George Will, Establishmentarian

by Right Wing Fighter

About a month ago, George Will wrote an article saying that if Trump won the GOP nomination, it could be the end of America’s “conservative” party. A number of excerpts:

If you look beyond Donald Trump’s comprehensive unpleasantness — is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? — you might see this: He is a fundamentally sad figure. His compulsive boasting is evidence of insecurity. His unassuageable neediness suggests an aching hunger for others’ approval to ratify his self-admiration. His incessant announcements of his self-esteem indicate that he is not self-persuaded.

The middle initial “F” in his name must stand for Freud. This is just psycho-analytical poppycock. Trump obviously isn’t suffering from a quasi clinical need for admiration which drives him to boast everywhere he goes. His boasting of his accomplishments is clearly meant to serve as credentials, as reasons to support him for president, and not as some gimmick to get people to pat him on the head. Will sounds like an effete intellectual, trying to find some way to attack a strong man without truly hitting him.

In 1912, former president Theodore Roosevelt campaigned for the Republican nomination on an explicitly progressive platform. Having failed to win the nomination, he ran a third-party campaign against the Republican nominee, President William Howard Taft, and the Democratic nominee, New Jersey Gov. Woodrow Wilson, who that November would become the first person elected president who was deeply critical of the American founding.

The reason Roosevelt lost the nomination was because of the machinations of the Republican establishment. He actually had much more support among the people than Taft did, who had managed to alienate both business and the people due to his incompetence. Roosevelt did not cost Republicans the election of 1912, as Will is trying to put over here: the GOP establishment, gaming the system and renominating the unpopular Taft, as opposed to the very popular Roosevelt, are the ones who lost the election.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater mounted a successful conservative insurgency against a Republican establishment that was content to blur and dilute the Republican distinctiveness that had been preserved 52 years earlier. [snip] Like Taft, Goldwater was trounced (he carried six states). But the Republican Party won five of the next seven presidential elections. In two of them, Ronald Reagan secured the party’s continuity as the custodian of conservatism.

Only after Reagan’s populist challenge to Gerald Ford cost Ford the election and handed the White House to the Democrats. Will is also shamelessly misrepresenting history: Taft’s renomination was a victory for the establishment, whilst Goldwater’s was a victory for the people: the same kinds of people who were disenfranchised by Taft’s renomination; the same ones that fueled Reagan’s near victory over Ford and his eventual victory over Carter; the same ones that are fueling Trump now. Will is just taking a grab-bag of history, taking the items he likes to build his flimsy argument, that nominating Trump will mean a Democratic victory.

One hundred and four years of history is in the balance. If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, there might not be a conservative party in 2020 either.

Will’s fears about “history” are unimportant compared to the fears average Americans are having about their jobs, their families, their nation. Their fears are fully justified, and Donald Trump is the only man running who can do anything about those fears.

You can read the article here: