Less than one week to go before the Iowa caucus, and the battle lines are drawn.
On one side is brash businessman Donald Trump. On the other side is the near-entirety of the professional conservative movement – the thinkers, marketers, editors, donor-schmoozers, lawyers, consultants, money-bundlers, tax cheats, business shills, and communication hacks who profess allegiance to St. Ronald Reagan.
As Michael Buffers says: Let’s get ready to rumble!
Ever since Donald Trump announced his presidential bid last June, he has been walloping the hucksters known as Conservatism, Inc. By channeling working class resentment and throwing out the playbook when it comes to raising money and hiring consultants, Trump is turning traditional politics on its head. He isn’t being spoon-fed soundbites; he isn’t begging for cash; he isn’t bending over backwards to appease huge corporations.
He’s doing something few candidates have done in a long time: Advocating on behalf of the entire national community, rather than a few eggheads and CEOs with bottomless wallets.
Meanwhile, the high-salaried Republican brain trust is losing its collective head. This was most pronounced in a recent symposium hosted by National Review eloquently titled “Against Trump.” Conservative luminaries such as Thomas Sowell, John Podhoretz, and Glenn Beck contributed, lambasting the GOP frontrunner and pontificating on the need for a principled leader in the White House. Their polemics were chock-full of the high-minded ideals and a mastery of vocabulary that would have made William F. Buckley proud.
But even for such a long, erudite (and possibly illegal) spread, the message is the same throughout: Trump is not a cerebral conservative, and thus isn’t fit for the office of the presidency.
Years ago, this kind of concentrated effort to derail a Republican presidential candidate would have been a resounding success. But that’s all changed with Trump. The bedwetting Hayek-lovers in “tassel-loafers and bow ties” no longer call the shots. A man with $10 billion and a twitter account now runs the show.