Quin Hillyer, a senior commentary writer for the Washington Examiner, defends himself against President Trump recently calling the Never Trumpers “human scum.” Hillyer writes to Trump that “for two generations the Hillyers have worked in the trenches for the things your conservative allies value most.”
Many Never Trumpers report of being in the trenches for a long time, even decades before Trump became a warrior. We should all appreciate their stand; however, the trench mentality may be the problem.
Since the modern conservative movement of the mid-20th Century, we have not gained ground; we been pounded and lost ground. We keep having to abandon long held trenches and dig new ones further and further back. In retreat mode, we constantly have to redefine and water down conservatism.
We are thankful for William F. Buckley who battled in the trenches for decade with his National Review, which ironically now has become one of the most influential anti-Trump publications.
Conservatives under the leadership of Buckley dug their trenches in academia and “little magazines” other than the National Review. They became the conservative “intelligentsia,” a position of honor welcome at the Establishment cocktail parties. Others became advisers to Republican presidents and some even served in the bureaucracy.
Ronald Reagan was the political general who strove to establish conservative principles in government during the eighties. Reagan, however, did not take on the swamp, deep state, like Trump or Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy did in the fifties. Reagan, as good as he was, did not have the energy or leadership qualities or star power of Trump.
McCarthy, after some initial success of exposing the State Department as being infiltrated by communists, was finally defeated in his heroic efforts. Alas, since McCarthy, the media and establishment historians have been able to do such a number on him that few conservatives will defend McCarthy and are often afraid to expose liberals with the c-word for fear of being labeled as “McCarthyites” or some other pejorative like “racist” or “Nazis.” Trump has no fear of phony liberal labels.
In 1964 Barry Goldwater snatched the nomination for president from the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party before the evangelicals became politically active. When they were activated by Falwell, Sr. in the 70’s, Goldwater made the mistake of failing to embrace them and consequently his influence slowly was neutralized. We do give Goldwater credit for setting the stage for Reagan’s victory in 1980.
Suddenly out of no-where a new leader is raised up by God, Donald J. Trump. He appears on the political scene with the backing of powerful evangelical conservatives like Jerry Falwell, Jr., Dr. James Dobson and Franklin Graham. Donald Trump is elected president!
Trump exhorts the conservatives to go over the top of the trenches, and take the offensive against the liberal establishment. The entrenched conservatives say, “No way. We will be killed in no-man’s-land!” [Which just might be the case]. Conservatives are often afraid to be in control; they are content to be social and political critics instead of governing.
Trump is a natural leader. He is of the mentality that he will die trying. Or maybe a better way to look at it, Trump lifts the banner and shouts, “To hell with trench warfare, we are losing our country. Let’s man the tanks and roll over the bastards.”
Or even better, Trump commands, “Land by sea with the marines. Attack from the air with planes bombard the Capitol, which the traitors have occupied for decades.”
Commander-in-Chief Trump has the aggressiveness of Patton and the audacity of Billy Mitchell. The armchair generals fought Patton, especially when he even had the daring to slap a hospitalized soldier diagnosed with shell-shock. Patton called him a “goddamn whimpering coward.”
Billy Mitchell was court-marshaled [read impeached] as a result of accusing the Navy of “incompetency, criminal negligence and almost treasonable administration of the national defense.” Patton and Mitchell were not generals who were suited to fight a war of attrition; they were too tactical for the trenches.
Trump’s forerunner and ally Rush Limbaugh took the conservative movement to the airwaves to become “the father of talk radio,” which communicates with the common man in a manner which Buckley and his disciples could not do. Trump was ready and willing to get down and dirty with Hillary something the 16 Never Trumper candidates would not have done. However, some of them have been smart enough to board the Trump Train as soon as they recognized that it is unstoppable.
Never Trumpers need to rise up and go over the top. Otherwise Trump will continue to slap you in the face and call you worse names than even came out of Patton’s foul mouth. Patton hit the shocked soldier, pulled him out of bed and commanded him to return to the front lines. The General even reached for his pistol.
The Never Trumpers don’t know what they are dealing with in Donald J. Trump. He will not take flack from the Never Trumpers. Patton had to apologize to keep his command. But who is gong to make Trump apologize? Certainly not that witch in the House, Nancy P. Nor will the wimp at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol. Trumpites have the back of the President.