National Review has compiled a symposium of twenty-two conservatives who each explain why they oppose Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primaries. The writers run the gamut of backgrounds, perspectives, and issues.
The editors have written their own piece in “Against Trump.”
…Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones. Trump’s political opinions have wobbled all over the lot. The real-estate mogul and reality-TV star has supported abortion, gun control, single-payer health care à la Canada, and punitive taxes on the wealthy…
…even on immigration, Trump often makes no sense and can’t be relied upon…
…Trump seems unaware that a major contribution of his own written immigration plan is to question the economic impact of legal immigration and to call for reform of the H-1B–visa program. Indeed, in one Republican debate he clearly had no idea what’s in that plan and advocated increased legal immigration, which is completely at odds with it. These are not the meanderings of someone with well-informed, deeply held views on the topic.
As for illegal immigration, Trump pledges to deport the 11 million illegals here in the United States, a herculean administrative and logistical task beyond the capacity of the federal government. Trump piles on the absurdity by saying he would re-import many of the illegal immigrants once they had been deported, which makes his policy a poorly disguised amnesty (and a version of a similarly idiotic idea that appeared in one of Washington’s periodic “comprehensive” immigration reforms). This plan wouldn’t survive its first contact with reality.
…Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution…He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.
…His business record reflects the often dubious norms of the milieu: using eminent domain to condemn the property of others; buying the good graces of politicians — including many Democrats — with donations…
Trump nevertheless offers a valuable warning for the Republican party. If responsible men irresponsibly ignore an issue as important as immigration, it will be taken up by the reckless. If they cannot explain their Beltway maneuvers — worse, if their maneuvering is indefensible — they will be rejected by their own voters… We sympathize with many of the complaints of Trump supporters about the GOP, but that doesn’t make the mogul any less flawed a vessel for them.
Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.
I absolutely agree. Trump has caught a crest of anger and is riding it to his own advantage.
The essays written for the symposium are listed by author in alphabetical order. If ever there was a must-read for the 2016 election, this is it.
L. Brent Bozell III
Steven F. Hayward
Andrew C. McCarthy
Edwin Meese III
Michael B. Mukasey
R. R. Reno