What William F. Buckley would have thought of Trump
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I get asked: “What would your father”—William F. Buckley Jr.—“have made of Donald Trump?” No one has asked me what he’d have made of Marco Rubio, or John Kasich, or Ted Cruz, or Mrs. Clinton, so I’m left to infer the question is predicated on their assumption that Mr. Trump is a) Conservative, b) conservative, or c) some Frankenstein evolution of the movement founded by W.F.B. in the mid-1950s. It’s tricky, channeling your father’s ghost. Hamlet tried it, and that didn’t work out well. But here goes: d) none of the above.
This isn’t to disavow Mr. Trump. That’s not my job, and I don’t have the street cred to do so, having parted ways with the Republican Party years ago. I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump. The prospect of his winning was unthinkable to me until about 10 p.m. on election night, at which point, like many Americans, I needed a stiff drink. I wish him every success as our president, as I’m sure do all Americans who want to. (What’s another way to say, “Make America Great Again”? )…
Mr. Trump is going to drain the swamp and put a stop to the globalization, and the American workers—and out-of-workers—are going to be so happy. And only he—“I alone”—can do it.
That “alone” might be the clue to where Mr. Trump belongs on the left-right, liberal-conservative spectrum. (Assuming he belongs on any political-ideological spectrum.) Until that moment during the campaign, I’d never heard a politician say, “I alone can fix it.” I’ve written speeches for politicians; none, not even the most self-confident of them, would have dreamed of saying “I alone.” They’d prefer: “together, working with people on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans alike . . . ” Boilerplate, yes, but much safer. “I alone” isn’t conservative-speak or liberal-speak. It’s pip-squeak beer-hall messianism. But revealing.
Copyright 2016 Liberaland