Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, a descendant of the 26th President, and author of the new book Davos, Aspen, and Yale: My Life Behind the Elite Curtain as a Global Sherpa (WND Books; January 19, 2016) wrote an op-ed on the recent moves by George Will, The National Review, and the GOP establishment against Trump.
Why George Will and National Review Are So Wrong!
WILL & NRO JOIN THE SENILE RULING CLASS
According to the buttoned-down television pundit and often “token” conservative, George Will, Donald Trump is nothing more than a “local delusional drunk,” who is “vulgar,” “squalid,” and “coarse.” He is a “fake Republican” and an affront to the William F. Buckley heritage. These are all the words a supposed intellectual uses to raise the political discourse. Has Will gone senile and why would FOX News hire him?
Will goes yet further in his establishment excoriation of Trump and says the latter goes, “too far;” he is all bluster and therefore, “implausible.” As a “vituperative” GOP candidate, Will argues, Trump has no Party support and is merely an “egoist.” Really? And now the nearly defunct National Review gathers all the conservative ammo against Trump. But it is too late!
They could not be more wrong and the electorate is about to demonstrate such to the ultimate elitists, Mr. Will. And to NR.
Now Will, NR and their Bushie buddies on K Street, who are very much Inside the Beltway, can’t stand the possibility that Outsider business-savvy Trump would upset their cushy little applecart and gravy train. All the clubs, fancy lunches — paid for by lobbyists, and the Republican coziness cum cronyism would be swept away like the end of Tammany Hall, were Trump to succeed. Will would have to close his swank salon in upscale Chevy Chase and come to the realization that we no longer inhabit the quaint 18th century world that so enthralls Will and his toney, all talk, no action ilk. His brand of politics and talk shows ad nauseam would come to an end. He might have to sell all his dated bow ties at the Episcopal Church secondhand auction—if there were any takers (he IS an atheist) or go back to the professoriate.
Will, NR and the Grand Old Establishment (GOE) are not the GOP — as they are now discovering. Will may not like Trump’s TV shtick but he will not be able to rid us of him or drive him from the Republican Party. Indeed, Donald has pledged not to run in a Third Party—would Will and his likes make the same pledge now? Do they play by the same rules?
Trump is succeeding precisely because the Will-types have failed to govern, caved into the welfare state and become likeable iconoclasts who achieve nothing. Will was the mock-debate candidate for George W. Bush and we all saw how that transformed him into a real conservative. Kristol was the hack behind Dan Qualye and that bombed.
What Will and many NR establishment and country club conservatives fail to comprehend is that there are, and will always be, four types of conservative: Natural-Rights Conservatives, Pure Traditionalists, Neo-Cons and Radical Catholics.
It all started with Edmund Burke’s criticism of the French Revolution but conservatives never fixed on a doctrinaire ideology. Conservatism is actually more of a ‘disposition’ than a rigid plan. Conservatives know what they oppose but differ widely on what they are for! Historically and presently, they argue amongst themselves all the time, and mostly about the ‘Lost Golden Age.’ The problem of course is, which golden age? They do generally at least agree on the soundness of the American Founding, thank goodness for that.
George Will, as a Straussian, knows well the account of the ancients vs. the moderns. What he seems to have philosophically forgotten is that Socrates himself was a standing danger to prevailing ways of life and custom—which is why he was accused of polluting the youth of Athens. Trump presents no less a threat to Wills’ cult and those at NR.
Trump may in truth be closer to Machiavelli (what works) than to Will’s idol (Hegel) but he would defend the Founding, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Trump is a real conservative — in the arena. He is striking a cord with the public without hiring a speechwriter either (sorry George.)
What the famous political philosopher Leo Strauss suggested and George Will may need to relearn is that natural right affords support to the regime that arose from modernity. That regime is called liberal democracy, with a small L. Will may loathe the so-called “west coast” Straussians who take this position but it is altogether plausible. They support Trump.
It appears that the Establishment Republicans will apparently go to any distance to stop Trump. Why? Because he is outside their ranks in much the same way that Buckley was outside the norm when he ran for mayor of New York. Bill too could be acidic, tempestuous and cutting in his own unique, yes, urbane way. Get used to Trump. This is a new era.
Buckley himself, the father of modern American conservatism, stated it boldly in his original mission statement. “No superstition has more effectively bewitched America’s Liberal elite than the fashionable concepts of world government. Perhaps the most important and readily demonstrable lesson of history is that freedom goes hand in hand with a state of political decentralization, that remote government is irresponsible government. It would make greater sense to grant independence to each of our 50 states than to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a world organization.” Buckley would like Trump as he did Reagan, unlike the lesser-weights who run his magazine today.
Only Trump has the credibility to speak to this liberal globalist “superstition” which was Buckley’s firm point. Trump gets it in a way Will and his new world order types never did.
Trump may in fact be a paradox: he is a conservative who seeks to ensconce liberalism with a small L, i.e.; limited government, a free economy, and a big stick. He is doubtless loud, populist, takes the offensive, and most importantly, he can win!
George Will, NR and the political class should stop with the name-calling and re-enter the world of reasoned argument and support a big tent Republicanism. The best argument is as Ronald Reagan, who knew a thing or two about winning, resounded, “Here’s my strategy on winning the Cold War: we win, they lose.”
Here’s Trump’s strategy on Making America Great Again: We all win and the leftist, statist Democrats (and their Republican go-alongs) lose.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT MALLOCH, is the author of a new memoir: DAVOS, ASPEN & YALE: My Life Behind the Elite Curtain as A Global Sherpa, WND, 2016. He teaches at Oxford University.