July 11, 2018

The Anti-Trump Conservative Firing Circle Is Wildly Out Of Touch With The American Electorate

Dana Mathewson, with hat tip to David Dickinson

There's a huge amount (should I say YUGE, in this Age of Trump?) of political commentary being written these days. Of that written on the side of the Right, there is quite a bit of variation. One thing in short supply is self-awareness on the part of the writer.

So I was delighted to encounter a large dose of it in thie piece by Michael Doran, in The Federalist. The Article is found at http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/10/trumps-conservative-critics-wildly-touch-american-electorate/
but I will include a few pithy excerpts to (hopefully) whet your appetite. It's a long article but very worth your time.

In a democratic culture, the pundit is not a philosopher. He exists to inform and guide like-minded voters, which is only possible if they trust him to be thinking along with them.

I know what it feels like to be out of touch with the electorate. In the last presidential election I worked on the campaign of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. After he conceded defeat, I joined the foreign policy team of Sen. Marco Rubio. About a week before Rubio bowed out of the race, Nate Silver, the election analyst, published an article analyzing the senator’s dilemma.

Rubio, Silver explained, was almost every Republican’s fallback candidate. He was the first choice of only one group: "cosmopolitan conservatives.” Silver’s label hit me with a jolt of self-recognition. I have degrees from Stanford and Princeton universities, spend many weeks of every year abroad, and live and work in uber-liberal Washington DC, which I love. I am a social conservative, and I identify wholeheartedly with Red America. Silver had me cold: I am a cosmopolitan conservative.

Referring to an article attacking Trump's conservative critics written by Emerald Robinson, Doran goes on to say:

The intellectuals Robinson attacks are also members of my clan. We may not live, as she suggests, in mansions, but we do breathe a rarified air—and we are very small in number. If we were to hold a national conference, we might fill a large bistro on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Thanks, however, to the work we do in the policy world and media, we have a public profile out of proportion to our numbers.

Cosmopolitan conservatives have mistaken their outsized visibility in the media for indispensability to the conservative cause. The prevailing opinion among them during the election was not just that Trump was going to lose, but that he was going to deliver an historic defeat to the Republican Party.

In summer 2016, I became a traitor to my clan, breaking with this consensus and publicly supporting Trump. Some of my associates let me know they considered my move morally indefensible. It soon became obvious that they saw themselves as valiant knights manning the ramparts on the citadel of true conservatism, guarding the one true creed until Trump self-destructed.

It's a great article, among other things pointing out that the group's present worship of Ronald Reagan is at odds with the way they viewed him at the time of his presidency.

For my money, the kicker is the last paragraph, "throwing some shade" upon Jonah Goldberg himself by saying;

The Jonah Goldberg who in 2008 published "Liberal Fascism” would have recognized the FBI’s surveillance of Trump and the Robert Mueller probe for exactly what they are—outrageous abuses of power designed to smother the Jacksonian voice of the American people. The Jonah Goldberg of yesteryear wryly observed that if fascism ever came to America, it wouldn’t arrive dressed in brown shirts and jackboots. It would come instead wearing shirts emblazoned with big smiley faces. For some inexplicable reason the Jonah Goldberg of today fails to realize that those shirts would also say, "Impeach Trump!”


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