National Review, you’re not helping

I want us to win the presidency in 2024.  Whether it’s with Trump, DeSantis, Haley, Pompeo, or an as yet unknown candidate, I don’t care.  I want the Biden clown car gone.  I want America to cease being the sclerotic, corrupt, genderless laughingstock that Islamic terrorists don’t even bother denouncing anymore. 

At this point, it’s beyond politics.  My family can’t survive financially under four more years of Biden.  I can’t retire with the damage he’s doing to my investment plans.  We don’t have the resources for private or home school so that we don’t need to worry about our children getting story hour lap dances from a Ru Paul wannabe.  We postpone vacations because the theme parks and hotels are cheaper than the gas needed to get there.  We stopped going to the Big City because we don’t want to get mugged in broad daylight in the “good” areas.  Our grocery bills are approaching our mortgage payments.  Each week, our room to maneuver in every aspect of life gets smaller and smaller.  Everything we’ve worked for to better our lives and secure our kids’ futures is being actively and intentionally destroyed by a vindictive and spiteful Left that views my very existence as abhorrent. 

I am what you might call a Former Trumper.  I voted for Trump in the 2016 primaries, the 2016 election, and the 2020 election.  I now want Trump gone because I think he would lose decisively in 2024.  My argument is that DeSantis is eminently winnable, and by Reaganesque margins.  That DeSantis is Trumpism 2.0, without the baggage.  That DeSantis doesn’t represent the “hold your nose and vote” candidates so enthusiastically promoted by the RINO elite, but rather a bona fide, effective, and disciplined conservative with a former swing-state to prove it.

To me, that seems like a better argument than You’re all clueless losers, and when I order you to jump, the only question you should be asking is, “How high?”  And if my argument proves incorrect, I certainly won’t blame, six years later, those who were correct.  My résumé isn’t illustrious enough to supersede basic decency.  But apparently, the writers of National Review don’t agree with this approach. 

In contemporary American conservativism, there exist roughly three blocks of voters: Only Trumpers, Former Trumpers, and Never Trumpers.  The vast majority of us fall into the first two groups.  The Never Trumpers at National Review comprise a miniscule fraction of this pie, and their influence to effect anything positive for the movement is nonexistent.  Methinks this, not Donald Trump, is the true source of their resentment. 

The Only Trumpers and Former Trumpers are currently tussling for the future of the Republican Party.  I’ve made my case for Ron DeSantis.  Regardless, my arrogance doesn’t outweigh my understanding that both sides need each other if we’re going to win.  We both need to work together.  We both need to make compromises.  We both need to hash this out with mutual respect, not for purposes of Machiavellian manipulation, but because we actually respect each other

Trump was our nominee in 2016 because the McConnell caste and their sniffing eunuchs at National Review snubbed the base.  If Trump is our nominee in 2024, it will be because the McConnell caste and their sniffing eunuchs at National Review snubbed the base.

In the past two weeks alone, Trump has managed to lose both a solid chunk of conservative voters as well as their public voices.  Trump lost the New York Post, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal.  Trump lost Winsome Sears and Mick Mulvaney.  Trump lost Victor Davis Hanson, Candace Owens, and Laura Ingraham.  Trump lost his own daughter Ivanka.  Trump lost Kurt Schlichter, for crying out loud.

A YouGov poll, conducted after the midterms, showed that a majority of Republican voters now favor Ron DeSantis (42%) to Donald Trump (35%) in a hypothetical 2024 lineup.  This is a reversal from the previous month.  DeSantis beat Trump among independents, and nearly tied him among “strong Republicans”.  Other polls here, here, here, here, here, and here are showing similar tectonic reversals. 

It appears that a majority of Republicans are deciding that Trump is more trouble than he’s worth.  He is significantly less popular now than he was two weeks ago.  Two weeks ago, he was less popular than he was in 2020.  There is nothing indicating that this trend will change direction.  To paraphrase Napoleon on when your enemy is making mistakes, all you have to do is sit back and let it happen. 

But National Review considers its strategic genius greater than Napoleon’s, and is misinterpreting this trend to mean that conservatives are rushing headlong to rejoin Conservative, Inc., and resume voting the way our self-appointed betters instruct us to.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

National Review snorts We told you so.  Well, you’ve “told us” many things.  You told us to back McCain, and then Romney, and then Jeb!, and then Kasich. 

