John Ericsson, the pseudonym of a former congressional aide and government affairs professional, writes today at The Federalist about why “Trumpism” is much less of a threat than the Left. I fail to see how a movement based on reasserting the consent of governed is a threat, but at least Ericsson sees the obvious threat in the Left, whereas elite movement conservatives like Jonah Goldberg, David French, and Bill Kristol see occasional sparing partners who couldn’t really mean all those nasty things they say and do to the Right.
This is the key paragraph, which is right on the mark:
If Goldberg and Kristol want to secure a future for individual liberty and human flourishing in American life, they’ll need to learn the lesson that allowed Elliot Ness to realize his goal in The Untouchables. Ideas and persuasion alone—the path forward Goldberg offers—are as insufficient to stem the tide of illiberalism sweeping across the country as a few liquor raids were to bringing down Al Capone. To echo the challenge made to Ness by Malone, the streetwise Chicago cop who helped him bring down the crime boss, “What are you prepared to do?”
The Washington Generals of the Right simply do not understand that while human beings have the faculty of reason, most do not utilize their reason nearly enough. That applies to the Left a thousandfold.
This helps explain why Goldberg’s and Kristol’s debate club conservatism has racked up loss after loss as the Left advances on every front. They do not understand that while the Left comes armed with bombs and tanks, they are doing the equivalent of setting up podiums and glasses of water. No wonder we are in the mess we are in.