Donald Trump

Would Conservatives Have Formed a #ForeverTrump Movement If He Were a Less Crazy Strongman?

There is little fundamental policy disagreement between him and various conservative factions


Could there possibly be any silver lining to Drumpf? Even after he has long gone from the scene, he will have set a

Donald Trump Hair
DonkeyHotey / Foter / CC BY

new (low) baseline for political discussions on any number of topics. Ted Cruz is already out-sinking him on immigration and general anti-Mussalman saber rattling.

Still, I note in my column at The Week, Trump is the best kind of demagogue America could have hoped for. Why?

He is offering America a rare thing: truth in advertising. It isn't often that ugly ideas come packaged in an ugly wrapping. But when it happens, it's easier to repel them.

Imagine what might have happened if Trump had been a more attractive and sophisticated spokesman for his witch's brew of nativism, protectionism, authoritarianism, and bare-knuckles foreign policy. Instead of driving varied conservative factions to band together in a #NeverTrump movement against him, he might well have led them in a #ForeverTrump movement for him.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. Would Conservatives Have Formed a #ForeverTrump Movement If He Were a Less Crazy Strongman?

    I guess you have to define “less crazy stongman”. Hillary, for instance could be described as a less crazy strongman.

    1. You gettin’ The Hillary?

      1. Oh yeah. Extra sauce on my chin.

  2. There are few policy differences between Trump and Hillary.


  3. I expect this comment section to be both civil and eloquent.

    1. It’s funny how early predictors are often wrong. The whole subject seems pretty tepid to me.

  4. The #NeverTrump movement is all about the mainstream GOP’s fear of their base. You courted them, you pandered to them and now you’ve let them take over your party.

    The GOP might not be able to survive Trump losing to Hilary, but it definitely will not survive a Trump presidency.

    1. The consensus of the Trump faction is that the GOP courted them but left them at the altar and ran off for an orgy with the Chamber of Commerce and DC lobbyists.

    2. Did the mainstream GOP really pander to the kind of voter that wants the sort of economic protectionism that Trump espouses? I see that more at home with the Dems. Maybe it’s just the logical end to the anti-immigration movement (which parts but hardly all of the GOP certainly HAVE pandered to).

      1. Different crowds with different reasons for protectionism. And the GOP used to just dogwhistle what Trump shouts.

        1. Yeah, I guess the similarities between Trump and Sanders are just utterly confusing the matter for me. Honestly, if you were to look at a transcript of their remarks side-by-side, the only significant difference would be how strident Trump’s rhetoric is on immigration (as opposed to Sanders’ adoption of the dogwhistle). Both seem to believe the brown and yellow hordes are impeding government’s ability to give every man and woman a high-paying blue-collar job and a resulting chicken in every pot.

  5. “But just as Trump’s restrictionism is not fundamentally out-of-sync with National Review’s paleo-conservatism”

    Since when is National Review a paleo-conservative outlet? Wasn’t The American Conservative established specifically because there weren’t any paleo-conservative magazines at the time?

    1. NR strikes me as much more neo than paleo.

      Then again, I often get confused by all these dieting fads.

    2. “Proposition nation” horseshit is too right wing for Shikha, so she reaches for the nearest epithet. Whether it makes logical sense or is in accordance with common usage doesn’t matter.

      Chronicles was the paleo mag. TAC was established to oppose Iraq 2.

    3. NR includes some actual neocons, not just people vaguely on the right who were disagreeable, so were bashed with that broad epithet.

      NR purged the last paleocon years ago when Derb left. It’s worth noting that his paleoconservative views put him completely at odds with the rest of the editorial staff, so it was hardly paleocon even when he was there.


  6. Imagine what might have happened if Trump had been a more attractive and sophisticated spokesman for his witch’s brew of nativism, protectionism, authoritarianism, and bare-knuckles foreign policy

    We don’t have to imagine it. Bernie Sanders is an illustrative example of poisonous ideas in a (politically) attractive and sophisticated package.

    1. “Bernie Sanders is an illustrative example of poisonous ideas in a (politically) attractive and sophisticated package.”

      When I think of Bernie Sanders ‘attractive’ and ‘sophisticated’ are not terms I’d use.

      His lack of sophistication is actually why Sanders is popular, sort of like Trump.

      1. To a libertarian, sure, he sounds like a doddering fool. But to the politically ignorant he sounds intellectual.

  7. Isn’t Trump that guy William F Buckley found in the phone book?

  8. No longer being held “for observation” Shreeek?

  9. Gads, I hate the dilution of political epithets. Today these terms mean anything and thus nothing: racist, misogynist, fascist, xenophobe, nativist.

    Sorry, but not wanting tens of millions of foreigners in your country illegally does not make someone a “nativist.” Not wanting to import anti-libertarian, anti-gay, anti-women religious nuts does not make someone a “xenophobe.”

    1. Sorry, but not wanting tens of millions of foreigners in your country illegally does not make someone a “nativist.”


      And don’t be disingenuous: you don’t want these people here at all, legally or illegally. That’s what the whole conversation is about.

      1. I am not in favor of mass immigration, true, if that’s what you mean. It’s hugely costly to our broke-ass welfare state, and hugely socially disruptive. I don’t think making us more like Latin America (or any Muslim country) is a plus for the country or liberty in general.

        1. I am not in favor of mass immigration,

          Me, neither. You can’t have open borders and a welfare state, at least, not for long. Get rid of the welfare state and we can talk about opening the borders, but not before.

          The reason isn’t, primarily, the cost of welfare for immigrants. It is that welfare breeds dependency and insular, dysfunctional communities. Assimilation doesn’t happen well when poor immigrants get set up in dead-end communities, which welfare guarantees.

  10. “Drumpf”

    is it me, or is this almost as stupid as Block Yomomma? stupider? I don’t even know why referring to his genealogical name is supposed to be offensive for some reason. All I know is that its a sign of someone gone deeply full-retard.

    1. Reason prefers name calling to actual facts and reasoning. I used to love this blog but it’s pretty brain dead these days.

    2. Given that “trump” is slang for “fart” in much of the Anglosphere, I’d say his actual name made for better comedy material than his ancestral name anyway.

    3. Its not just you, G.

    4. I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be a stupid name, thus funny to mock, or a German name, and thus…well, you know how that goes.

      The fact that a German felt the need to change his name in a climate of xenophobia (something that had a profound negative effect on German-Americans) might be worth talking about, but that would run counter to the narrative.

      1. I think the “Drumpf” thing partly came from the fact Trump called out Jon Stewart for dropping his last name Leibowitz.
        The big difference of course is the Drumpf name was dropped by a distant ancestor, while Stewart dropped his right before getting into show business. Having said that, it all seems kind of petty and stupid.

  11. You know who else was a crazy strongman?

    1. Bluto?

    2. Andre the Giant?

  12. This article assumes that his recent authoritarian, nativist, etc. positions are real. His past says something pretty different. There is nothing authentic about Trump the candidate, other than his authentic con man m.o. The packaging is no better than the contents – both are frauds and false advertising.

  13. Would Conservatives support Trump if he wasn’t a psychopath with terrible policies?

    What is that supposed to tell us exactly?

    Would I support Hillary Clinton if she was the second coming of Thomas Jefferson? I guess?

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