One of my favorite things to do is talk with Jonah Goldberg. Many can say the same thing. I got to do it earlier today, in a podcast: a Q&A, here.
We talk about the political season — this Time of Trump. Particular subjects include Assange, Putin, the American Right, National Review, the National Enquirer, Hillary, the Trump Train, anti-Semitism, and the GOP future. (Must there be a third party, accommodating Reagan conservatives and classical liberals? Accommodating those who want neither socialism nor nationalism, and certainly not the combo?)
In short, we talk it out.
At the end, I tell Jonah something, and warn that it will be mushy: His stand against Trump and Trumpism, and for conservatism, has been heartening to me, personally. These are weird, dislocating times. Alliances are strained, and so are friendships. If you had told me even a year ago that I would leave the Republican party, I would have said, “You must have been smoking, and you must have inhaled.” (Remember that one? Circa 1992.) Anyway, conservatives such as Jonah are under tremendous pressure — tremendous pressure, believe me — to hop aboard the Trump Train, for their professional and social health. Jonah has shown a spine carved out of a battleship.
Which is nice.
One by one, they are dropping. Dropping like flies. One by one, they are hopping aboard the Trump Train, conservatives are. Call it a “pivot.” They discover in Trump a new maturity. All of a sudden, he’s looking presidential to them. They discover that, just as Paul Ryan and others say, a vote for neither Trump nor Hillary is a vote for Hillary. By October 1 or so, there will be precious few anti-Trump conservatives — at least public ones. The pressures are great, as I’ve said. No one wants to be a heretic. “All Trumpkins now,” will be the watchword.
And then after the election? A deluge. Of what type, no one can know, but it will likely be hellacious.