A REPLY TO GEORGE WILL'S ANTI-TRUMP HYSTERIA
By Dan Phillips
December 28, 2015
Yawn. Another day, another hysterical article from a self-appointed Establishment “conservative” gatekeeper bemoaning the candidacy of Donald Trump and the imminent demise of the GOP and conservatism as we know it if Trump is not stopped. These have become so predictable that I didn’t even bother to read the thing before I started commenting on it on social media. They’re all the same. Trump is a buffoon. Trump is an authoritarian who doesn’t understand/respect the Constitution and the separation of powers and may even be a fascist. And best of all, authentic conservatives must support turning the United States permanently Blue through continued mass immigration and impoverishing the middle class with globalist phony “free” trade deals because of the free market… blah, blah … our values … blah, blah.
Well, the George Will article linked above gives us the first two, but oddly hangs its hat on the necessity of antagonism toward Putin and Russia as the reason why Trump is a mortal threat to authentic conservatism. No mention of immigration or trade deals at all. Color me surprised.
First of all, I have already addressed the issue of Trump’s demeanor in a previous article. Conservatives fretting about Trump’s presentation while the country spirals toward becoming irreversibly Blue due to mass immigration, is like fretting about the arrangement of the deck chairs on a rapidly sinking Titanic. If we don’t curtail immigration, then all the talk about every other issue on the conservative agenda is just beating our gums.
Secondly, who are Will and his Establishment ilk kidding with their new found concern for fidelity to the Constitution? There has only been one elected Republican at the national level in recent memory who is a real Constitutionalist, and who that is is so obvious that I don’t even have to mention his name, but the same people who are now apoplectic over the prospects of a Trump nomination are by and large the same people who were rabidly denouncing Ron Paul as an existential threat to conservatism as we know it in 2008 and 2012. Ummm … yeah, perhaps you should spare me your feigned concerns about the integrity of the Constitutional process if you were trashing Ron Paul.
That dispensed with, the Putin and Russia issue needs to be addressed. First of all, Russia is a Christian (and increasingly publicly so), essentially Western (not geographically) nation with a lot of natural resources. Russia should be a natural ally of the U.S., and Western Europe for that matter, not a country we have a reflexive antagonism toward. Such attitudes are indicative of a Cold War mentality that has long since passed its usefulness. Modern U.S. interventionists hate and fear Putin and Russia because they see them as potential roadblocks to U.S. global hegemony and increasing globalization, not because they genuinely foresee the rise of a neo-Soviet Union. Antagonism to Russia and Putin is not a necessary element of authentic conservatism as Will suggests. It is a necessary element of the desire for messianic U.S. global hegemony and expanding globalist rule by the power elite.
As for Will’s charge that Putin is “dismembering” Ukraine, give me a break. The U.S. and the E.U. fomented an illegal coup against the duly elected and Russia friendly President of Ukraine, and installed a Western leaning puppet in his place in a country half-way around the world from us, but we have the audacity to lecture Putin about intervening in the affairs of a nation that is right on his border?
Crimea voted to become part of Russia which is where it largely demographically, linguistically and historically “belongs.” Crimea did not become a part of Ukraine until 1954 when Khrushchev seemingly arbitrarily transferred it from Russia to Ukraine. Besides, our intel surely understood that Putin was not going to allow Russia’s warm water port in Crimea to fall into unfriendly hands, so if the U.S. was so concerned about the integrity of Crimea, maybe we shouldn’t have toppled a Russia friendly leader in Ukraine and replaced him with one that is hostile to Russia.
I don’t doubt that Russia is supporting the Russian friendly rebels in Eastern Ukraine, but people who support arming “moderate” rebels against President Assad in Syria’s civil war, really don’t have much room to criticize Russia for similarly engaging in a proxy war. At least Putin can claim to be meddling in a neighboring country because he is concerned about the welfare of fellow Russian ethnics. America is intervening on the wrong side and against our best interests in a small inconsequential country half a globe away in the name, at least ostensibly, of some vague values that are not possibly going to be advanced in what remains of a post regime change Syria anyway.
Trump alone among the Presidential candidates has explicitly stated that Russia is on the side of right in Syria at the moment, and we should welcome them fighting ISIS, an entity that I am sure Will and his cohorts have vehemently denounced. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have also expressed reluctance to put “boots on the ground” in Syria and court conflict with Russia but have not as explicitly welcomed the help of Russia. On the other hand, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, among others, all paragons of conservatism by Will’s reckoning I suppose, have endorsed a U.S. enforced no-fly zone over Syria that could potentially lead to a major conflict with Russia.
And again, while noninterventionists could also denounce Russia for meddling in the affairs of another nation, at least Russia has the excuse that they were asked by the legitimate government of Syria for help, and they have a warm water Mediterranean port in Syria that they have a legitimate interest in. America is simply toppling Assad, whom we are actually better off with in power compared to the alternative, out of some foolish commitment to democratization, and truth be told, because our allies Sunni Saudi Arabia and Israel fear an intact Shia (Iran, Syria and Yemen) axis. I guess Will believes that starting World War III with Russia, something we managed to avoid all through the Cold War, over some patch of dirt in the Middle East is the mark of a true conservative.
As for the issue of killing journalists, I don’t know if Putin had journalist killed and neither does Will, but shame on Will for playing the intellectually dishonest “moral equivalence” card. Foreign policy issues generally require nuance and thoughtful discussion. The moral equivalence charge is not intended to advance thoughtful discussion, but to stop it. Will foams that Trump, “by postulating a slanderous moral equivalence — Putin kills journalists, the United States kills terrorists, what’s the big deal, or the difference? — Trump has forced conservatives to recognize their immediate priority.” Hold on there Mr. Will.
Before you get your bow tie in a bunch, the U.S. killed a lot more than terrorists in Iraq in a war of choice we undertook under false pretenses, a war which you and your interventionists “conservative” cohorts supported and Trump presciently opposed, so perhaps moral indignation is not the route you want to go here. (To be fair, Will came around on the folly of our invasion of Iraq sooner than did most of his interventionist colleagues, but not before Trump who was against it from the start.)
I’m tired of this foolishness. I have conceded that Trump is not a check all the boxes ideological “three-legs-of-the-stool” modern movement “conservative.” But as I pointed out in the linked article, modern “conservatism” has very little to do with actually conserving much of anything, especially as it is manifested in actual practice.
Trump is a Middle American who happens to be a billionaire, and the policies he supports – immigration restriction, opposition to globalist trade deals and a less ideologically motivated foreign policy – are conservative, in the most basic sense, in effect, and a large segment of the Republican electorate increasingly understands this. Will and his Elitist pals are losing their grip on Republican voters, and they know it. This, and not his policy toward Russia, is what has Will and company acting like a bunch of hysterical teenage girls.
© 2015 Dan Phillips – All Rights Reserve
Dan Phillips is a physician who practices in Georgia. He writes from a paleoconservative perspective, and his work has appeared at Lew Rockwell, Intellectual Conservative, Traditional Right, The Economic Populist and many other sites around the web.