Going back to when I first started this blog, I was writing about my distaste for conservatism and my support of Donald Trump. If I had critics, they would probably take joy in pointing out that I’ve been rather silent on him for the last two years since the stolen election and my incorrect prediction on that subject. Well, if making predictions that turn out to be wrong irreparably damages your reputation, then most political opinion columnists should have lost their jobs many years (and many more predictions) ago — as I noted. But they haven’t and they won’t be. Equally, I think considering all that happened in 2020 that my prediction didn’t get a fair shake and likely never will.
Come to think of it, I’ve also been rather silent on immigration which was also a preoccupation of mine when I started writing here too. Why? To quote Dr, Stanley Goodspeed, “well gosh, kind of a lots happened since then.” Apart from taking an interest in writing about other things, the socio-political context has taken a rather big turn as well and the main reason for this is because of what Donald Trump came to represent.
Now, I have had increasing reservations about Trump but then I had some early in his presidency too. I was never and have never been someone who thinks people can do no wrong — especially public figures. My religion teaches quite the opposite of that too. I absolutely do not regret supporting him and I would never pretend I was anything less than extremely enthusiastic about his candidacy. He’s still the greatest American president for at least a century and did a lot more good than any previous “conservative” president did. In fact, it seems the accelerating chaos of the last few years was a direct reaction by our unwanted and unelected oligarchy against him and this alone is evidence he was doing something good. These last few years have been difficult but they’ve also been enlightening and this is a reason why I’ve written less about mainstream politics as we’re truly beyond that now.
Trump’s recent announcement that he would run again in 2024 has compelled me to make a brief return to the topic though. Now, I’m not sure what Trump thinks he will accomplish by running again. They committed fraud in 2020 and again in the mid-terms this year. And they’ve probably been doing it on a smaller (or at least less obvious) scale for a lot longer. So he almost certainly won’t win even if he does win. Nonetheless, I’d still rather it was him running than anyone else. Ron DeSantis only seems “conservative” because of how much more watered down the meaning of that term has become. In reality, he’s not much different to any neo-conservative candidate from the early 2000s.
More specifically, I am compelled to respond to a recent National Review editorial that conservatives shouldn’t support his second run. Of course, National Review said much the same during his first run and despite their apparent influence — were completely ignored. And even if things go their way this time (which they may well go), it won’t have anything to do with them. They’re irrelevant and the magazine would have collapsed a long time ago without a small group of very wealthy donors keeping them going.
I used to read National Review about a decade ago and still credit some of their writers with influencing my own politics. I actually read many of them before I knew of the magazine. Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hanson for example were two I became familiar with around 2006. I also followed John Derbyshire since 2008 and with even more enthusiasm after they dropped him for this article in Taki’s Magazine a decade a go. Unlike 99% of National Review’s output, it has aged like fine wine and every American should read it. Not one of these writers is still with the magazine though Hanson only left recently. I have since learned that Derbyshire is part of a large group of writers dropped by the magazine for being talented writers who addressed actual issues. Joseph Sobran, Peter Brimelow and a big etc. of names could follow.
I haven’t read the whole editorial (and won’t) but they do have a concise list of Donald Trump’s accomplishments early on:
To his credit, Trump killed off the Clinton dynasty in 2016, nominated and got confirmed three constitutionalist justices, reformed taxes, pushed deregulation, got control of the border, significantly degraded ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and cinched normalization deals between Israel and the Gulf states, among other things. These are achievements that even his conservative doubters and critics — including NR — can acknowledge and applaud.
This is more than any conservative politician has done in the United States or anywhere I can think of in my lifetime and were they really standing for whatever it is conservatism is, they would be enthusiastic supporters. The editors presumably goes on to argue that despite all of the above he should not be supported. Why? Maybe he didn’t bomb enough countries? I don’t know and I don’t care either. Once again: they’re irrelevant.
Also irrelevant is the political process which is the only framework in which a writer for National Review can think — unless they’ve been fired. Something that Trump unintentionally revealed was the irrelevance of the political process and how entrenched unelected power is in the United States government. There was certainly more he could have done but it became clear pretty early on that he was surrounded by duplicitous people including many who claimed to be supporters. Trump is really now more a symbol than anything and as I’ve previously written: symbols do matter. I wouldn’t go so far as to say people should abandon the political process altogether but I would say they shouldn’t expect anything from it. What Trump stood for (or at least said he did), regarding immigration, localism, industry, family and nationalism got strong support and that’s what everyone who supported him can always point to. That’s what they wanted and it isn’t their fault they didn’t get what they were promised. These things will win in the end whether or not Trump is around because God is ultimately in charge.