Tough Love from Jonah Goldberg re: Donald Trump

I’ve been a big fan of Jonah Goldberg since reading his eye-opening and highly readable Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change. He writes regularly for the National Review these days, but Saturday’s post about the rise of Donald Trump is particularly important. Goldberg is not mincing his words from the headline (No Movement That Embraces Trump Can Call Itself Conservative) on down:

The late Bill Rusher, longtime publisher of National Review, often counseled young writers to remember, “Politicians will always disappoint you.” . . . But if it’s true that politicians can disappoint, I think one has to say that the people can, too. And when I say “the people” I don’t mean “those people.” I mean my people. I mean many of you, Dear Readers.

From there, Goldberg goes on to cite–correctly–Lord Acton (“Lord Acton’s original point wasn’t that power corrupts those who wield power, it was that it corrupts those who admire it.”), skewer decent conservatives who support Trump (“But this is not an argument for Trump as a serious presidential candidate. . . It is catharsis masquerading as principle, venting and resentment pretending to be some kind of higher argument.”), and finally just goes through a litany of reasons why Trump should not be leading in the polls. Why Trump should be a serious candidate at all. Why Trump should not be any kind of candidate whatsoever.

Read the article. It’s worth it. Especially if, like me, these words resonate with depressing force right now:

If I sound dismayed, it’s only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because “Trump fights!”