump’s bankrupt casino etc.

      • With your wealth in the billions and your own 727, I’m sure Trump can learn quite a bit from you about becoming a success. Hahahahahahahahahahah!

  • This is something I’ve been saying…

    In politics, there is ONLY win or lose

    Not right or wrong, just WIN or LOSE. National politics are just win and lose, either we have an ally or an enemy in the white house and all other seats.

    • My grandfather, an Irish immigrant and a crusty curmudgeon, always said, “It doesn’t matter how you won, it’s did you?” His corollary to that was, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”

      • trump ends ( winning election) justifys the means. becoming a tools of putin. The facts are coming out. We are getting close to the end.

      • Look in that dark, dark place and you will see Hillary’s smiling face.

  • A few trollish responses came to mind as I started reading this, but by the end I was deeply impressed. This is a fine essay, in the original sense.

    Besides, if anyone in the literati deserves a victory lap (or three), it’s Mytheos. Him and Conrad Black.

  • I’m kind of in the same boat with Shapiro…I was Never Trump, but it seemed silly that “Never Trump” would still be a thing AFTER the election. I mean, he won. Game over, right? And what happened? He’s put forth a straightforward conservative agenda that would be worthy of the technocrats at NR, if they weren’t so blinded by their hatred of the man himself. I still do a lot of cringing myself, but I’m totally digging the policy. Why can’t they admit they were wrong? I’m not ashamed to admit he proved me wrong, hell I’m GLAD he did.

    • I don’t know Trump personally. Maybe these guys do. Maybe they just don’t like him. But honestly do many people actually know the President personally? A valuable skill of a President is to have everyone like you. But that is not an essential skill. The skill might not even reflect reality. One persons charmer is another persons snake. It all depends on what side they choose to show you.

  • Every time I try to read an article on American Greatness I have to start the the Windows Task Manager because this website will always lock up my browser after about 5 minutes. Why?

    • The modern Internet is such a sewer of unwanted video, erratic pages, pop-up ads and other ads, and the evil-doings of little minds with too much time on their hands. I too have the same problem with this website; I hate it almost as much as I hate The Hill (an incredibly slow and malperforming site).

  • NeverTrumpers are plainly stupidly self-serving and shortsighted. I’ll offer Bill Kristol as an example. I tried in vain to rescue him myself, but he’s so flown over as to be hopeless. Trump is good enough, but they seem intent on perfection.

  • #NeverTrump missed the broader bigger point. Stopping HRC and ending The Obama Error were H-U-G-E achievements.

    Already reversing BHO’s executive orders, ending the PPACA, and finishing 64% of his own agenda this early in his first administration is only icing on a very special cake.

  • Absolutely on target article. The dems have been doing this for decades. Now that we’re doing it they’re unable to handle it.

  • So lies are ok because “the other side does it”. And that applies to lie of any type or scope? Or impact. That’s garbage. Would you teach your children that?

      • Like integrity and honesty? Or does the ends always justify the means?

      • Perhaps you should ask that question of Hillary. Or Barry. Or Bubba. Or LBJ. Or ….

        The question isn’t “is DJT perfect.” It’s “was he the least obnoxious alternative.”

        Somebody is going to be president. The odds of that person also being flawless, sinless, beyond even the shadow of the appearance of indiscretion, are vanishingly small. Sorry, but Jesus wasn’t on the ballot.

        So, Ma Hillary, or The Donald. One of them was going to be president. It was a race to the bottom, by the two most widely despised candidates in the history of presidential polling. But nevertheless, one of them was going to be president. And now, here he is.

        Like it or not, DJT is now POTUS, because millions of voters couldn’t suppress our gag reflex for long enough to vote for Hillary. That’s called reality.

      • Yes, DJT is president. Now it’s time for him to stop whining and act like it.

        When Bush was new in office, 9/11 happened. There were mistakes made leading up to it before he was president. Did he whine constantly about that? No, he rolled up his sleves and did his best to fix it. Some of that was good, some didn’t work out so well, but he got to work.

        Before Obama got in office the ecomony tanked. He did the same, got to work.