Other candidates you elatedly wet your suspendered trousers over told us that they’d oppose illegal immigration and secure the border, only to do the exact opposite once elected.  They told us that they’d overturn Obamacare, only to do the exact opposite once elected.  They told us they’d rein in spending, only to do the exact opposite once elected.  They told us to support their nonstop obsession with prioritizing corporate tax breaks, only to have those same corporations go full “woke”.  They told us Vladimir Putin was an “honest, straightforward man”.  They told us Iraq had WMDs.  They told us an eggshell-walking hearts-and-minds campaign, using rules of engagement written in Switzerland in 1949, would defeat the Taliban.  They told us the FISA courts would never be weaponized against American citizens.  They, and you, backstabbed us every chance you got, and then had the audacity to wonder how Trump beat your moth-eaten sock puppets in 2016.  With this in mind, the Only Trumpers worry, not without reason, that a vote against Trump is a vote in favor of recrowning the neocon, globalist, open border Establishmentarians.  

McConnell holds the honor of being, at under 20% approval, the most unpopular leader from either party.  Yet that’s who we are told, despite a near four-decade career with almost nothing beyond judicial confirmations to show for it, represents our glorious future.  Most Republican voters want fresh leadership across the board.  That the challenges to McCarthy and McConnell (perfectly orderly and democratic but labeled by National Review as a “stupid and chaotic coup”) were easily fended off illustrates the contempt, with two big middle fingers, in which we’re held by our elected representatives.

Then there’s house-speaker-turned-spin-art-booth-operator Paul Ryan, whose assumption that anybody anywhere values his opinion is utterly incomprehensible.  Ryan smirks that anyone “not named Trump” can beat Biden in 2024.  Yeah, except for Ryan himself, who remains the only person to have been alpha-maled off a debate stage by Biden.  At least Corn Pop fought back.

 And National Review seems hellbent on doing everything it can to justify Only Trumpers’ anxieties and keep them in his corner.  You say Trump has learned nothing in six years?  Neither have you.  You scoff at us refusing to “take one for the team” and vote for whatever garbage candidate we’re stuck with?  So do you.  You say Trump supported or opposed Republican candidates based solely on their personal loyalty to him?  So did McConnell.  You fault Trump for obsessing about 2020?  You still obsess about 2016.  Trumpian behaviors you claim to disdain are ones that you yourselves have repeatedly exhibited.  It does make one wonder whether your vindictiveness stems from principle or from projection. 

What is the endgame at National Review?  If it’s to flaunt your superiority to us lemmings who are too dumb to know our place and dutifully capitulate to your daunting acumen, then by all means, stay the course.  I’m sure the Lincoln Project will respond to your job applications any day now.  But if you sincerely desire to prevent another Trump candidacy, then you need to take the advice you so often dish out to him.  You need to know when to keep your mouth shut. 

Why?  Because, ever since your infamous “Never Trump” edition, you’ve done nothing but further obliterate your credibility.  Whenever you write, you repel the very voters you need to further the conservative agenda.  To your credit, you did grudgingly concede Trump his accomplishments, but this was neutralized by your all-in defense of the reptilian McConnell and his constellation prize role of keeping the seat warm for Schumer. 

Do you want your credibility restored?  Try some humility, if that’s possible.  And I don’t mean a half-hearted OK, maaaaybe we underestimated Trump’s ability to get things done.  I mean acknowledging to half the country that you treated them as expendable fools.  That you airily dismissed their legitimate concerns as trivial nonsense and fear-based paranoia.  That your insistence on foisting losers like McCain and Romney and Jeb! and Kasich unto us may have enhanced your standing at cocktail parties, but were matters of survivability for those of us who fix your toilets and police your leafy boulevards.  That the sniffy exhortations of Kevin Williamson and David French (gone in person, but not in spirit) to America’s poor communities that they “deserve to die” and that the only reason they’re poor is their reluctance to rent a U-Haul and move are about as untethered from reality as possible. 

That would be a start.  But if you can’t muster the maturity for that, then go back to the powder room, your bowtie is crooked. 

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