The super-classy gold lettering and flourishes on the “Against Trump” cover were a great touch. I had two thoughts about the substance:
What if he’s nominated? I basically agree with NR’s editorial and the symposium contributors that Trump’s not a conservative but a huckster and a narcissist. I prefer Cruz myself, though he has his own shortcomings, as do all the candidates. So in Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary March 1, I will not be voting for Trump.
But what about on November 8? Despite NR’s best efforts, Trump could very well be the nominee. (In fact, the fuss made over the “Against Trump” issue may well help him, at least at the margins.) Will the symposium contributors vote for Trump despite their reservations or will they support the Democrat? (either by voting for her directly, or by backing a third party or not voting, which amount to objective support for the Democrat).
I think Erick Erickson was the only contributor to the symposium who said he’d vote for Trump in the general election; no one admitted they’d prefer Hillary in the Oval Office, though John Podhoretz suggested as much in a twitter exchange. (Separately, Ian Tuttle has explained why he’d vote for Trump in November.)
I’ll vote for Trump if he’s nominated and hope for the best, but I can see why someone would decide differently (an easier call if you’re in a state where the outcome is a foregone conclusion). But such a decision means you think Hillary (or Bernie) would be less bad for the country than Trump – and that would be important for readers to know. Your grocery clerk or accountant are under no obligation to disclose their political biases; but those of us who are paid to bloviate on politics are. Idea: Another symposium after the GOP nominee is formally anointed at the convention in July, this one entitled “Against Trump?”
Dr. Frankensteins say beware of monsters. The editorial and several symposium contributors were clear that voters have good reason to be outraged at the serial betrayals by the Republican political class, even if Trump is the wrong vessel for that outrage. But a few of the contributors have helped perpetrate those betrayals – they’re part of the reason that Trump resonates with so many voters, and I’m loath to take their advice on dealing with the problem they helped create.
Tom Sowell, Ed Meese, Andy McCarthy – criticism of Trump from men like this carries real weight. But – to pick one counter example – Russell Moore? He’s one of the leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a Soros front group pushing for Obama’s immigration agenda. He’s written that “our Lord Jesus himself was a so-called ‘illegal immigrant.’” He’s tweeted that a border wall is a “golden calf.” He exemplifies the yawning gap between elites and the public that fuels Trump’s rise.
In short, Dr. Moore is one of the many Dr. Frankensteins who created Donald Trump. Rather than calling on us to turn away from his creation, Moore might do better to retire from public life and devote himself to quiet good works.