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Progress Towards Party Unity, For Whatever That’s Worth

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee met with the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday, and we would have loved to have been there. In ordinary circumstances it would have been a predictable discussion of how to best stick it to the very vulnerable Democratic and thoroughly awful nominee, and both coming out with unabashed statements of party, but in this extraordinary election cycle the big news is that both sides came out with no schoolyard taunts and even some talk of “progress.”
In this extraordinary election cycle the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is Donald J. Trump, the self-described billionaire real-estate-and-gambling-and-strip-joint-and-professional-wrestling-and-reality-show-and-scam-university mogul who won the party’s nomination mostly with the support of anti-establishment party members who flood the internet comment sections with talking of burning it all down, and the Speaker of the House is Ohio Rep. Paul Ryan, the former right-wing Tea Party darling who now represents the dread if ill-defined Establishment. It is therefore not at all surprising that Ryan has previously expressed less than the ordinary enthusiasm for his party’s presumptive nominee, and that Trump has been boasting he can win without such Republican establishment losers, and that the very vulnerable presumptive Democratic nominee still has a chance of extending her party’s disastrous seven-and-a-half-year presidential reign, and that it’s all a very messy business for both the Republicans and the Republic at large.
As we’ve been interns to the once-notorious right-wing villain Sen. Bob Dole, the once quintessentially establishment Republican who’s now on board with the Trump nomination, and often opposed him during a newspaper career that brought us into conflict with his deal-making ways and earned us a reputation as anti-establishment radicals, and have always advocated both for and against the “establishment positions” of any given movement, and at any rate are far too penurious to be considered part of that “donor class” that seems to currently afflict both parties, we would consider ourselves quite objective observers of that extraordinary meeting.
We won’t be voting for Trump in any case, nor his admittedly at least as equally awful major party opposition, being the Burkean yet anti-establishment types we are, and  matter how far such a lone hold-out on national solvency such as Ryan progresses in getting Trump on board with real capitalism  we’ll hold out hope the country least doesn’t go bankrupt. Call us establishment types, which is apparently quite the slur at the moment, but that’s what we’re grasping at. Despite his frequent over-judiciousness and sobriety, we hope that a Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will somehow prevail in this extraordinary election cycle.

— Bud Norman

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2 responses

  1. We are not part of the grammar and spelling police but the devil who sits on our left shoulder urged us to make one minor correction. We can’t help but note that Speaker Ryan is such a high profile Tea Party darling that Bud is unaware that Ryan represents a district in Wisconsin, not Ohio. That was the former Speaker, Mr. Boehner, who was famous for crying, golfing with Obama and ridiculing Ted Cruz for actually wishing to exercise congress’ prerogative of voting on what the government should spend its money on.

    The internet is flooded with partisans on all sides, most vociferously the ones who would prefer Hillary to the man who won the Republican nomination. There are brave souls who venture to like Mr. Trump and admit to it in face of all the on-the-side-of-the-angels gang whose moral standards are so high that they have chosen defeat because they simply can’t bring themselves to do what it takes to win; who still have qualms today about the bombs on Hiroshima and are in mind meld with Mr. Obama who goes there to apologize. But it was not the internet denizens who made Mr. Trump the nominee; it was the people who actually went to the polls, hiding their shame from on-the-side-of-the-angels gang and decided that they sort of liked the man who would actually fight for them. Who actually spoke with them in their language and understood their concerns.

    At this point we take another moment to quibble with Mr. Norman. We are political junkies and the opposition to Mr. Trump is only in part that of the Establishment. They had a nice thing going, winning their jobs and their subsidies no matter which party was in power. They have no moral guideposts and will come around.

    The most intransigent opposition to Mr. Trump seems to come from people whose moral purity and ideological rigidity simply can’t stand an interloper who was never part of their club, their “band of brothers,” who were satisfied to – as Bill Buckley said in 1955 – stand athwart history yelling “STOP!” In their righteousness they lost their view of the vast majority of the American people who live in a world 61 years later formed in large part by history that ran right over National Review. When enthusiastic portions of the electorate are participating in large rallies in support of a socialist who spent his honeymoon in Moscow, when it’s harder to find a conservative on campus than a virgin, it’s time to figure out what the ideological purists, the Buckley conservatives, the #NeverTrump groupies, did wrong. Is that amount of introspection so difficult? If I did it, anybody can.

  2. Call us “establishment types”? God forbid what those who claim to Republicans should be called if they do not vote for the Republican Party nominee.

    Sent from my iPhone

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