National Review, the conservative publication founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., at the height of the Cold War, has gone on the attack against Donald Trump. In a series of short articles collectively entitled “Conservatives Against Trump,” various writers weigh in against Trump, suggesting that he isn’t a true conservative.
Balderdash! Trump is as genuine a conservative as every one of those National Review conservative critics.
What is conservatism? It is a philosophy of ad hoc positions on various political and economic issues, many of which are socialist and fascist in nature, while falsely and deceptively standing for “free enterprise, private property, and limited government.”
How is that different from the political and economic philosophy of Donald Trump? It’s not. In fact, conservatives might not like it but the fact is that Donald Trump is the evolutionary outcome of the philosophical road that conservatives have been traveling for decades. With the rise of Donald Trump, they should be trumpeting their success, not denouncing it.
For decades conservatives have been condemning socialism. Yet, what is their favorite domestic program? It’s Social Security, just like it is for liberals. Conservatives love Social Security. Oh sure, they are always in favor of fixing, reforming, or improving it, or even converting it into a fascist program, but the last thing they would ever want to do is repeal it, like we libertarians want to do.
It would be difficult to find a better example of socialism than Social Security. It uses the force of the state to take money from people to whom it belongs and give it to people to whom it doesn’t belong. From each according to ability, to each according to need.
Donald Trump loves Social Security too. So, what’s not to like about Trump?
Conservatives have long preached their favorite mantra: “Free enterprise, private property, and limited government.” It’s in their speeches, on their websites, in their articles, and on their stationery.
At the same time, however, conservatives have waged the war on drugs, punishing people for engaging in peaceful economic enterprise with respect to drugs or for ingesting drugs within the privacy of their privately owned homes. The last thing that conservatives would ever do is call for the repeal of all drug laws, like we libertarians do.
How do conservatives reconcile their mantra with their drug war? They can’t and they don’t. They just keep preaching the mantra and keep supporting drug laws.
That’s also what Donald Trump does. He favors the conservative mantra and the drug war too. So what’s not to like?
What about public schooling? Conservatives love it, notwithstanding the fact that it is a gigantic socialist program, one that, in fact, is the pride and joy of socialist Fidel Castro. The last thing conservatives would ever do is call for a separation of school and state, as we libertarians do. At best, they embrace school vouchers, which are really nothing more than another socialist program, one that again takes money from people to whom it belongs and gives it to others.
What about immigration? The National Review conservatives suggest that Trump isn’t being very nice to immigrants. But conservatives have long favored immigration controls, which bring with them enforcement measures — things like highway checkpoints, warrantless searches of privately owned properties near the border, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, raids on private businesses and homes, forced deportations, and other police-state measures that are found in totalitarian countries. The last thing that conservatives would ever do is call for open borders, like we libertarians do.
And weren’t conservatives supporters of the massive Berlin Fence along the border, one that took people’s private property away from them through eminent domain? That socialist program obviously has not been the big success that conservatives told us it would be. So Donald Trump favors converting the fence into a Berlin Wall. Isn’t that a logical next step in the conservative war on immigrants, given that all previous steps have obviously failed? What’s not to like?
Maybe conservatives are unhappy with Trump because he failed to endorse their beloved undeclared war of aggression on Iraq, a country that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. But what the heck? Everyone knows that he is as much an interventionist as any other conservative. He might disagree over which countries should be targeted for regime change and death and destruction at the hands of the U.S. national-security state but philosophically he’s on board with conservatives (and liberals) when it comes to the philosophy of foreign interventionism. What’s not to like?
Take a look at those conservative screeds at National Review. You’ll see that not one of them calls for an end to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, education grants, the drug war, immigration controls, the Federal Reserve, fiat money, the regulated economy, empire, foreign aid, or foreign interventionism. Not one of them calls for the dismantling of the welfare state apparatus. Not one of them calls for the dismantling of the national-security state apparatus. Their positions are nothing more than a collection of ad hoc socialist and fascist government programs under the rubric of “free enterprise, private property, and limited government.”
Oh sure, conservatives will inveigh against “big government” but, at the same time, embrace every socialist and fascist program that makes up “big government.” Donald Trump is no different. So what’s not to like?
What is the real reason those National Review conservatives have gone on the attack against Donald Trump? One reason alone. No, not because of his political and economic philosophy, which they agree with, but rather simply because they don’t like him. And that reflects that they don’t really like what they themselves have become.