There is a lot of troubling nonsense emanating from conservative circles in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral college victory on Tuesday. For my money, however, some of the most absurd blather comes from a Trump critic — the reliably cretinous and sanctimonious George Will.
Raleigh’s News & Observer is running Will’s latest missive this morning and it is a classic example of the brand of “constitutional conservatism” (i.e. arrogant and reactionary gibberish) that Will and those of his ilk — some of the denizens of the Art Pope empire here in North Carolina come to mind — have been spewing for years.
On the one hand, Will condemns Trump and decries what he is doing to Will’s beloved GOP:
“The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on, perhaps soon to inscribe this: In 2016, Republicans won a ruinous triumph that convinced them that they can forever prosper by capturing an ever-larger portion of an ever-smaller portion of the electorate.
This kamikaze arithmetic of white nationalism should prompt the president-elect to test his followers’ devotion to him by asking their permission to see the national tapestry as it is and should be.”
This is correct, of course. Trump’s win is a destructive blow to the notion of a Republican Party that is anything more than the home of the modern day Know Nothings.
But wait. Read the rest of the essay. According to Will, the real fault here lies with the Democrats for nominating Hillary Clinton — a candidate he derides as “familiar as faded wallpaper.” Will then goes on, quite astoundingly, to allege that Americans are now safe from “Clinton’s nastiest aspiration” which he claims was — wait for it — a pledge to push for an overruling of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Citizens United.
You got that? With all of the horrific dangers that confront our country an in era in which a billionaire has just purchased the presidency, the top concern of the nation’s most visible conservative columnist is one politician’s pledge to try and put a check on the unfettered power of billionaires and a court decision that made it possible. It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry and such an utterly delusional observation.
Of course, one doesn’t have to be a trained psychiatrist to see what’s going on here. The truth of the matter is that it’s Will and his fellow lovers of old, white Englishmen in wigs and tights (i.e. “constitutional conservatives”) who are among those most responsible for Trump. For decades, they have stoked the fears and delusions of the people who ended up electing the new president. They egged on and used the haters and nativists when it was convenient and now, to their amazement, their little political nuke is a runaway reactor.
In the days ahead, we will no doubt hear and read lots pious pronouncements from and about so-called “responsible conservatives” like Will, the Koch brothers and Art Pope (and some his hired helpers here in North Carolina) who supposedly oppose Trumpism. This is nonsense. These people had the chance to prevent the rise of Trump years ago and chose not to use it.
They are responsible alright — responsible for the mess in which the nation now finds itself.