Ask And Be Answered

Last week, I asked “why all the hate for National Review?”

Joe Doakes, formerly of Como Park, responded:

I had a subscription to National Review for decades.  I let it lapse when I realized O’Sullivan’s Law applied to his own magazine.  The writers I admired – who stated my views better than I could – were no longer welcome there.

Samuel Francis.  John Derbyshire.  Mark Steyn.  Conrad Black. Theodore Dalrymple.  Victor Davis Hanson.  Some of their names still appear on the website but they haven’t had an article published in years.  The views of the magazine have shifted.  Look at the articles in the last few issues, the most conservative guy is . . . James Lileks.  I love his writing but he’s not the successor to William F. that I would have chosen to write insightful political commentary.   I didn’t leave the magazine, the magazine left me but it’s worse than that.

“National Review is now run by a nest of never-Trumpers,” said Francis Sempa in 2021, and his comment is still on-point today. The man who is far and away the most popular candidate for the Republican nomination for President isn’t classy enough for National Review.   He’s a boor.  He doesn’t lose gracefully.  And those tweets!  He’d never get invited to one of National Review’s cruises.

Neither will I.  My views are too extreme, too conservative.  Like their former columnists and the former President, and the 80 million people who voted for Trump last time and the 120 million who will vote for him this time, I’m not good enough enough for National Review.  Which puts me in mind of Grocho Marx:  “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

Joe Doakes, former National Review subscriber, no longer in Como Park

Well, I do subscribe to the National Review. Some of my favorites are gone – Derb, Kevin WIlliamson – and others like Charles CW Cooke and Andrew McCarthy remain.

“Never Trump?” Some are. Some are, like me, Trump skeptics, or from the “what have you done lately?” crowd. Not sure if Trump isn’t classy enough for the NR, but I’ve never gelled with his personality, even back when he was a Democrat.

I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. I did in 2020, although his behavior between the election and Biden’s coronation was almost as stupid as, well, the system he fought. I’ll be in Team Ron ’til the bitter end, but I won’t be voting, directly or indirectly, for a fourth Obama term. Make of that what you will.

But the Trump era is going to end – next summer, next November, or perhaps in January of 2029. And I want the GOP that picks up at the end of all that to be more like the GOP of 1994 than the Matt Gaetz clown car of 2023.

And the National Review, whatever else you say about them, is about the same thing.

I hear what Joe’s saying. I understand it. I even agree to a point. I’m also a conservative before I”m a Republican. There will be a post-Trump era, sooner or later. I’d like whatever replaces Trump to reflect beliefs I can get behind. Love Trump, hate him, or fall somewhere in the middle,

17 thoughts on “Ask And Be Answered

  1. I hope Trump gets 90,000 votes from Waseca, so some judge can say, “It is obviously impossible, but all the votes have been counted and it’s too late to make a difference.”

    Well, maybe that won’t happen, but if one substitutes Biden for Trump and Cedar-Riverside for Waseca, it will.

    The sad thing is, if Trump loses, he will just keep running again and again and losing again and again.

  2. My dad had an NR subscription for many years and I had one for a while, too. When Buckley ran NR, he was the high priest of conservatism and as such he cast out the Birchers, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard and others he considered as beyond the pale. For the most part, his reasoning was correct.

    Buckley died over 15 years ago. Since then, NR has been less about conserving culture and more about protecting sinecures. They tried to channel Buckley by devoting an entire issue to denouncing Trump in 2016, an effort that failed utterly. I don’t like Trump either, but in my view the right move for the conservative movement is to propound conservative ideas and policies. Trump can be a vehicle for that effort; he demonstrated that in his term, especially on taxes and foreign policy.

    As conservatives we have a choice; we can help Trump do the right thing, or we can help Liz Cheney’s efforts to reestablish an order where leftism triumphs but the defense contractors and ADM get paid. Remember the words of Eric Hoffer:

    Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

    Buckley led a movement. Trump is a businessman. NR is a racket.