        Trumps in office now. Man up, own the current situation, and try to fix it. Stop whining that it was someone else’s fault. Mike Rogers the other day said the Russians are still meddling, they have gotten into a number of states election systems, and Trump hasn’t authorized actions to stop it.

        Hillary, Obama aren’t the issue. Stop being snowflakes and whining about how unfair it is.

  • Absolutely terrible article. (Well-written, but a hugely flawed premise.) We all know that Trump fudges big-time. But the idea that the NeverTrumpers are paragons of truth and candor is laughable.

    Even more than the left, the neocons and GOP establishmentarians have always held power via dissembling and false fronts. They would represent themselves one way to conservative voters, and another way among their own circles, as well as in broader establishment circles taking in both parties. They would likewise fudge, obscure, and misrepresent issues to conservative voters, to secure their support. Much of their recent fury arises from the fact that their manipulations have finally been widely recognized.

    The problem is that Mr. Holt, and indeed the bulk of the AG crowd, are themselves far too close to neocon/establishmentarian circles to treat these matters accurately.

  • Sure and the Bone-Spurr Hero would certainly have run into the school single-handed and killed that bad man. Honestly, I have never seen a bigger fool in my life than the serial adulterer/sexual assaulter/bankrupter/liar. But I’m sure the little trumpettes, like their hero, have never read a book in their adult life.

    • Hey, genius, “spur” only has one “r” in it.

      Honestly, you need to engage in some remedial English lessons. Or, perhaps, ESL if it’s not your first language.

  • The Wall Street Journal has an article in today’s paper ( Feb. 28 ) called “Trump Can Help Overcome Identity Politics” by Edwin Meese and Mike Gonzalez. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    “Until the Trump administration stopped it last month, the census was preparing to add in 2020 yet another vast pan-ethnic grouping-“Middle East or North Africa”-for residents with ancestry anywhere between Morocco and Iran. That would have made a minority of everyone from Rep. Darrel Issa to the late Steve Jobs.”

    I work with many Assyrians from Iraq in Chicago who are as white as I am and who certainly do consider themselves white. So why did the democrats want to reclassify these white people as a minority group? Obviously so they could use them as more allies in their race war against white people.

    The Democratic Party is the party of the left and the left has become insane. How anyone could vote for such a viciously racist party is truly a great mystery to me.

  • NO due process for me, Carrot To? No due process for you, either.

  • Still hoping we get to see the list of journalists that fusion gps paid.

  • Don’t call us far-right, we had a fascist speak at our convention.

  • I don’t believe “Never Trumpers” are conservatives. I believe they are blue state leftists who make a living pretending to be conservatives, while making sure conservative policy is never enacted.

    A conservative might easily have opposed Trump during the Republican primary. Many supported Cruz, Carson, etc. But anyone who opposed him in the general election is not a conservative. Period.

    That was the point at which the long-simmering divide between Republican voters and their “establishment” reached its breaking point, the “elites” dropped their mask, and showed who they really are.

  • This is *wonderful* stuff. I had no idea AG was moving into parody. Pure comedic gold.

  • Mytheos the Mythmaker writes “Now I’m certainly not a fan of deceit for its own sake”. Of course not. Mr. Mythmaker, you have spewied misinformation on patents for the last few years for some very good reasons – graft. Admit it, you are paid under the table to publish incorrect information on patents.

  • The Goldbergs and Frums of the world can get lost, most of the time they make no coherent sense. This quote: “If conservative ideas cannot prevail in the marketplace of ideas without lies, they do not deserve to prevail at all.” What an idiotic statement. The marketplace of ideas is like any other marketplace. It’s not only about having the best product. It’s also about timing, advertisement, marketing, product placement, exposure, trendiness, delivery, persuasion, and all kinds of other things. You need to have a great product and in addition you need all those things, because that’s how the world works. Those extra things are all things Trump can deliver on. Meanwhile, we’ve been through a century of government growth in size and power, and we have a bunch of never-Trump idiots whining about the different ways in which we should lose. I would rather focus on winning, and so would the rest of the conservatives and Republicans in the country.

  • The author here gave you a primary on JSA and APDA style debates, and gave a fair representation of strengths and weaknesses of each style. Well allow me to introduce to you the ultimate form of debate style – CEDA https://youtu.be/SYm5GKA4vpY

  • President Trump is a great president. The real issue is the WHY of the Never Trumpers and the Resistance.

