I was in Italy when Conor Friedersdorf published this article about the Trump phenomenon, and missed it. In it, Conor argues that Conservatism, Inc., cannot easily divorce itself from the vulgar, sometimes abusive rhetoric employed by Donald Trump.
A surfeit of populism and anger, and a paucity of restraint and decency have been hallmarks of Conservatism, Inc., for too long, and we could probably go back to the early 1990 to trace the roots of our problem. We are now reaping the whirlwind. Read Dreher’s article, and the Conor Friedersdorf piece he quotes. Both are frank and unflattering reflections on two decades of intellectual decline on the right. Yesterday’s Dittohead is today’s Trumpist.
Whether Trump’s candidacy ends in August or November, by the time Typhoon Donald has passed the nation by, movement conservatism will likely be a smoking pile of debris. Those of us who survive it will be left to re-assemble a new movement. Or two. Or three.
But whatever we do, we would be the bastard fools of history to forget that we ended our movement and put the nation in peril when we gave in to the lesser angels of our nature.