  3. The more the DOJ and self serving, lying and corrupt DAs and AGs go after Trump, the more support that he picks up. Face it. He’s an outsider, not a member of the uniparty cabal, therefore, he must be destroyed. Those go along to get along GOP wimps, don’t want their gravy train to run off the rails, let alone be exposed. If we look at the fact that until he decided to run against her highness in 2016, he was a darling of the DemoCommie party and more than a few of the current and former elected minions, received campaign donations from him. Funny! I don’t recall seeing any of them return that money. Even the two biggest race pimps in the country, Jesse Jackass and Al Scamton, took money for their causes and gave Trump glowing accolades for what he was doing for youth in the black communities. Yet, Trump is a racist.
    Hillary was supposed to win and continue with the destruction caused by the Kenyan Klown, but Trump set them back four years.
    Finally, let’s look at other high profile patriots that called out the deep state and vowed to destroy it. JFK, RFK and JFK, Jr. all got permanently silenced. They tried to get Reagan, too, but he survived. At Nancy’s pleading, he dialed his criticism way down.
    Bottom line; I think Trump is playing 3D chess, exposing the criminal cabal that is ruining the country for their own benefit and to retain power, while they play Chinese checkers, with six marbles missing. IMO, it’s only a matter of time until Trump produces the receipts.

  4. “but I’ve never gelled with his personality”
    By all means lets approach this election with this vacuous notion foremost in our selection process, not the candidate’s decision making skills, or leadership ability, or a record of successful accomplishments outside politics. Lets be sure to judge potential candidates by how willing we are to have dinner and drinks with them. The last candidate I gelled with was Ford. This will guarantee a 4th Obama term.

    As if the Democrats won’t cheat this election if Haley or DeSantis is their opponent.

  5. Trump’s Conservativism has always been more bug than feature. In spite of that he ran a much more conservative administration than I ever expected and I’m grateful for that (I believe Mitch has stated the same thing).
    I think that success came from two things. 1) He was largely surrounded by conservatives that tended to come from outside the GOP Establishment Circles. 2) Opposition to anything Trump from the Democrats became opposition to anything Democrat from Trump.

    Trump is first and foremost a narcissist. It’s been my view since 2016 that the Democrats wasted their opportunity to co-opt Trump. If the Democrat Establishment had doubled down on their old school, Union and America First, anti-NAFTA agenda of past decades, they could’ve recovered lost voters and had a defacto supermajority and POTUS for 2017 & 2019. Instead they went with the Woke, “Trump is worse than Hitler!!” strategy. Trump instinctively cozies up to adoration while attacking criticism.

    In 2016 the NR Editors devoted an issue to trying to stop Trump. At the same time they had other contributors writing in Trump’s favor. Many of those most vocal Never-Trumpers have since left NR. Some remain. And some of the contributors have changed their position.

    Currently, they have some writers that previously supported Trump that now refuse to do so. Those contributors point to Trump’s rhetoric and actions that violate Conservative principles and/or drive away the independent swing voters that are necessary for electoral success.

    My personal opinion, publicly stated since the 2020 Election, is that merely by running in the Republican Primary, Trump guarantees a Democrat victory in 2024. Trump divides Republicans, turns off Swing Voters, and does so while energizing Democrats to vote. Polling today seems to show that Trump CAN win in November, BUT that same polling also shows that DeSantis, Haley, and Generic Republican has an even better chance. We’ll have to wait until November to see if my prediction is correct.

    Like most of those anti-Trump NR writers of 2016 and 2023/24, I don’t live in a Swing State. My vote isn’t going to have any effect on the outcome. It’s really easy for me to talk about Conservative Principles vs Populism. For me, the real world consequences show up in State Elections where suburban Republicans got wiped out and Dr. Jensen received fewer votes for Governor than Kim Crocket did for Secretary of State.

    As Mitch stated, there will be a Post Trump GOP. I don’t think that Liz Cheney or Ken Buck represents the future. I also don’t think that Matt Gaetz or MTG or Kari Lake will lead the GOP to electoral and ideological success.

  6. Smith;
    I think that had Trump ferreted out ALL of the Kenyan Klown’s moles, he could have been much more impactful. A very good friend of mine, is friends with Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell. I know that what I get from my friend on conversations with Grenell is hearsay, but when that friend wasn’t a big fan of Trump, but now appreciates the things he did, based on Grenell’s experience with him, gives me cause to believe him. Grenell said that he, Mike Pompeo and Seb Gorka, advised Trump to get rid of several of those moles, but he didn’t do so. Grenell is also convinced that despite appearing narcissistic, Trump truly loves the country, doesn’t have a racist bone in his body and is the person the country needs to get it back on track.

