Trump versus Conservative Intellectuals

“Against Trump”, the title of National Review’s most recent edition, says it all. National Review, a leading voice of conservatism, produced by a longstanding group of conservative intellectuals has made it clear that Trump and conservatism, cannot be reconciled. Trump, they say, “…is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP.” A copy of the article is available at this link. Also note that columnist George Will, a National Review alum, has made a similar critique of Trump.

It should be noted that conservative intellectuals are for the most part appalled by the emergence of Trump on the political scene and have made their opinions clear from the very beginning. Given the threat that Trump poses to conservatism (broadly defined to include its libertarian strains) we should expect to see conservatives and libertarians converge to back a third party candidate to ensure Trump’s demise in a general election.

Compare that to the activity on the left. As it stands now there are two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. One, Bernie Sanders, is the unhinged 73-year old Senator from Vermont who is a self-declared socialist. The other, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the 68 year-old ex-Senator from New York who as Secretary of State engineered the ongoing disaster in Libya. The main difference between the two candidates is that Senator Sanders is unlikely to be indicted.

So it is certainly worth noting that while conservative and libertarian intellectuals continue to make a principled case against Donald Trump, intellectuals of the left have voiced little in the way of principled or practical objections to the obvious absurdities of the policy prescriptions of Bernie Sanders, among them a suggestion that Iran and Saudi Arabia team up to defeat ISIS. Nor is there any apparent principled objection to what appears to be the criminally negligent behavior of Hillary Rodham Clinton with respect to handling classified data, even as the evidence against her mounts. Nor does the stench of corruption around the Clinton Foundation appear to bother them one iota.

Let’s not forget that while the campaigns heat up and the various factions claim moral superiority.




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