The Corner

About General Mattis

I’ve read about a half-dozen articles about whether retired Marine general James Mattis should run for president as an independent if Trump wins the nomination. (These three articles, for example.)

His boosters are conservative Trump opponents. A lot of them have been arguing that Trump is not a conservative — that he doesn’t have conservative views or a conservative record — and that he doesn’t know much about government policy. He can’t, for example, say much more than “lines around states” about health care, even though he thinks it’s one of the top responsibilities of the federal government. That’s not the entirety of the conservative case against him, but it is an important part of it.

With that in mind: What do we know about General Mattis’s views, and his familiarity with a broad range of non-military issues? Where does he stand on abortion, guns, taxes, health care? I’m not seeing answers in those articles.

I have no doubt that General Mattis has had a more commendable career and life than Trump has. And, yes, desperate times, etc. But the great flaw in this campaign is not that it has lacked a candidate whose appeal boils down to “he’s great and we should trust that he’d do great things as president.”


Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


Fire Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More

The Georgia Smear

Back in 2016, when Trump refused to say he’d necessarily accept the result if he lost, we were told that this was a terrible violation of democratic norms. Now, refusing to accept that you lost an election is the highest form of patriotism. Not only are the media and the Left not pressuring Stacey Abrams to ... Read More
PC Culture

The Lonely Mob

Just before the election, an Andrew Gillum intern named Shelby Shoup was arrested and charged with battery after assaulting some college Republicans on the campus of Florida State University. It was rather less exciting than that sounds: She went on a rant about “Nazis” and “fascism” — Gillum’s ... Read More

How Immigration Changes Britain

Almost nothing is discussed as badly in America or Europe as the subject of immigration. And one reason is that it remains almost impossible to have any sensible or rational public discussion of its consequences. Or rather it is eminently possible to have a discussion about the upsides (“diversity,” talent, ... Read More

Sorry, Brian Kemp Still Won

Here was the state of play as of yesterday per the Kemp campaign’s breakdown of publicly available information: As of Saturday, November 10, 2018 (12:00 p.m.) *Information below is public.  Total votes reported: 3,924,658 Kemp: 1,975,162 (50.33%) Abrams: 1,912,383 (48.73%) Metz: ... Read More