  7. Boss,
    We’ll be digging out the type of people Obama, and now Biden, empowered for a decade. The State Department just needs to be axed, and the military officer core is rife with the likes of General Mark “DEI” Milley. I’m sure the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc need a wholesale clean out too.
    The question is, do we have the next Reaganesc “Great Communicator” that can get a 8 years of POTUS, and hopefully the Senate and House as well (not even Reagan had that)?
    Trump had the Trifecta, and he couldn’t even get all the Republicans to support an ObamCare repeal, despite that being the electoral rallying cry since 2010.
    As to loving the country and not a racist bone in his body, I’ve heard those too, and I don’t discount that. Nothing says that a narcissist can’t love America. I also agree that Trump doesn’t see the world in racial terms because his narcissism leads him to view the world as himself and what’s his, be that family, business, fans, political suppporters, etc, and then everyone and everything else. Race is inconsequential in Trump’s view.

  8. Trump had the Trifecta, and he couldn’t even get all the Republicans to support an ObamCare repeal

    That was a low blow that ignores how important Republicans in the House and Senate wanted to punish Trump more than they wanted to uphold their so-called principles and do the right thing. It also implies that the rest of the Republicans needed to be wooed and cuddled to get them to vote for the very things they promised to do if elected. Government by Mean Girls. Sigh.

  9. JDM,
    It’s not a low blow because Trump publicly came out against Entitlement Reform in 2016. It would’ve been more accurate to say that that he didn’t try to repeal it. They just zeroed the penalty. They didn’t even technically repeal the Mandate.
    And what principles were Republican Leadership trying to uphold? Spending more money?
    Trump’s presidency did much more good than bad, and it was definitely better than Hillary, but it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. A large reason for that is that Populism isn’t an ideology.

  10. ^ Clearly I don’t know and don’t understand anything about what I thought happened during the Trump administration, but oh well.

    I have a completely different though very related question. Why is DeSantis doing so poorly? I mean, like why even bother poorly?

    He’s a wildly successful Republican governor. He’s taken on a big woke corporation and won. He’s taken on the FL teachers and won. He has as far I can know little or no baggage. And yet he’s behind that stupid bint, Haley.

    Although I won’t deny that I would like to see Trump take his revenge, I would actually prefer DeSantis but I don’t understand why so few others do.

  11. Those of you who are unenthused about Trump as Republican nominee, who’s your preference? Nikki? DeSantis?

    If your preferred candidate does not get the Republican nomination, what will you do? Stay home? Vote Third Party?

  12. Those of you who are unenthused about Trump as Republican nominee, who’s your preference? Nikki? DeSantis?

    I don’t know why DeSantis has failed to gain traction, but he has. My guess is he’s beholden to the same money men who keep NR afloat and Trump has made sure people are aware of it. Haley is a nonstarter for me. As a practical matter, Trump is going to be the nominee. And while I will never like the man, he’s far better than anyone on the port side.

  13. If your preferred candidate does not get the Republican nomination, what will you do?

    As noted, I’m on Team Ron (although in a just world Doug Burgum would still be a contender).

    I’ll vote to prevent a fourth Obama term. Need I say more?

  14. ^ I like it, Ms boop. I look forward to watching his New Right be manifest (and helping it, if possible).

  15. Haley is another establishment RINO. Last week, she said she would favor amnesty for all of the invaders that entered our country since Pedo Pete opened the border. She’s also a war monger, just like Liz Cheney and many other Congress critters on both sides of the aisle. If Ron is the candidate, I’ll vote for him, but I think Haley would be Pedo Pete Lite. The fact that she’s getting pumped up by and receiving donations from DemoCommies, should tell us all we need to know.

  16. I believe the NR tent is large enough to accommodate lots of conservatives. If some, for whatever reason, don’t wish to enter, they are free to stand in the cold rain. Like Mitch, I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, held my nose and did in 2020, and will probably do so again. He’s capable of making good decisions and policies but he can’t seem to repress or filter the middle school bully that surfaces way too often. I believe a President should speak and act Presidential in public. Apparently that’s too old school for some. Trash talk is just that: trash. “Calling out” and “crushing” and some of the other forgettable linguistic neologisms belong to the Zoomers, a class of people steeped in narcissistic belly button gazing and endless production of truly pathetic YouTube/TikTok/Instagram channels dedicated to producing a “viral moment” and its attendant spotlight of notoriety. Andy Warhol was only wrong in how long fame would last in the future. It’s not fifteen minutes. Five seconds, max.

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