Rod Dreher: Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia | TAC

{Via Mike Schilling}

But a funny thing kept happening. When I would go back to south Louisiana to visit my family, I often got into (friendly) arguments with people about conservative principles and policies. I noticed that we were at loggerheads over many things. It frustrated me to no end that reason was useless; “ideologically unmoored cultural passions” weren’t just something, they were the only thing. This was a tribal conservatism, one that had very little to do with ideas, and everything to do with nationalism and a sense of us-versus-them. To be a conservative is to agree with Us; to disagree with us means you must be a liberal.

I remember getting into it with my dad once after I moved home. I was driving him to the VA clinic for a check-up. This was during the Obamacare debate, and he started complaining about welfare spongers who expected the government to pay for their medical care. I pointed out that he was an avid user of Medicare and of veterans’ medical benefits, and that if not for those government programs, he would have died a long time ago.

From: Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia | The American Conservative

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10 thoughts on “Rod Dreher: Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia | TAC

    • Agreed – with some reservations, but Dreher puts his main point very well: A lot of us who act like we know better, know a lot of the things Dreher is talking about there, underestimated Trumpismo.

      At this point it looks like Our Tod was ahead of most of us, certainly me, in sensing Trump’s potential. I said then that I’d start taking Trump seriously once the first votes were cast, but we’re not far from there, and I’ve already been thinking about him a lot more than I thought I’d be thinking about him, and I have only just begun to think about what I ought to think about that.

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      • I admit my grip upon my skepticism is weakening a bit, but I still reserve judgement until the Trumpkins actually turn out and vote in Iowa and New Hampshire.

        I also did not anticipate the GOP political establishment opening fire on Cruz in Iowa instead of Trump.

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        • North: I still reserve judgement until the Trumpkins actually turn out and vote in Iowa and New Hampshire.

          I will, too, but my concession to Tod’s better judgment still stands: I severely underestimated Trump’s influence on and potential staying power in the Race, and should have known better. I did not expect to be in much suspense about his performance in Iowa. Now, I’m looking at the results as like Must-See TV. Well-played by Trump and the Media (setting my own microscopic chatterer’s role aside).

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  1. I really like Dreher’s concluding para:

    If I were Trump, I would go to rallies asking out loud just why the magisterial magazine that once dramatically excommunicated conservatives who opposed the Iraq War believes it has standing to excommunicate Donald Trump.

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  2. Dreher offers an update based on a reader comment:

    What if [his commenter] Borachio is right? What if the anti-intellectual Trump is actually revealing that Conservatism, Inc., is run by sophists? You have to read this Byron York report from deep inside the New Hampshire GOP bubble. An excerpt:

    After that conversation, I began to ask everyone I met: Do you know anyone who supports DonaldTrump? In more cases than not — actually, in nearly all the cases — the answer was no. I asked one woman Friday night, and she said she hadn’t thought about it. I ran into her the next morning at breakfast, and she said, “That was a good question you asked me last night, and I’ve given it some thought.” And no, she didn’t know any Trump supporters.

    Given Trump’s big lead in the polls, if so many politically active Republicans don’t know even one Trump supporter, either the polls are wrong or there is some serious GOP Pauline Kaelism at work in the nation’s first primary state.

    It’s a pretty suspenseful moment we’re living in right now, then. Maybe the polls are wrong! Maybe they’re not! We’re about to find out. …Either way: Wow!

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