What follows is not an unqualified endorsement of Donald Trump for the November elections. But it is a call to reason among American intellectuals who are as skeptical of voting for a populist, one of the unwashed, as the Russian intelligentsia is skeptical of their country’s own populist, Vladimir Putin.
Trump and ‘The National Review’: we are defined by our enemies
by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.
Hats off to Donald Trump for his disparaging remarks about The National Review and their pitiful attempt at a demo job on his campaign in their latest issue. TNR has assembled a collection of testimonials from personalities reputed to be “conservative” and all laying into The Donald.
We are defined by our enemies, and the editorial board of The National Review, in defending what it calls the conservatives’ “ideological consensus” has highlighted just what is wrong with the party’s establishment.
America grew to its present strengths not by ideology but by pragmatism and a can-do philosophy, which is what Donald brings to the 2016 presidential campaign. He has taken “common sense” and run with it as his campaign platform on many, though, to be sure, not all issues. To that we can all say thanks.
And as for conservatism, with William Kristol at the center of the TNR jeering team, what we see is not “conservatism” but “neo-conservatism”, which is a radical, extremist distortion of conservative principles. Indeed they are alarmed about Donald, whose approach to global issues is precisely non-ideological and realistic. This is a central issue because foreign affairs are precisely where a president has the greatest freedom to dominate the national agenda.
The foregoing is not an unqualified endorsement of Donald Trump for the November elections. But it is a call to reason among American intellectuals who are as skeptical of voting for a populist, one of the unwashed, as the Russian intelligentsia is skeptical of their country’s own populist, Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the ledger, regrettably both leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are enthralled to their ideologies of choice at the expense of common sense and realism. Still more sadly, with respect to the number one security issue facing the United States, relations with its nuclear-armed peer, Russia, both candidates offer only more of the same smallness of mind and spirit that we have seen in the past 7 years of the Obama presidency.
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2015
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G. Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? (August 2015) is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.com and affiliated websites.