And so before our very eyes, the Never-Trump movement on the Right is petering out like a once powerful tide shedding its elemental fury. Donald Trump, the seemingly irresistible juggernaut the movement was meant to halt in the first place, is continuing to roll his way, thunder-like, across the Republican landscape acquiring, as it were, delegates by the bucketful. He has got slightly over a thousand delegates now, and with little over two hundred more to reach the total number of 1237, it is hard to see why he cannot seal the deal in one fell swoop and stave off a second ballot which could all but doom his chances.
How did the effort to stop him come to this pass? The reasons range from indecision, to abject lack of principle, to poor coordination, to candidates’ greed, and to just about anything else that borders on crass incompetence and outright stupidity. As a result of their doomed venture, many of the movement’s members, with their tails tucked between their hinds, are either scurrying off shamefully, or shamelessly seeking ways to make peace with the man who now terms himself the “presumptive nominee.”
But there are still those who wouldn’t budge, those who, steeped in simon-pure conservative principles, are unwilling to succumb to the temptation of seeing a fellow Republican in office, even if such a Republican is of inferior conservative pedigree. One such man is George F. Will, the Washington Post columnist who continues to be a thorn in the side of Trump. Will is willing to risk having Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States instead of Trump. Trump, he thinks, remains not only a danger to the country as a whole, but in particular to conservativism. For that reason, the ebullient master of rhythmic syntax and historical excursions, penned yet another anti-Trump journalism for the Post on Friday, April 29, 2016, titled, “If Trump is nominated, the GOP must keep him out of the White House.” In the piece, Will writes:
The minority of people who pay close attention to politics includes those who define an ideal political outcome and pursue it, and those who focus on the worst possible outcome and strive to avoid it. The former experience the excitements of utopianism, the latter settle for prudence’s mild pleasure of avoiding disappointed dreams. Both sensibilities have their uses, but this is a time for prudence, which demands the prevention of a Trump presidency.
Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.
You have got to admire the man for his consistency of belief that Trump’s White House bid must be torpedoed on moral grounds most especially. You may recall I said the following here on December 24, 2015:
In an attempt to stress a point I find either agreeable or disagreeable, it will be the wont of this blog on occasion to bring to you other writers’ works, and such works I intend to reproduce wholly or in part — and with acknowledgement, too.
Today, I treat you to parts of a visceral attack by George F. Will of the Washington Post on Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. It is, at best, a psychoanalytical piece written from the heart, and I’m sharing excerpts from it partly for that reason.
Another reason I’m bringing this to you is this: Will, like Trump, is a Republican, and it is not often that you see a conservative Republican take a fellow traveler to the woodshed as Will has done here. President Ronald Reagan, after all, once commanded: No Republican should speak ill of another. For the greater interest of the Republican soul increasingly threatened by putrefaction, Will has elected to violate that principle. If anything, Will’s evisceration of the real estate billionaire foreshadows a looming civil war inside the Republican party if Trump, as evidence seems to suggest, eventually clinches the nomination.
In the time since, Will hasn’t relented in his opposition to Trump, nor will he if the man goes on to win the November election. Will has written close to a dozen opinion pieces attacking Trump’s character and candidacy since then. This latest effort takes his opposition to Trump’s White House bid several notches higher when he recommends party rebellion against him in a possible general election contest against Hillary Clinton. To redeem my promise, therefore, I have brought to your notice Will’s latest offering, just in case you haven’t read it.
But there are several faults in his analysis, one of which I intend to point out. The columnist is pinning his hopes on the assumption that, should Clinton win, her presidency will only last four years and not eight. He offers the example of George H.W. Bush’s presidency as a historical antecedent. Will contends that by the next election in 2020, the Republican Party will regroup and rally around a true conservative candidate to flush Clinton out of office.
In reaching such a conclusion, I wonder if the erudite man of letters ever put into substantive account the electorate whose demographic compositions continue to gravitate favorably towards the Democrats. And did Will ever pause to think that the country, dynamically, is also gradually moving away from those ancient conservative principles on which purists like him would not compromise?
Finally: Will, I’m supremely confident, has to be thinking that Clinton, if she wins in November, will simply fold her arms and wait for the end of her first term to hand the presidency over to the GOP. Nice try!