Saturday, March 05, 2016

Hmm …

… Up From Buckleyism - The Unz Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I knew Bill Buckley only slightly, but one particular encounter with him gave me the opportunity to observe what it means to be a gentleman, which is what Bill was from first to last. Buckley broke with Joe Sobran because the latter was a pioneer in disguising anti-Semitism as opposition to Israel and its policies. Robert Welch and the John Birch Society were just what conservatism didn't need if it were to be taken seriously. I do think NR's anti-Trump issue was a bad idea and does suggest that NR has become too cosy with the Republican establishment and fallen out of touch with ordinary Americans.


  1. Frank,

    The National Review "No to Trump" issue had many contributors, far beyond the magazine's staff or the Republican establishment.

    These were a variety of writers and thinkers who have serious conservative credentials and who realize that Trump is certainly no conservative. He is a fraud.

    Having read every Buckley book, having read National Review since the mid-1960s, and having watched nearly every Buckley "Firing Line" TV program, I'm confident that William F. Buckley would have led the anti-Trump movement and he would have approved of the issue.

    Buckley, as you noted, cast out the Birch Society and other false or crazy right wingers in his day. I believe he surely would be leading the charge against a man like Trump today if he were alive.

    Buckley is on record of having been critical of Trump even before he began to run for office.

    I ask why Trump supporters are not calling for him to release his tax records.

    If he does (and he won't), I believe we will see very little charitable contributions to veterans or any other group, although he contributed a good bit to Democrats. We would also see his failed and suspect business dealings. (As well as his true wealth, which will, I suspect, be far short of the more than 10 billion he claims)

    Do his supporters truly buy his excuse that he will release the tax records when the audit or audits are complete.

    This is surely a dodge from an artful dodger.

    And I believe that if elected, Trump will be "flexible" and turn into basically a liberal Democrat.

    The art of the deal, indeed.


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Frank,

    I don't believe that National Review was ever in touch or read by "ordinary Americans."

    The conservative opinion magazine, like The New Republic and other opinion magazines have always had a small, but dedicated readership.

    National Review online however, reaches a good number of readers.


  4. Hi Paul,
    That is exactly my point. The professional conservative opinionators are as out of touch with ordinary conservative Americans as the political class is. I seriously doubt that Bill Buckley would have approved of the Gang of Eight's immigration proposals. I am sure he appreciated that to remain a country you have to protect your borders. My point about Trump is simply that he will likely not do what the political class has been doing, and ignore the voters' wishes once the election returns are in. For no other reason than that he needs to keep his customer base satisfied to some reasonable extent. I would not be at all surprised, should he get the nomination, to see him choose for a running mate someone like Jim Webb.This is what happens when you have the worst political class in our history. As for me, I would prefer to vote for None of the Above, but he won't be on the ballot.

  5. Frank,

    I don't know if the pros are that out of touch.

    Beyond National Review, they are also newspaper columnists, authors and TV commentators. They have readers and viewers who take their views into consideration.

    Krauthammer, for one, is a very infuential guy.

    And keep in mind that the conservatives at CPAC went for Cruz not Trump.

    Trump has his followers, but once he is one-on-one with a true conservative - be it Cruz or Rubio - he will, I predict, lose. (Although one should never predict politics - ha!)

    I doubt if Trump would pick Webb as VP.

    Webb's strong personality (and brains) would be a threat to Trump. Webb also has a notorious bad temper and he would punch Trump in the nose if Trump insults him.

    Unlike phoney-tough, rich, yuppie Trump, Webb is a true tough guy.

    Have you read Webb's novels?

    The early novels are very good, "Fields of Fire" is the best novel on the Vietnam War, in my view, and his "A Country Such as This" is powerful.

    Don't know why he keeps returning to politics. Well, ego, I suppose. I wish he would go back to writing novels.

    I dealt with Webb a while back when I tried to interview him. We went back and forth and got into it over the Iraq War, which was just starting and he was against it and I was for it. He declined to be inteviewed, stating he was too busy working on his book.

    Now Webb would make an interesting president...



  6. I enjoy Krauthammer, because I enjoy curmudgeons, but I think the commentariat is overrated, especially by its members. What you say about Webb is interesting. Maybe he returns to politics out of a sense of duty, though why he was Democrat escapes me.