  • Mona Charen has never gotten over losing a position in Dumbya’s administration because she didn’t pay SS for her domestic help, She is a PoC and should be cuddling with Bret “Punkbutt” Stephens. Goldberg has pretentions to lofty intellectual status.

  • Except Trump wants political whores in every position. He doesn’t want the debaters, let’s call them what they really are, the actual conservative thinkers involved in government because their loyalty is to the country and good policy, not to him personally. I’m anti illegal immigration, pro second amendment, pro life, pro free market, I differ with Trump on the environment and his authoritarian anti libertarian approach to law enforcement significantly but those are the only real areas that I disagree with him, at least when he’s not changing his mind based on the last person he talked to. That said, I’ll never ever support him. He’s a vile human being. He’s a liar, and you can defend lying all you want as this article does, but there is nothing virtuous about Trump’s lies. He’s a throughly and deeply dishonest man. He’s also a narcissist and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s a sociopath. He’s an autocrat at heart who doesn’t believe in democracy. So while I may not disagree with a lot of his agenda, I cannot follow or respect the man in any way. I wouldn’t let him in my home or shake his hand and so long as he is in power he can expect nothing of me as a citizen in terms of support because he simply cannot be trusted.

    • You would rather see Western civilization FAIL than have a flawed individual preserve it. You’re nothing but a useless pharisaical moralist.

      You don’t have to “follow” a leader in order to support an agenda.

      Your policy positions are irrelevant, so I’m not sure why you listed them. You won’t support the team, so you’re no better than the leftists who hate Trump.

      You’re a de facto enemy of conservatism.

      • “Idea” is irrelevant. In a strange sense, Trump is irrelevant.

        He’s instituting conservative policy. You’re the enemy, and no friend to conservatism. You reject its very implementation.

      • I didn’t know tariffs and saying that we should take guns away from citizens without due process was conservative?

      • Was Reagan perfect?

        (1) Reagan imposed tariffs.
        (2) President Trump brainstorming about removing guns from someone who is an imminent threat is NOT “removing due process.”

        You’d nitpick and ignore all the conservative good that President Trump has done? If it were ANY other Republican you’d be doing cartwheels of celebration. But, like many other NeverTrump fools, you were incorrect in your analysis of Trump, and your ego is too butthurt to change.

        You’re no conservative. Just a sanctimonious tool for the left.

      • He’s lowered the discourse of our politics, he’s shown himself to be a throughly dishonest and untrustworthy man, he’s done damage to our standing in the world, he’s going to cause the price of good to go up through tariffs, he’s refused to implement sanctions against the Russians and is taking no steps to protect us from their interference in our 2018 elections, his regulatory rollbacks have been not thought out, he vocally advocated the single most restrictive gun controls since the 1990s, he’s only ever complained about mass surveillance when he claimed it was being done to him or thought it was impacting him, he’s advocated police use of excessive force, he’s advocated registering people of a specific religion with the government, he’s appointed members of his cabinet that have wastefully used taxpayer dollars for first class and private flights, he’s constantly attacked and undermined the press and made vocal threats to freedom of the press, he’s a vile and utterly shameless person who is an embarrassment to the nation and due to his complete lack of honesty a threat to the nation as well.

      • Politicians lie. This is nothing new. All our previous presidents have been dishonest and untrustworthy to a degree: do you believe that certain humans are without sin? Do you only vote for sinless politicians?

        Did you vote for Romney, the flip-flopper on abortion? Why would you vote for someone who would compromise their beliefs on something so crucial as abortion? That should DISQUALIFY Romney using your utopian conservative standards.

        Reagan and other conservatives have implemented tariffs; did you refuse to support them because of tariffs?

        Russia has interfered in EVERY election. Trump isn’t required to implement the sanctions that YOU want because you’re butthurt about the election.

        The regulatory rollbacks are thoroughly conservative. You claim to be a conservative and want MORE regulation? We still have too much.

        He’s a huge supporter of the NRA, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about relating to guns. The NRA endorsed him earlier than any other presidential candidate in history: would the NRA endorse an anti-gun candidate? He’s advocated arming teachers: I can’t see how you think that’s “anti-gun.”

        George W. Bush was for “mass surveillance.” Did you refuse to support him because of that stance?

        Trump hasn’t advocated “excessive force.” What does that even mean?

        He hasn’t advocated registering citizens of any religion. Non-citizens, as per law, don’t have the same rights as citizens. I don’t have a problem with registering non-citizens from certain areas of the world, irrespective of religion.

        Trump has caused the economy to add TRILLIONS of dollars. Literally. Your idea of “waste” is a matter of opinion.

        Criticism of biased outlets isn’t “undermining the press.” The best way to combat free speech you don’t like is more free speech. Should the press be allowed to lie without being criticized?

        You dislike the way Trump behaves. He’s vulgar. Vulgar comes from Latin meaning “common people.” You don’t like having a commoner as president. You want an elitist to say one thing, do another, and engage in politispeak.

        You’d rather have Obama or Crooked Hillary as president. You’re a useful idiot for the left and certainly not a conservative. You have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      • I’d say that yes all politicians lie, but Trump is probably the single most dishonest man to ever hold the office. He lies so frequently that even in a time of crisis Americans could not trust anything that came out of the White House.

        Abortion is never gonna change so that wouldn’t change my vote concerning Romney.

        Russia tried to undermine our elections in a more significant way than they probably ever have. He has essentially said, when not denying it completely, who cares let them they are great. Most likely because he has business interests there, figures they help him anyway, or is paying them back.

        Tariffs are just the diarrhea icing on the *hit cake that is this administration. It’s cumulative.

        The regulatory rollbacks are fine except when they are unnecessary and in some cases very damaging to the environment, something this president clearly does not care about at all.

        The NRA thing is hilarious cause he ran his mouth about taking guns without due process and all the things he’d do and then talked with the NRA who said don’t forget who owns you. I’m very pro second amendment but it’s just funny to watch it play out with him pretending to be a tough guy or his whole shtick that he’s a billionaire so he doesn’t owe anyone and special interests don’t own him.

        That was absolutely reason enough to not support Dubya. That and invading the wrong country and all.

        Told the police officers association that they should make sure to crack people’s heads on the door when the put them in the car. Advocated very anti conservatives positions like broken glass and stop and frisk.

        Stated during the campaign that he would support a Muslim registery.

        The is absolutely no reason for a clown like Pruitt to be flying first class. Oh and Tom Price flying around the country on private flights was a joke. Oh and the economy won’t last. A massive tax cut while the economy is moving along so well, plus tariffs, get ready for some serious inflation.

        He’s constantly undermined the press and made threats. Threatening changing libel laws, threatening their licenses. Should the president be allowed to lie without criticism? He seems to believe so.

        Vulgar, it goes well beyond that. Vulgar is just his publically talking about women’s periods because they asked him An even slightly difficult question during a debate. He goes well beyond vulgar with his mocking of a disabled man. His many sexual assault accusers. His support for a pedophile in Roy Moore. His conning of Trump University students. His plowing pornstars while his wife is pregnant. His talking about his daughter being a nice piece of *ss or how he’d date her or how they have sex in common. His pushing other world leaders out of the way at NATO. I mean the list could go on and on. I suspect there is a lot more genuine shadiness in his business dealings that we will find out from Mueller but we will just have to wait and see.

  • It is more than just debate vs. politics. The NeverTrumps (in my view) supporting the failing American elites. They are globalists, this has put the US on a constant war footing, supporting military free-riders, and running $800b/year trade deficits. This was needed up to 1991 when the US was holding the Soviet Union at bay. This in turn required massive deficit spending by the Federal government as labor participation decreased. They are also open border folks, there is no fundamental difference between an alien and a US citizen. There is no US polity. As income inequality increased they felt this was mainly the fault of the individual involved. Their high set of credentails were why the deserved their higher incomes. They felt a need to be credentialed, but not to win, achieving results was de’classe. They have more in common with the credentialed failing elites of the Liberal side. President Trump (for all of his flaws) does not want to do stupid, he badly wants to win and is willing to both take risks and to learn to make this happen.

  • Lovely column but too easy on the Never Trumpers. Trump is a nationalist. Never Trumpers are globalists.

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